Handling Someone Who Might Not Understand

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Thread: Handling Someone Who Might Not Understand

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    Handling Someone Who Might Not Understand

    As a mother I have many fellow mother acquaintances and friends whom I socialize with that are not as keen on the idea of guns and self defense as I am. They are good people and good mothers and a few have even expressed interest in taking a handgun class with me but some have openly expressed their dislike for firearms in general and their distaste in carrying or even owning firearms or other defensive weaponry.

    Of course it's easy to see how they may also not understand disparity of or lethal force and when it is justified, etc.

    No one in my circle of mom-friends has asked me if I carry (even though they know I teach permit-to-carry classes and have a permit) and my suspicion is that many of them simply do not wish to confirm whether I carry a firearm around them and their children.

    Of course, the truth is that I usually am armed when we get together.

    However, we do a LOT of things together. Lots of parks, play dates, field trips to places our children will enjoy, etc. At least once, if not 2-3 times a week a few of us and our kids get together for something.

    A conversation I had a while back with another woman prompted my thinking of this scenario and it is applicable to anyone who socializes with someone who is either anti, on-the-fence or just unfamiliar with self defense, guns, what have you and perhaps a bit naive.

    You are out with such a friend/family member/coworker/acquaintance and in a parking lot headed to your vehicle. Let's assume you've car pooled (your car or his/hers doesn't matter) and as you approach your vehicle you are approached by someone who produces a knife and threatens your life.

    You are justified in using lethal force and through the course of events you end up shooting the individual in question (for the sake of this scenario the circumstances of the encounter are not going to be questioned and we're going to say it was a good shoot in accordance to your local laws).

    Your companion is quite understandably shaken up.

    You make the 911 call but as you are waiting for authorities to arrive your companion begins to come unhinged and even a bit hysterical saying things like, "Why did you do that? It was just a knife. You don't know he would have hurt us. What have you done?"

    When police arrive you do the prudent thing in keeping your remarks as limited as possible, only indicating that you were in fear for your life and pointing out evidence, but you can hear your friend giving a full rambling statement to include things like, "I don't know why s/he shot him. I didn't think he was going to hurt us. Why did he even have a gun?" etc.

    What do you do?
    How will those kinds of statements affect you?
    How do you think (or know, (if you are familiar with the investigative process)) those kinds of statements would affect the investigation?
    Would you attempt to instruct your companion in what to say/do while waiting for authorities to arrive or do you think that would be considered interfering with a witness and not want to risk it?
    What would you do (if anything) to calm/control your companion while awaiting authorities?

    And before anyone goes posting something akin to "Choose your acquaintances more wisely," or "I wouldn't socialize with friends like that," let's just assume that at some point in your life and/or future you are forced to have at least one acquaintance who doesn't see perfect eye-to-eye with you on self defense and you have a moment of weakness and are caught in public wish such an individual.

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    Wow, Lima, interesting scenario. I am not an investigator, but I can't see any good coming from trying to coach your friend in what to say. Sooner or later that will come out and probably won't do you any good. I would do as Mas suggests, then clam up and wait for my lawyer to advise me.
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    PB2
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    Whether or not the person you were with thought you were in mortal danger is relatively irrelevant. If you thought you were, then you reacted correctly.

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    You make the 911 call but as you are waiting for authorities to arrive your companion begins to come unhinged and even a bit hysterical saying things like, "Why did you do that? It was just a knife. You don't know he would have hurt us. What have you done?"

    When police arrive you do the prudent thing in keeping your remarks as limited as possible, only indicating that you were in fear for your life and pointing out evidence, but you can hear your friend giving a full rambling statement to include things like, "I don't know why s/he shot him. I didn't think he was going to hurt us. Why did he even have a gun?" etc.

    What do you do?
    How will those kinds of statements affect you?
    How do you think (or know, (if you are familiar with the investigative process)) those kinds of statements would affect the investigation?
    Would you attempt to instruct your companion in what to say/do while waiting for authorities to arrive or do you think that would be considered interfering with a witness and not want to risk it?

