Loaded argument

After seeing the various reactions to Walter Palmer's killing of Cecil the Lion, it appears that one word was used approximately 97 percent of the time to label the deadly dentist, an old seven letter fave that begins with A, ends with E, and describes a humid, funky sump, one which has become intimately associated with the adjective puckered.

A hundred years ago, that whole bwana thing, where the man cave was adorned with the heads of beasts killed by the master of the house, would genuinely impress those who beheld it. Now, trophy hunting appears to be one of the faster, purer tracks to assholism. Good for us. We're making progress as a species. Sorta. As today's modern man (now known as a “guy”), iPad and manscaping razor in hand, would say to the ghost of Ernest Hemingway—piss off, Papa. I'll hunt rhinos with a Canon, not a cannon.

To wander into the web of arguments debating the pros and cons of big-game trophy hunting is to wander into one thick-ass morass, indeed. You've got plenty of folks who tout the money coming into countries like Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa, who cite the boost to local economies and conservation benefits made possible by the currencies of American and Euro headhunters. For every positive argument made, there's a negative, put forth by wildlife lovers and advocates who say the trickle of money that gets to the locals from hunting can in no way justify the senseless slaughter of Africa's great beasts for wall decor.

Most of the target animals, like lions and elephants, aren't exactly thriving in a world of shrinking habitat and extreme pressure, especially the pressure brought on by illegal poaching. And hunter-donated leopard meat isn't gonna solve any hunger problems in the long run.

So in the final analysis, after you load up with info/arguments examining both sides of this heated debate, you're left with one critical question. What kind of man gets his jollies paying thousands of dollars to shoot a great African beast? For whom is the shooting of an awesome animal the definition of a real good time? The inescapable and obvious answer, is, of course, an asshole.

Make no mistake. I have no problem with a hunter who hits the weeds every fall, shoots his deer or antelope, skins it, butchers it, and eats it. OK, good for you and enjoy your venison. And yes, if you want to display the horns of this year's buck on your wall, all good and dandy.

But to take it up a notch and go kill mighty African fauna, solely for the purpose of your own ego-gratification, has become an activity best left to the ignorant past. A relic of yesteryear, like pay phones, the milkman, fedoras and cigarettes. You want to impress me next time I visit your man cave? Take a real nice shot of a leopard. Then frame it.