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On TV there is a lot of exciting action designed to keep you on the edge of your seat, but most importantly, for the TV executives, to keep their ratings high. TV is fun to watch but it can give the wrong impression more often than not. That can not be more true than when it comes to guns. TV entertainment never seems to go to the next level after a home invasion/shooting scenario. I talked about having a plan in my 7-13-09 #11 ‘Gun Sense’ article concerning home defense, among other important aspects.

First of all, I hope that you are never put in a situation to have to shoot anyone defending your family in your home, sadly this situation can be forced onto you. That said, I will touch on the aftermath of your use of a firearm defending your family and home. Previously, (in GS #11) I talked about having a plan should someone ever break in while you are home, I hope that you do have a plan. On TV or in the movies the criminal(s) kick in a door in the middle of the night and start going through the home. The good guy in the story takes his trusty firearm and calmly saunters through the house, he easily takes care of each criminal in turn. Of course the actor playing the good guy is suppose to win, it is written that way in the script, he will not be injured because they need him for a sequel.  He is in no danger, it is all make believe and he knows that after the scene he will go home to his mansion complete with body guards, camera surveillance’s and killer dogs to protect him from the public at large. You on the other hand could just as easily be killed if you try to go find the criminal(s).

Once you know that someone has broken into your home your “plan” should begin. If you have a child or children take your cell phone, flashlight and gun into their room and STAY PUT, but be ready to act, if you have no kids stay in your bedroom. If the bad guy(s) should come into the room where you and your family are, even after your loud verbal warning that the police are coming and that you have a gun, be damned sure and understand that he, or they are NOT the neighborhood welcome wagon delivering flowers and candy, he, or they, are there to rob, rape and/or murder you and your family! At that instance in time you have an obligation and a duty to protect your family with any means at your disposal. The police will not be there to do that for you…….

By staying where you are you increase your chances of survival, making the criminal invader come to you decreases their chance of survival. Should someone be foolish enough to kick in your bedroom door try your very best to hit who you are shooting at, aim at the center of that door. Under the stress of the situation you may miss, you may not, people handle stress in different ways. Some people may become very focused and angry,  females are hardwired to protect those children at the very thought of a home invader(s) endangering their family, others may become jittery nervous wreaks, but in any case you must do something, so fire away, aim for the largest target, his torso, the center of the doorway. Even if you miss, the chance is very good that the criminal(s) will not hang around to let you take ‘pot shots’ at him/them, hopefully he/they get the message.

Never fire a ‘warning’ shot, that gives away your position and gives the criminal the first chance to get you. You must survive, your family must survive.  After, if the criminal is dead or badly wounded, then police come, you may initially be arrested. The police will need to work out who the person is in relation to you, to make sure there was no bad motive on your part. After they figure out that this was/is a criminal, or there is a history of abuse linked to this person with you, etc., you will be released in short order, probably within hours.

Fast forward; The court date. The criminal that you killed in defense of your family and home also may have relatives, and the chances are good that you took out one of their main sources of income, (other than welfare) and they want restitution, to replace that income somehow. They want your home, to garnish your wages, whatever they can do to take away what you have. All because you stood your ground to save your family. They will have a lawyer, his job will be to make you look bad and try to make you say things you don’t really mean in front of the jury. And he has the ability to do it, the courtroom is his playground, its how he makes his bread and butter, he is at home there.

You on the other hand are light years away from being accustomed to a courtroom setting like this. You never wanted to be here, it was forced onto you by the actions of a criminal. The lawyer is going to do his very best to finish the job the criminal started and make you a victim. He will say things at you in a forceful way to make you nervous, as he talks at you, that’s right, at you, he is really talking to the jury, everything he says is for their benefit. He may say something forcefully like; So you wanted to shoot Rufus didn’t you!! You may nervously say something like; I had to! He had a knife and was coming at my wife and kids! He will try to make you sound like you are a trigger happy nit wit to the jury; So!!, you admit wanting to murder him!! I, I, I, didn’t know what else to do! Now the jury is starting to look at you in a different light, the lawyer is planting a subliminal seed in their minds that does not bode well for you, he used the word ‘murder‘ for the juries sake.

People have lost their homes in cases like this because they said things that made them sound guilty when in actuality they were only very nervous and upset. Your lawyer knows what can happen in court and should do what he can to prepare you for the coming onslaught. You should focus on one main thought, that you did nothing wrong. That you were only trying to stop the threat to your family and yourself.

When the lawyer for the plaintiff trys to make you rush your words in his attack, such as; You wanted to shoot Rufus didn’t you! Say no, I only wanted to stop the threat to my family and myself, that the criminal died was not my intention, the criminal forced me into this situation by unlawfully breaking into our home.

Don’t use his name, use criminal’, because that is what he was! You too can plant subliminal seeds in the minds of the  jury…. Their lawyer will come at you from all different angles to try to make you change your answer, just stick like glue to the fact that you were only trying to stop the threat to your family, never vary, because it is the truth! The jury will side with the truth. That lawyer will eventually give up trying to incriminate you when he realizes he can not make you budge from the truth of the matter.

I am not a lawyer, this is meant as a guide, to give you an idea as to what can happen next in court. Seek legal advice in the event that you did have to defend your home from a violent criminal attack, don’t be a victim twice!

Remember, {Firearm Education Will Save Lives, Firearm Ignorance Can Take Lives}. Ignorance of History could cost us our freedoms.

Mark Shean,  Knowledge through Experience

Former NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor

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www.mafirearmsafety.com written 9-20-2009

Your comments/insights are welcomed.

One Response to “GUN SENSE #12, The Aftermath of Defending your Family/Home.”

  • windangyle6669 says:

    Thank you once again Mark. The information you post is always extreamly helpful and informative. The average person does not think about a home invasion happening to them and even if they have talked about a plan the emotional stress and reactions can obviously influence the reaction to the situation. The tips and advice in this blog will indeed help any reader who has the unfortunate expierence of a home invasion. You help people become survivers. It is bad enough to have to go through a traumatic expierence that could put your life at risk but to then have you freedom at risk makes it that much more painful. It is about time that someone has the passion to help people protect themselves! Avoid before hurt, hurt before maim, maim before kill, and kill before be killed. Nelly, Note: Thank you for the vote of confidence nelly, MS

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