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"Just gimme another chance!"

A while ago, I mentioned a New Hampshire hunter who wanted his hunting license back, 12 years after he accidentally killed another hunter.

Today, another hunter-killer is seeking the reinstatement of his hunting privileges. Last year Steven Laro, while hunting on a private game reserve, took a shot at a boar. Instead he bagged his hunting companion, Robert Proulx.

I'm no fan of hunting, but I think I have a simple solution to this: if a hunter kills another hunter, he loses his hunting privileges for life. In exchange, he gets the other hunter's head, mounted on a plaque, for his den so he'll always be able to brag about the last trophy he bagged.

Simple, elegant, and a warning to other hunters. Could there be a better answer?


(Yes, inspired partly by Tom Lehrer's "Hunting Song.")

Comments (15)

You know, accidents are acc... (Below threshold)

You know, accidents are accidents, no matter what the type. When you have one are you banned from doing that thing for life? Like driving?

You need a wider perspective.

I tend to agree with Jay on... (Below threshold)

I tend to agree with Jay on this one. Last time I checked, dear, ber and other wild game aren't wearing bright orange.

If it can demonstrated there was carelessness (i.e.: drunkedness) involved, I have no problem with a lifetime ban.

Speaking as one who has bee... (Below threshold)

Speaking as one who has been shot by a fellow hunter, (a few bird shot pellets in the temple, too close to the eyes for me) I can say I won't be hunting with the gent who got me. I know he didn't mean to do it, but there isn't enough room for error with guns. This same chap has nailed me more than once with fishing lures, trying to cast from the boat. I would fish with him again, but no more shooting. Clumsy and careless doesn't make a man bad, but it does make for a bad hunting companion.

Jay, you are indeed showing... (Below threshold)

Jay, you are indeed showing that you are no fan of hunting.

Should a driver who accidentally kills another driver have to put that other driver's head on his wall to remind him of it?

Charlie, nearly ALL accidents are caused by "carelessness", even when the person who caused the accident is sober, because nearly all accidents are preventable -- all it takes is CARE to do so.

How does a hunter exercise care that would prevent such accidents? By following a very simply rule, as I do: NEVER shoot at something unless you can clearly see what it is and what is behind it, and NEVER shoot at something unless you can clearly see that there is something harmless behind it to stop the bullet should it penetrate clear through.

Where did I learn this rule? From my father. Where do I teach it? At hunter safety education classes.

The problem, as always, is refusal to think, and being biased against hunting won't help.

I am not a Hunter, and in f... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I am not a Hunter, and in fact am a bit uncomfortable around guns, but I agree with Hunter on this one.

I think there may be cases where I would certainly consider a life time banning from hunting a just and right punishment, but I don't know that there should be a blanket banning.

So I vote for a case by case sitution here, shoot drunk drivers that kill people often don't end up with a lifetime ban from driving.

Sure there is a better answ... (Below threshold)
Just Don:

Sure there is a better answer. Put the shooter in jail for reckless homocide for a few years. Take away his right to own ANY gun for life.

Isn't an accident an event that results from unseen or unpredictable circumstances?

What is unseen or unpredicatable about pulling a trigger while a human being is in your line of fire?

Just Don if the circumstanc... (Below threshold)
Just Don:

Just Don if the circumstances warrant, they do put hunters who kill other hunters in jail.

Although not all circumstances warrant criminal negligience, it depends, but if a circumstance is negligient, you aren't talking so much about accidents anymore.

Not every person who is in a car accident that results in death is guilty of negligience to the point that they should go to jail, and you could say similarly about hunting accidents.

I *am* a hunter, and I agre... (Below threshold)

I *am* a hunter, and I agree with Jay completely on this...prudence is pretty much an innate behavior, and if you've proven you don't have it, I'd prefer you weren't walking around in the woods looking to shoot things.


Hunter accidently kills ano... (Below threshold)
Magnum Serpentine:

Hunter accidently kills another hunter.

Oh I know the answer here:

Life in prison

Thank you and good day

Well, as an avid hunter mys... (Below threshold)

Well, as an avid hunter myself, I say anybody who shoots another hunter should never hunt again. Rule #1 in hunting is that if you have even the slightest doubts about what animal your target is, you don't *bleeping* shoot it! Hunting is not an area where stupidity should be tolerated.

And honestly, how difficult is it to identify a human wearing *gasps* hunter orange? Now, if the person who got shot was in full camo with no orange and had a fake turkey (or whatever) standing right in front of him/her, then that person deserved to get shot for being an idiot. But how often does that happen?

Why not give the victim's f... (Below threshold)
Not a Hunter:

Why not give the victim's family the shooter, mounted, for them to use as target practice? The shooter would not have to worry about having his license restored.

Sometimes tragedy is just t... (Below threshold)

Sometimes tragedy is just that, with mistakes all around.

The trigger man was not exactly a rookie or slouch:

"Laro is a former military police officer, a decorated marksman and FBI-certified firearms instructor and an experienced hunter. He was hunting with a scope set on a magnification of five in foggy, rainy conditions, with Proulx 72 yards away."

"A jury acquitted Laro, 49, of criminal charges, including negligent homicide, last December."


'[Juror Jane] Springer said, “Mr. Laro had two compasses, and he was the only one in hunting clothes. He had a red-and-black jacket, and the others had camouflage. Mr. Proulx had not gone northwest like he was supposed to, and he had no radio. He started hunting sooner than the others. We felt that he was not a responsible hunter.” '


As a hunter I cannot imagin... (Below threshold)
Brad Ervin:

As a hunter I cannot imagine an excuse for shooting another person. Handleing guns is an awesome responsibility and that responsibility should be in the forefront of your mind. I've read several accounts of mis-shooters getting off because they are desparately sorry. I imagine they are; so are most drunk drivers but that does not absolve them of the wrongness of what they did. We could be a little stiffer on them.

In the meantime here are the four rules (by Jeff Cooper):
1.) The gun is always loaded

2.) Never let the gun point at anything you don't want to destroy.

3.) Keep your finger off the trigger till you're on target.


Shooting at game is optional and a privilege. If in ANY doubt, don't shoot.

Once, hunting with my Dad, I slipped going up a hill and my $10 shotgun went off (something hit the hammer driving it forward). Luckliy, I was obeying rules 2 and 3.

Tom Lehrer links on a right... (Below threshold)

Tom Lehrer links on a right wing blog. Hmmm...

Points taken on both sides above, but accidents don't happen as acts of God, they are usually due to a series of deviations from accepted process.

While I found the description of the situation by MMM enlightening, it remains that the shooter chose to shoot in less than ideal conditions = fog, companions not wearing orange, etc. This level of bad judgement occurred despite years of training and experience. I doubt years of banning from hunting would erase that kind of risk taking.

The victim may have actively participated in the series of errors, but if the shooter had used better judgement, the tragedy would never have happened.

Other than the satirical mounting of the victim, I agree with Jay. And if drunk drivers lost their license for good with one infraction, a lot mor people would be alive today.

Accidents do happen. And t... (Below threshold)

Accidents do happen. And there might be a very safe person who gets unlucky and an unsafe one who never kills anyone. All that said, I would pull the hunter's liscence. It's like the Navy. Collisions at sea ruin your whole day. It may be unfair to the CO to put him at the green table, but it sure helps the overall force. Some things are more important than fairness.






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