Thusfar we have shared what I think are the all important aspects of the study of gunfighting. We have taken all the steps on the map from developing the proper attitude, and self-image, and what that leads to, as well as the sort of training that will best insure your victory in the fight itself. As a point of credibility, not only do I have personal hands on experience with this, but so do my students. I have been teaching these concepts now for twenty years. None of my students, many of whom are private citizens as well as police officers, have ever lost a gunfight, nor have any of them been jailed for their actions during the gunfight.
And it is that last point that this next segment of the study is about. The so-called aftermath. The Aftermath (followed by sinister music) is big business. Like the relationship between doctors and pharma that keeps America sick and drugged, the Aftermath-based businesses help keep America afraid, ignorant, and in real danger of the law after a shooting. Both of those eventualities are not only unnecessary, but also easily avoided.
When I see a student that is overweight, sickly and on various metabolic-control drugs, I suggest to him that he take some simple steps with regards to diet and physical activity. Those that listen often return to class half the men they were when we met, and report that they are off medications and their health has improved. Could it really be that simple for health? Not always, but usually the answer is yes. Ask my students. But Doctors and Pharma don’t make much money from that so their “expert answers” involve those things the can profit from which are drugs upon drugs. Follow the money to see who benefits and why.
There are similarities with the Aftermath Business. Could it be so simple as that? That if you have knowledge about what will happen, what the investigation will be like, and what needs to be said, and how, that the chances of you being listed as a victim rather than a suspect are almost guaranteed? It is that simple. But the legal professionals won’t make much money from that so they advise the opposite. You hear the parroted internet advice, as told to them by their attorney – stay silent, say nothing, it will all come out in court.
Sure it will. But let’s look at some realities before we take that advice shall we –
1). The police report will not wait for your attorney. It will be written based on observable evidence and statements (yours and that of witnesses). There is a timeline where the initial report will be submitted. The officer writing it doesn’t get to take it home and think about it for a few days. He will write it while drinking his coffee and turn it in before his shift is over.
2). You have one of two places to be mentioned in the report – victim or suspect. Your categorization will determine how you are treated, and what the focus of the investigation will take in relation to you. If you are a victim, the investigation will be to justify your actions upon the suspect who attempted to kill you, by showing his criminal actions. If you are a suspect, the investigation is intended to show that you yourself committed a crime. It is as simple as that.
3). The initial report is written not on paper, but in essence, in stone. And nothing short of the Lord Himself will ever rewrite that initial report. Once you are a suspect, you are always a suspect. And the investigation will run its course.
4). The role of the victim – Victims give a statement, an additional follow up statement, and are likely released to go home and sleep in their own bed. Costs? Minimal…maybe a new pistol. Not a bad idea to have a lawyer go with your for a secondary interview, but his fee will be less than the price for a new quality rifle.
5). The role of the suspect – Suspects are formed when it is clear they committed a crime, or when their lack of response to a request for information leaves the officer to guess about what happened. Suspects are arrested and charged and if they want to go home, must post bail. Bail for a homicide (ostensibly we assume you were successful thus there is a dead body in place) begins at $500,000. At minimum, you will get to pay a non-refundable $50,000. And that is just to go home. Don’t have that lying around, or cannot qualify for the “loan”? Guess where you stay until your hearing.
6). And we haven’t even discussed the cost of your attorney. Right around this time some guys will sit smugly in their chair because they have “Sheepdog Insurance”. They got it from an ad on Youtube and it only costs $50, and if they get into a shooting, their lawyer will magically materialize on scene and whisk them off to safety. Sure they will. remember item numbers 1-4 above?
Note: An attorney provided at bargain prices through some sort of buying club or insurance is like Obamacare. Feels nice to have that cool membership card until you get something really serious that needs attention.
7). Only by understanding the dynamics and flow of a police investigation, and your role in it, can you affect the outcome of being a victim rather than a suspect. If you do in fact, remain silent, or don’t provide context to what has happened, you all but guarantee becoming a suspect with all that entails. Fair has nothing to do with it. Reality doesn’t care what you think is fair.
