Today’s Hump Day Reading list looks at the legal and practical sides of self defense, plus a few things: a home invasion successfully ended by the defenders; good news for owners of 5mm Remington rimfire rifles; a robbery which ended tragically for the defender but didn’t need to; why you need to learn how to respond to an active shooter; why you need to understand the legalities of self defense; Greg Ellifritz shows you what you need to consider before getting involved; gun owners and the laws which affect them; and Massad Ayoob dissects “stand your ground” laws. Tons of great information, only in the Hump Day Reading List!
Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you CAN do
In Mississippi last week an escaped fugitive came upon a man starting his car in the driveway; the attacker forced the man into his home whereupon he and his wife were tied up. What they didn’t know was that the escapee, one Rafael McCloud, was in jail awaiting trial for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 69-year old woman. What they did know was that McCloud was a threat and had them at a severe disadvantage. He even stabbed the husband in the shoulder, but that didn’t stop him and his wife from retrieving a gun and killing McCloud on the spot. There are several lessons to be learned from this, but I’ll touch on just a couple. First, carrying a gun usually beats having one hidden; the husband might have ended this much sooner if he’d had access before being tied up. Second, the husband and wife obviously were willing to do whatever it took to save their lives (and that of a child who was also in the house.) I’ve said before that mindset starts with a resolute decision that your life is worth protecting and that you’ll use the force necessary to do so. Read the article at NBC News, and see what other things you can learn from their ordeal.
This should make a half-dozen people very happy. Just kidding.
Back in the 1960s Remington introduced a magnum rimfire round called the 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum (RRM for short.) It was designed to be a high-performance alternative to the larger .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) and was chambered in two rifles. The round was something of a precursor to today’s very popular .17 HMR, but with much higher performance: while the .17 pushes a 20-grain bullet at 2,350 FPS the 5mm RRM does the same with a bullet that weighs twice as much. Sadly the market for a super rimfire was much smaller than Remington anticipated and the round died on the vine by the early 1980s. 5mm Remington owners were stuck scrounging for whatever leftover ammo they could find. In 2008 Aguila announced that they were going to re-introduce the 5mm but I’m not sure the ammunition ever reached the market; if it did, it was in very small quantities and quickly disappeared. It looks like they’re going to take another shot (pardon the pun) at this very limited market, though, because according to an article by Richard Johnson they’ve put three different loadings into their 2016 ammunition catalog. If you have one of the Remington rifles sitting around unloved, wait for Aguila to start shipping and buy as much as you can afford; I suspect it won’t be long before it disappears again!
You are not the police. Again. Still.
A recent case out of Albuquerque tragically illustrates something I’ve said before: your concealed carry license doesn’t turn you into a police officer or a guardian of public safety. In this case, a well-meaning young man named Tyler Lackey — all of 24 and fresh from his Army deployment — was the victim of an attempted robbery at an ATM. He was carrying a concealed handgun (good) and when the robber threatened him Lackey drew his firearm and the would-be robber took off (good). The problem is that when the crook retreated to his car Lackey followed him (bad decision) and apparently ordered him out of that car (worse decision) so that he could be held for the police (even worse decision.) The robber then produced his own weapon and drove off, firing at Lackey as he sped away. Lackey was hit in the chest and died at the scene. (Ironically, Lackey was a medic in the 82nd Airborne.) This sad death of an obviously earnest and brave young man shouldn’t go without some good coming of it, and the good is this lesson: if the bad guy wants to run away, unless he’s just committed a heinous crime and you believe that he will continue his rampage, let him go. Get a good description and notify the police. Holding someone at gunpoint — aside from the legal issues — is a specialized task that requires training and role-playing. After all, once you’ve told him to “freeze”, what you do if he doesn’t? Read the case, follow the linked articles, and learn from Mr. Lackey’s mistake: your legally carried firearm is for the protection of your life and the lives of your loved ones; it is not to protect the public at large nor as a tool to force compliance from someone else. (Please note that I respect Mr. Lackey for his courage and for his service, and I in no way intend to demean either. His death is a tragedy, but a tragedy I hope to help you avoid.)
Learning to respond to a mass casualty attack
The news has been abuzz lately with stories about mass casualty attacks — also called, variously, “active shooter” or “spree killer” attacks. How should you respond to an attack like this in a public space? There are classes springing up to teach you how to avoid getting injured or killed in the face of such an attack, but do you really need to take one? This is a pretty good article which lays out the reasons why you (and especially your children) should consider active attacker response training. Learning how to properly escape an attack is one thing, but learning how to respond to one when you’re at a disadvantage is even more important. Definitely worth reading.
Who needs that sissy legal knowledge, anyhow?
I’ve said many times that training in the legal side of self defense is incredibly important, and in terms of preventing what Claude Werner calls “negative outcomes” it’s the most important thing you can study. There are those, however, who insist that knowing the ins and outs of self defense law isn’t important. In this superb article, Ralph Mroz lays out the reasons you should know as much about the legal side of the use of lethal force as you do about the techniques of shooting.
You are not the police, part 2: It ain’t as easy as it looks on TV
It’s easy to get in over your head where violence is concerned. Whether it’s because you’ve inserted yourself into something you didn’t fully understand or because your own incident takes a turn you didn’t expect (like the story I linked to earlier), you may end up dealing with things that you aren’t prepared for. Greg Ellifritz looks at one such incident where some brave citizens took down a robbery suspect who’d just held up a jewelry store. There is a video of the event, and Greg breaks it down to give you many excellent questions to ponder. If you only have time to read one article in today’s List, make it this one.
A new book about gun owners and the law
There are precious few books on general firearms law. Attorney Alexandria Kincaid recently released a book which deals specifically with the rights of gun owners, and it’s getting good reviews. I’ve not read it yet, but people I trust tell me it’s worth owning. Ammoland has a synopsis of the book, and it’s one I’ll be adding to my collection.
Stand your ground doesn’t mean what many people think it means
When it comes to self defense law it’s easy to get confused — especially when we start talking about politically-charged concepts like “castle doctrine” and “stand your ground” laws. Massad Ayoob wrote a good introductory article to the concepts, what they mean and how they differ. If you’re new to these ideas, or even if you’re not but are still a little unsure about your knowledge, this is an article you won’t want to miss.
– Grant Cunningham