Lars Thoughts – There Need To Be Consequences For The Gorge Fires

By Lars Larson

As you’ve likely heard today, a fifteen year old has been criminally charged for starting the fires that burned almost 50 thousand acres in the Columbia River Gorge this summer, but the authorities are hiding his name and they’re not charging him as an adult.

They’re also not saying much about about the legal reasoning behind the charges that have been brought…“reckless burning, depositing burning materials on forest lands, unlawful fireworks possession, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering other people.”  Here’s the excuse they’re using “When the investigation began, Oregon State Police said they would release the teen’s name, but changed their minds soon after and said they would protect his identity even in the event of an arrest, citing concerns about the outcry and possible backlash against him.”

He’s not accused of murder for goodness sake, although the fires he allegedly started could have killed someone, and this winter with heavy rains, landslides may destroy property or even, God forbid, lives. Since an eyewitness saw this little creep throwing fireworks and the police contacted him before he left the scene, I’m going to assume he will be found guilty.

I’m also going to assume that he will get next to nothing in the way of punishment. This fits the pattern we’ve been seeing lately where people commit crimes and we send the message that it’s the criminal who must be protected, and the law abiding citizens who can’t be trusted with information.



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