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June 6, 2010
Steamboat Springs — ■ What exactly is damaged or injured when someone trespasses?
I know you can define any act that is not fully in line with the law as a crime, but how do you differentiate between those that injure those that annoy?
Let someone exercise their "legal option" to shoot a trespasser and see if the law will actually protect them.
By the way I support respect for property rights. When someone walks across my posted property, I bid them good day and advise them access is by permission only.
When someone tears it up with their bikes and ATVs, I track them down and warn them, then call the cops if they return. Haven't shot one yet.
I might shoot a dog killing my animals, but I probably would just let the owner pay instead.
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■ The article only states what the dog owner told the reporter. The dog owner said there wasn't livestock. The Routt County Sheriff's Office and the landowner haven't confirmed or disputed that. Right now, none of us posters know whether that's the absolute case or not.
And all the comparisons to shooting a child instead of a dog are ludicrous. A child is less apt to approach a stranger (or allow a stranger to approach) and show some sharp teeth and start growling. Most people would say, "Awww, cute!" Not so much if a dog does it to you. Even a normally nice dog will do that. My friend's dogs loves me and climbs all over me when I visit. Should their owner not be around and I tried to enter his house or pet them in his vehicle with the window open, they'll growl and bark even though they've known me for a few years. I'm sure we've all seen/heard people say how nice their dog is and then when the owner isn't around, the dog can get a bit mean. Not always, but it happens.
Nothing against Mr. Flaharty — I don't know him or his dog, nor the landowner since that person isn't named.
■ Regardless of the laws, the decent thing to do was fire a warning shot, or at least warn the owner before pulling the trigger. This is ridiculous, and I see no reason that the dog should have been shot. I know that there are laws and they need to be followed, but come on, did he really have to shoot the dog? If they dog was being a problem, bothering livestock, threatening kids, then fine, but it does not sound like that was the case. Sorry for your loss.
■ I drove down the Connecticut turnpike yesterday. Permanent signs read speed limit 55. Average traffic speed was well over 70. Not one of those thousands of people was driving even as slow as 60; it would had endangered them and others to do so.
Later, on the Jersey Pike, the signs were electronic, able to be changed to reflect conditions. They read 65, average speed was near 80, and only one of the thousands of drivers I saw was near 65 mph. She was clearly terrified, riding her brake, bolt upright in her seat as cars sped by her on both sides. I felt sorry for her, but would not join in her compliance with the law as it would endanger myself and my daughter.
We discussed the obvious disregard for the law, and the obvious impropriety of this law. We agreed that to obey this law would be unwise and irresponsible at this time. We pondered what a better regulation would be. The best we could suggest is that the law should only state that driving in a manner that endangers safety or obstructs traffic should be forbidden, and trust in police and judges to administer that directive fairly.
Was the law wrong, or were the lawbreakers wrong? Every Jersey cop we saw had someone pulled over for ticketing, were they wrong to enforce it?
I don't claim to have the answer, but what we have is not working well as far as promoting respect for the law goes.
■ Mr. Fielding: In some ways, I do have to agree with you. I think what you saw was an unfortunate example of what happens if we let people govern themselves and are not strict enough with law enforcement. If we were to let everyone make left turns during the construction other than where it is designated, it would be such a nightmare for everyone. I cannot stand when people are waiting to make an illegal left-hand turn downtown and impede traffic. Is your time that much more important than everyone else on the road today?
What I believe this comes down to is that driving is not a right; it is a privilege. I think if you choose break the law when it is clearly stated as being illegal, you should be punished. If I were to break the law and get a ticket, I would accept it. I would not accuse the police of using "typical mafia style tactics." I think what freerider did, as well as the people on the Connecticut parkway, was choose to break the law. It's a choice. And if we aren't willing to accept fault when we get caught, what does that say about the maturity of our society?
You would think that government officials would eventually figure out the rules for executive sessions. "Contract negotiations" would appear to be awfully vague, and coming out and passing a resolution without any discussion surely creates the presumption that it was discussed in the executive session.
Paper submit a request for the transcript of the apparently improperly called executive session?