We’re Our Own Worst Enemy – Grow Up, America

I’ve said time and time again that we’ve got to control liability suit awards in this country, but the real heart of the problem is accepting responsibility.  Frivolous lawsuits are many times well intentioned.  Someone really thinks someone else is at fault for their own stupidity, or for an act of God.  I’m sure God, and that mythical “other person” is getting tired of getting the blame.

In yesterdays local paper is the very sad story of a family outing turning tragic.  A young boy, in a tent separate from his parents, is taken and killed by a bear.  So, of course, someone has to be at fault.  After all, the bear has on money.  So, there’s a major lawsuit against the Forest Service and the state wildlife service, and, I’m sure, anyone else within shooting range.  If the press reports are true, the mother drank her supper and was probably in a deep, alcohol induced sleep, when her son cried out for help.  Not that she could have done anything about it none-the-less, odds are.

They were camping outside of the normal campground, not that that really made a difference. Many have been taken from crowded camp grounds.  This bear had done a Yogi earlier on in the day, raiding another camp for potato chips and beer and the contention of the ambulance chaser who’s representing the family is that the forest service and wildlife service should have warned all other campers in the area…even though the area was peppered with signs stating that, yes, the forest has bears, and yes, it’s a risk if you set the table with a feast and a bear shows up to take advantage of your ignorance.

Sorry, folks, it’s no one’s fault if a rogue bear comes out of the woods and attacks a human.  The only solution to that problem is to get rid of all the bears.  Or keep people out of the bears territory, and yes, I think the deep woods belong to the bear, the cougar, the deer, the elk, and a hundred other of God’s creatures.  If you don’t want to risk encountering a wild animal, stay out of the woods.  It’s as simple as that.  When you travel to the woods, you take the risk  and yes the RESPONSIBILITY that you might encounter one of God’s creatures, who by the way have been there for far longer than man.

But it seems most of us think it’s got to be someone’s fault, and someone must pay.  If I can give this family any advice, it’s to go home, grieve, and shoulder the responsibility.  An experience in the woods is normally wonderful for children, however, occasionally one is swept away in a river, is bitten by a rattlesnake, gets a dose of poison oak or ivy, is stung 100 times by a nest of hornets, or yes, is killed by a cougar or a bear.  It’s part of life, so live with it.

And folks, it’s not my fault.  And it’s not the fault of the other 349,999,999 Americans out there.  And when you get greedy, and sic some sick ambulance chasing attorney on the state, the fed, or the city or county, you’re asking all of us to pay for your mistake.  Some feckless jury will probably feel sorry for this mother and will most likely award her many hundreds of thousands of dollars for her loss, when it was actually her child who had the loss, and in the long run she’ll feel no better and the only real result is the country will fall deeper in debt.

Grow up, America.

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