“A man was arguing with his girlfriend in a car just outside the Woodgate apartment complex at 3581 W. Cobble Ridge Drive,” ksl.com reports. “As the argument got more heated, a man walking his dog passed by and tried to help out or intervene in the situation, and asked the female if she needed help.” Oh yeah that’s a great idea. Interject yourself in the middle of a domestic dispute between two unknown parties. At 1am. “An ensuing argument between the two men quickly turned into a fight. ‘It was apparent that there was quite a physical altercation between these two,’ [West Jordan officer J.C.] Holt said.” And here’s the passively constructed money shot . . .
The man walking his dog was armed with a handgun, and at some point during the fight the gun discharged, striking the other man in the hip, according to Holt. He said that the bullet just missed the femoral artery.
Holt said there was a great deal of bleeding at the scene due to the nature of the injury.
The man was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. Holt said the man is now stable, but is lucky to be alive. The wound is still serious and he is still undergoing treatment.
“Any time we’re dealing with an injury like that, obviously that’s a life threatening injury, just with the major blood vessels down there.”
The man walking his dog was also wounded from blows to the face, according to Holt, and received a serious cut above the eye. he was also transported to a local hospital.
The woman was not injured in the altercation.
Well of course not. In the same way that there are plenty of people who died trying to save a dog from drowning—only to drown. And the dog lives, anyway.
There’s no getting around it: the natural human urge to do the right thing can have disastrous consequences.
Gun owners have a particular need to keep this in mind. No matter how peaceful an armed citizen’s original intentions when intervening to protect property or [seemingly innocent] life, interpersonal confrontations can quickly escalate to the point where you need to use deadly force to save your life.
Just ask George Zimmerman.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve got no beef with armed citizens putting themselves in harm’s way when they encounter criminal activity. As a single parent, I would think thrice about risking my child’s happiness (i.e. orphaning or bankrupting her) before clearing leather for a stranger. But I respect people who put their ass on the line for civilization’s sake.
That said, gun owner who places themselves in harm’s way for people they don’t know in a situation that isn’t 100 percent clear are acting irresponsibly. By calling the cops, by being a good observer, a concealed carry licensee observing a crime can have a positive impact on law enforcement.
You don’t know what you don’t know, and what you don’t know can hurt you. But we do know that the unidentified Utah dog walker now faces the possibility of civil action, the loss of his gun rights and some pretty bad dreams. As always, our IGOTD statuette will offer its recipient cold comfort in the days ahead. [h/t Phil]