I thought the Senator from Ohio's response was pretty good considering the circumstances that they just recently had to deal with a exotic pet owner committing suicide and letting his man eating collection lose to wander the community at large.
Looks like things could get worse for people who deal in large constrictor snakes. The House Judiciary Committee recently passed bill H.R. 511 which will ban trade, import, or pet use for the Indian python/ Burmese python, reticulated python, Northern African python, Southern African python, boa constrictor, green anaconda, yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee’s anaconda and Beni anaconda unless you are a registered USDA-licensed exhibitor. This bill also differs from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ban in that it is concerned about irresponsible ownership, welfare of the animals themselves and the public at large rather then just focusing on non native apex predators wiping out native species. It is still not a done deal since the house still has to take the bill to a full vote.
I think to simply argue that the science used in legislating large constricting snakes is flawed will not win the day in the end. Granted the science was lose but I think we still have to acknowledge that pythons are still recovered after cold snaps in the everglades and that although snakes studied in South Carolina that were exposed to the cold eventually died it was clearly noted that the everglade snakes were much more tolerant of the cold then expected. Some experts have argued that the snakes could evolve to adapt to colder climates and thermal patterns change. I believe that the USDA just released new planting zones reflecting a warming trend.
Although not popular (hell I'm not even sure you are able to mention it on Pangea) the community needs to address concerns about irresponsible pet ownership within the community if the opinions of the public and the legislating bodies are to be swayed in the reptile community's favor.
“they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither nor safety”