Can You Be Too Prepared?

Anyone who has read Natural Selection’s post “my thoughts on personal security”and thinks his policy as laid forth is too rigid needs to rethink things before strapping on a firearm. Probably one of the most articulate and pragmatic posts on the topic of "going armed into society" I have ever read. I commend NS and thank him for sharing this with the forum.

I have been studying lethal force issues for over two decades and basically I treat the subject of lethal force and self defense as a kind of religion. Over the years I have amassed a personal library of books, articles, legal opinions, manuals and videos on the topic which would rival what most medium sized police departments might have available to their officers. When I wanted to learn more, I became a certified law enforcement instructor for defense tactics, ground fighting and other disciplines. I became a trained tactical swat medic and been with a sheriff’s department as their medic for almost 8 years. By teaching I actually learn more, and naturally improved my own skills. I absorb information and training on lethal force issues like a sponge. I can’t get enough.

Massad Ayoob explains in his LFI-1 Class as well as in the video Judicious Use of Deadly Force that we in the United States have a unique right. Our society grants us the right, and to employ that right, without review of some governing body… without asking permission from any judge or other legal entity… based solely on our own judgment and without the luxury of detached reflection… to employ lethal force to terminate a human life. To make another human being, no longer exist… forever.

We are allowed do this in order to defend ourselves from what we perceive, at that moment, to be a deadly assault that may kill us, or cause a crippling injury, and then be excused for it. Society shall hold you harmless!

Think about that for a moment. Doctors in a hospital don’t even have the authority to essentially euthanize a patient with a terminal illness. First, they must follow a whole plethora of policies, protocols, second opinions from other physicians, get permission from the patients family, and sometimes even then… like in the recent case of Terry Shiavo, have the U.S. Supreme Court make the decision before pulling the plug. Even the justice system does not have the right to carry out a death sentence on an individual without a trial, conviction, numerous appeals and a whole complicated set of legal maneuvers that must take place before carrying out an execution. A process that on average takes 10 years or more to complete.

But there's a caveat on the power that society grants the law-abiding citizens who chooses to employ deadly force in defending themselves... You better be right in your decision! If you are not, it will feel like the whole weight of the world has come crashing down upon you. You will most likely, lose your freedom, your money, your family, all you have amassed before the incident and all you would have likely amassed in the future. Your life is essentially, over.

When you reflect on that, and absorb just exactly what that means, it becomes a very sobering description of the power that we as ordinary citizens possess.

As law-abiding citizens, we are obligated to use sound judgment and be correct every time, all the time. As the monster unleashes his murderous assault on the innocent, he doesn't have the burden of having to abide by the rules. When he unleashes his firearm, he could care less where the bullets fly. (Don't we see this every day on the news as the reports of drive by shootings and gang related violence permeates our television?)

We as law-abiding citizens are responsible for where our bullets land. If we, as a law abiding citizen employ lethal force, stop the bad guy in his tracks and save our life, in that most terrifying of moments, but have one of our stray bullets hit and kill a 12 year old child a block away that you never saw and in fact, could not see… guess what? You are likely to end up in prison or at the very least lose your entire family fortune and everything you ever hoped to earn in the future. And still, you may go to prison.

I don't know about you... but with the state of today’s prisons, if I ended up having to spend 7 to 10 years or longer in prison for manslaughter or murder because of a "bad shoot", I would just as soon be killed in the initial gun battle. There are some things worse than death. (I may rethink that if the situation ever presented itself, but that's my feelings right now.)

Here’s a sobering thought… How many of you know that right now, there are hundreds of hard working, honest and otherwise law-abiding citizens who are doing hard time in the penitentiary. They are serving time for manslaughter or outright murder for something that should have been deemed a justifiable self defense homicide. I would venture to say that a most of the time it’s because they did not know how to interact with responding officers in the aftermath immediately following their shooting event.

