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September 2014

Traumatised? Go kill something!

Now, whereas your favourite cantankerous old coot is a conservationist, is an eco-warrior (but not necessarily a tree-hugger) and is not anti-hunting – or even anti-killing, given the right circumstances (ie. it’s always “open season” on people who talk loudly on their cellphones in movie theatres) – he is vehemently opposed to the likes of a recent group of visitors to our shores from “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.
A recent news story related that the owner of a local hunting business recently hosted a group of American war veterans out here on a South African hunting trip. Nothing especially unusual about this, you say… Stick around, it gets better. It seems the Big Kahuna in this group was a certain Captain Lee Stuckey, a US marine who served three combat tours in Iraq and who is currently in command of a transportation support company at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He is also the CEO of the HERO (Heroes Enjoying Recreational Outdoors) foundation – an organisation that gets traumatised war veterans together by organising “outdoor and social activities” in an effort to help heal their “physical and psychological wounds”. It is in this capacity that The Curmudgeon most definitely does have a (serious) problem with Stuckey and his ilk.
WTF??!! would perhaps be the most polite expression to show my disgust and amazement at an outfit that gets a bunch of already damaged squaddies together, flies them off to yet (another) distant land, puts (more) rifles in their hands and sets them to decimating the local wildlife and calls it “therapy”! Really? The best way to treat war-weary soldiers - sick of senseless killing and violence is to afford them the opportunity to kill some more? Are you shi**ing me? And before I succumb to the anticipated deluge of hate mail from hunters and military types out there, let me re-iterate that yours truly has no problem with the hunting industry per se or eating meat for that matter. So wind your necks in. My problem is with the knuckle-dragging, hoo-rah, gung-ho “if it moves, shoot it, if it still doesn’t move, shoot it again” self-delusional, bonkers types who actually believe that killing stuff is gonna make ‘em feel better! I’m just a lowly journo. – not Sigmund Freud, but even I can tell you (so can my dog or mildly autistic baboons engaged in consuming their own faeces – for that matter) that killing s**t is not the answer.

How about trying something constructive instead of destructive? I don’t mean take up flower-arranging, origami or handing in your “Man of The Month” subscription to become a dyed-in-the-wool, paisley-wearing metro-sexual, new-age “man”. Nope, I mean just make an effort to revert to being a normal human again. There are no gooks, slopes, ragheads, hajis, terrs back in “the world” and it’s not “kill or be killed” on a daily basis back here. So take a breath, and listen for the “pop”, k? Oh… the “pop”? That’s the sound you will hear when you finally extract your head from your own orifice…

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