Articulation for Armed and Unarmed Force

An Interview with Rory MillerRoryMiller

Interview by Gila Hayes

Unlike law enforcement, armed citizens don’t have use of force policies to rely on, yet we are bound by laws and court decisions. We have to work extra hard to understand what’s allowed because we don’t have explicit policies saying here is where you should use pepper spray, but it is OK to use a firearm here. Even legal use of force requires articulation to show why what we did was reasonable. Rory Miller and Lawrence Kane explained this well in their book Scaling Force. Miller, a retired sergeant from a large Oregon county corrections facility and widely-read author on unarmed self defense has put a lot of study into use of force issues.

Miller’s books and DVDs help ordinary citizens understand the dangers they face by categorizing violent assailants by goal and teaching realistic responses that are appropriate to the situation. Criminal assaults break down into social violence and asocial or predatory violence. While recognizing what drives an assailant aids in responding effectively, what implication does the type of violence we defended against have on legal jeopardy afterwards? Miller answered this and other questions when we had the opportunity recently to speak at length. He has much to teach, so we switch now to our Q&A format and get right to the point.

eJournal: Does knowing what motivates the criminal change our response and does that knowledge help when we explain why our self-defense actions were necessary?

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President’s Message

Marty eJournal column pixby Marty Hayes, J.D.

Are you training this summer? If not, why not? I just got done giving a lecture entitled Firearms Instructor Liability Issues at an instructor development course being taught at The Firearms Academy of Seattle by Network member Kathy Jackson and her Cornered Cat Training Company (see During my lecture, I discussed the idea of continuing to train on a yearly, if not monthly, basis. For an instructor who is concerned about defending their training program in a court of law, continuing education in the field of firearms instruction is vital. But it also applies to the non-instructor armed citizen, as well.

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Attorney Question of the Month

gavelUse of deadly force in defense of others is a slippery slope with which armed citizens must come to terms as their training and subsequent beliefs mature beyond the stage at which many feel they can and would use a gun with impunity to stop commission of a crime. On this topic, we asked our Affiliated Attorneys—

Under your state’s law may someone (not personally threatened with deadly force) use deadly force to stop the in-progress and/or imminent commission of certain crimes? What crimes? Must the crime actually be occurring or imminent, or would deadly force be lawful if the intervenor only believed that one of such crimes was occurring or was imminent?

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Book Review: Citizen’s Guide to Armed Defense

By Kevin R. Davis
Paperback: 304 pages
Gun Digest Books, April 2, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1440243639
8.8 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
$20.15 when ordered online at; eBook version also available.


Reviewed by Gila Hayes

I enjoyed meeting Network member, author and trainer Kevin Davis at the NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville last April. In addition to letting me put a face with a name, Kevin graciously gave me an autographed copy of his latest book, Citizen’s Guide to Armed Defense. I have enjoyed reading it these past few weeks, and believe our members will also enjoy it.

Written in a thoroughly personal voice, Citizen’s Guide to Armed Defense is generously sprinkled with anecdotes and case studies from the author’s career in law enforcement and includes a lot of quotes from quite a variety of sources.

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News from Our Affiliates

NetworkingCompiled by Gila Hayes

Jeff and Robyn Street of Step by Step Gun Training in Naples, FL are partnering with Naples criminal defense attorney and Network affiliated attorney Donald Day to present a free educational lecture entitled Defending Yourself in Florida with a Weapon: The Law from A-Z on July 21st, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Naples.

“There is no charge but Donald would ask that all make some contribution to the NRA or sign up for the Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network,” Jeff explains. Space is limited, so reservations are required. To reserve your seat, contact Jeff by calling or texting him at 239-641-6140.

Gary Morgan at Ingham Small Arms in Leslie, MI recently asked for more copies of our Foundation’s booklet, What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self-Defense Law, adding, “I don’t want to run out. I’m still putting them in every student’s material packet, along with including your website on the site list that I give them. I also mention your booklet when I go over the materials, and let them know that they should read it in its entirety as soon as time allows.”

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Editor’s Notebook

GHayesPebble in a Pond

by Gila Hayes

I’d like to start a ripple in the pond and spread word about an excellent article I recently read addressing a problem that gives enormous traction to anti-gun forces. That problem is use of firearms in suicides and in atrocities. Although addressing obtaining guns to commit suicide, the principal of individual interdiction instead of government restriction is expressed so clearly, I just had to share it with you.

You’ll find this powerful column about guns and suicide by Network Advisory Board Member Massad Ayoob in the May/June 2015 issue of Backwoods Home at Read it and glean strategies for productive responses to a disturbed person wanting to buy or borrow a firearm.

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About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

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