Jon Gosselin (courtesy tmz.com)

I see no reason to threaten a photographer with lethal force—unless the photographer poses an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm to myself or other innocent life, and imminence is imminent. Then again I’m a single father to one girl (with three in absentia), not eight. More to the point, I am not now nor have I ever been a reality TV star. So I don’t know what the twin pressures of sextuplets [sic] and faded celebrity can do to man. In this case, it’s created the world’s worst draw-stroke and/or the most ridiculous gun grip by a non-gangsta. And, for good measure, a negligent discharge (a.k.a., a “warning shot”). “It is well within my rights under Pennsylvania law when someone is trespassing on private property,” Gosselin told nydailynews.com. That’s as maybe. One thing for sure: the former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star doesn’t have an Emmy on his shelf. An IGOTD trophy will have to suffice.

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38 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Jon Gosselin

  1. Here I thought this was a poor way to draw–but now I know, in reality, it is a “withdraw”. My mistake.

    “I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun, which I withdrew and used to fire a warning shot AWAY from the paparazza,” Gosselin told TMZ.

    Now, if he could only “withfire” that warning shot.

  2. “The gossip site originally reported that she planned to contact local police Saturday regarding the scary encounter but later it was said she only alerted them that the shot was fired in the air.

    The photog did not file the report as she mostly likely would have put herself at risk to be charged for criminal trespass.” – http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/john-gosselin-pulls-gun-paparazzo-report-article-1.1463293#ixzz2fdbCcnMy

    Shooting in the air is even stoopider than just firing a “warning shot”.

    Sounds like the two deserve each other.

  3. As a PA resident I can tell you he was NOT within his rights. Brandishing and irresponsible discharge of a firearm. Both misdemeanors in PA. Just because we have Stand Your Ground doesn’t mean you can wave a gun around at anyone you don’t like.

    • As a fellow PA resident I’d love for you to point me to the PA statute which defines either “brandishing” or “irresponsible discharge of a firearm” as a crime, misdemeanor or otherwise. (Hint, you won’t find them.)

      What he did was foolish, and potentially illegal under certain statutes. But neither “brandishing” nor “irresponsible discharge of a firearm” are found in the PA statutes as such.

    • I second this. Not only as a pa resident, but also a PA LEO. There is criminal statute in title 18 that defines “brandishing” There is how ever reckless endangerment, buy confront a trespasser who is on your property and chasing you would be a tough charge to make stick.

  4. I’m going to get very vocal here. Not only did I grow up with Jon, but I live within walking distance of his old home (the TV house). When the show was on, this place was a zoo. It’s a rural setting and the photogs would block the roads with their cars. They had tree stands set up, on private property, to try and snap photos. This would not be the first photog that was chased away a gun point by an angry property owner who has to chase off a defiant trespasser.

    Welcome to rural PA, this is not the sunset strip or some posh LA restaurant. Here, a no trespassing sign means you’re going to meet a property owner who is armed and not happy about your actions. Given that we’re in a hunting season, you have to assume that trespassers may well be armed.

  5. Methinks eight li’l babes will be changing their names when they reach majority.

    Ugh! Yuck! Bleah!

    That said, hereabouts a warning shot (into the ground to avoid killing someone a few furlongs away) is hardly unknown.

    I imagine that rural Pensylvania would be similar.

    The only good paparazzo is one who’s taking a dirt nap.

    • EDIT: While many will say that a warning shot is a tactical no no, I beg to differ — at least under certain circumstances.

      If the creep one is facing doesn’t have a gun in hand, flipping an empty will show that your weapon is indeed loaded, ready and operational. It also shows that you’ll not shriek and drop it, and that you’re not afraid to make a scene.

      Sometimes driving someone away — paparazzi, Jehova’s Witnesses, kids out bashing mailboxes et cetera — is preferable to feeding ’em a lead supplement. Less paperwork, y’know.

      Showing an extreme irritant that you’re in dead earnest — especially when you’re not hampered by a “no discharge zone,” as are many hicks (er, country dwellers) — can end a situation without bloodshed, bloodied knuckles or a sore larynx.

      Of course, this doesn’t apply to carjackers, home invaders, armed robbers et cetera.

      My 2¢.

      • I absolutely agree… warning shots are acceptable for trespassers in rural areas. That is about it though and you had better be sure they’re not armed and as you said, not into the air.

        I’m still wondering when Arabs will stop considering that a legitimate way to celebrate with their Kalashnikovs. I guess it is just not as much fun to shoot into the dirt.

        • If you shoot a full automatic rifle into the ground you run a good chance of someone in the immediate area or yourself getting hit by a ricochet. Shoot into the air and the endangered people will be located somewhere else and probably no one you care about.

    • Methinks eight li’l babes will be changing their names when they reach majority.

      Yup. They’ll be known as Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy and Rudolph. Rudolph is the one with the nose.

  6. I feel like a lot of the people who are calling him irresponsible for chasing a photog off his property are the same folks who have said things like “my property, my rules” and “the lock on this gate is for your safety, not mine” in the past.

    If someone is trespassing on your property, and they don’t leave when asked, and the local cops (I don’t know this, but it seems likely) have a “they can only do so much” attitude because of your fame and the photogs’ persistence, at what point are you justified in “repelling boarders?”

    • As soon as thar nubbies show o’er the gun’les, poke yer boat hook through the scupper.

      If they’ll not see reason, make ’em kiss the keel, I say! Arrggghhhh!

    • I don’t think Mr. Jon qualifies for the IGOTD today.

      It sounds like the only mistake he made here was firing a warning shot up, and not into the ground. I’ll leave the lawyering to the smarter people from PA above.

      From what Andy said in his comments, this guy has been harassed constantly for the past couple of years, and perhaps this was literally his last remaining course of action (before he outright shot somebody).

      If I had been harassed on my rural property (of which I have none, mind you) by photographers coming onto the property for years, I would probably start openly carrying a firearm too.

      • You can see the old TV house if you google 298 heffner rd Wernersville, pa. It sits among mega estates, farms, and houses. The house featured in the show is a 7000 sq ft home on 25 acres.

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