You may recall our story about Tees Alberta Canada farmer Brian Knight [not shown]. To recap via cbc.ca: “In the early morning of March 26, 2009, Knight found three men in his farmyard. He jumped out of bed and gave chase clad in boxer shorts and rubber boots to a man riding Knight’s all-terrain vehicle. Knight rammed the ATV with his car and, when the man abandoned the machine and began running, Knight pulled out a shotgun.” Knight fired off two rounds at the thief. The second nicked the bad guy with buckshot in a classic Three Stooges bit—that Justice Monica Bast did not funny. To say the least . . .
Bast declared Knight’s ballistic solution a vigilante action. She sentenced him to a 90 day jail sentence.
Justice Bast’s decision to disallow a conditional or absolute discharge (no criminal record) to the crime was based upon Knight’s second round of buckshot during the incident. The consequences could be severe for Knight as his petrochemical plant job requires travel to the United States-if he can keep his job.
The incident provoked large scale support for Knight in Canada, despite our reputation as a non-gun culture. Many sympathizers felt that Knight was justified in his use of a shotgun to defend his property.
It’s clear that Knight amplified the situation with his use of the shotgun, but he was also facing three unknown persons in the commission of a crime on his property. I know one of his co-workers very well and my buddy indicated that Knight is a very decent guy that found himself in a violent confrontation on his own property.
I have mixed feelings about the outcome. Knight’s second round was clearly the money shot that cost him his freedom and the court’s interpretation for a sentence has some validity.
But I also respect the fact that a guy who was probably 30 minutes removed from police assistance made a judgment call that was based upon a gut reaction to a crime against him. I can understand that Knight felt threatened enough to take matters into his own hands and felt that a shotgun blast would wound and not kill the lowlife object of his attention.
While there are absolutely no guarantees that any shot fired from any weapon will not be fatal, it appears that Knight had enough weapons knowledge to surmise that his shots would more likely wound and not kill the thief.
It was clearly a heat-of- the-moment act by Knight on a cold Canadian night, but it will haunt him for the rest of his life. There are no winners in this case.