Gun-like Gesture Ends Up In PA Court
Manor Township – When Stephen Kirchner, 64, used an empty handed gun-like gesture at his neighbor back in June of 2018, his neighbors called the police because they were afraid. Of what, we have no idea, but because his gesture was “gun-like,” they felt “insecure.”
The neighbors had been in a dispute for a long time before the incident. So when Kirchner pointed his fingers at the neighbor and pretended to pull the imaginary trigger and simulated recoil, they freaked out. Just a minute prior, one neighbor had flipped Mr. Kirchner the bird with both hands.
Lovely neighborhood, time to move. A common hand gesture is now a crime. Think about it. Back in the “old days,” we used to laugh those kinds of things off and walk away. Not any more.
At any rate, police were called and Kirchner was given a misdemeanor citation for Disorderly Conduct. The case landed in Pennsylvania Superior Court after he was found guilty and lodged an appeal.
The action made one neighbor feel “extremely threatened” and he called 911. Another neighbor said she saw Kirchner “put his finger up like he was going to shoot [the neighbor]”, “insecure,” prompting her to call 911.
Kirchner was issued a citation for disorderly conduct following the incident. He said in district court he made the “gunlike” gesture after his neighbor gave him “the finger with both hands.”
The 64-year-old was found guilty, but appealed, arguing the hand gesture didn’t “create a hazardous or physically offensive condition.” Kirchner said he didn’t mean to cause public alarm, and there wasn’t really any harm done to the neighbor or others.
On Tuesday, however, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania found the gesture “served no legitimate purpose, and recklessly risked provoking a dangerous altercation.”
Kirchner was ordered to pay a $100 fine and court costs.
Dear Mr. Kirchner: in today’s world of snowflakes and sissies, it’s best to either move out of that neighborhood and find some real people, or don’t even pretend you’re going to point your empty fingers at people. And dang, his fingers weren’t even loaded.
Here’s the surveillance video.
Featured photo: screenshot from surveillance video.