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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


April 9, 2013 - 7:17 am

So a Massachusetts man hears a noise outside in his own yard. He picks up his shotgun and goes out to investigate. Rather than find himself dealing with the usual yard noise sources — a cat, maybe a raccoon — he finds himself facing an eight-foot-tall black bear.

Bears can kill people.

Richard Ahlstrand does not to be one of those people.

So he shoots the bear, which was in his yard, and kills it.

Now, he’s facing a slew of charges.

Specifically, as noted at Reason 24/7, he’s charged with “illegally killing a bear, illegally baiting a bear, illegal possession of a firearm and failure to secure a firearm.” All of these charges, once translated from Massachusetts to American, seem to stack up to outrage that Ahlstrand didn’t make his yard completely inhospitable to animals that are rarely seen in the area, and then investigated a suspicious noise with a weapon in hand rather than cower under the bed. Worst of all, he actually defended himself when he encountered danger.

The baiting charge apparently stems from the fact that Ahlstrand kept a barrel of bird seed in his yard, which he used to set up a giant bear feeder.  Just kidding, it was for a bird feeder. Who knew that it could be illegal to put bird seed in your bird feeder in your own yard?

Police Chief Andrew Sluckis Jr. even went on the record saying that the bear “was not a threat to people.” Must a bear show clear criminal intent before one is allowed to defend themselves from one? Should one watch to see if the bear makes a gun shape with its paw before deciding that it’s a threat? Help us out, Chief Sluckis?

There’s no evidence that Mr. Ahlstrand had the shotgun because Joe Biden recommends that Americans buy shotguns for their self-defense. But the fact is, here we have yet another real-world example of just what an idiot Joe Biden is. A shotgun is no defense against idiocy in government.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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In Juneau, AK, where I lived until 2010, it is in fact illegal to have a birdfeeder out and filled between April and October and also illegal to put your garbage cans outside except after 4AM on your garbage pickup day. The specifie reason for these laws and others is black bears which roam the town all summer. I've been chased out of my hot tub a couple of times by a bear sauntering up the steps to my deck. Never was really threatened by one or felt the need to shoot one, but then I'm probably a lot more familiar with bears and other large animals than most Easterners.
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