Gun owner John Pina of Nashua, N.H., is in hot water with authorities after trying to break up a fight between two dogs.
According to reports, 46-year-old Pina was outside of his home when he spotted the dogs fighting. It is unclear whether or not one of the dogs belonged to Pina. In any event, Pina allegedly shot two rounds from his handgun into the air in order to scare off the dogs.
Nearby police responded to the sound of shots fired and promptly arrested Pina once they pieced together what had happened. They slapped him with a reckless endangerment charge, which is a class B felony.
Why all the fuss about two shots that did not hit anything? Well, as Isaac Newton taught the world, everything that goes up must come down. The bullets that were fired from Pina’s weapon could have fallen back to the Earth and hurt somebody. Luckily, nobody was injured as a result of Pina’s carelessness.
Pina probably should have simply fired the shots into the ground or – better yet – not fired any shots at all. It is unclear what exactly transpired between the two dogs, but it is somewhat difficult to justify shooting a gun because of a dog fight. Pina might have a better defense in court of one of the dogs belonged to Pina, and if that dog was seriously at risk of dying during the fight.
Pina’s relatively simple crime carries a hefty sentence. The maximum penalty for reckless endangerment is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
What do you think about Pina’s case? Should the state throw the book at Pina for risking the lives of everybody around him? Or is this a perfect example of no harm, no foul?