Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Texas Capitol hosts cruel display of rattlesnakes

AUSTIN -- The Texas Capitol recently hosted a cruel exploitation of rattlesnakes for public viewing for visitors who wanted to get a glimpse of state government at work.

In addition to viewing the House of Representatives and the Senate in public hearings, a group of curious onlookers who appeared to be both intrigued and terrified by the display got to watch snake handlers agitating the reptiles. Some of the onlookers expressed dismay at the treatment of the snakes that clearly just wanted to be left alone.

In an outdoor arena on top of a graphic design of the state of Texas, snake handlers prodded a group of younger rattlesnakes of medium length to strike for the amusement of onlookers. The snakes appeared to be terrified, exhausted and more than anything else, desperate for a hole to crawl in where they could disappear.

For the most part, if you just leave snakes alone they won't bother you. I don't kill snakes when I find one in my yard, but I've been known to chase one off with a broom if I find it on my patio or elsewhere on my property.

It's not clear why anyone in state government would think such a display was such a good idea, unless they thought an exposition of real snakes might divert the public's attention from the reptilian nature of politics.

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