Unnatural Balance


I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

The world public was outraged last week when it learned Zimbabwe’s best-known lion was lured from a wildlife sanctuary and shot by arrow and killed by gun by a great white hunter from Minnesota. Worse, the guy’s a dentist.

There aren’t that many free-range lions in Minnesota, so I suppose Cecil was an irresistible target for Doc Palmer, even though not much hunting was involved. The animal was brought to him like a pizza delivery.

My brother claims I shot two birds out of the sky with a BB gun when we were kids, just as he was celebrating the wonders of nature, twittering along with them like he was in the middle of a Disney movie. He claims I laughed, evilly, as the birds fell at his feet. I don’t remember that, but I remember the easy cruelty of childhood.

My favorite uncle hunted coons and taught me to hunt them. We didn’t drag meat behind a car to sucker our prey, like Palmer did, but we used dogs to track and find it. We treed a raccoon and I shot it with a proper rifle through one perfect bandit eye and watched the light in the other eye go out. I never hunted again.

Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton said he was “just appalled” at what his fellow north star stater did. I was appalled, too, for a different reason.

My local newspaper bannered the world news section with the story about Cecil the Lion, saying Zimbabwe was demanding Palmer be turned over to its government. It read, “Killer’s extradition being sought.” Although Zimbabwe is an ideal retirement destination (The New Yorker reports that barely a month ago you could trade a single American dollar for thirty-five quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars), I’m not sure I would turn over anybody to the government of Robert Mugabe. People disappear there. But that wasn’t what was so upsetting.

What was so upsetting was that it wasn’t until the back page of the world news section that we learned that someone in the West Bank had burned a Palestinian toddler to death as he slept.

Still lots of news today on the celebrated lion; not so much on the boy who will never celebrate his second birthday.


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One Response to Unnatural Balance

  1. Claudia Brahm 10 September 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Dear Philip:
    Totally agree with you!!!!
    I think that most of the world´s people is really sick…crying for a lion (a great one, I must say), and seeing to other side when a human being is suffering… Is very sad…

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