The Everyday Hunter with Steve Sorenson: Elmer Fudd’s Gun: An Update

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A year has passed since authorities seized Elmer Fudd’s double-barreled shotgun.

Did he violate some game law in his persistent but futile pursuit of Bugs Bunny, that “wascawwy wabbit”? Has he been tried for some felony, found guilty, and is no longer eligible to own a firearm? Were the laws in his home state of California made restrictive enough to outlaw guns that don’t actually even exist? Was he found to be mentally deficient? (Note: Fudd’s career IS under the Looney Tunes trademark.)

It was none of that. It’s only that Warner Bros. doesn’t believe Fudd has any Second Amendment protection. And I agwee (oops, sorry). Even though Fudd is an American icon, he isn’t a person and he has no constitutional rights. Warner Bros. owns him and can do what it wants.

Mr. Fudd can’t sue his owners. And I’m OK with him losing his gun rights. He has shown carelessness in handling his shotgun. How many times has he looked down the barrel to see why it didn’t fire? If Warner Bros. really cares about gun safety, they could have started with stopping that tired sight gag and bad example in the cartoon series.

Mr. Fudd’s shotgun is woefully inadequate, an obvious fact since the barrels have the temper of a wet noodle. It’s a danger to no one, and Warner Bros. would do the nation a favor by distributing guns like that to crime-ridden cities.

Mr. Fudd has demonstrated major deficiencies in hunting skills. His efforts to bag old Bugs often result in nothing more than minor injury or embarrassment to himself. Incompetence is the name of his game. Otherwise he would have employed a beagle, as I did in my rabbit hunting days. (And no, I never fired my shotgun down a wabbit hole.) Astute readers will recall the time Elmer did use a dog named “Wover Boy,” but the dog turned out to be as incompetent as Fudd.

The Warner Bros. decision regarding Mr. Fudd’s shotgun doesn’t protect anyone. Fudd has been chasing Bugs with that antique for 80 years, and not once has that gun been an instrument of death. Mr. Fudd is no more dangerous than the hapless Mr. Wil E. Coyote. Come to think of it, Mr. Fudd and Mr. Coyote are actually the same cartoon character.

Now, the scientist in you might argue Fudd is a homo sapiens, and Wil E. is a canis latrans, but you’d be wrong.

They’re both in the well-established taxonomy classification, cartoonus characterus. They’re genetically identical, so it’s no wonder these two cartoon predators employ similar dysfunctional traps and trickery that fails to trick. Elmer is no less effective without his gun than he was with it. And, Wil E. would be no more effective with the gun than he is without it.

That’s just one of many similarities between the two ’toons.
• Mr. Bunny and Mr. Runner always escape and are never the worse for wear.
• Mr. Fudd and Mr. Coyote never go hungry for their lack of success.
• Mr. Fudd and Mr. Coyote both use various tools of violence—bombs, hatchets, and more.
• Everyone mocks Mr. Fudd and Mr. Coyote, and everyone cheers Mr. Bunny and Mr. Runner.
• Injuries are always trivial and always heal miraculously in these classic cartoons.

Now that the gun is gone, there is one difference worth noting between Elmer Fudd’s failed pursuit of Bugs Bunny and Wil E. Coyote’s futility in catching Road Runner. Wil E. Coyote will continue to make coyotes look more ridiculous and less vicious than they are. But by confiscating Elmer Fudd’s shotgun, Warner Bros. lost an opportunity to make hunters and gun owners look like bumbling idiots.

When “The Everyday Hunter” isn’t hunting , he’s thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting. If you want to tell Steve exactly where your favorite hunting spot is, contact him through his website, www.EverydayHunter.com. He writes for top outdoor magazines, and won the 2015 and 2018 national “Pinnacle Award” for outdoor writing.