Statements like “I was scared out of my wits” or “I’m glad I blew that friggon scumbag out of his socks” can and often does come back to haunt you. In the former, a statement like that says; I was not in control of my emotions and therefore it is possible I did not use good judgment in assessing the situation. In the later, it shows anger and malice. (to those who understand the dynamics of a sudden life or death situation, it is assumed that second statement is true… no need to blurt it out where it can be written down and later taken out of context and used against you at trial.)

Many innocent people are sitting in prison simply because they hired the wrong lawyer… or they weren’t educated enough in the legalities of lethal force to able to articulate it to the point of satisfying a district attorney, grand jury or ultimately a jury of their peers at trial. If you think the prosecution has the bourdon of proof and all I have to do is sit back and let my lawyer handle everything, you may very well find yourself in a cell for a very long time.

Here’s another little known fact. When hiring an attorney to defend you, most people will hire a “criminal attorney”, the key word, being criminal. They will hire an attorney who is used to defending a client he knows is probably guilty. So for the attorney, if you get convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to say 3-5 years… he thinks he’s done a good job. After all, even the drug dealers and thugs he usually represents don’t mind doing 3 years when they could have gotten 35 to life. Is that the kind of attorney you want representing you? If you do not have $200,000 worth of liquid assets to pay for an attorney who knows how to defend truly innocent people in a lethal force case you won’t be getting the “good attorney.” So you better be prepared to actively participate in your defense and have the knowledge to literally train and educate the lawyer that you can afford to hire. The time to go lawyer shopping is before you pull the trigger!

I think Natural Selection in his post has treated this subject with exactly the right amount of sobriety and seriousness. His head is definitely "In The Game!" We as law abiding citizens owe it to our family, ourselves and the community at large to be just as seriously committed and adequately trained as Natural Selection is before we strap on a weapon and walk among the masses.

I have only been at this forum a week and I am pleasantly surprised at how so many people have such a good grasp of these concepts.

For the people who are new to concealed carry and have not done that "required" individual soul searching that responsible CCW holders have already done, you owe it to yourself, your loved ones, and by god... you owe it to the community at large to take that introspective look at yourself and ask yourself... are you committed to doing it right? Can you handle that level of responsibility? Are you willing to do what it takes to be a responsible CCW holder? And I suppose to a lesser degree… does the way you live your life reflect that commitment?

I would like to make one additional point to everyone which they should keep in the back of their minds.

When that killer thug you just shot draws his last breath... he ceases to be a thug, and becomes a citizen just like you and me. A person who had a mother, a family, an believe it or not, someone who probably loved him.

You better expect that the homicide investigators who work the case will take that approach. It is their job to determine if that citizen who's life you just took, deserved to die and you were justified in taking the life of that "citizen" laying at their feet.

And it goes without saying... You don't get to pick your own homicide investigator. You get the luck of the draw! At two o'clock in the morning on some cold and rainy night in some parking lot some where in anytown USA, you are stuck with the investigator who shows up. He may be having a bad day, or week or month. His wife may have just left him or his house is being forclosed on. He may just have a bad attitude or just not like the looks of you.

As the weight of the situation starts to make you light headed and nauseous when you start to realize the gravity of what's instore for your future, you can not go... "excuse me, I don't think you are handling this correctly, may I please have a new homicide investigator?"

And thus you start to realize why there are so many people who should have been cleared in a righteous self defense shooting, end up doing hard time for manslaughter.

This business of carrying a concealed weapon is as serious as serious can be, and why it is considered a "privilege" and not a "right" protected by the second amendment.

With that said, our judicial system is still better than probably any other on earth. And when you perform and do what is expected of you by way of training, knowledge, understanding the law and the like... the ones who judge you will see that and the truth should set you free.

I understand that, and I choose to be armed for reasons I have stated in other posts. Before I leave the house with a gun on my hip, I check my brain and make sure my "Head is in the Game!"

Again, to Natural Selection, what an awesome, appropriate and superbly articulated post! It can save a life. And remember, “The life you save, may be your own!”

Stay Safe and remember, your brain is your most powerful weapon!