Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wow the Feds Pick Stupid Hills to Die On

But grizzlies are so cute and cuddly...


This. This I was waiting until later to post about. But really, it hits too close to home:

Maybe it’s time to start a Jackboot Watch feature.
We’ve got DOJ lawyers going after Gibson guitars. There’s the ongoing Fast and Furious debacle. Add the eco-nitwit rogues at the Interior Department. Then there’s the War on Lemonade Stands.
And now, we’ve got the U.S. Attorney in Idaho filing federal charges against Jeremy Hill, a father who shot a grizzly bear on his property to protect his wife and kids — even though state officials who investigated the case thoroughly took no action against the man. He now faces up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine. He pleaded not guilty last week and faces trial in October
This is the incident she's referring to:

According to Douglas' findings, Hill, his wife Rachel, and four of their six children were home together when the incident unfolded about 7 p.m. on the Hills' 20-acre ranch, which fronts Highway 1, near Porthill.

The children were outside playing basketball in front of the house and Rachel, not feeling well, had gone to lay down. Hill was showering.

His wife, not able to sleep, looked out her bedroom window and spotted the bears an estimated 40 yards from where the kids were playing. She ran outside, shouting for the kids to get in the house.

Hill, finishing a shower, heard the screams and looked outside.

Seeing the bears, he grabbed the only weapon at hand, a rifle, which was wrapped and unloaded. He found three bullets, loaded the weapon and raced outside. He didn't know where his children or his wife were exactly, but could hear his wife's panicked screams.

He stepped out onto the back deck from their bedroom and saw one of the bears climbing halfway up the side of a pen for the children's pigs.

He ran out and fired a shot at the bear closest to him. The other two bears, alarmed by the crack of the rifle, darted away from the pig pen toward the forest behind his house.

"He didn't fire at the retreating bears because they no longer posed a threat," Douglas said.

The grizzly on the fence was hit, and he tumbled off, then got up and ran off, limping slightly.

The family dog went after the injured bear, which was heading in the same direction the other two had fled.

The bear, only a few yards from the house, turned and charged straight toward where Hill was standing by a large basement window under the deck.

Fearing there was nothing but him and a large pane of glass to keep the wounded bear out of his house, Jeremy took aim and fired again.

The bullet hit the grizzly and the bear rolled to the ground, tried to get up, then fell back down.
So Hill did the right thing and put a dangerous injured predator down, called Fish and Game, and was cleared of wrongdoing by all local officials.

Which is of course why he's in Federal Court now, pleading not guilty to killing an endangered species.

Yeah I could go into the wrongness of this, the fact that it was self-defense, that the Endangered Species Act needs to die, or any other number of trains of thought.

Let the other self defense and second amendment bloggers handle that, they're more than capable.

I want to go into the ABSOLUTE STUPIDITY that is choosing this hill to die on.

It's not like Idaho as a whole is thrilled with the federal government at the moment. We've signed onto the healthcare suits, the federal firearms suits (ID has a statute specifically allowing sales and manufacture of firearms within the states without Fed intervention), and we've been bitching about the Endangered Species Act for forever. Idaho also de-listed wolves from its own internal endangered species list and that has been a bone of contention between Governor Otter and the Secretary of the Interior. How did that turn out? Well...

2011-2012 Wolf Hunting Season:

Standard hunting season dates statewide: Aug 30 - Mar 31, except for Aug 30 - Dec 31 in Island Park and Beaverhead wolf management zones and Aug 30 - June 30 in Lolo and Selway zones.
Hunters may buy 2 tags per calendar year.
Bag limit: No person may take more than one wolf per legal tag in his or her possession.
Wolf seasons are Any-Weapon seasons.
Electronic calls may be used statewide.
Wolves may be taken incidentally during fall bear baiting.
Resident tags are $11.50 each. Non-resident are $31.75.

Moral of the story? Don't mess with Governor Otter. He doesn't back down AND he'll rub it in your face.

But back to the main issue. Notice the part where all of our politicians, from the Governor to the senators to our representative to our state congresscritters are behind this guy? For gods sake we have a governor who could hold his own end of a conversation about which rifle for bear and which rifle for wolf because he's hunted both.

So there's the entire state behind this guy, and that's awesome. Everyone's more than a little fed up with federal intervention, and all of Idaho supports its own before the rest of the country. That's how it works here.

There is one tiny little detail I can guarantee almost everyone else is going to overlook, and I'm going to mention it because I live 50 miles south of this guy.

This is not a metro area we're talking about. This is Boundary County, all of 11K people, only 2900 of which live in an actual town. Boundary County makes the rest of Idaho look liberal. It's said the Mennonites run the school district. The pawn shops stock an amazing selection of firearms that would make most of our readers drool (we've been in the stores, we speak from experience).

The last time Boundary County ended up in the national spotlight happened to be this little incident:

Ruby Ridge was the site of a violent confrontation and siege in northern Idaho in 1992.


The Weaver property was located in northern Idaho in Boundary County, on a hillside on Ruby Creek opposite Caribou Ridge near Naples.

At this point I'm pretty sure everyone in the gun community knows this story, but here's a refresher:

On the morning of August 21st, during a botched surveliance operation; deputy US marshal Art Roderick fired at Sammy Weaver and Kevin Harris, or at their dog striker (this is unclear); killing the dog, and drawing return defensive fire from Weaver and Harris.

Deputy marshals Roderick, Degan, Frank Norris and Larry Cooper then opened fire on Weaver and Harris. Degan shot and wounded both Weaver and Harris, at which point Harris shot back directly at Degan, killing him. In retaliation, deputy marshal Cooper then shot Sammy Weaver; killing him.

When the marshals called in the FBI, the situation they described to the FBI, was an outright lie. They informed the SAC and the HRT commander that the Weavers were radical religious fanatics, part of a white supremacist holy war cult; that all members of the family were armed and ready to fight at all times, and that they were going to kill their children and themselves rather than surrender. They also told the SAC that they had been pinned down for 12 hours by heavy small arms fire, and possibly automatic weapons; and that William Degan had been deliberately murdered.

Based on this outright lie, the FBI instituted rules of engagement to allow any adult with a weapon to be shot on sight. These ROE were clearly unlawful, and should have been rejected by the onsite agents (and a judge decided that as well later); instead HRT acted on them for a full day.

Within a few hours, the FBI chain of command knew that the marshals had lied; but they did not change the illegal rules of engagement until after Horiuchi had already fired several shots at Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris (wounding both). Horiuchis final shot at Harris missed him, and struck Vicki Weaver who was standing behind the door that Harris was entering, holding her infant child.

As a sidenote, the only entity more hated in North Idaho than the Devil is Lon Horiuchi.

So lessee. Charge a man for killing a grizzly in self defense. Make sure there's small children he was protecting about 40 yards away from said bear. Do this in a state where even the governor would like to toss out said law and where all local officials, even your own game wardens, support him. Then make sure the incident happened in an area where the LAST time you went in you shot a woman holding a baby in her own house.

What moron thought this would be a good idea?