If children aren’t mature enough to see nude human bodies, are they really mature enough to see people killing for “fun”? PETA has written to the CEO of Hudson News, Joseph DiDomizio, to request that his retail outlets handle hunting magazines in the same way that they would handle any other material that is inappropriate for kids: Store them out of reach and view of minors and allow only adults over the age of 18 to purchase them.
If looking at pornography could encourage kids to become sexually active, as some child advocates suggest, what could looking at magazines that portray killing as exciting and rewarding do to them? We know that many of the school shooters who killed their classmates first hunted animals. As our letter to DiDomizio points out, “Like other forms of casual or thrill violence, hunting spawns a dangerous desensitization to the suffering of others.”
Additionally, most children can’t fully comprehend the consequences of hunting. For animals such as wolves, who mate for life and live in close-knit family units, hunting tears apart not only families but also entire communities. Baby deer are often orphaned when hunters kill their parents. And many animals who are shot by hunters are injured but not killed, and they are left to starve, die from blood loss, or be attacked by predators.
WH Smith magazine retailers in Great Britain have already implemented an age restriction on the sale of hunting magazines. Impressionable children in the U.S. deserve the same protection.