September 03, 2019
Pennsylvania’s courts prove once again, they are totally insane when it comes to guns - even imaginary ones.
According to WGAL News 8, making a “gun-like hand gesture” with your hand, is now a crime in PA. Stemming from a long-standing dispute between two neighbors, one Stephen Kirchner, was caught on security camera footage making a, “gun-like hand gesture” with his hand towards his neighbor after an argument.
Another neighbor who witnessed Kirchner’s gesture called 911, and Kirchner was taken into custody.
One year after being charged, Kirchner attempted to appeal the court’s decision because it, “did not cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition” but the court stood by their original ruling.
While this is definitely a stupid decision on the court’s part, it is at least somewhat understandable given the long history of confrontations between Kirchner and his neighbor. Especially given that said neighbor has a no contact restraining order against him.
Still, this sets a dangerous precedent for future cases. One that could easily be intentionally misconstrued to get people in legal trouble over what is often a sign of affection. And by the court’s interpretation, does flipping someone off now constitute sexual misconduct?
Regardless of how someone feels about the case, blurring the lines between actual offenses, and imagined ones is a very slippery slope. Hopefully, this case gets another, successful appeal in the future - even if the defendant isn’t a stellar individual.