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Article posted Apr 09 2013, 2:13 AM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: Reason Print

Man Faces Charges After Defending Himself from a Bear in His Own Yard

J.D. Tuccille

Richard Ahlstrand, of Auburn, Massachusetts, faces criminal charges after encountering a bear in his back yard and shooting the damned thing to avoid being mauled or eaten. 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.

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Ahlstrand had a 50-gallon drum of birdseed in his backyard, and this appears to be the basis of the "baiting"charge against him. Leaving the birdseed outside might be considered a foolish idea in an area where bears are known to congregate, but the same article quotes the police chief claiming that "bear are not common in Auburn" with the last such sighting about a year ago. So Ahlstrand shouldn't have had birdseed because ... ?

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Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Apr 09 2013, 10:39 AM

20934 Hmmm. He left the bear to go in his house and retrieve his gun, then came back outside and shot the bear. Not smart. He should have stayed inside the house and called the cops, especially if he didn't want the cops searching his house.

Posted: Apr 09 2013, 3:10 PM

75145 Remarkably, whenever the police shoots an unarmed civilian, as the reaction to some innocent move that was interpreted as "going for the gun", the defense "the officer feared for his life" works beautifully. The officer says that he was genuinely afraid, and it makes it A-OK, and does not matter whether the threat was real or not. To convict him is to prove that his fear was not genuine and he in fact planned to kill from the beginning - which is practically impossible.

I wonder why it's so different with the bear.

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