Have you ever read something so stupid, you cringe hard enough to grind your teeth together?
Well, I was on social media the other day – we’ve all had a lot of extra time for that lately, after all – and I saw something that dumb.
It was one of those gun owner discussions in a firearms group, about how to talk to the cops after a shooting.
“I’d just tell them I was in fear for my life,” was one guy’s response. “It’s my word against his, as long as I’m not stupid enough to leave him alive.”
“Really?” I thought. “Are you sh*&ing me?”
That guy is headed for a JAIL CELL if he ever has to defend himself with a gun.
But the thing is, he’s not alone.
In fact, he thinks he’s being SMART, because he’s only partly understood what legal experts have told him.
There are 3 common mistakes the typical gun owner makes that will get him arrested… mistakes that he THINKS are based on good advice.
Unless you want to go straight to jail for trying to defend yourself, you need to know what they are!
“Good Advice” That Gets Gun Owners ARRESTED
Firearms legal expert Massad Ayoob gave a talk years ago now about some of the legal realities of self-defense.
(Mas’ work on the topic of legally justified use-of-force is legendary in self-defense and firearms circles.)
I was reviewing some of the write-ups of his advice from those days just before seeing that dumb response on social media.
Here are 3 big mistakes that people make when they don’t fully understand good advice from people like Mas.
Chanting “I Was In Fear For My Life”
Gun owners, like the guy whose post I saw, have been taught to tell the police “I was in fear for my life” if they do have to shoot in self-defense.
The idea is that this establishes you were under legitimate threat, and therefore justified in using lethal force.
The problem is…
…If you can’t reasonably explain WHY you were afraid for your life, you just look like you’re chanting a slogan.
In other words, you look trained to parrot that one line… and that won’t help you if the cops think the shoot might not be “good.”
You have to be able to explain why a reasonable person in your situation would also have been in real danger, or you’re not going to be able to justify using deadly force.
If you have to shoot in self-defense, then, make sure you have a reason, and not just a slogan, for why it was necessary.
The “We Don’t Dial 911” Approach
Most gun owners know that hanging a “We Don’t Dial 911” sign on their property is just begging for trouble.
An over-eager prosecutor will seize on something like that in order to make you look like a wannabe gunslinger.
He’ll claim you were just looking for somebody to shoot so, rather than call the cops, you let your gun do the talking.
The thing is, a lot of gun owners (who are smart enough not to have those signs) don’t realize that when they have a home invader or intruder at gunpoint…
…they had better ALSO be on the phone to 911 immediately.
If you delay until it escalates to gunfire – or you don’t call the cops at all – you look like the “bad guy,” like a guy with something to hide.
In fact, this happened here in Texas last year.
A guy shot a home invader… then just went back to bed and called the cops in the morning.
They arrested him and charged him with murder.
If that same guy had called the cops right away, he would be a lot more likely to be seen as a home defender protecting himself…
…And not a cold-blooded killer who can plug a guy and then get a good night’s sleep.
If you have to draw your gun in self-defense, make sure you call 911 without delay the moment it is safe for you to do so.
Getting “Too Tactical” At The Front Door
This one is a little more subtle, but it’s very important.
I saw one of those “How Tactical Are You” quizzes that rated the reader “more tactical” if he always answered the front door with a weapon.
And you’d think that if somebody is pounding on your door at 3 in the morning, you had probably better have a gun in your hand when you go to see what it is, right?
Well, the problem is, if somebody knocks on your door in the middle of the night, it might already be the cops.
If you throw open your door and bring your gun on target, he might respond by shooting at you.
(That happened in Fort Worth, when a cop went to a woman’s home late at night and shot her because she was holding a gun.)
By all means, be armed when you go to see who’s knocking on your door late at night…
…but understand that you don’t yet know if he’s friend or foe, and drawing your gun might put you in more danger if you do it prematurely.
Now, if all this sounds complicated, that’s because it is.
Our legal system is a nightmare for gun owners, and there is a LOT to learn.
But learning how to stay out of jail does NOT have to be hard.
In fact, I have an entire DVD that covers the basics, and it’s completely FREE.
(All I ask is that you pay for shipping.)
Don’t wait on this, and don’t create a situation that could put you in jail when you finally defend yourself.
Learn how the law works so that slimy lawyers and prosecutors – or just plain dangerous “good advice” – can’t turn YOU into the “bad guy.”