The National Rifle Association is big on pushing buttons — panic buttons. Its philosophy of sounding Second Amendment alarms whenever the mood strikes is essential in keeping those dollars rolling in and membership levels high.

But state Sen. Richard Alloway of Chambersburg, a Republican whose 33rd legislative district includes portions of Cumberland County, has the NRA’s number when it comes to the gun group’s near-paranoid opposition to a proposed state ban on live pigeon shoots.

Alloway, chairman of the state Senate Game and Fisheries Commission, and himself a hunter, struck back emotionally, and with his vote, in June in response to a personal attack by the NRA terming him a Second Amendment opponent because of his support of the bill.

Alloway voted for the ban as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “When I see this blood sport pigeon shooting, I reject it,” he said. Good for him.

The legislation would outlaw the despicable practice of shooting live birds for target practice, leaving those wounded to die slowly, inhumanely in the field.

Pennsylvania is the only state that allows such egregious blood sport. It’s an embarrassment for the state and for a legislature to allow such barbarism to stand.

The NRA, never at a loss when it comes to seeing threats around every corner, calls live pigeon shoots a “slippery slope” down to other restrictions and “shooting sport tradition” in Pennsylvania.

But as a Humane Society of the United States spokesman observed, it’s ”no more sport than shooting chickens coming out of a henhouse.”

Live pigeon shoots are not sport — it’s a stain on Pennsylvania.

The sooner the legislature outlaws such shameful activities, the better.

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