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TARGETING THE TONE

Animal lovers have their own reasons to be vexed with the White House over gun control.

“I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than 3 million members and supporters to ask you, as you prepare your statements this week on gun violence, to reconsider your defense of hunting and shooting animals for sport as a justification for gun ownership,” says Tracy Reiman, vice president of the animal-rights group, in a letter to President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

“In a news conference five days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, you stated that ‘the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible — they buy their guns legally, and they use them safely, whether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection.’ Yet, there is nothing ‘responsible’ about making a sport out of killing, about hunting, or about teaching children to hunt.”

She adds, “While a ban on hunting may not be in our immediate future, a change in tone could easily be had with a stroke of your speechwriter’s pen. Americans’ views are evolving on many issues, from same-sex marriage to gun control, and the time is right to reconsider the dangerous message that the practice of killing animals for fun is acceptable and should even be protected.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 85 percent of Americans favor background checks for private and gun-show sales; 85 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of Democrats agree.

• 80 percent favor preventing people with mental illness from purchasing guns; 86 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

• 67 percent favor a federal database to track gun sales; 49 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats agree.

• 64 percent favor armed security guards in schools; 73 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Democrats agree.

• 56 percent favor a ban on semi-automatic assault-style weapons; 47 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey of 1,502 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 9 to 13.

Catcalls and doggerel to jharper@washingtontimes.com