SAVE THE ELEPHANT, BUT DO NOT MAKE THE INNOCENT COLLECTOR A CRIMINAL
This petition had 476 supporters
The magnificent elephant is a most wonderful beast and must be saved from extinction. God Bless the conservation groups, environmental groups, and others that work so hard to publicize the elephant's plight. God Bless the Fish & Wildlife administration and the members of the U.S. Attorney General's office which work so hard to catch and prosecute the nefarious characters who today poach and market illegal modern ivory. But curse those legislators who pass hollow, stupid insignificant laws which have nothing to do with saving the elephant today but everything to do with providing themselves with cheap publicity and leaving the common populace with the impression that they have done something constructive to save these magnificent beasts.
Recently, you, President Obama rendered an Executive Order and now our legislators are debating a potential law as a result of that Executive Order. The result of this potential law as it currently stands will:
a) Potentially make millions of innocent taxpaying Americans criminals;
b) Will automatically transform a vast array of antique collectables from $1-2 billion dollar value to a net value of $ 0.00 dollars.
The problem and the plight of the elephant is directly a result of the poachers and terrorists slaughtering these wonderful creatures for their ivory tusks and the nefarious characters that carry on and elicit black market trade selling these modem contemporary ivory tusks.
The problem is not the 80-year-old Widow who is attempting to sell her late husband's 75-year-old Steinway piano with ivory keys. While the money the piano might bring would help to sustain her, after this law, it would result with her at least going to court and paying a substantial fine and may even entail jail time for her! The problem is not the auctioneer selling a brace of antique Colt revolvers with ivory grips made sometime in the 1860s that once belonged to a famous Civil War general. Nor is the problem the collector who has a passionate love for history and is willing to pay $250,000 for that same brace of revolvers. If this law passes, the auctioneer, the buyer, and the consignor would all be criminals subject to fines and/or Imprisonment. The problem is not the family of the deceased concert violinist who elects to sell the Stradivarius violin with ivory stops. However, they all, including the buyer of the Stradivarius could end up in court with severe fines and/or jail time!
The proposed law is asinine and could potentially overnight make many of us in the United States criminals. Passage of the law will make it easy to frequently and continually incriminate people such as those above. When media covers it with great publicity, it would leave some readers with the impression that the legislators have done something constructive and that these arrests prove it. But the imprisonment and fining of these collectors, historians, museums and passionate lovers of art is not the solution.
Incriminating or imprisoning your grandmother, the auctioneer, or the family of a musician will not contribute one iota to the preservation of the elephant. The problem is the poachers, the nefarious characters that carry on this black market trade every day. The direction of all efforts should be directed to them. They are the criminals, they are the illegal parties. We have laws on our books already in existence that make this illegal, and it simply needs to be better enforced. If it is a matter of additional funds to become mare successful in capturing and imprisoning these nefarious characters, that is what should be done. If the fines, penalties and jail time should be more significant to deter this, that is what should be done. But incriminating the common taxpayers who are and have been innocent in this whole matter is not the solution, and shame on any politician who attempts to make us believe that their hollow and simplistic actions are a contribution to society and saving the elephants.
If you care about these magnificent elephants and do not want them to become extinct, but at the same time, care about the innocent collectors and don't want them to become extinct. President Obama I urge you to reconsider your Executive Order and instead urge Congress to fund the enforcement of laws that already exist, and if necessary expand the penalties. Don't incriminate the innocent tax-paying citizen that voted you into office.
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