- Do you carry a concealed weapon?
- Do you have a permit to carry this weapon?
- Are you active in social media?
- If so, do you talk about using your gun with your friends in social media?
- Have you ever thought about all the other people that can read your facebook posts?
Think about this for a minute.
You are walking from the mall out to your car in the distant corner of the parking garage. Someone is walking behind you carrying something you think might be used as a weapon against you while you have an armload of Christmas gifts. Then you notice that guy isn’t alone. There are three others with him and they are wearing hoodies and walking toward you from different directions. Does the hair on the back of your neck start to stand up and you get a shiver?
You are now in “condition orange”. You don’t know what these guys are thinking, but they might be wanting what you have in your arms. As you reach your car, you turn to look at them and think they’re going to attack you. You pull your concealed firearm and tell them to “back off or you might get hurt”. They do as you say and walk in a new direction. You feel satisfied they aren’t going to attack someone with a gun in his hand.
You’ve done yourself a good deed. You stopped the attack and prevented a harmful encounter. The security guard saw what happened. He approaches you to ask what was going on. He stops the other guys and talks to them as well to get both sides of the story.
A couple months later, you’re in the courtroom, neck-deep in debt, facing a five-year jail term for Felony Menacing (“brandishing”, as it’s called in some states). A guilty verdict would make you a “felon for life”, and you will never again be allowed to own a firearm.
Your defense attorney makes a case that you were protecting yourself from a potential threat from overwhelming odds. The jury seems sympathetic to your case until the prosecuting attorney shows them a “facebook post” from you. A friend told you he felt uncomfortable when a group of youths was watching him intently. In response to his comment, you wrote back; “If that were me, those little sons of bitches would wet themselves when they saw my gun”. The judge asks you, “Which is it, sir? Were you lying then, or are you lying now?”
It’s a little scary to think about, but this is the way the courts and the DA’s really work.
Congress and the American Bar Association say it’s legal to use anything you post online against you in court…and you can be absolutely sure the DA will use whatever he can find.
Now, do you now want to re-think what you posted on Facebook?
Here Are Some Ways To Avoid a “Guilty” Verdict
If You’re Forced To Pull The Trigger
- Life is precious and shooting someone is traumatic- no matter how much you think they deserve it. Ask anyone who’s ever shot someone and watched them die from their bullet. Pulling the trigger may be necessary to save your life or the life of someone you love- butthe psychological scars are forever.
Don’t be too flippant with the comments you make when just talking with your friends.
- Save the sarcasm and jokes. When you do post to social media, remember sarcasm can’t be seen on a computer screen or when it’s “printed out” on paper.When the DA or Judge holds up a printed copy of your blog comment about “those little bastards pushing up daisies”,
they won’t read it with grins and giggles. They’ll read it as though you’re the neighborhood gun nut that shouldn’t be trusted.
- Reverse your public image. So now you’ve done your analysis and thinking of those inappropriate comments you’ve made.
You can redeem yourself. It actually does help if you post more comments on how your views and opinions have changed.
- Adopt a Legal Mind-Set. It’s totally irresponsible for any gun owner to not completely understand the correct legal justification of pulling your gun in any circumstance. Most gun owners have a hard time with this, even the ones who profess to be “experts”.
Attorneys will run you ragged in court unless you have a pretty good knowledge base of the laws regarding using your weapon in self-defense.
The “Reasonable Man Doctrine” is what allows the prosecuting attorney to denote your frame of mind before the shooting as evidence against you. But you can use the same Doctrine in your favor as well by showing your efforts to take your legal responsibilities seriously.
One way is to take a legal class that can show proof of your prior knowledge before you were attacked. These classes can be hard to find and quite expensive, but there are alternatives. One alternative is the training you can get from the US Concealed Carry Association. They have an abundance of information in all phases of concealed carry and can offer self-defense insurance coverage.
Train, Train, and Train Some More
You literally can’t get too much training in how to use your gun and, equally important, when to use it, or not. You truly must know the root of the law regarding the use of a gun in a self-defense situation. And be careful what you say on social media.
I hope you take this article seriously. Your life and the future of your family could depend on it.
Please comment on this article below.
To your health and safety,