Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ward Bird Goes Free

From The Associated Press.

A New Hampshire farmer who became a folk hero to gun rights activists after he was imprisoned for brandishing a handgun at a trespasser on his property won early release Wednesday.

The New Hampshire Executive Council voted unanimously to free Ward Bird, just two months into his three-year sentence.

His wife, Ginny, said he would come home to "lots of tears, lots of hugs and a big celebration."

Bird, 49, of Moultonborough, had sought a full pardon to clear his name. The council voted in his favor, but Gov. John Lynch vetoed the pardon, saying the judicial system had given Bird's case a thorough review and he would not undermine that. The council then immediately voted to commute his sentence, and Lynch let that vote stand.

"I, like the (sentencing) judge, have concerns the punishment does not fit the crime," Lynch said.

Bird's felony conviction for criminal threatening with a firearm remains on his record. He can no longer possess guns. Attorney General Michael Delaney said a full pardon would have restored Bird's right to own and carry guns.
I think the governor should have said to him like Michael said to Carlo, "Only don't tell me that you're innocent, because it insults my intelligence and it makes me very angry."


  1. "Bird's felony conviction for criminal threatening with a firearm remains on his record. He can no longer possess guns. "

    Then he's not really free.

  2. Looking up news articles on this case, this is absolutely a travesty of justice.

    There's no way to know the truth for certain, because it's a "he said/she said" sort of thing, but even if the worst case story is true, the woman WAS trespassing, violating multiple "no trespassing" signs, refused to leave the property, and even if he "brandished" his firearm at the trespasser, a felony charge and conviction is very excessive.


  3. The problem with gunloons is that they violate the very gun safety rules they profess to revere.

    Let's assume the woman did trespass.

    Does this mean one is permitted to threaten the use of deadly force?

    Of course not.

    In reality, the woman didn't trespass--court records show the woman had become lost, stopped at Bird's niece's home to ask directions, and Bird's niece actually called Bird to tell him there was a lost woman trying to find a parcel of real estate and that Bird should expect to see her.

    So, Bird threatened the woman with a .45 despite these undeniable facts:
    1. the woman received directions to Bird's home from Bird's niece.
    2. the niece had called Bird to tell him he could expect to see the woman (describing her and the auto she drove)
    3. the woman was unarmed and presented no physical threat to Bird.

    IOW, in NH, you can expect drug dealers and other criminals waving guns around claiming they've been trespassed.

  4. @Jadegold, This is absolutely a "he said/she said" case. You can believe what "she said," but you have no facts to back up your opinion of the events.

    Regardless, I do not believe someone should be sentenced to YEARS in prison and lose their lawful right to keep and bear arms for life for the WORST case possibility of the events that transpired.

    That's my opinion. You may have your own, but there's no sense in arguing opinions.


  5. "So, Bird threatened the woman with a .45 despite these undeniable facts"

    There was no evidence of that beyond the woman's claims. If she was an anti-gunner the mere sight of a gun possessed by one who was not a high priest of the State would have frightened her terribly. I only wonder if she believed her own story or if she deliberately lied.

  6. There's people that claim to be "threatened" by a holstered handgun, or that openly carrying a firearm is "brandishing," when the "threat" is all in their own head and their interpretation of brandishing is way, way off.


  7. Orygunner, who has more reason to lie? He does of course especially if he did anything wrong.

    Your problem is the Libertarian part of your brain just cannot be wrapped around someone not being able to do whatever he wants on his own property. Fortunately for the rest of us, reasonable laws require cretain reasonable behaviour, even on your own property or in your own house.

  8. @Mikeb, if he actually threatened the trespasser with his firearm, sure, he shouldn't have done that. He should be held responsible for that abuse of the right to keep and bear arms and be punished for it to some degree.

    I find even in that instance, that a FELONY conviction and losing firearm privileges for life is excessive.

    As far as who has more reason to lie is really irrelevant. Some people get completely wacky ideas in their head of what transpires because of their perceptions of realty.

    For example, I was in Wal-Mart with my kids some time ago, and went up to the self-checkout. Every station was busy, but one had a woman just standing in front of it talking on her cell phone. I watched her for about 10 seconds - she wasn't checking out, just standing in front of the station, her stuff in her cart, chatting on her phone. I asked her politely, "Excuse me, are you using this self-checkout?" She replied in a snotty tone of voice, "What does it LOOK like I'm doing?" I told her (in an even toned, normal voice), "It looks like you're talking on the phone instead of checking out. Oh, there's an open one, I'll go use that."

    She started telling the person she was talking to in a LOUD voice "Oh my GOD! This guy comes up to me and starts YELLING at me to hurry up and get out of his way!"

    I turned around to look at her with my jaw on the floor then looked around at other people's reactions. They were looking at the woman shaking their heads, and one guy even told me "Man, that lady is nuts!"

    I can very well see some woman being cussed at by a homeowner, refusing to leave, and making ridiculous claims about it. As I've said, There is no evidence one way or the other, and no admission of guilt from one or the other, so it's all speculation. Regardless of the WORST case circumstances, the punishment is far too excessive. I would feel that sentence would be more appropriate if he had actually shot at the woman (which he did not).


  9. Orygunner, Thanks for one of the best descriptions of why some of us are concerned about people carrying guns. Gun owners are not immune to that amazing phenomenon you described.

  10. If what Jadegold says is factual, that the guy's daughter told him the woman was on her way to his house, the whole, "he said, she said" argument is crap. If the guy's daughter perjures herself to set up her own father for a prison term, well, maybe he's not dad of the year, I don't know; but it's definitely more of "he said, THEY said."

  11. @Mikeb, Absolutely correct, gun owners are not immune to that either. However, since the majority do not exhibit that behavior, is that a reason to prohibit the many based on the behavior of a few?


  12. @Jadegold,

    I'm reading the transcript ( and she definitely did NOT say she was given directions to his house, that she couldn't follow the directions his daughter gave her, or the bridge she was supposed to go over, and asked whether he was the property owner.

    Reading the rest, pretty good stuff. I like how she stated he was running after her, but he had just had abdominal surgery, if I remember correctly.


  13. Orygunner: "is that a reason to prohibit the many based on the behavior of a few?"

    Yes, absolutely because we're not talking about 99% good and 1% bad, not by a longshot.

  14. @Mikeb, oh really? Please tell, what is the % of gun owners which are LAWFUL gun owners and which are not?

    Then, what is the % of those lawful gun owners that are responsible and not a danger to others?

    Please provide some statistical facts and sources, not your personal observations, because your bias prevents you from an objective opinion (and I doubt you have personally met 80 million gun owners).


  15. Sorry, all I've got is common sense, honesty and a bit of logic. It's in my Famous 10%.