As columnist Charles M. Dunagin points out elsewhere on this site, one of the bum ideas to be floated in the current session of the Mississippi Legislature would allow black bears to be shot on sight.

As history has shown, bears have a lot more reason to worry about us than we have to worry about them.

Thanks to unregulated hunting of the bears and destruction of their habitat, the black bear was almost extinct in this state a century ago.  According to wildlife officials, by the early 1930s, there were less than a dozen bears in all of Mississippi. After decades of protection and a concerted effort to revive the species, the current bear population is estimated to be still only between 200 and 250 — or roughly one per every 12,000 residents.

The state is hardly overrun with bears.

This proposal, Senate Bill 2484, belongs in the trash bin.

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