Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Whew, That's A Relief

I can never get over the stupidity behind the mindless application of governmental rules and regulations. Even in the most extreme situations, some bureaucrat could insist on the imposition of a law. Check this out:

Rabid bear killed trying to enter Garrett Co. home

A rabid black bear trying to rip out a window air conditioner lost its tug-of-war with a terrified housewife when her husband blasted the beast with a shotgun, the woman and a state wildlife official said today.

The bear rushed the house after Charlotte Stanton yelled out her screen door to try to scare it away from a goat pen. Stanton, 39, of rural Grantsville in Garrett County, said she was losing her tussle with the 134-pound sow when Michael Stanton pulled the trigger.

"I finally yelled at my husband, because I couldn't hold on to that air conditioner much longer," she said. "It seemed like forever, but I'm sure it was just seconds."

The load of buckshot didn't kill the bear, which lay bleeding and moaning in the yard of the Western Maryland home for about 30 minutes Aug. 29 before a state Natural Resources Police officer arrived to remove it.

All four family members -- including daughter Caitlin, 10, and son James Winebrenner, 15 -- will receive a series of rabies shots because of their exposure to the animal's blood and saliva, Mrs. Stanton said.

"We cleaned up the blood and stuff from the house," she said today in a telephone interview. "All of us had pretty much blood on us."

Michael Stanton, 49, won't be charged with a wildlife violation because the state allows killing bears out of season to defend people and livestock, The Cumberland Times-News reported.

The bear was the first known case of a rabid black bear in Maryland, said Harry Spiker, who heads the state's bear management program. Rabid bears have been confirmed in Pennsylvania and Canada, he said.

Spiker said the agency tested the bear for rabies because she was so aggressive.

"That behavior was just completely out of the ordinary," Spiker said.

Stanton said bears often come into her yard and most are easily chased away. But now, "when I see a bear in the yard, I'm not going to think twice about running for the house or even getting a gun out," she said.

Look at this situation from Michael Stanton's perspective: A bear is trying to tear its way into his house to get at his wife. His young kids are there as well. I'm sure he didn't know at the time that the bear was rabid, but its behavior was pretty clear -- it was trying to attack his wife, and he and the kids were likely targets as well. So, he did what any normal person would do, he got his shotgun and put that bear down.

Look at this situation from the governmental bureaucrat's perspective: The law is the law and we may need to prosecute this man for illegally shooting this bear. It may not matter that the bear was rabid. It may not matter that if this fellow didn't shoot the bear, his wife almost certainly, and probably his kids, were going to be killed or mauled by the bear.

It boggles the mind that a rational human being would even have to spend any time evaluating this situation.

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