JAMES SWAN WRITES that a number of states are amending their constitutions to protect the right to hunt.

Tennessee had a proposal for such a right a few years back, and they asked me to testify on it. But the proposed language was so weak (it basically said that hunting was good, but could be regulated as the legislature saw fit) that I didn’t really have anything to say, and declined. Swan’s article quotes some language from a standard amendment that’s somewhat stronger, but not much.

I understand the motivation behind these things, and I’m not actually opposed to the idea. But if you want to create a right, it needs to be a right. And recognize that if you do, that right will have costs, like perhaps making wildlife-management (which most hunters support) more difficult. If you leave enough leeway for management, you leave enough leeway for abuse of management powers, and for judicial interpretation of the “right” into nothingness. That’s very hard to avoid.