5 Jan 18
A student asks:
“I’m in my 70s. When I’m the victim of an unprovoked attack by a younger, bigger, stronger person(s) who is using only his fists, elbows, knees, and/or shod feet, how much of a pommeling am I expected to absorb, and for how long, before I employ deadly force in order to stop the attack and thus prevent myself from being injured/murdered?
We have seen several instances where a single blow from a fist to an unprotected head proved fatal, many others where such a blow caused permanent, disabling injury and/or disfigurement.
Of course, ‘injury’ is easy to demonstrate AFTER it has been inflicted. But, the object of legitimate self-defense is to PREVENT such lethal/disabling outcomes. How can I persuasively demonstrate what didn’t happen?”
No matter whom you ask, you won’t get a very satisfactory answer to that question, and mine (as follows) won’t be very satisfactory either!
We all look for “safety” in “the law.” We ask ourselves, “When I strictly follow the law can I know that I will never be prosecuted?”
In fact many naive instructors keep reiterating, “Know the law,” as if that were even possible, and as if that represents a guarantee that bad things will never happen to you.
If you were to carefully read every law, ordinance, rule “guideline,” and regulation that could ever possibly apply to you as a gun-owner/carrier, particularly as you travel around the Country, there would not be enough years left in your life to complete the task!
Even then, the task would be largely and exercise in futility, because we no longer have a “nation of laws.” We have a “nation of agendas.”
Some laws, like our immigration laws for example, are openly, deliberately, and contemptuously violated every day, with no consequence! Laws against possession and use of marijuana are openly violated in entire states, with no consequence.
So then, what is “the law” when it can be ignored by state governments? What other “laws” can we all ignore?
I am today seeing officer-involved shootings which are completely justified, by any standard, not only being the subject of civil suits, where cities don’t even put up a fight, as they dole-out untold millions of taxpayer dollars to the “bereaved” families of vicious, violent, (and mercifully dead) criminals, but these innocent officers, who acted properly and did correctly the job we pay them to do, are also being viciously prosecuted by politically-active prosecutors, who cynically see an unjust conviction merely as a career stepping-stone.
So, when you’re involved in a self-defense shooting, what will be important?
The factor that will most sway prosecutors is usually the way the event is reported in the papers and other news media.
When the headline is, “Local Gun-Nut Slays Honor Student,” you can bet the system will be under immense pressure to prosecute, while actual facts of the case shrink to irrelevance!
When the shooting is cross-racial, hang on to your hat! You may find yourself being prosecuted merely in an effort to mollify rioters!
When the shooting takes place during an election year, hang on to your hat! A political candidate may push for prosecution merely in an effort to court votes from a particular minority.
We saw this exact phenomenon in the Zimmerman Case in FL in 2008!
So, where is “safety?”
There is none, but here are some things I can recommend:
1) Be a good person! Heaven knows none of us are perfect, but good people ever strive towards goodness, decency, and personal honesty. At the same time, be very good at minding your own business!
2) (a) Don’t go to stupid places. (b) Don’t associate with stupid people. (c) Don’t do stupid things. (d) Be in bed by 10.00pm (your own bed!). (e) Have a “normal” appearance. (f) Don’t fail the attitude test!
3) When you go armed, keep weapon(s) discreetly out of sight. Don’t talk about your guns. Don’t “show” your gun(s) to anyone. Don’t brandish your gun except for good cause.
4) When you must shoot, use your sights, press your trigger carefully, and hit with every shot.
5) Stop shooting when the threat(s) is clearly neutralized.
6) Don’t chase suspects!
7) Don’t flee the scene, except as necessary to preserve your own safety
8) Be first to the phone! Report the incident to police as soon as practicable.
9) Know what to say, and what not to say, to police. Know your lines!
10) Get your lawyer involved as quickly as possible
11) Be prepared for an unpleasant aftermath, endless media lies, PTSD, complete disruption of your life. Don’t expect anyone to be sympathetic, nor “understanding.”
12) Like any traumatic event, you’ll never really “get over it,” but as days and weeks pass, you’ll be able to put it in perspective, and move on.
I realize the foregoing is inadequate and grossly oversimplified, but it may be helpful.
There are no guarantees!