Well, it looks like at least one judge in North Carolina must be a long-lost relative of Gomer and Goober Pyle. “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”
Seems as if the town of Brasstown, NC, has an . . . um, unique New Year’s tradition. Along with the bear stew and musket shooting, each year they have a “possum drop” on New Year’s Eve.
What’s a “possum drop”, you ask? In Brasstown’s “possum drop”, the opossum isn’t actually dropped at all. Instead, an opossum is humanely captured during hunting season. It’s kept caged fed and caged until New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Eve, the opossum is suspended in its cage. At midnight, the cage is lowered as part of the town’s New Year’s Eve festivities.
Think a low-tech version of the Times’ Square New Year’s Eve apple drop – Appalachian Style. The opossum is afterwards released back into the wild.
The person who captured the opossum even gets a special permit from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC). That permit allowed them to display the opossum at his country store between capture and release vice killing it.
Well, that’s the way it used to work. One less dead opossum during hunting season, who gets well fed and and cared for and then released. Everybody’s happy, and no harm – right?
Well that was the case for 20 years or thereabouts. Then PETA got involved.
Predictably, PETA saw all of this as “cruel treatment” of the opossum. So they took the state to court. Their argument? The retention of the opossum captured during hunting season was unlawful.
Not surprisingly, PETA managed to find a damn fool appointed as an administrative law judge who agreed with them – specifically, one each Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison. Morrison ruled that while the animal could indeed have lawfully been killed during hunting season, the state WRC didn’t have authority to let one be captured and kept temporarily.
“Hunters must afford wild animals the same right Patrick Henry yearned for,” Senior Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison Jr. wrote in his order. “’Give me liberty, or give me death!’”
That’s right, folks – the moron posing as a judge actually equated the opossum and Patrick Henry in his “learned opinion”. Geez.
The NC WRC is presently deciding whether or not to appeal Morrison’s decision. Otherwise, Morrison’s moronic opinion stipulates that the opossum must be released within 30 days.
For common sense’s sake, I certainly hope the WRC appeals this act of judicial idiocy. I hope the appeals court has the common sense to overturn Morrison. And I also hope the appeals court orders PETA to pay the state’s legal costs incurred in fighting this latest bit of PETA asininity.