Do you know what to do if you’re forced to shoot an attacker? Are you sure?

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The day you always hoped would never come has indeed come: you’ve had to shoot someone to save your life or the life of a family member.

Your attacker, who moments before had been snarling commands at you while holding a knife, lies collapsed in a heap just inside your door.

Now what?

This is the part of defensive shooting we really don’t talk about very much, and we really should. We pay a lot of attention to what gun and which ammunition and what ...

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Are fists deadly weapons? Is a punch a lethal assault? You might be surprised!

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Whenever police shoot a knife-wielding attacker there are cries of excessive force because the suspect “only had a knife.” Somehow the reality that a knife is in fact a dangerous weapon escapes many people; they see the gun as a more powerful tool and therefore only to be used against equally powerful tools.

The trouble with this line of thinking is that perceived power has little to do with how deadly something is. The knife, within its range, is likely more deadly ...

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Flying with guns: some tips to make it a little less stressful

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Yes, you can fly with guns — but it can be an intimidating experience. Here’s how to make it a little smoother.
I have, on occasion, flown with a gun. The procedures have changed over the years (and it was a whole lot easier in the pre-9/11 era), but it’s not an uncommon practice. It is common, however, for people to have trouble with the practice!

I’ll admit it can be a little frustrating, particularly if you don’t ...

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A restraining order is a poor way to stop a bullet!

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Restraining_Order

Oregon City, Oregon is an historic town. It was the first incorporated city west of the Rockies, sitting aside the Willamette River and just downhill from Willamette Falls. The Falls necessitate locks, and the first multi-lift navigational locks were built there. In 1889 the first long-distance transmission of electricity in the U.S. was from those falls to nearby Portland, and Oregon City can boast both the oldest Masonic Lodge west of ...

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Defensive DVD Review: Interactions with Law Enforcement While Armed

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Defensive DVD Review: Interactions with Law Enforcement While Armed
Presented by Jeremy Wilson and Rob Pincus
Published by the Personal Defense Network as part of the Personal Firearms Defense DVD series

When the Personal Defense Network (PDN) sent me this DVD, I realized something about the defensive shooting world: there are two subjects about concealed carry (CCW) which no one seems to want to touch, yet they’re something that those people who ...

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Can you shoot an unarmed person? Should you?

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bad-guy

The Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin cases centered around the outrage many people felt that someone could justifiable shoot an unarmed person. How valid is that outrage?

There are a lot of confusing topics when we start talking about the justifiable use of lethal force. The legalities of things like warning shots, citizens arrests, taking someone at gunpoint, coming to the aid of others with your firearm, shooting fleeing suspects, and more ...

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Do you know what to say when the police show up at your defensive shooting?

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“Wherever you have two lawyers, you have three opinions.” (Paraphrasing an old Jewish proverb.)

Law is a complicated subject. (The more cynical in the crowd would point out that law is written by lawyers, who certainly have a financial disincentive in making it easy to understand!) It’s complicated because it deals with human interaction, which is the only thing which is more complicated than the law itself.

Because of this complication it’s understandable why people would want to simplify it to the ...

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Defensive DVD Review: Legalities of Non-Lethal Force

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Defensive DVD Review: Legal Considerations Of The Use Of Non-Lethal Defensive Force
Presented by Marty Hayes, Kerry Tanner, and Rob Pincus
Published by the Personal Defense Network as part of the Personal Firearms Defense DVD series

This is an interesting DVD in the Personal Defense Network’s series, interesting in the sense that it doesn’t deal with the use of lethal force. It does, however, address the idea of using the threat of ...

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Do you know what to do when you’ve shot someone in self defense? This story will open your eyes.

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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 ...

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Incident Analysis: Neighbor vs. Carjacker

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Assalto_Av_Atlantica_Rio

Your neighbor has just been thrown out of her car by a carjacker — and he’s about to drive off! What’s the right response?

Last August a Phoenix, AZ woman was pulling into her driveway when she was approached by a male who asked to use her phone. Still in the driver’s seat, she said no. That’s when the suspect opened the car door, pulled her from the car and threw her ...

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Have you thought about what happens AFTER your defensive shooting?

