I mean, where do you even begin with a major TV network airing an episode of its sports show “Under the Skies” that’s about the National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist, Tony Makris, hunting down a bull elephant in Africa, shooting him twice, botching the job, finally finishing him off, then laughing and making a joke about it, and having NBC “Sports” video the whole thing.
Or maybe there’s simply nowhere to begin. Perhaps that’s all we should expect from a TV network these days.
Here’s how The Australian newspaper described it:
Makris is led into the Botswana wilderness by a hunting guide. They hide behind a bush just a few meters from the unsuspecting elephant. Makris shoots at the animal twice, but does not kill it, so he has to chase it and finish it off.
Makris begins chuckling. “Somebody got a little cheeky there,” he says, apparently referring to the elephant’s struggle to escape. “Can we shoot some birds this afternoon, or…?” he adds.
In the next shot, Makris and the hunting guide are standing next to the dead animal.
You can sign a petition that will go to Comcast, the media giant that owns NBC Sports. It’s hard to imagine that a petition from people who care about elephants will make a whole lot of difference, but do go ahead and sign it anyway. At least you’ll know you did something to express your outrage.
Last I knew, most Americans – even most hunters – were outraged by the devastation being wrought on the elephants of Africa who are being slaughtered by the thousands. (Daphne Sheldrick, founder of the Elephant Orphanage, says an elephant is currently being killed every 15 minutes, and that at this rate there will no no elephants left in Africa – zero – within 12 years.) It’s just hard not to wish for some appropriate karmic fate to befall Mr. Makris and his kind.
(Most, but not all. Bob Parsons, billionaire CEO of the Internet company Go Daddy, was another of these unspeakable people who was hugely proud of himself, two years ago, for shooting a helpless female elephant.)
What possible sense of pride, joy or accomplishment can these people possibly get from hastening the extinction of one of the great iconic animals of the Earth?
If they want to shoot something to prove themselves, couldn’t they at least go to Afghanistan, where you get a real chance to prove yourself? After all, your prey has a weapon, too.
Or do they truly feel too deeply inadequate and afraid of their own mortality to want a fair fight?
But who cares? We’re not here to analyze these psychos.
It’s just hard not to wish for some appropriate karmic fate to befall Mr. Makris and his kind.