With claims such as Leonardo da Vinci, pizza, Ferraris and great hair, Italy is arguably a land of great genius. However, beneath this genius, lies an undercurrent of wanton behaviour – lawlessness, libidinous politicians, and most recently, wayward huntsmen.
In the latest of Italian exploits that have missed their target, hunters are being given so much freedom they are starting to shoot members of the public.
Indeed, statistics reveal that ‘death by hunter’ is the latest in a number of steadily rising trends in Italy, as 35 people have been shot dead in the last four months, while another 74 were seriously injured.
Italy’s anti hunting league, the LAC, has revealed all but one of these victims were hunters, killed by their fellow sportsmen. However, of those injured, 13 were found to be non-hunters, just folk riding their bicycles down lanes or strolling through woods.
Strollers, riders and wood skippers beware. Just why is this happening?
Italian law currently states hunters can approach a private property and fire anywhere within 50 metres of a road, or 150 metres of a house. Yet what the law doesn’t state, is that hunters should wear glasses and/or become familiar with the region’s wildlife before commencing.
Italy’s Tourism Minister, Michela Vittoria Brambilla, is attempting to tackle the problem, although she is facing tough opposition from the country’s “politically muscular hunting lobby”.
This aside, the laws that are in place are paid little heed. As last week, the EU enforced a shooting ban to protect migratory birds, which parts of Italy responded to by opening the hunting season early. In Lazaro, near Rome, the government even extended the hunting season.
LIPU, Italy’s bird protection body, says regions forming their own laws are in a “situation of outrageous illegality”. However, many now believe the term “outrageous illegality”, be it uncivilised, or decidedly hip, is fast becoming the nation’s ideological slogan.
Dr Dion Crypto, Head of the Roman Organisation for Anthropological Research (ROAR), says this may not be far from the truth. He says increasing levels of consumer desire heaped upon a country with such stylish repute is creating tremendous cultural pressure, which is likely only to relieve itself with the return of the alcohol soaked orgy.