Obama Administration Treats Antique Collectors and Dealers as Criminals: New Ivory Rules Also Put Elephants at Increased RiskPosted: Updated:
The New York Times, Washington Post, Forbes and many other publications have come out with similar statements.
Is an ivory ban a life and death issue? No, of course not; however, it is symptomatic of a government that proves daily it is out of touch with the promises they made to protect and defend the constitution. Think about this.. it really transcends politics and whether you wave a red or blue flag. The Congress may at the bidding of the people legislatively pass a ban. That's our system which then gives us the prerogative of no longer voting for those that we feel are not representing us.
This government is now moving towards regulations that will ultimately ban the sale of all mammal ivory. When I say all, I mean objects that could be anything from the mammoth ivory lion man sculpture dated to over 40,000 years old to the tourist bangle carved from illegal ivory in Kenya last year. Can we even remotely consider that these objects are equal in an ivory ban? As we see below the government's answer is yes.
So what the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has done at the direction of the Obama Administration is to appear like they are treating contemporary and ancient ivory fairly by expanding the definition for "antique" ivory. In the past customs regarded anything over one hundred years old to be an antique. The definition has changed and now you have a few more hoops to jump through.
- Is 100 years or older;
- Is composed in whole or in part of an ESA-listed species;
- Has not been repaired or modified with any such species on or after December 28, 1973; and
- Is being or was imported through an endangered species antique port.
What are the chances that the 16th century Benin ivory mask was imported through one of these ports and that there still is documentation to prove this fact. Since the port was unknown at the time to be a designated port and that most owners don't save this sort of documentation through generations.. both of these objects are nails.. there are no differences to the U.S. Government. I should note that McCullough's group has proposed changes to the regulations to address this discrepancy.
Conservation groups around the world are calling for a complete ban on all sales of mammal ivory objects; and again there is no distinction made between the tourist jewelry illustrated above and the 15th century Portuguese salt cellar from Sierra Leone..
In the United States the constitution does afford some protection to its citizens and the property they own. Undoubtedly, these FWS regulations will ultimately face the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. It will be pointed out that citizens have legally acquired objects at in some cases significant costs. By making it impossible for an object to be considered an antique FWS has essentially made the object worthless in the marketplace. Again all objects are nails and will ultimately be treated with the hammer.
Which is a perfect segue to the government's ultimate solution to dealing with banned ivory. Yes it is literally solved with a hammer. China, France, and the US. have called these events "ivory crush"
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In China the recent ivory crush which they say will take a year is covered by CNN.
And the BBC also takes the same line ignoring the issue of antique ivory suggesting that all ivory objects should be treated equally and that's by being crushed and burned.
What about the owners of antique ivory? The media has pointed out that honest citizens that are buyers and sellers of antiques are now going to be classified as criminals. So is there any difference in individuals that have followed the rules all their lives and those that have broken many rules and are NOW slaughtering elephants for their ivory. Really do we treat both groups equally?. There was a time when individuals that loved arts and antiques were considered to be enlightened. But apparently now the enlightened are the minority power brokers that have an agenda to impose on the majority
Does this make any sense at all? And do you really think it makes any difference whether you are politically to the right or left. This issue is so much bigger than ivory. It is really about you, your family, and future generations and the fundamental concept that government works for you..
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