Man Faces Charges After Defending Himself from a Bear in His Own Yard
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 ... ?
If whichever judge sees this is worth what the taxpayers are spending to feed him, he'll throw this out like the garbage it is instead of letting it anywhere near a grand jury. This by the way, is why if you get called to jury duty, you should definitely go! So you can hear this poor man's story of state harassment and throw the case out.
“He went back inside, retrieved a shotgun and decided to shoot the bear,” Chief Sluckis said. “Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police.”
This police chief is saying, "You not only have no need to defend yourself because the government can-- you have no right to."
Do they really want to be flooded with calls from every single person who hears a bump in their back yard? If there's a real threat like a bear or a rapist, do they really expect us to dial 911 while getting mauled or raped? I wonder what their average response time to an emergency call is. Probably a lot longer than it takes for a bear to break through your window and knock the life out of you.
Well here's their phone number in case you want to call to complain about seeing a bear in your back yard. Not that I can recommend you actually do that or anything, but it would be really funny if they got like a hundred calls like this for the rest of the week:
Auburn Police Department
416 Oxford Street North
Auburn MA 01501
Andrew J. Sluckis, Jr.
Chief of Police