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19 June 2016 - Is Common Sense a Thing of the Past?

Do you remember when the majority of people in this country seemed to have common sense? I do, but it has been at least a couple of decades now since common sense has just disappeared. When you look at what is happening in this country, and around the world, how can you think otherwise?

You all are very good at letting me know when you encounter a “no-common sense” issue and that’s why I have heard from many of you in the Northeast where an incident lit up social media, particularly agricultural web sites and e-mails. I have been asked to write about it and talk about it on my radio and television programs; so here it comes and I will quote one of the farmer e-mails I received to set the stage.

“In July of 2015, a Woodbridge, Connecticut couple was traveling west on a Vermont highway when they struck and killed a large Scottish Highlander bull that had escaped from its pasture, according to the Vermont State Police. The driver, a 64-year-old man was killed, his wife injured, but recovered. It was an awful accident. It is now a crime.”

Here is the rest of the story...it happened last year in July after a windstorm blew down a tree that fell on the fence surrounding a pasture occupied by the bull. The downed fence allowed the bull to leave the pature and walk in to the road where the tragic accident occurred resulting in the death of the driver. It was a horrible accident!.....until a couple weeks ago when it became a crime.

Rose Kennedy, a local prosecutor, has decided there is no such thing as an accident when it comes to animals. Last month, a grand jury, at her urging, indicted the bull’s owner on criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter. Craig Mosher, if convicted, faces up to 15 years in prison. If that happens, the lives of every farmer, rancher and animal lover will be altered dramatically, much for the worse.

Animal escapes are part of rural life. Accidents as serious as this, as rare as they are, are terrible. A tree falling on a fence where the bull was being pastured, lifting it up enough for the bull to escape on to a highway where a deathly accident occurred. A crime of involuntary manslaughter by the farmer?? I don’t think so.

Think about this for a minute, it doesn’t just affect farmers or ranchers; if you live in a city with a pet dog and it runs out of the yard into the street, causing a driver to swerve on to the sidewalk where he strikes and kills a child, should you be charged with involuntary manslaughter? This is another example of the death of common sense.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.