Hey, Smokey -- what's with the gun?

My mommy and Daddy sent me to very expensive schools where they taught me science and math and Shakespeare and that you shouldn’t actually stick penies in your penny loafers.  Yet some things remain beyond my ken.  This is one of them:

To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, rival birds that have shoved their smaller cousins aside.  (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/29/12)

Darn.  We decided to read further.  Perhaps more detail would clarify things:

The plan is the latest federal attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the passive, 1-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago. The government set aside millions of acres of forest to protect the owl, but the bird’s population continues to decline – a 40 percent slide in 25 years.

Well,  these folks who study these things probably have better degrees than I do, but still, it somehow seems like there ought to be a better “plan” out there somewhere.  After all, this is the government here.  They are the folks who have figured out that we need new light bulbs and that higher oil prices are good for us; you’d think they could come up with something that doesn’t involve gunfire.

Maybe not.  These are complicated times.  It’s a good thing we have lots of smart people in charge, or else we might be in real trouble.

(Thanks to Bill Quick at Daily Pundit, who unearthed this nugget.)