At this juncture some will still hold on to their “Sheepdog Insurance” card like it was a sliver from the True Cross promising them redemption and salvation if only they dial that 1-800 number at the time when they need it. Others, usually the more educated, realize that what I am saying is true, and look further at what we are saying. The key and most important point is understanding the dynamics and flow of the investigation, your role in it, and the goal of being a victim rather than a suspect.
This part we will discuss the first contact with the first responders. And there will be first responders. Some Walter Mitty types on the internet have a fantasy of defending themselves, or killing an active shooter, and then disappearing into the mist, unidentified. Not only will that be very difficult to do given modern responses to such events, but somebody somewhere undoubtedly got a video of it. Fail to make purposeful contact with the first responders, and you will be identified as an armed killer on the loose with every young officer out to make a name for himself likely to shoot you on sight. So, first contact must be made. Here is how you set the stage for success.
1). As soon as it is safe and practical, you need to call the 911 system. You, not your wife or your kid, or the poor bystander you commandeered into helping you. You need to do it, and it is the first phone call you need to make because you can bet others are calling on what they saw. But note, as soon as it is safe and practical. If it is not safe, you may need to get someplace safe first. That is perfectly acceptable. Your call does not need to be the first the police receive, but they do need to receive it. They are coming and it is incumbent on you that they have the best information so they treat the event as it truly was and not as they might think it is.
2). The first call. You need to control yourself. It has always been a common expected trait of adults to control themselves so ignore immediately anyone that tells you you will not be able to do so. That doesn’t mean it will be shorn of any emotion or excitement. Certainly your words must be genuine, but emotional outbursts never help anyone get their message across.
3). Your conversation with the 911 operator should have the framework already established. And it will be a conversation. many people think they will make a canned statement filled with magic key words whereupon neither dispatchers or officers will ask anything else and the entire event will freeze until your attorney descends on a cloud. It doesn’t work that way. Set the frame work of your words and conversation beforehand using the Flowchart Of Justified Deadly Force.
4). Your words will establish your victim status. The framework should involve what happened, who you are, and establish initially and many subsequent times subsequent to that, that you are the victim. There are ways to accomplish this without seeming contrived or false. Something like, “Hello…two gang members just tried to kill me. They tried to steal my car at gunpoint and I thought they were going to kill me. My name is….”. That is a good way to set the tone and your role in the event.
5). Your words will include the following points. They may be prompted by a question from the call taker. Transmit in short bursts, not a long drawn out diatribe. It should be a conversation and not a monologue.
a). What happened – this should detail what the bad guys tried to do. Note the subtle difference between “I was just in a shooting” and “Two gang members just tried to kill me”. Wield words like you wield your weapons, with class, skill and dexterity.
b). Who and where you are – They likely already know the where in general, but tell them you have taken cover behind the black Tahoe at the end of the lot…”because you were afraid they were going to come after you“. Identify yourself by name. Then describe yourself physically. And again, it should be genuine so practice it. “Hey guys listen…I am the victim…please tell the officers that I am no threat to them. I am a male white, fifties, 6 feet and 190 pounds. I am wearing a blue shirt and tan pants. I am a victim.” Keep stating the obvious and it will be transmitted and accepted.
6). The mission of the call taker is to get as much information for the responding officers as possible so that they can arrive, secure and resolve the event safely. They do not want to shoot a good guy anymore than you want to shoot a police officer. But this is a tense situation and the call taker may or may not be skilled. If an important bit of information is not asked for, like your physical description, be sure to volunteer it. Remember that the more information the responding units have about the reality of the event and your role, the safer it will be for you a well.
7). First Contact with the first responders. Hopefully by now, you have made multiple micro statements about your victim status and the preliminary information received by other means is supportive of that fact. Coupled with your self-provided description and nutshell description of what the bad guys did, the responding officers are forming an opinion abou the situation. When they arrive, it is all very simple. First point is don’t have the pistol pointed at them, or held in an aggressive manner. Whether you holster or not is a point of debate. I carry appendix and am very fit so holstering is very easy to do. I would most likely have holstered before the police arrive. Second point is do as you are told. This is not the time to discuss your rights. This is the time for them to control and secure everything, including you. They are good at this and the less compliant you are, the more forceful they will be.
A Handbook for Ranch Managers. In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.
You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.