Just because I haven't had hot snakes doesn't mean I can't comment on his use of bare hands for his entire life. I am tired of being lumped into an "idiot" catagory by some herpers because I CHOOSE not to own retics, or I choose not to own GTPS, I am sick of being called a "newbie" because I'd rather have colubrids over pythons. I am totally tired of this "special, I do this and know this guy" club. Not that you are like this but I get this mentality a lot.
If everything to do with hots is going to be talked about ONLY by hot keepers then nothing is going to get done for your "cause" either. I don't see how my not having hots has anything to do with asking why he might be more comfortable with his bare hands. HE MIGHT BE MORE COMFORTABLE! I am not saying its wrong or right, but you can't tell him he isn't more comfortable that way.
I think everyone here understands your point. And my cornsnakes aren't preventing me from understanding it, or showing that I have less knowledge then someone else. If all that matters is who you know and if I am doing more than someone else then I'd rather not compete.
If there are "sides" then I am on the animals side. IF that is what is best. Not the human side. Not saying I think banning herps is best, but I am saying I am not fighting for humans rights to do anything, if I was fighting it would be because these animals might not make it in the world we are crowding and ruining and captive kept snakes might be all that's left for some species. Which is what I believe in.
BWSmith you are so well written but my views don't match yours always. Although I love all your points and I agree with all of them almost No I don't keep hots, no I don't do education presentations (oh god public speaking ekk!!!!), but I firmly believe it is not a RIGHT to keep animals in our home, but a priviledge.
As soon as things become "rights" then you have a bigger issue, that even you complain about. Each nut owning snakes because its his "right" instead of proving he deserves the priviledge to care for a living creature.
I believe having even a PUNY cornsnake in my home is a priviledge and not a right. I am priviledged to be able to have such an amazing creature in my home. I am priviledged to have a community to talk about husbandry. I am priviledged to be able to keep snakes in a captive enviroment and have them breed. Its not my "right" to force things to breed, or keep them in a home. Those are my beliefs. I feel as soon as people start throwing the "Its my right!!!!" into it, it becomes about PEOPLE....not animals.
But while I believe all this, you are so right. Things like this, wrong or right, will RUIN the priviledge to own herps. Because someone will take it away, or limit it severly. Now if that means the community on a large needs to ignore people like Croc Hunter, I don't know. Because I can't for the life of me figure out how to make the situation with this guy or people like him better. You know what I mean? All you can do is what you are doing. Showing people that hot owners aren't croc hunters, and in real life, there is a huge danger to following anything but the proper handling methods. Period.