An argument over baseball may have sparked a fight that left Brian Ludwig of Calgary dead early Sunday. In an instant, one man's life ended and another's changed forever.
One man is dead. Another faces jail if found guilty of killing him.
One punch is reportedly all it took to kill Brian Ludwig, a 41-year-old Calgary man with two kids. Scott Robert Hooser, 27, has been charged with manslaughter.
The altercation outside a Calgary pub appears to have started with a debate over Toronto Blue Jays pitchers. Some of the patrons at the pub – including Ludwig – were gathered there after playing in a charity golf tournament.
Ludwig was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a blunt force trauma.
How can a death be any more senseless? A man willing to help out and play golf for charity and a discussion about baseball. A good dad according to friends. One punch and he's gone.
"He was a tremendous guy and a great father of two," a member of his family told a reporter. "He was a great father all around."
News reports indicate Ludwig was felled by a single sucker punch to the back of his head, although nothing has been proven in court of law.
If convicted, Hooser faces serious time in prison. He is expected back in court on Friday, which is the same day friends of Ludwig will gather for a memorial service.
Everyone should know that a single punch is all it takes to kill someone. It doesn't always kill, but there is a chance and in this case led to the manslaughter charges.
Even if there are people out there unaware that one blow to the head can kill, there is no excuse. You are responsible for your own actions, even when you are drunk.
Canadian society no longer accepts people getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking because of the risks. There's no guarantee a drunk driver will kill someone every time they set out on the road but the risk is there, so we penalize the action because of its serious potential to harm others.
Maybe judges should start considering punching and kicking the same way. Any given bar fight could kill, so why not treat each as an attempted murder if the victim isn't there voluntarily? The realization that any fight could result in serious charges would help keep the cap on people prone to violence.
What a judge will have to decide in the Calgary case is if Ludwig agreed to fight someone. That could mitigate the penalty. Based on reports, it looks like Ludwig went outside the bar but it may have been to help break up a fight, not start one. If Ludwig really did take a sucker punch to the back of his head, it would be difficult to see how he was involved voluntarily.
If a single punch can kill, should all punches be considered at attempt to murder? How can drunk people be deterred from getting in fights?
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