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Texas Man Charged With Shooting Gun At Charging Bear

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by erudne, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Texas Man Charged With Shooting Gun At Charging Bear
    BY Herschel Smith
    time.gif 19 hours, 44 minutes ago
    The Montana Standard:
    WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — A 57-year-old Texas man faces a federal misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm in a national park after he reported shooting a charging bear with his .357 revolver.
    Brian R. Muphy’s attorney is scheduled to plead not guilty on Murphy’s behalf during a court hearing in West Glacier on Friday. Murphy is scheduled to appear via video.
    Charging documents say Murphy was hiking on the Mount Brown Lookout Trail on July 26 when a grizzly bear charged him. He told rangers he discharged his bear spray and fired a shot when the bear continued toward him. The wounded bear fled and could not be located.
    It is legal to carry a gun in Glacier National Park but it is illegal to discharge it. A conviction carries a $500 fine.
    By my count this is at least the second life that has been saved from a bear attack after legalization of firearms in National Parks, the first instance being mid-2010 in Denali.
    Of course, Mr. Murphy is now charged with a crime. There are two problems that could be contributing, the first being that laws are now passed in broad sweeping language that apparently ignores guilty intent, or in other words, Congress is Eroding the Mens Rea Requirement in Federal Criminal Law.
    The second problem that could be contributing is that the enforcement in question may be of a regulation rather than a law, which is made via federal register by armies of lawyers sitting inside the beltway who have been (unfortunately) empowered by Congress to do just that.
    But the third problem is there is obviously a prosecutor who wants to take this case to court, otherwise he wouldn’t have a scheduled court appearance and need a lawyer.
    The law becomes absolute in contemporary America, regardless of the fact that a man’s life was saved because he discharged a firearm. But it’s absurd that Congress would have passed a law allowing firearms in National Parks early in 2010, but then refused to allow people to use that firearm to defend their lives. Since it is absurd, it clearly wasn’t the intent of Congress (or should not have been). Therefore, the prosecutor is likely to blame for the fact that Mr. Murphy has to defend himself in court for saving his own life.
     
  2. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    which is why the government needs to be reduced and all these asinine laws need removed.
     
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  3. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Or, there may be more to it.

    If the shooting was justified, I would bet that a jury in Montana would acquit.
     
    soberups, Sgt Nambu and Caveman Jim like this.
  4. SHPD_Retired

    SHPD_Retired Saint Helens Well-Known Member

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    I would expect a jury to acquit the man but he still has to waste his time and money to defend himself. I see it as a flagrant violation of common sense. What has this country come to anyway.
     
  5. balaperdida

    balaperdida eastern idaho Well-Known Member

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    1. Unless I read GFSZA incorrectly, it has the same idiotic condition: Firearms are allowed under certain conditions, but discharging them is prohibited.
    2. Congress routinely passes absurd laws.
     
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  6. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    The defense of "Necessity" is always a valid one. He will be acquitted if the facts presented are true.
     
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  7. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    Common sense has never been used by politicians, EVER!!!
     
  8. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the prohibition of discharge is a bad prohibition - we generally do not want people target shooting in general usage areas where other people are hiking, skiing, etc.

    However, I can certainly see an exception to this regulation where self-defense is concerned.

    I do agree, that the prosecutor is probably overzealous, possibly anti-gun and/or anti-hunting and therefore wanting to punish this guy for having the temerity to protect himself when he should have just let the bear maul and eat him.

    The more I think about it, the less I think the guy did something wrong - he reported it like he should. If a guy was out there doing something wrong he wouldn't have reported it - IMO.

    So what kind of message does this send to those of us who carry for protection in such circumstances? If we wind up wounding a bear, do we just not report it now for fear of winding up in court charged with discharging our firearm - thereby leaving a now even more dangerous wounded bear out there for someone else to deal with - someone else who may come across this bear unknowing that it is wounded?
     
  9. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It isn't about common sense - it is about them not caring enough about the impact of the law on the populace. Politicians aren't stupid, just ignorant, and even if they were aware of the repercussions, they just wouldn't care.

    All politicians care about is staying in office.
     
  10. Sstrand

    Sstrand La Grande OR Well-Known Member

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    Heretic
    You are WRONG . . . They care very much about the impact . . . as long it is a negative impact on people's rights!!!

    Sheldon
     
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  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Politicians only care about their own powerbase.

    Whether a law has an impact on people, or whether the impact is good, bad, inconsequential, is only important to a politician in as much as it affects their powerbase.

    I.E., politicians are not out specifically to inconvenience people for the sake of inconveniencing them. They don't really care about its impact on your personal life, good or bad - only about how it impacts their own personal life with regards to their building power and staying in office. They will do anything, say anything, to stay in office and build power.

    They are like drug addicts and their drug is power - that is the best way to understand their motivations and actions.
     
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  12. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    Like that has been said before. We still don't know the whole story but now is the time where these bears are really going after food before they go into hibernation. Maybe this old Texan looked tasty.
     
  13. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    Someone forgot the third s in sss.
     
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  14. balaperdida

    balaperdida eastern idaho Well-Known Member

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    Old, but applicable, advice: "Shoot. Shovel. Shut up."
     
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  15. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    The same message commiefornia sent us.. we had to pack sans permits or become victims. The several times we warded off felony attack had to go unreported, including our encounter with a pair of illegal alien serial killers who were shooting people all along a back highway.. after a 10 mile game on the HWY (they were trying to run me off the road to get at my lovely young blonde wife) when I raised up my nickled M19 S & W they finally stopped trying at HWY demolition derby, and took off like scared jackrabbits. Two weeks later they were finally taken by a HWY Patrolman and their pics were in the Sacramento Bee
     
  16. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    According to some reports I've read, we now have a wounded bear running around Glacier. Good times.
     
  17. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Prosecutor knows he's not going to get a conviction. He probably just thinks us bloodthirsty gun-carriers are chomping at the bit to go off shooting all the wildlife in national parks we can and claim it's self-defense.

    Non- and anti-gun people can think some pretty stupid thoughts about us, sometimes.