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Heard on the Hill: The Right to Harm Bears

Have you ever been attacked by a grizzly bear? Have you ever had the opportunity to defend yourself from such an attack but had to give it a pass because of government regulation?

Probably not.

But this could be an actual problem as Jeremy Hill of Porthill, Idaho, found out last month.

According to a statement released by the office of Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), after Hill killed a grizzly bear that had wandered onto his property, the U.S. attorney for Idaho charged him for violating the Endangered Species Act.

Everyone in Idaho, including the Idaho Congressional delegation, got mad at the government. So last week all the charges against Hill were dropped after he agreed to pay a fine.

Well, in order to ensure that this never happens again, the Idaho Congressional delegation is introducing legislation that would make it legal for a person to kill a grizzly bear in self-defense and/or to defend a loved one (though strangers, apparently, have to fend for themselves). A person may also kill the grizzly if they think it is planning on killing them soon, soonish or on the sooner side.

“Like Mr. Hill, all Americans need to know that they can protect themselves and their families when confronted with a seemingly imminent grizzly attack,” Crapo says in a statement. “Passage of this legislation will send that message, loud and clear.”

That’s right. If this bill passes and you are being attacked by a grizzly, you can say: “Vicious grizzled beast, beware: There is no longer a law that prevents me from trying to defend myself and/or my loved one.”

Of course, the bear will probably eat you anyway because there is still no law prohibiting the bear from eating you, and well, bears don’t read laws anyway.

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