Second Stop... S.A.F.E.

In his teachings Tony Blauer uses a popular saying amongst those in the defense community, "I'd rather be judged by 12, than carried by 6." But ladies and gentlemen, nowadays it’s just not that simple.

Re-certifying my CCW with S.A.F.E. lead to some disheartening facts. In the State of Arizona cases that involve use of a gun require mandatory prison time. That means if the jury decides you used excessive force for shooting an intruder in your home, which an honest attorney will tell you statistically happens 50% of the time, then you're going to prison. The jury doesn't know the facts. And your defense attorney isn’t allowed to tell them. They may think you deserve probation but a guilty verdict means black bars and a new roommate named Larry who isn’t fond of showers.

Prosecuting attorney’s capitalize on this and offer plea bargains. So you’re forced to stand in front of a jury and plead guilty to excessive force. That’s usually the only way to avoid full sentencing. The press has a field day with it and every anti-gun advocate slanders you across social media because you confessed. It’s amazing how quickly they forget about the fact your five year-old daughter was asleep upstairs while the intruder was banging around the living room like a high school marching band.

What can we do? Physically, don’t clear the house. If someone breaks into your home, round up your family, put them in one room and lock the door. Have one of them call the police and report an intruder. Then, hang up. Yes, hang up. Set your sites on the midline of the door and ONLY if they come crashing in, shoot. Don’t shoot if you hear them. Don’t shoot if they’re knocking on the door. That’ll never hold up, only shoot if they breech the second perimeter. And when the cops arrive say, “I need to speak to my attorney.” It doesn’t matter that you’re innocent. In their eyes you’re a person with a gun who just shot an intruder. And if the intruder is unarmed it’s not going to look good. And you wont know if they are armed until they come barging through the door and I can almost guarantee you that in the heat of the moment you aren’t going to wait to fire.

Have this discussion with your friends and family too. Come to an agreement that no matter what happens, if it’s necessary to use a gun in defense, none of you will speak about the matter until disclosing the facts to your attorney. It doesn’t look bad in a court of law. It protects you. And you’re going to need all of the protection you can get.

Which leads me to a fact about hand-to-hand combat I hate to disclose. The reality is when you've worked under the men who've trained DEA, FBI, DOD and 12 law enforcement agencies in the country, in a court of law you're considered a lethal weapon. If you wear our patch, even though our code is defined by love, honor, respect and only if necessary, defense, over half of the country will classify the skills we use to protect a life, in the same category as wielding a Glock 45. Bottom line, don’t throw a punch, Shield into another man’s sternum, or tie him up for a choke unless you feel equally justified as being locked in your bedroom, waiting to see if an intruder will come crashing through the door. It’s just not worth it.

Remember, we train for balance, in hopes that we can be good men and lead with grace and compassion. Let UFC fighters run their mouth and take selfies. We aren’t selling tickets. The only witnesses that matter are those we provide for and protect. Let go of ego. 

Peace and punches! 


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