Thursday, October 06, 2005

When Coyotes Attack

Jeez, sometimes I hate being right. I’ve been coyote blogging for a while (go to the Google link above and enter coyote). I’ve warned that one day a coyote would soon attack someone in Massachusetts; a heavily-populated state with severe gun and weapon control and a growing number of coyotes.

Well, it’s happened. Arthur Cole (click here for a longer version) is a seventy-six year old grandfather who took his four-year old grandson for a walk in suburban woods near his retirement development in Northborough, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston’s outer beltway).

Suddenly a female coyote jumped on Cole’s back. He fought the coyote possibly saving his grandson’s life. Cole sent his grandson for help. Cole’s son rushed to the scene to find his father wrestling with the coyote. Fortunately, the elder Cole had got on top of the animal and pinned her. The younger Cole tried to help, but could do little. Police and fire personnel arrived roughly fifteen minutes after the initial attack to find Cole still pinning the animal.

A fire fighter snared the coyote, but police couldn’t get an angle to shoot her since Cole’s arm was pinned under her. They strangled her to death and her body will be tested for rabies. Arthur Cole suffered a number of bite wounds, but is expected to recover. His grandson was unhurt but will always have the image of, in his words, “…a wolf got Grammy.”

Throughout Cole’s brave struggle, I’m sure he must have thought; “I wish I had a gun.” I’m sure his son wished the same thing or wished he had grabbed one on the way to the trail. Maybe they both wished they had knives, pepper spray, anything but some innate wrestling ability.

That’s the problem with a state disarming its citizens even if the citizens want the state to do so. Someday a person will need a gun and won’t have one or know how to use one. A gun is like a seatbelt or a spare tire in that you probably will not need either one on this trip, but one of these days you’ll be damn glad you had one around you or in the trunk. To take the example further, what good is the spare tire in your trunk if you don't know how to change a tire?

I’m the first to admit that even if Cole had had a gun he might not have been able to use it. If the younger Cole had grabbed a gun from home or his truck he might not have been able to use it just like the police officers couldn’t use theirs. But, are you willing to wrestle a coyote for fifteen minutes? Are you willing to suffer animal bites while you do it? Are you willing to choke an animal to death?

Let’s look at what happened to the coyote. What a terrible way for her to die. A bullet would have been a kindness compared to slow strangulation. That coyote died possibly because she was defending pups (a guess from police) or because she saw a handy meal in an old man or a child. In any event, she was doing what nature intended for her to do; protect her young or prey on the preceived weak.

We humans don’t want to remember that we’re both predators and prey. We’ve forgotten that we created clubs, knives, and guns to get food and to protect ourselves from four or two-legged predators. We’re still part of nature and nature hasn’t forgotten that fact.

You can bet I’ll have a gun on me during my next walk in the woods.

NOTE: After doing the rough draft, but before posting I saw that mAssBackwards covered the same story. Now go read his take.

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