You read it in the comments here almost every day: an armed society is a polite society. And that little bit of Heinleinian wisdom is generally holds true. But like any truism, there’s always an exception that proves the rule. Generally. And a lot of those general exceptions seem to happen while behind the wheel, for some reason. When two motorists took exception to each other’s motoring habits in idyllic Upper Burrell Township, PA this week, no one really acquitted themselves well . . .

From wpxi.com’s bare bones report, the whole thing started with one un-named driver riding the bumper of the other. That’s when they both made a mistake – pulling over to have it out. One of them got out of his car, though we don’t know if it was the tailgater or the tailgatee.

According to police, as a man walked toward another car to confront the driver, the driver accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Authorities said the other driver told the victim, “serves you right,” and left the scene. He’s not facing any charges, but police would still like to talk with him.

The local yokel had a little advice for the fumble-fingered firearm owner.

“I spoke with the guy who shot himself and I kind of recommended he go for some training on how to carry a firearm,” (Upper Burrell Township Police Chief Kenneth) Pate said. “Sure, the Constitution guarantees the right to carry one, but it doesn’t guarantee you the right to use one.”

Hey, Officer Krupke’s batting .500. Not bad for government work. At least he’s not limping around like our formerly furious driver. We hope receiving an IGOTD trophy doesn’t set him off again. But if it does, maybe he’ll have boned up on rules two and three by then. Maybe.

14 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Upper Burrell Motorist

  1. This doesn’t say if the man who shot himself had a permit to carry the gun or what if any experience he had with a gun.

    All that aside, it’s 3 levels beyond stupid to confront a stranger in traffic and then pull off to the side of the rode to have it out with him. If stupid was a crime both these guys would be convicted felons.

    • Actually the more I think about the good Chief’s comment I kind of have to agree. The Constitutional right only ensures access to the tools. Their proper use is described elswhere. The general (but not only) example is the common law concept of justifyable self defence.
      To paraphrase, ‘Just because you can carry every moment of your life doesn’t mean you can pull the trigger at any moment’.

  2. You should never be pulling out a firearm in an argument unless your life is in danger. I doubt his life was so it serves him right for shooting himself. Seriously people, these people make us rule abiding citizens look really bad.

  3. The Constitution guarantees you the right to carry a firearm, but not to be stupid with one. There. Fixed it for you. That is what I believe the chief meant. Officers carry as well, obviously, but just because they carry does not give them the right to use it when it is not justified. LEOs and citizens definitely mess up from time to time.

    I’ve been to way too damn many road rage incidents, by the way. They usually don’t end well. Is it perverse that I am not terribly upset that this guy shot himself?

    • No, not at all. One of my favorite sayings is that these things are funny as hell as long as they’re not happening to you. I’ve learned to appreciate the parade of dumbass that is modern man.

  4. see you are all right in good old NJ ( i mean that in sarcasm) your not even allowed to have a loaded gun in the vehicle unless you are law enforcement and it cant be out of a case

    • When there are millions of gun owners a few deadheads prove nothing. And under the Bill of Rights and the Constitution I can’t be denied rights because of the wrong doings of others.

      So even if all gun owners in America except me screw up I still have the right to own a gun. Simple enough for even you to understand, Mikey.

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