reasonable self defense:
I’ve received many responses to yesterday’s Quip about lethal self-defense, as you might imagine, and I thank all who took the time to get back with me.
Here are some particulars that need to be added:
13) Don’t shoot unless you have to! It all comes down to that. When you need to shoot immediately in order to prevent yourself from being crippled/murdered, it will probably be blatantly obvious! When it isn’t, you probably don’t need to shoot!
14) When you need to shoot, shoot with sufficient volume and accuracy necessary to produce lethal wound(s) and thus finish the fight quickly. The longer this fight goes on, the more deadly risk you expose yourself to. When there must be a lethal response on your part to a deadly attack, get the fight over with as quickly as you can. In legal parlance, you can’t shoot someone in a “non-deadly” manner, nor should you try!
15) Don’t approach downed/wounded suspects. When a suspect has been wounded, even when he is on the ground and not moving, stay well away from him. He is still extremely dangerous!
16) Whatever you do, or don’t do, it won’t be “perfect.” Understand and expect that many will come along afterward and point-out where, and how, your could have done it better. And, they’ll probably be right! Happily, the law doesn’t require you to be “perfect.” It does require you to be “reasonable,” however the System chooses to define the term.
17) Join ACLDN (Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network)! They are a powerful ally, and one you’ll be glad you have!
Some have asked for an expanded explanation of how to deal with responding police. For a competent explanation, you really need to come to a Class, but maybe the following, will be helpful:
When confronting police in the aftermath of a lethal-force event, have no guns, nor other weapons, in your hands, nor showing.
Your lines are:
- Officers, I'm glad you’re here!
- I’m the one who called.
- Those men attacked us.
- They tried to murder us.
- We were in fear for our lives.
- I will sign a complaint.
- I will be happy to answer your questions, but not until my lawyer is here.
- I don’t feel well, and I may be injured. I need to go to a hospital, now.
Each of those points, of course, needs expansion, but that is the base scenario.
Even when you don’t believe you’re physically injured, it is a good idea to get to a hospital to be checked-over. You may be injured and not realize it!
I suggest pointing out to police:
- Ongoing threats
- Articles of evidence that may not be obvious
- Witnesses who may have seen what happened but are not obvious.
Aside from those exceptions, silence is your best ally in the short term. Your lawyer may eventually permit you to be interviewed by police, but only after you’ve had an opportunity to compose yourself, and even then, only in his presence.
I hope the foregoing clears-up some questions, but none of it represents an adequate substitute for attending a class.
This is serious business, and you need to approach it seriously!