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breakin4

Many people don’t understand that their defensive shooting incident will have lasting repercussions — and not just for the bad guy.

The defensive firearms world is one laced with testosterone and bravado. I’ve lost track of the number of times, just in the last couple of months, where I’ve encountered someone who possessed a decidedly comic book understanding of the use of deadly force.

“Better to be tried by twelve than carried by ...

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DVD Review: Defensive Firearms Myths and Misconceptions.

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In my ongoing review of new DVDs from the Personal Defense Network, I come across one that’s interesting and a little different from the rest of PDN’s offerings. This one deals with what you know that you probably shouldn’t!

Defensive Firearms Myths and Misconceptions
Presented by Rob Pincus

Do you know what a “negative target” is? It’s a cardboard target with shapes cut out of it; you’re expected to shoot into the holes ...

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Can you really be convicted of defending yourself? Yes, when it’s not really self defense.

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The firearm is a lethal force tool that has a very narrow range of application. Knowing and understanding that fact may keep you out of jail!

It’s incumbent upon those who keep firearms for personal protection to know the legalities of the use of deadly force. The firearm, when aimed at another person, is a deadly weapon — and there is a pretty well-established body of law (both common and statutory) which deals with the use of that weapon. Not knowing ...

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Some important thoughts about “Stand Your Ground” laws.

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You’ve probably heard news reports about “stand your ground” (SYG) laws, particularly in Florida. In the wake of several high profile shootings these laws are under scrutiny. Should they be?

“Stand Your Ground” laws became a source of debate all over the country after the George Zimmerman case, and the recent Michael Dunn “loud music” shooting has intensified calls to modify or repeal the Florida statute. Activists in other states who have similar laws are also calling for revamping their local ...

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Who should call the police when a gun is drawn?

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a850_10722

Let’s say that you’re out for a walk with your concealed handgun on your person. You’re minding your own business, enjoying the fresh air and the pretty flowers, when suddenly someone with a knife jumps out from behind a parked car.

You’ve trained for this kind of ambush attack (at least, we hope you have) and your instinctive reactions give way to the learned, intuitive response you’ve practiced: you move laterally as ...

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Focus on the need to shoot, not whether you can.

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A lot of people in the defensive shooting field are overly concerned with when they are allowed to shoot in self defense. I don’t think that’s the right approach; I believe instead that we focus on whether we need to shoot, not whether we can.

Some time back I wrote a short little article on the topic, along with some links to what I think is the best education that is available on the topic.

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-

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Learning about the legitimate use of lethal force.

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Last week’s discussion about armed intervention by a concealed carrier drew a lot of commentary, and for that I’m thankful. It’s important that topics like this are discussed ahead of time, before an incident unfolds.

I worded the article very carefully to elicit one thing: a careful consideration, by each of us, of what we would do when faced with that kind of situation. I’ll admit, though, at being rather surprised that a good number of comments reduced the options to ...

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Should a CCW holder get involved in someone else’s fight?

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A week or so ago, Greg Ellifritz (who’s a police officer by trade) posted a story about a call in which he was involved. Seems that a male store security officer (who is also a cop, albeit part-time) had a running fight with a female shoplifter that ended up on the side of a thoroughfare. The suspect got the bright idea of yelling “rape!” in an attempt to elicit some help on the part of passers-by.

She got it in the ...

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Warning shots: they can land you in jail, and you’ll probably deserve it.

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One of the sure ways to get a certain number of gun owners up in arms is to post a story about someone being arrested for firing a warning shot. The attitude seems to be that if the person didn’t shoot at someone else, and didn’t hit anyone accidentally, where’s the harm?

Warning shots seem to be grossly misunderstood by a large percentage of gun owners, who are confused about their legality and practicality. It’s really quite simple: they’re virtually never ...

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Don’t do stupid things, and don’t talk to the media. And never do both at the same time!

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From Toledo, OH comes the story of a homeowner who did something stupid: she took her .357 and confronted a petty thief who her boyfriend reportedly caught stealing a bicycle from her front porch. Why is this stupid? Because the thief’s actions did not rise to the level that justifies the threat of lethal force.

In general, lethal force can only be used when the defender is in immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm through the ...

