Thursday, February 22, 2018

So You've Just Killed a Man


This isn’t the Sand Box.  This isn’t the Rock Pile.  This is your living room and there is now a badly wounded man lying on your floor with a gun in his hand.  This has never happened to you right here in America.  Over there was someplace and some time else.  This is home, the place you put your things and there is blood on them now.  

You have a gun in your hand and it’s smoking.

The invader tries to raise his pistol again.  

Your gun barks twice more.

Now the lights have gone out of his eyes.  You have just killed  a man in the comfort of your own home.

Your life has changed for-ev-er.  You will never be the same man you were before you pulled that trigger.  Old you is as dead as the now cooling lump of meat at your feet.

You have called the cops.  They will be there any minute.  What you do next will chart the course of the rest of  your life. It all depends on what you are about the tell the officer, that is about enter your house.

He was coming right for me!

Yeah, don’t do that.  

I realize that the president of the Bugtussel Gun Club and Bait Shop is a really charismatic guy and it sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.  To hear him tell it he’s killed dozens of home invaders.  “Just keep telling the cops, ‘he was coming right for me. He was coming right for me.’ Don’t say anything else.”

In this scenario, the Uncle Jimbo Defense is going to get you pleading down to a charge of Second Degree Murder from Murder One.  If you are really lucky, you will be pleading down to Manslaughter.  

Why is that Cataline?  You ask round eyed in wonder and astonishment at very possibility that Uncle Jimbo could ever be wrong.

Simple.  The evidence doesn’t match your story.  Your ‘victim’ had two bullet holes in his back.

You don’t get to choose your cop.

Admittedly 95% of the cops are alright.  They know perfectly well that legal gun owners aren't the problem. I am not anti-cop.  However, there are 5% that hate the idea that anyone who isn't them has a legal right to carry. Those few will go after you.
You don’t get to choose your prosecutor.

Most will be reasonable about the fact that your life was on the line and you did whatever you had to do, to defend it.  However, a few will view this a golden opportunity to send a message to legal gun owners everywhere. They will twist every single aspect of your story into a tale of gun fueled hyper rage.

The DA is not going to try and get a conviction for Murder One and win it in front of a jury. He will build as strong a case as he can for Murder Two and then tell your lawyer he will accept a plea bargain for manslaughter. The two of them will then negotiate your sentence. 

Your job is to give your DA as little material as possible to work with. So shut the fuck up at the earliest opportunity. It mostly comes down to your own word against you

You don’t get to choose your jury.

If it goes to a jury, God help you.  Don’t tell yourself the stupidest of lies, “no jury in the world, will convict me.”  

They can.

They do.

They will. 

It only takes one bullying SJW to cow a jury of beta males/females, into a life shattering conviction. Yes, SJWs will hate you for defending your family with a gun, instinctively. They will try to punish you for it.

So what do you do?  

If you buy a gun and plan to use it defend yourself and your family.  You have to have plan for the aftermath of that event.

1. Call 911

Ideally you did that at the moment of break in and before you pulled the trigger.  The phone is your second best friend in this situation.  You probably called on a cell phone, so first thing; (First:) the moment you are connected to 911, repeat your address twice.

Then say, ‘send the police.’  You can give the rest of your information as the operator asks for it. Cell phones cannot be traced in anything like real time. Give your address, first.  You might be more in luck with a land line but why take chances?  

(Second:) leave the phone ON the entire time and shout things that your lawyer will find useful in court,  “I AM IN THE BEDROOM AND I AM ARMED! IF YOU COME IN HERE, I WILL FEEL THREATENED!”   

911 is recording everything and its all admissible in court. 

Keep in mind screaming, "Die, muthafucker!" Will likely go against you with the law.

2. Put your gun down

If there are no more threats and the cops are on the way, it’s time to find a good place for your weapon.  Do not have a gun in your hand when a hyper adrenalized young man in his early twenties with a badge enters your house.  

