Here’s an older article (May 2012) about the number of justifiable homicides in Georgia. The article notes a small increase in the number of lawful uses of deadly force. It goes on to say:
“Meanwhile, Georgia’s overall murder rate has decreased between 2000 and 2010, from a rate of 6.1 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 5.4 per 100,000 in 2010. Georgia’s population has increased 20 percent during that time.
“Prosecutors and criminologists aren’t certain why the number of justifiable homicides has jumped…”
My theory: The justifiable homicide rate has gone up, and the number of murders down, because the intended victims used lethal force to stop their own murders. That’s a good thing.
A man named Clare Niederhauser needs help. When prowlers broke into his rural Utah property, Niederhauser fired two “warning shots” at different times. He also allowed himself to be interviewed at the police station for several hours, without the benefit of talking with his lawyer first. Predictable but depressing result: he’s charged with reckless endangerment and facing some high legal bills.
It’s a stark reminder that warning shots are almost always a bad idea. And an equally chilling reminder that if you use your firearm, you need legal counsel before talking at length with the police.
[UPDATE: Niederhauser has agreed to a plea deal, but the details of the deal are not yet public. That's why the earlier link no longer works.]
Stories like the Niederhauser situation remind me to be thankful for the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, which provides trustworthy practical support for ordinary people who prepare to defend themselves from violent crime.
The disclaimer is that Marty Hayes, founder of ACLDN, is a close personal friend of mine. He and his wife, Gila, have been amazing mentors to me from the time I first began learning to shoot defensive handguns. For this reason, I have absolute trust in their integrity and ability to do everything they promise they will do, and then some.
The Advisory Board at ACLDN includes some very heavy hitters such as Massad Ayoob, John Farnam, Tom Givens, Emanuel Kapelsohn, and Dennis Tueller, and these men will be available as expert witnesses should you need it. ACLDN promises “boots on the ground” as soon as reasonably possible after your event, to help you and your lawyer coordinate your response. You have to find your own lawyer, although the ACLDN does offer a vetted list of lawyers for you to use if you like. After an event, they immediately provide up to $10k to your lawyer right up front to get your legal defense going, and promise to work with you to help you avoid a court case. They promise to work with you throughout your court case, if it goes that far, and to provide monetary aid based on the merits of your case (not dependent on whether you get acquitted later, but on whether these use-of-force experts agree you were acting in good faith). The company has a deep warchest which is growing all the time, and they promise to provide legal grants based on the merits of your case up to a certain percentage of the warchest. Through the multiple dvds that come with membership, and through their excellent monthly journal, ACLDN gives its members a truly excellent legal education about self defense.
If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to legally protect yourself before or immediately after a shooting, this is the place to find out.
In New York state, we find that getting a permit to legally own a firearm now takes over a year and a half in some counties. A year and a half! Note that this lengthy process isn’t about getting a carry permit, which is a different process with its own delays. A year and a half just covers the bureaucratic hoops someone would have to jump through in order to own a simple self-defense tool and keep it in the house.
For those who wonder how any reasonable person could be against more background checks, more regulation, or more control of deadly weapons, this is why. When you allow more regulation of the simple tools needed for self-defense, you create a bottleneck through which your civil rights must squeeze, drop by strangled drop. You make it impossible for the young mom with a stalker to protect her life the very day she is threatened. You make it easy for grumpy bureaucrats to use paperwork excuses to keep older people away from the tools they need to defend themselves. You make it more expensive and thus harder for poor people to obey the law, and they suffer because they are more likely to live in neighborhoods plagued by violent crime.
These are the natural results of laws that infringe the most basic of all human rights – the right to protect your own life.
AGirl celebrates the anniversary of her self-defense awakening in a very special way: she’s sponsoring a giveaway. Not just any giveaway, either. Prizes include money toward training, a Cornered Cat training class, gift certificates from Gun Goddess and Midway, a custom holster from The Holster Site, and all sorts of other goodies. Obviously I believe in this effort, because I threw something onto the prize table. You can find the rules here and an easy entry form here.
Newbie Shooter explains how to talk to your elected representatives about guns. It’s really good.
James at Hellinahandbasket tells the story of how he intervened in a domestic abuse situation. Well done, James!