Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ohio Animal Tragedy

"It's his property. He can do what he wants."

This was said by a neighbor of Terry Thompson, the man who released dozens of wild and jungle animals from his farm yesterday before shooting himself.

I hear this kind of statement often in the very Red state of Utah. Doing what you want, when you want can be regarded as a virtue here. Any kind of regulation or rule made by the government tends to get a knee-jerk reaction - it is resisted without regard to reasonableness.

I remember listening to a local talk show host who was berating some of his neighbors - for trying to get the city to enforce codes on a resident who was letting his home and lawn deteriorate. He used the exact same words:

"It's his property. He can do what he wants."

These statements are made by people who do not know how to live in a society. They have a romantic view of libertarian-ism that could only exist if one lived alone on an island.  The rest of us have to live with family, neighbors, co-workers, fellow citizens, etc. Therefore, we must learn to give and take. Compromise and courtesy are what allow us to function as a civilized society. He can do what he wants is not sufficient or practical. Rules and regulations are not the enemy.

Ohio is one of 8 states who have little to no regulation regarding the ownership of wild animals. Not surprisingly it has a death and maiming rate by wild animals that is in line with their view of regulation. Yesterday's events were tragic on many levels; most of these animals had to be killed by local police.

"It's his property. He can do what he wants."  

This is the mantra of the irresponsible; those who give all power to the individual while looking with derision at regulations that insist one also be responsible to society.


curmudgeon said...

Well said Andy, I agree that the idea you can do what you want is somewhat absurd. I would say that the argument can be extended to issues of public health and education. We tend to "opt out" of information or other responsible practices at an incredible price to our society.

Bruce Gerencser said...

I know the sheriff who ordered the killings. I pastored for 12 years outside of Zanesville. It is a red neck, hunting crazy area, so all the animals being killed does not surprise me.
This is a heartbreaking story.

Bob said...

I do not get the whole deal about people owning animals that were never meant to be in captivity. You are right, sad and tragic on many levels.

OneSmallStep said...

I would say that they are also made by people who never really grew up. Children think they can do whatever they want.

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