A gun in your hand, will put him into a heightened state of awareness,”  cops are never frightened.  They just enter aheightened state of awareness,” just ask any cop on the witness stand, they will use those exact same words.  Do not put a cop into a, heightened state of awareness,” by having a gun in your hand.  Top of the fridge is fine.  

Caveat; putting the gun in your gun-safe is not fine. It is bad because ALL of your guns will be confiscated as evidence if you do that.

3. Tell the cops where your gun is.

That’s required and in fact supersedes your Miranda rights.  Yes, you have to tell them, so tell them. 

Top of the fridge, like I said. Or in it for that matter

Grab one for yourself officer.

4. Ask to be read your rights.

Do it respectfully.  Don’t be a dick about it.  The cops have got a job to do.  

But so do you and its to stay out of prison. 

Part of that job is to avoid needlessly pissing off the cops. Once you have told them where your gun is, politely ask to be read your rights. Ignore any questions they immediately pepper you with, after you have told them where your gun is.

5.  Say, you will not speak without your attorney present.

The moment you claim Self Defense, you have reversed the Burden of Proof;

You didn't have to prove anything until you opened your mouth. The moment you say, "I didn't have a choice officer." Or worse, "he was coming right for me." You just entered a plea before the court without a lawyer at your dumbass side.  

Say nothing from that point on.

If the cops then say something like, "he's acting like a guilty man." Continue to be silent but tell your lawyer all about it. I promise you, your lawyer will do his happy dance when he hears about that because he is going home early after the judge throws the case out. 


Yes, the police will be all friendly and polite and "it's all just a formality"...Until you sign that fucking thing. Then the cops are free to interrogate you for days and you no longer have a Right to Silence because you literally signed that one away. You are required by law at that point to keep answering questions and sooner or later you will say something that will end you.

REMEMBER; If the cops try to get you to sign a Waiver of Your Rights they are actively trying to convict you of something.

6. Okay then. That’s it. I've said the magic words, "I will not speak without the presence of my attorney." 

Am I done?  

Okay, actually you're not done.

Not by a damn sight. 

You will be arrested.  That’s happening, plan for it accordingly.  

You are absolutely going to be investigated for Second Degree Murder.  That’s happening, plan for it accordingly.  

Have a lawyer picked out, well in advance.  That one is vitally important. He needs to be familiar with the case law in question. Don't assume that the guy who drew up your will can handle this one. You need a specialist.

I would also strongly recommend a membership in something like the USCCA.  Think of it as AAA for concealed carry owners. They have a hot list of lawyers familiar with the relevant case law in your state.  Also Insurance for court costs.  Also insurance against lawsuits by the surviving family members of the guy you just shot. That’s happening too. You will be sued. Also immediate bail money. Also compensation from lost wages while you are in court. These are all very good things.

Look I get it. 

You want to tell the cops everything so you can just get this nightmare over with. After all that’s how it works on TV, when it’s clear case of self defense. Right? The cops take your word for everything. The body gets carted away.  You have a ham sandwich before going back to bed and hope the cleaning fairies get the the blood off everything before you wake up.

Guess what.  That only happens on TV.

You don’t know how you are going to behave in this situation until it happens to you.  No one does.  But if you have a gun you are going to use for self defense.   Be prepared for the aftermath

And. Have. A. Plan.

Nine out ten NRA lawyers recommend peeing yourself
Use your best judgement.


Duke Norfolk said...

Excellent piece. And you really have to go over this periodically to make sure it's well established in your mind. Heck, even better have a card with the basic bullet points on it next to the one with your lawyer's number, or the number given to you by whatever "gun coverage" company you choose.

I've chosen CCW Safe myself; after much consideration and study. Really good coverage and reasonable rates, especially for LE or military (active or retired). Recommended by Andrew Branca, a self-defense lawyer who seems like good shit.

Cataline Sergius said...

I'll have to look into them. This piece gets revised now and then due to changing circumstances.

The thing to remember is that even if the cops on the scene are on your side it's often out their hands

Cataline Sergius said...

I'm looking into how much smart speakers changes this equation.

Potentially, they leave cell phones in the dust.

Just give "Alexa" a few orders and forget about fucking around with a cell phone.