    And before anyone goes posting something akin to "Choose your acquaintances more wisely," or "I wouldn't socialize with friends like that," let's just assume that at some point in your life and/or future you are forced to have at least one acquaintance who doesn't see perfect eye-to-eye with you on self defense and you have a moment of weakness and are caught in public wish such an individual.
    You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney...do what most of my clients do - Hire one, then stiff him on the bill (Yes I'm bitter and disenchanted...)

    Nothing good can come of you running your mouth.

    That's especially true in the aftermath of a use of force incident.

    Their is a disgusting tendancy that people seem to have - the belief they can talk their way out of a bad situation.

    Well...ya can't.

    I know, I know...

    Self defense incidents aren't criminal cases, and different rules apply, and people who have done right should be able to speak without fear of the police...castle doctrine...whatever.

    In the real world, it's only a self defense incident AFTER the police and the prosecutor agree it was a justified use of force.

    Till them, you are a criminal defendant.

    Also, think on this...anything you say in the aftermath of a SD situation is admissable against you under the hearsay rules as:

    a) Statements against interest
    b) Excited utterances
    c) Present sense impressions

    And that's just off the top of my head (It's been a while since I played with the rules of evidence, and I know I'm leaving out stuff.)

    Know what is admissable that helps you?

    Not a bloddy thing. Nothing. Nada.

    That's because while your statements are considered especially truthful if they are the effects of adrenaline/shock/the situation...nevermind if they are ACCURATE...they can't assist YOU in the aftermath of the situation should it go to court.

    You are best served by proper previous planning to prevent poor performance.

    That means know your rights, and know how to decline to make a statement (beyond the absolute minimum, if you absolutely can't resist talking...and whatever you think is the minimum, cut it by 75%...) without being confrontational and having counsel selected prior to the incident.

    See Tactical-Life.com » JUSTIFIED SHOOTING AFTERMATH

    (They were supposed to put my picture in that article...and I had a really good one which I sent to them...but NO...they went with the ATM photo...)

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    MitchellCT, That's all well and good for you! But what if your acquaintance is the one running his/her mouth? What kind of affect can his/her statements have on your case?

    While you are sitting there are quiet as a church mouse s/he is telling the police you just murdered someone. Not that you can do/say anything in your own defense at that time but how much credence will his/her statements have since they were involved in the situation?

    Especially if those things are damnable towards you?

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    EdC
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    Friend: "Why did you do that?"
    You: "I was in fear for my life," and not a single word more.

    I'd let my acquantance run his or her mouth. I wouldn't like what they are saying, but anything I say can and will be used against me. Bad that my friend is a blabbermouth, badder if I am.
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    mkh
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    Tough situation but I think what matters most was your frame of mind. You were in fear for your life and that is the justifiable grounds for the shooting. A good lawyer can prove that you were more qualified to make the determination than your niave friend who is blissfully ignorant of these things.

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    I'd probably ask in passing about how these people feel about a threat to their lives like you describe. At least you'll get an idea of their mindset (victim, someone who will fight back, etc).

    I can't see anyone I know (anti or otherwise) coming unhinged if I just saved our lives from a man wielding a knife.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    MitchellCT, That's all well and good for you! But what if your acquaintance is the one running his/her mouth? What kind of affect can his/her statements have on your case?

    While you are sitting there are quiet as a church mouse s/he is telling the police you just murdered someone. Not that you can do/say anything in your own defense at that time but how much credence will his/her statements have since they were involved in the situation?

    Especially if those things are damnable towards you?
    ANYTHING you say...including what you say to your friend to try to shut her up...can be used against you.

    Hysterical ramblings of your friend aren't the core of the case. You are. Your actions, your decissions, your thought process, and your statements are the thing at issue.

    She's going off about why did you have to shoot him...so what?

    Really, so what?

