October 18, 2017

Maine House Fearful of Lawsuits Passes Bill to Allow “Religious” People to Forego Wearing Blaze Orange

The Maine House has passed, 120-27, LD 426 that provides anyone who cannot wear bright colored clothing while firearms hunting for deer, to discard it and instead wear some kind of red clothing – some kind because what that red is has not been determined.

Many other things in the bill, whose sponsor was quoted as saying, “I feel that failure to do so will almost certainly lead to a legal confrontation between the state of Maine and this group of Amish people”…, were not spelled out and leaves wide open many issues, some of which could be potentially serious.

If the Senate passes and the Governor signs this bill, it appears anyone can hunt deer with firearms and forego wearing blaze orange and replace it with red. If questioned simply tell the warden it’s for religious reasons. Who is going to prove one way or another. Does this bill clearly point out that you have to be an active member of a recognized “religious” order or sect to qualify? And now wouldn’t that open up a can of worms!

And what about liability. Yes, Maine law states that a hunter is responsible to know his target before shooting. But what if there is an accident anyway. Is the shooter exempt from liability because, unlike all other hunters, a “religious” hunter isn’t wearing the required hunter orange?

So, what does this say about the years of process and development of Maine hunter safety rules. Do we toss those out the window because of a “religious” belief? If blaze orange is a public safety issue then it is a public safety issue…period.

If Maine is passing this bill, partly due to the fear of lawsuits brought on by the Amish, then is it that they have no fear of a lawsuit brought on by everyone else who feels reverse discrimination?

But what I find of interest, and I suppose a point that nobody wants to speak of (out of fear of a lawsuit for bigotry and/or religious persecution), is that the Amish state that their religion forbids them to wear bright-colored clothing because it draws attention unto them. Really? So is it the bright clothing that is the issue or the fact that attention is being brought on them somehow?

If it’s about the attention, then one could argue that they certainly draw more attention on themselves simply by living a lifestyle that causes people to stop and stare, and sometimes worse than that. And if that isn’t enough, I know when I am out in the woods hunting, and wearing blaze orange because it is REQUIRED by law (and now I will be treated differently) there’s nobody around in the woods that would give a damn what I’m wearing.

In short, none of this makes much sense at all. It just all sounds like a bunch of crap, rooted in the fear of some sort of lawsuit, to go overboard with “religious” tolerance. Which brings me to another point. If it’s the attention they are trying to avoid, what kind of attention have they already brought on themselves by pushing this law and what more attention, probably national, would they bring on themselves if they filed a lawsuit?

I call BS!

Personally I don’t care. I really don’t. Under certain circumstances I would like to be able to hunt without blaze orange. Now, I guess I can because I just found “religion.”

 

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