Thursday, November 21, 2013


     It almost sounds like a joke, or the opening scene of some wistful, nostalgic prose pastorale: two boys walking along an autumn trail with a pellet gun -- an air rifle! -- planning to hunt squirrels.  They were walking, in fact, up the long-gone Monon railroad line, right past the former blacksmith's shop where my Dad, at the ripe old age of 16, bought the bolt-action .22 rifle presently locked up right down the hall. (You could do that, back then.)

     That stretch of the path also passes within a few blocks of an elementary school, just then letting out.  Or, as the news story's lede puts it, "Two juveniles with a pellet gun prompted a lockdown at Orchard Park Elementary School...."  Yeah.

     The report ends, "Officers will be investigating the incident and will work with the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office to determine if any charges should be filed."

     Gee, air gun, no shots fired, legally possessed.  Squirrel season runs from 15 August 2013 to 31 January, 2014.*  Looks to me like the young would-be squirrel-hunters should be in the clear (barring any age-ist BB-gun nonsense buried in state law).  Can the school administrators be charged with reckless endangerment?  Hysteria? Arrant damfoolishness?  One could hope -- but don't hold your breath.
* With  daily bag limit of five.  We're in no danger of running out; every year, squirrels produce a couple of litters of three pups each and,  as DNR observes, while  "[s]quirrels produce fewer offspring than other mammals..." they "...are more successful in rearing them."  Ma and Pa squirrel are a little too successful for their own good. With few natural checks-- a squirrel is a match for most cats (at least the local red or fox squirrels are) -- Man's got to maintain the balance.


Phssthpok said...

It's like someone yelling 'FIRE' in a theatre when they see the glow of someone using a lighter to check their watch.

Eric said...

How about "rampant asshattery"?

Anonymous said...

Sounds squirrelly to me.

(Does Monon resemble Dealy Plaza - maybe THAT'S why the panic?)


Stranger said...

Greys are a fair match for most cats as well. Although the Maine Coon that owned me for a while would almost keep us in the makings of a Brunswick stew. But Bits liked her squirrel fried and I did not mind obliging the big girl.

Young hunters lawfully carrying went out with the gun control drive of the 1960's; with it's "the trigger pulls the finger" idiocy. The left does not believe in guns, only militarized police, and starts the indoctrination early.


The Freeholder said...

I believe that quote is incorrect. Let me see here...

"Officers will be investigating the incident and will work with the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office to come up with as many scary-sounding charges as possible in order to let everyone know that they're on the job and that This Sort of Nonsense Shall Not Be Tolerated."

There. Fixed it.

Roberta X said...

Well, we'll find out. Hamilton County's governments have flashes of both utter BS and good sense.

Ritchie said...

Swift move. Now they'll all be wanting one.

Anonymous said...

Dad (born 1930) often talked about carrying his .22 rifle to school and parking it in the cloakroom so he could pot dinner on his walk home.