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Can you – or should you? Decision making during a lethal force incident.

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One of the chapters in my upcoming book deals with the legalities of shooting someone in self defense, and in it I make the point that there are perhaps situations where you could, legally, shoot someone – but might not need to do so. I think it’s an important distinction.

Many of my students ask when they’re allowed to use deadly force, and while knowing the legalities of what you can and can’t do is vital** I believe ...

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“Stand Your Ground” and Zimmerman: no relation.

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I’ve received a surprising number of emails from people who don’t understand, and are quite confused about, the concept of the “stand your ground” (SYG) law in Florida. (Note: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.)

First things first: Zimmerman’s attorneys did not invoke SYG in his case and it was in no way part of his defense. This is important to recognize, because the media (and Michael Bloomberg) are trying their best to convince everyone that ...

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On the Zimmerman trial: the verdict is in, now we can look for lessons learned.

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I’ve avoided discussing this until the trial was finished, as I knew that we’d not gotten all the facts in the matter. Today we at least know that the jury saw no reason to convict him of a crime, and at this point he is a free man. That may change, as the federal government is making noises about a civil rights indictment, but so far it’s just saber rattling.

There are three aspects of the case which interest me, because ...

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Stop defending stupid gun owners. And get training so you wont’ be one.

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While I was in Connecticut the last few days, I read two stories of stupid people using guns: one in my own state of Oregon, where a fellow had his gun confiscated because he fired a warning shot at a suspected burglar; and another in my neighboring state of Washington where someone shot and killed a thief who was taking his car.

In both cases the shooters were quite obviously uneducated as to the responsibilities that go with ...

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Considering the knife as a defensive tool: what are the legal ramifications?

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It’s rather fashionable in the self defense world to carry a knife as a backup to a firearm. At any ‘tactical’ event you’ll find people carrying a ‘fighting’ blade along with a ‘backup’ blade, and some practitioners advocate the knife as a primary tool for self defense.

There was a time when I espoused such points of view, but over the years I’ve changed my mind a bit. The knife is almost always considered deadly force, and brings with it some ...

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Evidence in the Trayvon Martin case – and how it affects you.

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The Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network (of which you should be a member) has published an interesting look at the Martin/Zimmerman case in their June newsletter. The Florida courts, as their law requires, released all of the evidence related to the case a couple of weeks ago. In his article, Marty Hayes looks at a portion of that released evidence and makes some observations which might be useful to those who carry a firearm ...

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The Martin/Zimmerman case.

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I’ve gotten a few emails and Facebook messages asking what I think of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman shooting. My answer is simple: I don’t know the facts of the case.

The important thing to remember is that no one does. All we have is piecemeal information released by sources of varying veracity and – here’s the important part – reported by the media, filtered through whatever biases they have at the time.

It’s amazing to me that so many in the “gun ...

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People say “I need a gun-friendly lawyer.” I’m not so sure they do.

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While easting my lunch yesterday I decided to do a little surfing. I bounced around a bit, watched a couple of YouTube videos, and ended up doing something I always regret: checking out some of the more popular gun forums. Why ‘regret’? Because they usually make my head hurt; inanity does that to me.

Yesterday’s was a thread with the title “I need a gun-friendly lawyer.” The writer goes on to say that he needs to find one in his area ...

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Paging Dr. Ayoob: clueless person is dispensing dangerous legal advice!

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We need 100cc of Factual Information, stat!

This splashed onto several blogs last week, and it’s just too good a train wreck to ignore. Do not be mislead: the advice this guy gives is a sure ticket to a jail cell. The ‘term clueless loon’ comes to mind…

For years people like Mas Ayoob and Marty Hayes have been educating people on the realities of the legal side of self defense, ...

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Presented for your consideration, again: there is no such thing as a ‘clean shoot’.

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I’ve been pretty clear over the years about my belief in the myth of the ‘clean shoot’. It’s a phrase that comes up with amazing regularity in various forums and in gunshops all across the country: as long as your shoot is ‘clean’, nothing else matters.

As I’ve pointed out, the people who decide if your self defense act was ‘clean’ sit on a jury. Whether you think it was a ‘good’ shoot, whether I do, whether your instructor does, or ...

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