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Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network 

http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/general-network-information

If you carry a firearm for self protection or self defense, you really need to be a member of the Armed Citizens’s Legal Defense Network.

Membership benefits include excellent training DVDs, Legal Support, Network Affiliated Attorneys and Experts, Access to a Legal Defense Fund and many other Membership Discounts.  This is the best $125.00 I have ever spent.  I highly recommend that you research the benefits and join immediately.

Train Today for Tomorrow’s Battles!

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SO WHERE’S PART 2? RIGHT HERE BABY!

REMEMBER, DON’T BREAK INTO JAIL! Part 2

 By Burton J. “Jimi” Brown, JD, PhD

Last time I wrote about the potential problems arising during the aftermath of a citizen involved shooting incident. The type of shooting incident where you, the good guy, shoot and kill, or wound another person, the bad guy. Keep in mind that I’m working off the assumption that you, the citizen shooter, is the good guy and the other guy, the “shootee,” is the bad guy. I’m going to talk about this topic again but before diving in let me provide you with some simple words to remember:

STAY ALIVE!

First and foremost the idea is to stay alive! You must survive the violent encounter! You must live to fight another day if that unfortunate event were to happen again. That said, here’s the rub. In surviving you live to face the results of the police investigation and, if the bad guy is dead, a likely grand jury conducted by your local prosecutor. If you don’t survive, none of this matters. The stressful hassle of the post shooting inquiries won’t be important to you if you’re not around to participate. So, once again, Stay Alive! Failure to do so is both lethal and permanent.

You may be thinking, why should I be so careful about what I say to the investigators at the scene? Why can’t I tell them I’m a black belt in Kick Ass Fu? What exactly do you want me to say? Fair enough, lets get to it.

You: Officer, I’ve had tactical hand gun training and I’m a pretty good shot!

Investigator: Really? That’s great! Who’d you train with?

You: Charley Crux over at The Kill Fu Studio. I’ve taken all the pistol courses and I believe him to be one of the best tactical shooters in the country.

Investigator: Really! Cool! Clearly you’re a great shot. You put 2 in this guys bean under stress from about 7 yards! Most cops couldn’t do that. Hell, I don’t think I could do it. Hey, have you taken any of Crux’s other classes?

You: Oh yeah, I’ve been taking his Kick Ass Fu for five years including the edged weapon defense courses. I’ll soon be a Black Belt!

Investigator: Most impressive! (Pause for dramatic color.) I was wondering why you didn’t use your Kick Ass Take the Knife Away Fu instead of shooting? I’m also wondering why you put two impressive shots in the guys bean when you could have run away screaming like a little girl with her hair on fire?

You: Uhhhhhhhhh! I believe I have the right to stand my ground!

Investigator: OK, whatever you say.

Now think about this. You may have just set let loose the hounds of hell straight from the bowels of Pandora’s Mythical Box. Worse, your lawyer may find it extremely difficult to put the hounds back in the box. The thing about the Hounds of Hell is that they are bigger than the box they came out of. This is one of life’s great mysteries. You’ve provided the gasoline before the fire was even lit. Your first question may be that the investigators are going to find this out on their own. Yes, they probably are but during the timely process of investigation and AFTER you’ve been coordinating your defense with a lawyer. If you provide all this information before the fire there will almost certainly BE a fire. If it is learned during the natural course of investigation it may not.

As I mentioned in the first article, most law enforcement officers are not looking to jail a citizen shooter. This included myself. If it appears to have been a self defense incident then we were OK with the bad guy getting shot. No guarantees of course but you get the point. However, if you put damaged fruit in the basket while it is empty the investigator is now going to have to deal with it because it is, after all, the only thing in the basket other than the bullets fired. As long as the bullets are the only thing in the basket, leave it that way.

The Bottom Line: Do Not Break Into Jail.

You: But like I said, they’re going to find out I trained with Crux and have studied Kick Ass Fu! How’s it going to be different?

Because you’ve trained in pistol combat techniques and martial arts does not mean you were not scared into a maximum, bowel emptying, defecation episode. Even if only in the figurative sense. (By the way, don’t be surprised or ashamed if you actually do so. In point of fact, a good pants loading could work for you, provided it’s naturally occurring.) If you’re running on about it you risk the possibility that you won’t be able to use fear as a defense. Someone might infer that you were out looking for trouble and simply won a gun fight. Do not go there! Remember, you should be asking to be taken to the hospital and not on the scene engaging in idle chit chat with the investigators, the press, or standers by.

You: The press? What do you mean the press?

It’s a shooting of a person involving a gun toting citizen! Damn right the press. If they approach you say nothing. If you get pressed by the press, say nothing except to ask a nearby policeman to get you to the ambulance. You are, after all, not feeling well and need a full check over. Your attorney can coordinate press releases later.

You: A grand jury? Why? That seems unnecessary. I’m going to touch on grand juries in part 3 of this series. For now understand that in some states it might be required by law when a person has been shot and killed. Grand juries are conducted as a type of investigation by the prosecutor of the jurisdiction in question. So for now don’t worry about it. It is another post-shooting possibility and one best worried about by your lawyer.

One final note. In no way do I want to leave you the impression that I don’t recommend taking pistol combative training and other martial arts. Not at all! You SHOULD take these courses, practicing, and getting good. All I saying is shut the hell up about it. Becoming proficient is how you increase the odds of surviving an armed encounter. So, stay alive and stay out of jail. You can do both.

YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST, OR “BEST”, EVIDENCE!

YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST, OR “BEST”, EVIDENCE

Part 1

By Burton J. “Jimi” Brown, JD, PhD

You’ve heard it all before. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Skipping the rest of Miranda’s famous warnings, these two sentences speak volumes. You have a positive right NOT to speak but if you do, there could be a heavy down side. I call this downside, “shovel potential”, because if you choose to speak you might very well dig yourself a hole you can’t easily climb out of. Remember, you ARE the best evidence against yourself if you say the wrong things. However, you can also be the best evidence FOR yourself. Between these two rather stark choices I recommend the latter.

Before diving any deeper into this subject let’s define what we mean by evidence. Legally it is anything asserted (meaning submitted to the court) to prove a material issue or fact in a case. By proof we mean that the item of evidence asserted will tend to make something either more or less likely than it would be without it. This could be a photograph, a security tape, a blood analysis, a witness statement, a police report, or your own words. Keep in mind that this is a double edged sword and works both ways. The item of evidence asserted might just as likely tend to show your innocence or your guilt. Once your case arrives at trial there are other issues that will need to be resolved. Among those are relevance of the evidence, the reliability of the evidence, and the possible grounds for excluding the evidence. If you are ever in this situation discuss these to YOUR satisfaction with your lawyer. I will cover these issues in later articles and I am develpoing a curiculuum module for addition to the Combat Hard Education system. You do NOT need to be an expert but you should at least be familiar with these concepts and how they might play out for (or against) you. Hopefully, you wont ever be in this position.

If you are involved in a personal defense shooting you are already standing in the midst of a veritable sea of evidence before 911 has even been dialed. The assailant’s physical body, his clothing, his blood, his position, his weapon and so on are all evidence and will be treated as such. This also pertains to your own body, clothing, weapon, spent shell casings, and etc. We haven’t even gotten to other witnesses if present, closed circuit camera records, cell phone images ready for Youtube, phone tapes to law enforcement agencies and on it goes. Keep in mind all of this EVIDENCE is just lying there awainting collection and interpretation and you haven’t spoken a single word to anyone. Oh, but there’s more. What if the assailant is alive? If he is, he is not likely to be singing epic songs about your many virtues. Being the guy on the scene with the bullet hole he may get the first chance to speak and therefore influence any and all listeners including medical and law enforcement first responders. Remember, the bleeding guy will automatically draw at least some early attention even if he’s a scum bag.

I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, but it was a clean shoot! This guy attacked me with a knife. I was scared to death! I thought I was about to die!” Ok, but the clarity in your own mind may not be equally reflected in your shooting scene. If it is, you may very well be in good shape. But if it doesn’t, not so much. So do not assume anything. But most of all do not think you are so clever as to safely run off at the mouth without encountering the aforementioned shovel potential.

In the Combat Hard Pistol Combatives Program you’re trained to say certain things. These are solid and should be memorized well. If you say just these things both on the phone to 911 and after law enforcement arrives you won’t be hurting yourself too much if at all. There is a potential downside risk and I’ll write more about that below. However, know these phrases and if the moment comes that you need them you should, even under stress, be able to say them properly. By way of a refresher here are the kinds of phrasaes I’m referring to.

1)    I was attacked

2)    I was forced to defend myself

3)    Identify yourself and give your location

4)    Please send an ambulance

5)    I need my lawyer before saying anythng else

Another item to remember is that law enforcement dispatchers are trained to keep you on the line. You are NOT required to do so. Remember, the line is taped and anything you say or anything that is overheard becomes evidence. Hey, didn’t you mention a downside to using the program phrases? What did you mean? If there’s a problem, then why learn them?

Keeping in mind that you should not assume your shooting represents the poster case for a clean shoot you may not want to appear so mechanical as to cause a law enforcement officer to become suspicious of you. Ok, how do I overcome that? While staying close to the script, be cooperative. Take your time, stick to the essence of the script, be thankful for the presence of the officers, and without running off at the mouth, be cooperative. I myself was a cop, deputy sheriff actually, for two decades and neither myself nor anyone I worked with was ever eager to jail someone for cleanly taking down a bad guy. But that’s one more thing not to assume. Having called an ambulance you should, as quickly as you can, be on the way to the hospital to have yourself checked out. Quite frankly, you’ll probably need it and it will serve to get you away from a scene full of inquisitive investigators. Do not under estimate the effects that shooting someone, even a bad guy, will have on you.

At the beginning I mentioned shovel potential. There is however, at least  one thing worse than “shovel potential” and I call that “breaking in to jail.” Running off at the mouth could lead to that result. Personally, I consider out of jail better than in jail. So don’t go breaking into one.

One final point to deal with. Exactly what kinds of things would be bad to say? This is by no means an exhaustive list but these and other similar, “evidence creators”, are what I mean. Do NOT extoll the virtues of your training in handgun use or handgun combatives. There may be place for this later and it can be made to work FOR you but you will need your lawyer to choreograph that if at all. Do NOT mention a martial arts background. Do NOT sing the praises of your Dojo or your instructors. Do NOT run on about your choice of handgun and why you believe it to be a superior choice. Do NOT sing the praises of your state’s CCW law and how happy your are to be partaking in its freedoms. Do NOT wax prolific on your opinions concerning the second amendment. You get the idea. Appear cooperative but remain close to the script.

More Later.

Stay Safe!!