A sportsman, out hunting in Alaska, accidentally shoots a polar bear. Realising his mistake, he reports the incident to the local ranger.
A week later, he gets a letter in the mail, telling him that he is being taken to court by the park service. Arriving at court, he explains to the judge what happened, and the judge finally comes to a decision.
"As you didn't kill this protected species intentionally, I don't intend to send you to prison", the judge says. "However, it is still a serious error on your part, and I intend to deal with you by way of a fine, based upon the body weight of the animal".
"For every one pound of body weight, you will be fined $10". Consulting his records, the judge finds the weight of the bear, as recorded by the park services, and calls for a calculator. After a minute of two, he calls the hunter to the bench, and gives his judgement; a fine of $9,000.
The representative of the park services jumps to his feet, and approaches the judge. "Your Honour", he says, "With the greatest respect, I believe you've made a mistake in your calculations".
"We weighed the animal shortly after it was shot, and it weighed a total of 1000 pounds". "Surely, based on that measurement, the fine should be $10,000".
The judge looks at the ranger, and says, "I made a calculation, taking into consideration, the animals' weight, minus its two front paws". Looking rather confused, the ranger asks, "but why did you not include the front paws in your calculation?"
"Because", the judge replies, "Every American has the right to bear arms!"