Every neighborhood has one: someone who takes it upon him- or herself to “keep an eye on things.” Not that being seated by the window all day every day peering through the curtains is always a bad thing. Sometimes the self-appointed neighborhood watcher spots activity that needs spotting. Mostly they’re just cranky old get-offa-my-lawn types, nothing more. But John C. Kavan is a curtain twitcher with a difference. He has a gun. Well, had one, anyway . . .
According to triblocal.com, Kavan was driving last week when he came upon a stranded motorist standing by his car and asked if he needed help.
While the man said he ran out of gas, he was able to restart his car. He told Kavan he was waiting for friends to return with more gas, police said.
According to police reports, Kavan told him to leave and pointed a .38 caliber revolver at him. As the motorist drove away, a shot from the handgun shattered the man’s rear driver’s-side window, police said.
It’s no mystery why Kavan stopped, or told the mystery man to start his car, or instructed him to piss off. There’d been a rash of burglaries in Kavan’s hood; the self-appointed guardian had taken his citizen policing on the road. In Kavan’s mind one plus one equalled two.
When questioned by the police, Kavan told officers he only wanted to scare the man. Oops! There goes the first rule of post-defensive (or even offensive) gun use: STFU (Shut the F Up). Post-incident, never tell a policeman anything other than “My life was in danger.” Get a lawyer. STFU.
Before that, Kavan broke the CTCF rule: Call the Cops First. Even if Kavan had “just” brandished his gun at the alleged interloper, he should have called the police immediately. Lest the bad guy do, well, what he did. Putting the legal gun owner behind the eight ball.
Before that, Kavan broke the FCTC rule: First Call the Cops. If you see something suspicious, drop the dime and let the police do their job. In almost every case, dialing 911 before—or instead of—engaging a potentially violent perp saves you the possibility of posing for a mug shot. Or any kind of shot, really (the only gunfight you’re guaranteed to win is the one you don’t have).
All of which makes him a Stupid Gun Owner of the Day. It was Kavan’s decision to fire a parting shot at the non-gas-seeking motorist that elevated him to IGOTD territory. Shooting at someone [allegedly] trying to leave the scene of a crime is illegal (in most states), immoral (in most religions) and wallet-fattening (for any lawyer).
If nothing else, Kavan’s errant shot could have killed an innocent civilian.
I doubt Kavan was trying to kill the not-so-stranded motorist. He was only telling someone he didn’t know to get off of his lawn. Metaphorically speaking. And now that an Illinois Firearms Owner’s ID will no longer be taking up precious space in his wallet, Kavan will be able to fill that new void with a freshly minted IGOTD membership card. Carry it proudly, John. You’ve earned it.