He Just Wanted to Go Home to His Family

Discharging a firearm in an uncontrolled environment always carries a certain amount of risk. This is just one or many reasons why it’s smart to avoid deadly force when possible. But law enforcers often have a different attitude. Many law enforcers seem to think that even minor situations should be escalated to deadly force:

A deputy with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office fatally shot a groundhog in Eldersburg on Sunday in an incident captured on video that has been widely shared on social media.

The deputy stopped when he observed the groundhog acting oddly, department spokesman Cpl. Jon Light said.

“It doesn’t appear that it had bitten anyone at that point,” Light said.

It is unclear whether the groundhog was rabid, Light said.

If an animal appears to be acting oddly, it’s probably smart to call animal control since individuals who deal specifically with animals are more likely to know whether something is wrong with the animal or if it’s seemingly odd behavior is actually normal. What isn’t smart is getting out of your vehicle and approaching it. What’s even dumber is needlessly discharging a firearm at it when there are other people in the vicinity.

With all of that said, at least this law enforcer waited until the animal was actually acting aggressively against him (possibly because the animal wasn’t happy with the enforcer acting aggressively towards it) before he shot it. That amount of restraint is far more than is commonly shown by his fellows in situations like this.