In most of Europe, hunting has an elitist tradition. (No offense to European hunters, but the fact remains that the non-affluent population has virtually no chance of hunting as a frequent pastime, right?) Also in Europe, firearms ownership is generally a privilege extended by the State to the individual at the State’s discretion. I have also noted anecdotally that animal rights activists have enjoyed more success against hunting in Europe than in America.
I believe there is a common thread here, and I’ll even go out on a limb and suggest that there is _causality_ here. First, hunting is limited to a select group of people, the upper classes. Next, draconian gun control comes along to limit the access of the lower and middle class to firearms, to some extent under the guise of: “The only legitimate use of firearms is hunting and God knows the unwashed masses can’t do that anyway.” (Is this starting to sound familiar to anyone?)
Finally, with the politically insignificant hunter constituency hoisted by its own petard, the AR people come along and start on the death blows. Viola, hunting as a sport is endangered in Europe. Our European friend, Mr. Spencer, has posted to this effect in this forum before, if I’m not mistaken. America’s hunting tradition is egalitarian. The gun and the hunting license are available to all, under the management of the State but seldom at its discretion.