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A few weeks ago John Ramos took another bite of the apple on a story he wrote last year. Classic case of city people (two Des Moines attorneys and one Duluth reporter) trying to stick their views down the throat of country people. Admitting no knowledge of criminal legal system, Ramos still claimed “killing of Bruzzo was illegal,” absent any defense for the shooting. [Jan. 31 City Beat, “Authorities stay silent on Bruzzo”]
Begin with this point. One crime we know occurred when the dog owners admitted letting their dog run free, in violation of Ashland’s Ordinance “Regulating Dogs and other Animals within the County of Ashland.” My guess, these attorneys now know the ordinance they violated. Added harassment they can levy on the shooter, probably fine by them, because the dog was their responsibility to keep safe, instead passing off the blame. The shooter made a statement, he is not obligated to say anything further. Taking more time of the La Pointe Police Department also amounts to harassment. Ashland District Attorney is the most powerful law enforcement officer in the county; the DA decides what cases brought to court at taxpayers’ expense, not a big city know-it-all.
Mr. Ramos was willingly used by this couple for their pound of flesh.
John Ramos replies: I am not sure why Mr. Gellerman is objecting to my article. In researching it, I reviewed Wisconsin law and read news stories about loose dogs getting killed, and I passed along my findings to my readers—establishing facts being a basic journalistic habit of mine. In my research, I found that
(1) If Bruzzo had been killing Mr. Nelson’s chickens, Mr. Nelson would have been within his rights to shoot Bruzzo; and
(2) If Bruzzo was NOT attacking chickens or otherwise threatening Mr. Nelson or his property, Mr. Nelson would have NOT been within his rights to shoot Bruzzo—Ashland County leash laws notwithstanding.
That was my interpretation of the law. If Mr. Gellerman believes I am in error, then by all means let him correct me. But to accuse me of being a “city [person] trying to stick [my] views down the throat of country people” is unfair. I’m not trying to force my views on country people. I’m just trying to help them understand the law—not an easy task with such untutored bumpkins, I can assure you. But I persevere.
Obviously, this whole matter comes down to one question: Was Bruzzo killing chickens? There is no evidence that he was. As I understand it, Mr. Nelson hasn’t even produced Bruzzo’s body. To me, it’s the strangest thing that the police wouldn’t aggressively try to answer the question of the chickens and get to the bottom of it all.
Throughout this case, I have noticed a very strange tendency in people like Mr. Gellerman of not caring about the evidence at all. The reason, I think, is that they don’t believe Gene Nelson did anything wrong. Even if Nelson made up the story about the chickens, Gellerman et al don’t mind that he shot the dog. They take a sour satisfaction in it. How dare a loose dog go near somebody’s private property?
But, however much Gellerman and his fellow trigger-happy Darwinists may wish that loose-dogginess were a capital offense, under the law it is not. In fact, killing a loose dog can be a felony. If the authorities choose to look the other way while a potential felony walks by, that may be fine with Mr. G and company, but here in the big city, we try to hold people a little more accountable. Call us high-falutin’, but that’s just the way we roll.