A Commentary by Doug Draper, September 1st, 2016 on Niagara At Large
“American Hunter Bring ‘Em Up The North Side Guns, Guns, Guns Run, Take The Money, Here’s A Bullet For Your Boyfriend Guns, Guns, Guns Eagle All Gone And No More Caribou Guns, Guns, Guns You Be The Red King, I’ll Be The Yellow Pawn God Speed Mother Nature Never Really Wanted To Say Goodbye…”
From the 1972 song ‘Guns, Guns, Guns’ by Burton Cummings
This past Tuesday, August 30th, my wife and I joined quite a few thousand others on the grassy slopes of ArtPark in Lewiston, New York for a concert featuring one of my all-time-favourite Canadian pop artists – former Guess Who singer, songwriter and keyboardist extraordinaire Burton Cummings.
He was sharing the same bill with one of my other favourite Canadians, singer/songwriters Buffy Sainte-Marie, and they were both put on a great performance and are well worth catching if you love them as much as I do and ever have a chance to get tickets for a show near your home.
That said, it is a moment from Burton Cumming’s part of the show I want to share with you here because it spoke so bluntly and so well to a disgusting crime against life on this planet – one that I posted a commentary on almost 14 months ago to this day.
The moment came when Cummings, who has never been one to shrink from hurling verbal bombs when he’s of a mind to, was introducing one of his old Guess Who songs – a tune called ‘Guns, Guns, Guns’ – by saying that sadly, it’s lyrics are still relevant today.
He then proceeded to dedicate the song ‘to that prick who shot the lion’ – a line that received a round of applause from people in the audience who seemed to know, without further prompting, that he was talking about the ‘trophy hunter’ dentist from Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. named Walter Palmer who lured an iconic lion named Cecil off a wildlife sanctuary in Zimbabwe, Africa, then blew the feline away with a bow and arrow.
‘The only present I want for Christmas is 10 minutes alone with that prick,” said Cummings, adding that to give an idea how boundless human ignorance can be, “some people are still going to him to have their teeth fixed.”
But, wait a minute, he concluded, that may be one way of getting close to him.
Those weren’t Cummings’ exact words because I wasn’t taking notes, but they are pretty damn close, and they were one more reminder, along with all of the golden music, of why I’ve loved this guy going back to the first time I heard him sing ‘These Eyes’ at the CNE in Toronto 48 years ago this August.
When that small man from Minnesota killed that magnificent lion on the first day of July last year, the outrage I shared with millions of people around the world drove me to post a commentary saying that people found guilty of killing lions, tigers and other wild creatures that are so endangered, they are on the brink of extinction, should get the death penalty if they are found guilty.
A year later, I concede that the death penalty may be a little over the top because it leaves the rest of sliding down the same murderous hole with this slime who, in the case of Palmer by the way, has still not faced charges for what he did despite the global uproar. But a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole is certainly not unreasonable for anyone willfully participating in the hunting down of a species on this planet to extinction.
There are those who say – ‘Wait a minute. Some cultures of people feel they need parts from those animals for medicines so that they can carry on with their traditional treatment practices.’
Well, I come from a culture of people who were once convinced that you could exorcise a witch from a woman by burning her at the stake but we were made to stop that practice a long time ago reasons I hope I don’t need to explain to anyone.
So don’t tell us you need to kill one of the last of the world’s last tigers or rinos for their parts to make ancient medicines because it is no less criminal than someone who displays the head of these animals on a wall to make up for their erectile dysfunction or whatever other inadequacies they’ve got.
Anyone caught trophy hunting these endangered animals or selling or using their body parts should be slammed in jail.
These criminals more than deserve the slamming Burton Commings gave that dentist in front of thousands of people this August 30th.
And they are too dangerous to walk freely from these crimes because they will never understand the words I heard Buffy Sainte-Marie sing in one of her recent songs ‘Carry It On.
“Put your eyes on the Earth Lift your heart to your own home planet What do you see? What is your attitude Are you here to improve or damn it Look right now and you will see we’re only here by the skin of our teeth as it is so take heart and take care of your link with Life and Oh carry it on – We’re saying Oh carry it on – Keep playing Oh carry it on – And praying”
For information on what you can do to help stop the existinction of great animals on our planet click on the World Wildlife Fund’s website at – http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/illegal-wildlife-trade .
Read Doug Draper’s July 2015 commentary on the killing of Cecil the lion by clicking on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2015/07/29/cecil-the-lions-killer-deserves-the-death-penalty/ .
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders