by Marty Hayes, J.D.
My head hurts. Please allow me to explain.
The other day, I was perusing that great source of gun-related knowledge, FaceBook. I came across a post on a 10mm Fan page, that asked this question (this is quoted verbatim with no attempt to fix the typos or grammar or inlude the multiple emoticons):
“I love my 10mm...but.....i dont think it would be a good idea to end up in court after a self defence shooting ...and try to explan why you carry such i devistating. Load....your thoughts?”
I thought to myself, “This will be interesting” but OMG! I have selected just a few of them for your reading pleasure…
“I’d Rather be Judged by Twelve then Carried by Six”
“You are going to end up in court after EVERY self defense shooting”
“Deadly force is deadly force. Clean shoot is a clean shoot”
“I’m still looking for a round to completely remove the head from the shoulders ”
“To make sure I kill the dirt bag in the most humane way as possible... ”
“If you have to use it repeat after me, when asked why that gun and that ammo “its just what I had at the time, no rhyme or reason, it’s just what I had. I have many other guns, its just the one I picked up that day”
“The Key words “I was in fear for my life” Will be all you need, regardless of what you’re shooting with.”
I report and comment on the above for a couple of reasons. First, does anyone here think these types of comments, on a public forum such as FaceBook, linked with the individual’s name, is a good idea? One of the first things the detectives do after a self-defense shooting is look up the shooter on social media. Law enforcement is looking for indications of premeditation and/or intent. I rarely post anything on social media, instead relegating my participation to that of a reader (with the exception of the Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network’s FaceBook page). When I do post, I post with the expectation that my words may be read in court and I will have to defend those words. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE if you are a Network member, stay off social media and don’t make these types of comments. Now, I am pleased to report that none of the over 100 comments on this particular post mentioned the Network.
This brings me to my second comment. There were several comments suggesting that people should buy “self-defense insurance,” as if having an insurance policy will make everything go away. Insurance will NOT cure stupid, and no amount of insurance coverage will make things right when an individual commits criminal acts.
Just to be clear, the Network is not insurance anyway, so it is not even an issue with what we do. I would like to think our education efforts with our members have been working, because I simply do not see such stupidity associated with Network members. It shows how much work we still have to do to educate our fellow armed citizens, many of whom have not yet benefited from the training we’ve been fortunate enough to have. Okay, enough on this topic.
No News on Insurance Commissioner Fight
We are in legal limbo, meaning that it would not be prudent to make comments on the legal issues. Suffice it to say that we are working through what appears to be a months-long, if not longer, court battle. I will update when I can, and just wanted to let everyone who has donated to the fight know that we are not backing down, and that we REALLY appreciate your support.
Comments on the Chauvin Trial
When I watched the 9 minute 29 second video showing the death of George Floyd, I knew that there was no way that Chauvin was going to be acquitted. I thought perhaps there would be a hung jury, but even that was not a likely outcome. I was impressed with both sides of the case, feeling that the prosecution was doing a good job presenting its evidence, and that the defense was trying valiantly to counter the prosecution.
In the end it boiled down to the jury looking at the video, and feeling that the force Chauvin used was unreasonable and unnecessary. If I had been on the jury, I too would likely have voted to convict. It will be interesting to watch as the trials of the other three officers unfold.
I have a question to ask of those of you who have studied this case. Wouldn’t it have been important for Chauvin to have had some lesson plans, notes he took during training, and/or the testimony of his training officers to tell the jury he followed his training during the incident? Alas, I saw none of that. At least our Network members have our educational package to fall back on, if they are ever prosecuted.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.