Self Defense in Low Light

GelhausEAn Interview with Erick Gelhaus

by Gila Hayes

Armed citizens began to feel Erick Gelhaus’ influence in the early 2000s when his knowledgeable posts earned a strong following on Internet bulletin boards including The Firing Line where his commentary reality-checked use of force topics, especially by law enforcement. He later became a gun writer for S.W.A.T. Magazine. We introduced readers to him in 2020 when he gave a frank interview ( about the aftermath of an on-duty shooting.

Since then, Gelhaus has shouldered editorial responsibilities at the FMG online publication American COP. Unlike law enforcement publications of the past, the content at is not restricted to police. Much is applicable to armed citizens, and of interest to gun enthusiasts. My attention was drawn to one of his columns discussing low light issues and later a gear column that covered flashlights. He graciously agreed to answer my questions on the two subjects. He was quick to stress that the tactics and techniques we were discussing were not all his own. “I’ve learned from classes with Ken Good, Steve Fisher, Aaron Cowen, and from the folks I have taught with at Gunsite, as well as my own experiences,” he noted. Network members may find our chat as educational and useful as I did, so we switch now to our familiar interview format.

eJournal: Why is darkness so disorienting to so many of us? The sun is not up for about half of our lives so we should be used to the dark! Why do we need to carry a flashlight?

Gelhaus: Humans are daylight creatures. We are not like some of the other animals that have eyes set up to function at night. Our eyes are just not set up to do that. When it got dark, we retreated into our caves, we retreated into our huts, we closed the doors, we lit the fire and we stayed indoors until the sun came up the next morning. We don’t function well in a dark environment. We depend a whole lot on our eyes. Take away the light and it gets confusing.

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President’s Message

Marty Hayes

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

I have been writing this president’s message each month since our inception in 2008, meaning this is the 176th such message! I enjoy keeping our membership informed about the goings on at the Network, and I hope you enjoy reading these columns. This personal contact is what makes the Network different from the other companies selling after self-defense legal plans. I guess this effort would be considered “old school” and that label fits me to a “T.” Someday I will be replaced when the corporation moves into a different phase, but we do not expect that to occur for some time. For now, you are stuck with me!

Come Visit us in Indy!

We will be at the Indiana Convention Center April 14-16 for the NRA Annual Meeting. Despite the leadership issues the NRA faces, I believe all gun owners should be a member, as it is the political clout of the NRA that’s kept the anti-gun politicians away from the door (at least up to now). The leadership issues of the NRA will eventually get resolved, so joining is not a waste of your hard-earned dollars. If you are not a current NRA member, you can join right at the Annual Meeting and get into the exhibit hall.

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Attorney Question of the Month

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In recent Network online journals, Robert Margulies, MD gave very convincing arguments to justify using deadly force against an empty-hand attack. At the same time, experience in court also shows that when a person uses deadly force against an unarmed attacker, they are routinely prosecuted for murder. We asked our affiliated attorneys – 

In your state, if a citizen uses a gun to stop an empty-hand attack, is the armed citizen routinely charged?

Is there any established case law in your state clarifying the use of deadly force to stop an empty-hand attack? 

We received a number of good, educational responses and split them between our March 2023 and this, the April 2023 journal. Here is the second half of our attorneys’ answers–

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News From Our Afilliates

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by Gila Hayes

On Tennessee’s northern border where the state line meets Virginia and Kentucky, Valor Ridge is inspiring patriotism and self sufficiency through the leadership of instructor Reid Henrichs. His name comes up quite frequently in answer to our question, “How did you learn about the Network?”

Henrichs was a recreational shooter before he joined the US Marine Corps at the age of 17. He remembers learning the fundamentals of shooting during rifle training and realizing that he was being exposed to “just the tip of the ice burg.”

“It was a little overwhelming,” he grins. As a young person, he followed the writings and videos from master instructors. Years later, he was fortunate to be a student in the last class Chuck Taylor taught and he talked with Taylor at length while finalizing work on his book Pistolcraft.

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Book Review

In Defense of the Second Amendment

By Larry Correia
Regnery Publishing (January 24, 2023)
256 pages, Hardcover $29.99; eBook $14.99
ISBN-13: ‎978-1684514144

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

Has America outgrown its Constitutional recognition of the right to armed self defense and the right to possess weaponry to overthrow government tyranny? This is the underlying question when novelist Larry Correia departs from his usual supernatural epic genre for a long but informal debunking of the many reasons politicians, news media personalities, entertainment celebrities and others cite as they attempt to destroy this cornerstone of America’s freedom.

Restrictions against lawful gun ownership are nothing new. Correia, who once was a Class III dealer, explains how early gun control laws targeted unpopular minorities, and favored the wealthy. For example, the 1934 NFA restrictions set what was at the time an exorbitantly high fee to own suppressors, short-barreled shotguns, and rifles and other AOW class firearms, restricting them to just the very wealthy.

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Editor’s Notebook

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by Gila Hayes

Building up financial resources for the legal defense of Network members has been only one of our tasks since January 2008 when we launched Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network. Education, fellowship and networking have been just as important to the growth of a supportive membership. The key to succeeding at all those aspects of our organization’s growth has been staying focused on our mission.

We are resolved that no Network member will face the legal system alone after legitimate use of force in self defense. We are driven to prevent unmeritorious prosecution of a member. Still, when potential members ask questions before deciding to join, the amount of money set aside for member legal defense consistently arises. Even though my mom and probably yours, too, often said that it’s rude to talk about money, today let’s talk about the Legal Defense Fund. Sorry, Mom...

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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.

Do not mistake information presented in this online publication for legal advice; it is not. The Network strives to assure that information published in this journal is both accurate and useful. Reader, it is your responsibility to consult your own attorney to receive professional assurance that this information and your interpretation or understanding of it is accurate, complete and appropriate with respect to your particular situation.

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