By Claire Worcester

Leave it to someone in Kansas to shoot a bald eagle.

In Marion County, one of these feathered icons of the United States, symbol of freedom and our military might, was found shot down and lying on the ground below the dam of the Marion reservoir in early February.

Kansas game wardens are still investigating the case and are searching for the shooter.

Although bald eagles are no longer protected under the Endangered Species Act, they still remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Act, as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

If caught, the shooter will face a penalty of $5,000 or up to one year of imprisonment.

My question is, why would someone take the time out of his or her day to shoot an eagle?

And I wonder how the person decided to just leave it lying on the ground.

At least hide it, bury it, or stuff it and display it on the wall above your 84-inch, 600-channel flat-screen TV.

But by no means do I encourage shooting bald eagles. Seeing as the person didn’t hide it, though, perhaps there was a reason.

Maybe the shooter decided, once the initial thrill of the kill wore off, that this emblem of freedom lying on the ground with a bullet in it was symbolic of something deeper.

I consider the image of a dead bald eagle as possibly a symbol of distress, just as hanging the American flag upside down declares an emergency and a need for assistance.

The phone calls start coming in to the police station whenever someone sees an inverted U.S. flag.

So maybe this sad image of a deceased, downed eagle, is a sign that our country is being run into the ground.

As each day passes, the reality becomes more clear that several of our under-appreciated freedoms and rights are on an endangered list of their own.

Maybe the ill-advised, possibly drunk hunter felt he or she needed to make a philosophic point that would stick in the minds of Americans.

Maybe the shooter hoped that we would find that sight so disturbing, we might indulge in some critical thinking and realize what is at risk.

More than 69 million Americans voted to re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012, even though he had produced a birth certificate that some insisted was a fraud.

Obama has done nothing to help our country climb out from under the debt ceiling we have created — but instead has made it worse.

He is also pushing to take away certain gun rights and, some say, some religious freedoms, but he claims we would still have “freedom of worship.”

To top that, we have a majority of politicians who are afraid to disagree with the popular vote.

They are hesitant to do the right things for the entire country as a whole because they fear losing their positions of power within the government.

That is incredibly self-centered as well as cowardly and it’s costing all of us.

So you know things are bad when a bald eagle, the symbol of our country, is shot and left dead on the ground.

This could be a bad omen for America.

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