Walter Palmer needs to be punished, but some of his critics are going too far

Cecil the Lion (pictured above) was a huge tourist attraction in one of Zimbabwe’s national parks. I say ‘was’ because wildlife guides were paid approximately $55,000 by a guy who thinks killing animals for shits and giggles is a fun way to spend a weekend. Cecil was apparently baited out of Hwange National Park by three men who proceeded to shoot the creature with a crossbow. Unfortunately for Cecil, he did not die. Instead he suffered with his injuries for 40 hours before being found by the hunters who killed him with a rifle. After he was killed, the lion was skinned and beheaded, and his killers attempted to remove the tracking collar he was wearing as part of long-term research being conducted by Oxford. Cecil wasn’t shot because he was a danger to anyone. Hell, he wasn’t shot for food. He was shot for sport. The guides surely knew that killing Cecil was illegal, as they lured him out of the national park, where it is illegal to kill animals. Moreover, they broke the law by attempting to remove his collar. One of the wildlife guides and the landowner bordering the national park have been charged, but Mr. Hunt-4-Fun has not yet been charged. That guy, btw is ↓ this ↓ douchebag: Dr. Walter Palmer.

Dr. Walter Palmer, dentist, hunter, douchebag who paid £35,000 to hunt and kill Cecil the lion.

Dr. Palmer is a Minnesota-based dentist with a fondness for sport hunting. He has shot chamois, fallow deer, ibex, a leopard, and even an endangered sheep. His bloodthirsty hobby has gotten him in trouble with the law before:

But Cecil's killing doesn't appear to be the first time Palmer has got into trouble while hunting.
A man by the same name and age, and from the same town, illegally killed a black bear in Wisconsin several years ago, according to court documents.
That individual pleaded guilty to knowingly making false statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and was sentenced to one year on probation and ordered to pay a fine of nearly $3,000, records show.
A New York Times article in 2009 that profiled Palmer and his hunting methods said that he had served a year of probation over the false statements case.

After killing Cecil the Lion, Dr. Palmer is in legal trouble again. Even worse though, he’s in social media trouble. He has outraged people across the world, leading to a torrent of anger online:

“Shame on you, killing a majestic creature,” wrote a user by the name of Charmie P.
The website for Palmer’s business, River Bluff Dental, appeared to have been taken down.
A torrent of outrage flowed on social media, with celebrities like Sharon Osbourne lambasting the dentist.
“I hope that #WalterPalmer loses his home, his practice & his money,” Osbourne tweeted. “He has already lost his soul.”

on the Facebook page of his dental office (which has been taken down), and on the Yelp reviews of his dental practice. I will not be reproducing any of those comments here because frankly I’m sickened by the responses of many of his critics. Dr. Palmer has received a lot of valid criticism, but some critics have gone far, far over the top, making some truly reprehensible remarks. Yes, he engaged in the unnecessary slaughter of a beloved animal. Yes, it was illegal. Yes, he should face justice. But FFS, some people have wondered about the cost of obtaining a permit to hunt and shoot him, others have called for him to be imprisoned and raped, and a great many people have suggested his punishment should be death. I even saw-god I can’t believe I’m about to say this-I saw someone say that Dr. Palmer should experience the same thing that happened to Cecil, including what’s likely to happen to his [Cecil’s] offspring. The next male in line in the pride will almost certainly kill Cecil’s cubs so that he can preserve his bloodline. Some heartless asshole seriously suggested that Dr. Palmer’s kids should be slaughtered! I cannot believe I read that! I have read some of the worst, most appalling things in my life, from some of the worst humanity has to offer, but that one…that one! FUCK!

Ok. Calming down now. But seriously, that comment enraged me beyond belief.

These reactions are not only disproportionate to the crime, they paint his critics as hypocrites. They decry his actions, but in turn want him to face the same type of violence! No! Absolutely not! I’m not onboard with this, as I said at HuffPo:

It's rather appalling that so many people are decrying this bloodthirsty act by call for more blood to be shed. How in the world is it reasonable to call for the murder or execution of the hunters responsible for this act? It's not ok to kill animals, but it's ok to kill humans who kill animals? I really do wish we as humans could leave behind the regressive concept of eye for an eye. It does nothing to right wrongs, and gives people the opportunity to get on their pseudo-moral high horse and say "well it's perfectly justifiable to kill someone under these circumstances". How about *no* it'snot justifiable to take the life of a human being under these circumstances? How about respecting the right to life all extant human beings possess? How about punishing the killers with appropriate levels of justice *and* trying to rehabilitate the assholes so they can reenter society at some point, hopefully with a better respect for all the living creatures around them.
 Yeah, it may sound idealistic, but I'd rather work towards a world where that idealism is realized, rather than one in which people succumb to their baser instincts by calling for people to be murdered as retribution for crimes.

Mr. Hunts-4-Fun needs to be punished and I hope he will. But instead of visiting upon him the same type of barbarism he dealt to Cecil the Lion, he needs to be punished humanely and justly. We humans have really got to stop being so damn barbaric.

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Walter Palmer needs to be punished, but some of his critics are going too far
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7 thoughts on “Walter Palmer needs to be punished, but some of his critics are going too far

  1. 1

    Exactly!
    Its ridiculous to decry someone else’s violence by advocating for more violence. Its something Ive had the hardest time trying to convince my girlfriend of at work. She’s a Christian who believes in an eye for an eye type stuff and its me, the atheist, who is often advocating for turning the other cheek.
    Go figure!

  2. 2

    I imagine the two of you don’t see eye to eye on more than a few things.
    Incidentally, you may have seen the Relaxing Room thread I started. If you ever want to drop in and socialize, feel free. It’s an extension of an old social space from Pharyngula and it’s comprised of a lot of non-believers (though not exclusive to them). It’s not a private thing or anything. No membership fees or dues, just a social area as many of us have few such outlets in meatspace. I just want to keep it civil between people.

  3. 3

    It’s a bit bizarre how having a consistent moral standard sometimes puts you on the side of assholes, even in a limited way such as this. I’m completely with you on this, as uncomfortable as I am supporting Palmer even a little bit.

  4. 4

    Yeah. I know what you mean. I felt initial squickiness at first, but then I realized I wasn’t so much supporting him as I was opposing the horrible reactions people have had.

  5. 5

    Hi babe, yes I agree. He’s getting some pretty nasty backlash, has obviously struck a nerve! I gotta say though, a man has to feel pretty darn inadequate to resort to trophy hunting to bolster his ego. Poor little fella, He is getting and will continue to get his comeuppance.

  6. 6

    This sort of thing has been bothering me for a while and it’s bothering me more and more and more. I didn’t get involved in progressive circles to hear even more of the disgusting violent rhetoric I heard back when I was a conservative. No fucking thanks.

    Greta’s recent post about this was great, in case you haven’t seen it.

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