To lose a husband, father, son, brother or friend because of an accident or illness is painful enough, but what must be even worse is to lose him because of a shooting.

The family of Leon Kelley is forever deserving of condolences and regret at the ending of his life due to Mike Kimball’s unfortunate use of a gun in a threatening confrontation.

I’ve been a friend and neighbor of Mike Kimball for many years and was shocked, as were all who knew him, when the shooting occurred.

Why on earth did he have a gun? Like some others with experience of theft or equipment damage in the fishing business, it is not unusual to carry a gun; shocked as I am, I know that.

But were it not for the gun, Mike would not now be serving a prison sentence for the death of the man who assaulted him.

Why did this happen? My take on that awful life-taking event is that Mike’s fear of Mr. Kelley’s growing-in-fierceness assault on him took over. That fear – and the knowledge that he was no match, at 70 years old, for Mr. Kelley’s superior physical strength in an attack – are what motivated Mike to reach for his gun and pull the trigger to stop Mr. Kelley. Not one but three shots were fired.

I firmly believe that Mike’s fear and astonishment at what was happening resulted in those two following shots. His overwrought, out-of-the-ballpark fearful state of mind caused a total inability to control his trigger finger after the first shot, with shots two and three occurring automatically, unwilled by him.

So sad and unintended is the outcome from response to intimidating aggression. By nature, Mike Kimball is not a killer. His sentence deserves reconsideration.

Loretta MacKinnon