CONCORD – New Hampshire legislators recently voted on HB373, a bill that would make the red-tailed hawk the state raptor. The bill was submitted by a group of 4th graders as a civics project.  The students traveled to the State House to watch the state representatives vote on their bill.  However, not only did the House vote it down, but several representatives commented that it was a waste of their time. One representative went so far as to state

“…it’s known for its extremely strong and sharp talons with which it grasps its prey… and then uses its razor-sharp beak to rip its victim to shreds, and to basically tear it apart limb by limb. And I guess the shame about making this a state bird is, it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood” – Warren Groen, R-Rochester

This generated quite a bit of media attention (aka “Raptorgate”), including in the Boston Globe, Yahoo news, and Fox News. Comedian John Oliver did a hilarious segment on it on Last Week Tonight.

Shire Liberty News polled New Hampshire liberty activists to see what they think about how HB373 was handled. We asked: “Do you think the State Reps handled the bill correctly? Do you think they were mean to the children?”

“I think it was a great lesson in how politics work. There was really only one that I thought was terribly inappropriate, Rep. Warren Groen… The only other responses I took issue with were the teacher and the principal, who seemed to believe the law should pass, just because. The law had no real merit and was a waste of time. The kids got to see the statehouse for what it is. And the disappointment that they didn’t get what they want is part of what happens at the statehouse.” – Theresa Eudaimonia, Henniker

“Such a waste of an opportunity to address the kids directly and explain, kindly, how not every good idea should be a law, and why that is.“ – Bill McGonigle, Plainfield

“I think these kind of bills are completely ridiculous.” – Dawn Lincoln, Westmoreland

“There are stupid bills like that every year. The committees and full House should kill them every time. The experience shows how much energy is wasted on silly stuff like that while serious issues that erode our rights sail right through.” – Mark Warden, Manchester

“Why don’t the kids pick an old outdated law, like no dancing on Tuesdays, and try to repeal that instead of make new laws? It’s just as civic actiony.” – Rochelle Pitkäniemi, Weare

“IMHO, the teachers should have prepared the kids for the bill to fail. Failure happens in real life.” – Pat Armstrong, Deering

“… what Groen said about abortion is just plain ridiculous. Don’t vote for stupid bills, yes, but don’t bring your pet stupid idea out when it has nothing to do with the bill… Bringing up abortion looks like an attention grabbing ploy, IMHO. It’s also probably a big reason this story got so much coverage.”  – Caitlin Edwards-Appell, Manchester

“What I find offensive is the large number of people who think the law should have passed, just to indulge the students. As if everybody has to get a trophy or something, just for participating.” – Bob Robertson, Manchester

“Here’s a lesson: instead of introducing new bills, every kid in a government reeducation camp should bring one bill to repeal.” – Free State Project President Carla Gericke, Manchester

“This would have been great minus the obscure abortion comment! Our [New York] county leg passes bills like this all day long. It’s now a running joke. I would hate to see NH turn into that. The correct vote was No. … On the upside? It’s got people talking about what the proper role of government should be.” – Billie-Jean Greene, who just moved from Troy, NY to Nashua

One Response to "Raptorgate"

  1. Pingback: NH's Dumbest Laws? - Freedom's Floodgates

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