Following recent letters and columns in the Gazette about hunting on city conservation land, I want to respond as chairman of Northampton’s Conservation Commission. I don’t know where my colleagues on the commission stand on this issue. Massachusetts’ Open Meeting Law prohibits us from deliberating other than during public meetings. I speak only for myself.
Although like most boys in the 1950s I was taught to handle a rifle, I believe that firearms should have no place other than in museums as artifacts of a time gone by. I’d like to see the U.S. lead the world in rigorous gun control. I do not hunt, and on a basic level I just don’t get it. It always seemed that only uncaring bad guys would go out and shoot Bambi’s mother. I have always resented having to wear bright colors and put them on my dog during deer season in Vermont each year.
My role as a commissioner, however, explicitly requires that I not promote regulations based on my personal opinions. This means I have to listen and learn and cannot presume that the opinions of others are wrong.