Gun Shows are neat, well that is, they used to be neat, and loads of fun too. They were neat because they brought together a whole bunch of people with the same interests, that being firearms, and that had lots of firearms on display and for sale. I still like going to gun shows but they are nowhere nearly as fun as they once were if only because they have been targeted by the gun hating ultra leftists, and thereby by many ridiculous government regulations that are just so much going overboard. The result has been that gun shows now have vendors who sell less guns, lots of books, and beef jerky. Not fun. Enough for gun shows though, this post is not about them, not really.
Yesterday I went to another type of show: The New York Metro Reptile Expo. It was, as usual, held in White Plains New York at the Convention Center. Like a gun show, a reptile & amphibian show (herp show) brings together a large number of enthusiasts who like the same or similar things. In this case that would be reptiles and amphibians (herps). I go to the WP show at about every chance I get, which is almost every show they have had over the past few years. I help man the Long Island Herpetological Society (LIHS) table, and I also go to maybe sell or trade a herp that I have in order to get something else. I have been keeping reptiles and amphibians for well over 40 years now. I guess I have been an LIHS member for at least about 15 years, maybe a couple more.
It used to be that herp shows were much like gun shows. Lots of fun, lots of availability of various herps, well regulated by way of federal and state laws regarding herps and so on. Then the ultra leftist loonies started to get involved.For instance they tried to ban keeping all boas and pythons about 2 years ago in new York State. The bill was a shoe in, it was going to pass easily, because the animal rights loonies, and the so called pet advocates, told the state legislation these were all dangerous snakes because they all could kill people. Well, it was then that herp societies like the LIHS stepped up to the plate, and the members and executive board began a letter writing campaign. We had the bill changed, that is once we explained that there are boas that reach only about 18 inches in length, and there are many small pythons too, all of which pose no threat of loss of life to people. Yes some snakes, and other herps, were banned as pets, such as Burmese Pythons and Anaconda. Still though, efforts of herp societies like the LIHS prevented all such snakes from being banned as pets. Of course, the loonies persist and try to over regulate these shows and the pet industry on the whole, and they have successfully kept the 4 inch turtle law on the books. It is a pretty silly law that says you cannot sell turtles under 4" long because kids could put them into their mouths and get salmonella. I don't see anyone restricting sale of chickens, eggs, or dairy products, both the causes of the largest outbreaks of salmonella, and anyhow a kid could always lick a bigger turtle. Truth be told, turtles can get salmonella but when kept properly are not likely to be effected by it; then again, your pet dogs and cats can get it too but wouldn't it be much more difficult for these wackos to ban keeping dogs and cats. Just so much ludicrous leftist loony legislation, for the kooks to try to control our lives by micro management, that is all , plain and simple.
So while you may think this was a victory for the herp hobbyists, I think it actually was a victory for the loonies who want to stop herps from being kept as pets. They work the same way as do the anti-gun crowd, they chip away at our rights and liberties a little bit at a time over the years, until our liberties and rights are just a faint shadow of what they used to be. Why do they do this, for control, and I believe for nothing more. The thing is though, many people have pets, many people watch nature shows, many folks love(d) guys like Steve Irwin, Jeff Corbin, and so on. People are familiar in some ways with these wonderful animals; and the herp keeping hobby is growing by leaps and bounds. People are also beginning to realize that the kooks who would control all aspects of pet keeping, even of reptiles and amphibians, are just that - kooks. It is apparent that in many states the normal citizens are realizing the same about those who would abolish our right to keep and bear arms. You see all these control freaks want to do is control our lives, to micro manage you and me. They are not truly concerned about whether of not there is gun violence, or people being killed by snakes, or too many fast cars, or too much god in school, or too little freedom in expression, they are only using those things to exert and extend their influence over the public as radically as they can because by presenting things falsely in the extreme, they can suck more politicians, and easily hoodwinked people, over to their side; thereby they accomplish something else: more control over us. Rationality however seems to be prevailing in many areas, and the truth is that these folks often are being seen for what they are - charlatans, and little more. That is a good thing, and the fun may yet someday return to gun shows and the like because we keep showing these kooks for exactly that - kooks, and little more.
All the best,