    She's confirming the guy had a knife. She's confirming his location (10 feet away...) and she's confirming your acted with lethal force.

    GREAT!!!

    Knives are lethal force.
    Knives within contact distance are lethal force.
    You are going with a self defense claim, right? So she confirms you shot him - you weren't going to deny it anyway!

    You give up nothing.

    You gain a lot. Why shut her up?

    You be silent. You be sober.

    You be in shock, that you were in fear of your life, and that you understand you just had a serious incident, and would like some time to compose yourself, and are sorry but don't think you can (sob, sniffle, sob) talk about it right now. And no, you aren't alright.

    Because (and I tremble to say this to a female...) it IS all about you.
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    There is nothing you can do with regard to what someone else says. Make only the statement you would make without their negative statements.

    I think that the answers to your questions are going to a large extent depend on the credibility and weight given to the statements of your friend by the initial investigating officers, the detectives and the DA.

    Depending on the above, their statements as interpreted by the DA may even be enough to require you to go to trial. In which case it would be up to your attorney to discredit their knowledge of self defense and perception of the necessity of your actions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    Because (and I tremble to say this to a female...) it IS all about you.
    By the way, that doesn't mean JD has to buy you a sports car or a mink coat.

    Just making that clear...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    ANYTHING you say...including what you say to your friend to try to shut her up...can be used against you.

    Hysterical ramblings of your friend aren't the core of the case. You are. Your actions, your decissions, your thought process, and your statements are the thing at issue.

    She's going off about why did you have to shoot him...so what?

    Really, so what?

    She's confirming the guy had a knife. She's confirming his location (10 feet away...) and she's confirming your acted with lethal force.

    GREAT!!!

    Knives are lethal force.
    Knives within contact distance are lethal force.
    You are going with a self defense claim, right? So she confirms you shot him - you weren't going to deny it anyway!

    You give up nothing.

    You gain a lot. Why shut her up?

    You be silent. You be sober.

    You be in shock, that you were in fear of your life, and that you understand you just had a serious incident, and would like some time to compose yourself, and are sorry but don't think you can (sob, sniffle, sob) talk about it right now. And no, you aren't alright.

    Because (and I tremble to say this to a female...) it IS all about you.
    That clarifies it much better. I was thinking along these lines but good to get some "confirmation."

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    Great scenario. Great responses. Thanks all.
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    Speaking as a father of a 3 and a half year old, these questions are very relevant, but very hard to answer. I will do my best...

    What do you do? Not much you can do. A witness is a witness. That is one of the risks we run associating with other people. We can not control the actions of others. All you can do is what the lawyer I presume you have consulted has told you & ensure that you call your lawyer as soon as the incident happens.

    How will those kinds of statements affect you? Could well end up with you behind bars, may not impact you at all.

    How do you think (or know, (if you are familiar with the investigative process)) those kinds of statements would affect the investigation? See the last answer above.

    Would you attempt to instruct your companion in what to say/do while waiting for authorities to arrive or do you think that would be considered interfering with a witness and not want to risk it? I would not want to end up looking like I was attempting to coerce a witness.

    What would you do (if anything) to calm/control your companion while awaiting authorities? Perhaps attempt to explain that you were thankful to be alive and that you were terrified for your life. Anything further could be viewed as coercion.

    The thing I hate about hypothetical situations is that they are hypothetical. There are too many variables. It is impossible to tell what a single person will do, especially under stress.

    (For the nerds like me out there...) The great Isaac Asimov wrote, in the "Foundation" series, that the study of Psycho-History could predict the future of large groups, but even the greatest psych-historian could not predict the nature of individuals. The path of a society could be narrowed easily, but an individual has an individual, rather than a mob-mentality and could not be predicted at all.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post

    Because (and I tremble to say this to a female...) it IS all about you.
    OMG! You just told a woman that it IS all about her...
    You even used bold, underline AND italics....
    Traitor!!!
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
    - Roy Batty

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