One of the trickiest self defense concepts revolves around “disparity of force”. Do you know what it is, what it means when you’re faced with it, and how you’d defend it in court?
In the training world we have two separate but very interrelated disciplines: the mechanics of defensive shooting, and the legalities of the use of lethal force. I say they’re interrelated because the latter determines when we are allowed (and to what degree) to employ the former. Having a gun and not knowing when you can use it (or what to do after you use it) can get you into serious legal trouble — the kind that lands you in prison!
One of the more interesting self defense cases to come along in recent years was the Larry Hickey case out of Arizona. In 2008 he was attacked by two women and a man, all neighbors, and in the fight drew his Glock handgun and shot two of them.
The resulting case, a nightmare for the Hickey family, is a superb study in the justifiable use of lethal force, how you need to handle the immediate aftermath of a defensive shooting, and what can go wrong in the justice system as you’re forced to defend yourself in court.
Luckily, my friend Gila Hayes at the Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network (ACLDN) has written a terrific downloadable booklet (in PDF form) about the case, from start to finish. If you’ve ever said (or heard anyone say) something like “as long as it’s a good shoot you’ll be fine”, you need this booklet. It’s free, and there’s no excuse not to get yourself educated!
You can view it online by clicking this link, or download it by right-clicking and choosing the download option from the menu.
Thanks to the ACLDN for making this important information freely available!
-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-