Author Topic: Where Is "Safety?"  (Read 1531 times)

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Where Is "Safety?"
« on: January 06, 2018, 09:01:10 AM »
Farnam’s latest Quip is in response to an older gent, whose question may be relevant for a lot of us here; so I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing it below:

Where is “Safety?”
by John Farnam | 5 Jan 2018

“Reasonable” Response.

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?”

My comment:

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!



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Re: Where Is "Safety?"
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 01:06:02 PM »
That was a really good piece, Roger.
Thanks for posting it!
retired leathersmith and practical shooter

"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."


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Re: Where Is "Safety?"
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 06:16:14 AM »
Very good advice!
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes."
-- Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Where Is "Safety?"
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 11:22:00 AM »
In today’s Quip, Farnam added this:

by John Farnam
6 Jan 18

Addendum to yesterday’s Quip:

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:

“ a) Officers, thank God you’re here!

b) I’m the one who called

c) Those men attacked us.

d) They tried to murder us.

e) We were in fear for our lives.

f) I will sign a complaint

g) I will be happy to answer your questions, but not until my lawyer is here.

h) 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!


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Re: Where Is "Safety?"
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 11:34:58 AM »
This is an excellent and timely treatment of the subject. This is something I have often thought about. The problem is when you are confronted with this threatening matter, you probably have only seconds to make your decision to use deadly force--not the hours and days that a jury may have to ponder the question of your right to use deadly force. Therein lies the delimma!


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Re: Where Is "Safety?"
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 03:03:13 PM »
I would say that, "excellent and timely treatment of the subject" is an understatement.

The only thing that I might add is quite simply is, "everything that you have written in my mind is just plain common sense."

It was a real pleasure to see so much of "GrandMa's common sense" written out in plain simple language. Thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts.
"We will have a good government as long as those that govern are effected by those laws that they pass. When those that are passing the laws are no longer effected by those laws then they will no longer pass good laws."