Home » Opinion » Editorials
An error on display: Forgetting Ward Bird
Current law states that "the act of producing or displaying a weapon shall constitute non-deadly force." The law was changed to prevent more people from going to prison for defending themselves against perceived threats by simply showing that they are armed. The case that sparked the law was the famous story of Ward Bird, the Moultonborough farmer who was convicted in 2009 of criminal threatening for waving a handgun when a trespasser refused to leave his property.
Bird was convicted of waving a gun when a woman looking for another piece of land drove up his driveway, posted with "no trespassing" signs, and refused his commands to leave. He got three to six years in state prison for using "deadly force" when he waved his gun.
After a huge public outcry, the Executive Council commuted Bird's sentence and the Legislature changed the law to clarify that homeowners may defend themselves by showing that they are armed. Now Rep. Steve Shurtleff, D-Concord, wants to revert to the old, bad law. That would be a serious mistake. Simply displaying a weapon is quite often a defensive act. It is commonly done nationwide to frighten criminals into fleeing. It works. And Shurtleff would make it a crime in most circumstances.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Memorial boys take city track meet for 10th straight year - 0
- NHIAA Baseball: Pinkerton beats Trinity in key game - 0
- Kevin Gray's H.S. Lacrosse: It's not easy facing West - 0
- NHIAA Roundup: Trinity's Currier stops Nashua North - 0
- Campbell nine edges Hopkinton - 0
- Goffstown boys, Hollis/Brookline girls post baseball, softball wins - 0
- NHIAA Roundup: Derryfield wins Division III lacrosse showdown - 0
- Roger Brown's Diamond Notes: North’s win streak just keeps growing - 0
- John Habib's Track & Field: 'If Coby can do it, so can I' - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Tiny Thomas More College class urged to be courageous - 0
- NH Military People: NH woman graduates from Air Force training - 0
- Lebanon College graduates 19 - 0
- Oxbow captures Preakness Stakes - 0
- Plymouth State speaker tells grads to 'Become agents of change' - 0
- Former FBI head tells St. Anselm graduates it is important to give back - 1
- UNH commencement speaker tells graduates: Don't worry about mistakes, learn from them - 2
- Ayotte tells NEC graduates to be passionate about their work - 1
- Antioch University awards 145 degrees - 0
Lawyer says Northern Pass in 'a corner'
Hooksett Police Commission walks away
Mass. men arrested on drugs, weapons charges
NH vote nears on expansion of Medicaid
Nashua school parking surprise
Another View -- Glenn Normandeau: Protecting endangered non-game species a NH success story
UNH hires firm to redesign one of its logos