Jason Galvin spotted an eagle that was entangled in a bit of rope in a tree in Minnesota. It had been hanging there for two days. He told his wife, Jackie. She thought something must be done. But the authorities, the Department of Natural Resources, the Sheriffs Office, City Hall, the Fire Department, the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, didn’t. They all gave her the same story. They were tied up in red tape. No one could do anything, too much liability. The eagle was already dead.
The only thing they did not say, was “What difference does it make?”
But the Galvins knew different. Jason is an excellent shot. He really did serve in Afghanistan. He thought he could use a semi-automatic rifle, the popular Ruger 10-22, to free the eagle from the tree. Fortunately, the authorities agreed to allow a private citizen to act when they were paralyzed. Once Jason suggested the idea, Jackie insisted on it. He did the shooting. She did much of the coordinating and support.
It wasn’t an easy shot. It was actually about 150 shots. But who needs more than seven, right? The wind was moving the branches, there was little clearance between the eagle and the branch. It took perseverance and marksmanship, but Jason was up to the task. He finally shot through the branch, about two inches in diameter, and the eagle fell from its entangling, deadly predicament. It was taken to the Raptor Center. They named the eagle Freedom, and the Center says it will make it.
Those evil semi-automatic rifles are only good for one thing. Oops. They are good for a great many things. From cbslocal.com:
“It was weird shooting in the direction of a bald eagle,” Jason said. “I was very nervous. I didn’t want to hit that bird.”
Battling leaves, branches, the wind and a mid-afternoon sun, Jason took shot after shot trying to break through the branch and the rope. He never thought he’d use his military training for something like this. His persistence paid off as the branch, the rope and the eagle all came free.
The rifle Jason used is banned in Australia and England, because it is a semi-automatic. It isn’t banned in America. Yet. But Jason borrowed the rifle he used from a neighbor, because it had a better scope than his did. That would be illegal in Washington State, where the Universal Background Check (UBC) law was put in place last year.
You see, Jason and his neighbor did not drive to a federally licensed dealer and have the rifles serial number and all his personal information and his neighbors personal information recorded to transfer the rifle.
That bit of red tape would probably have been enough to finish off the eagle. The borrowing of the rifle would have been illegal in Washington State. It will be illegal in Nevada and Maine, if the Bloomberg paid for referendums demanding UBCs in those states pass. UBCs are just code for Universal Gun Registration. From Jackie Galvin, Jason’s wife:
A neighbor at the cabin drove by and borrowed Jason his .22 as it had a better scope than Jason’s. It was windy and he only had about 4″ of rope to shoot without hitting the eagle. As he assessed the elements of the weather he took a couple of practice shots to ensure the sight was on target. It was. He began shooting at the rope.
An hour and a half later and 150 bullets, the eagle broke free from the branch and fell 75′ into the trees of the woods.
It is nice to see a patriotic couple use their initiative, shooting skills, and perseverance to do something the authorities, with all their power, money, and organization, could not do. The Galvins were not paralysed with bureaucracy. They acted. With a rifle. Borrowed from a neighbor. They saved an eagle.
Here is the eagle, Freedom. It would be dead if they hadn’t acted. And all the authorities would have let it die.
After all, what difference does it make?
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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