After The Show (DRAFT)

From the many article assessments written about use of deadly force in a self-defense, the following seems to be consistent.

Should there be a need to deploy and use your firearm in a warranted self-defense situation, a few things you can probably expect to take place in the aftermath, and most certainly will in some ordered fashion in a defensive scene decomposition.  The scene assessment in this scenario is referred to as "theater" or "stage" or "actor" or "subject".

Secure Your Situation

First and foremost, ensure your situation/safety is secure before initiating a call to a 911 operator.  Don't risk re-initialization while speaking with a 911 operator.

In this day, it is sometimes the first impulse of individuals to text their friends about things they have just done.  DO NOT DO THIS.  The only contact you want to make is to a 911 operator.

911 What Is Your Emergency

  1. Collect yourself and thoughts, and call 911 operators.
  2. Ensure you provide your full name, address or location, and phone number.
  3. Inform the dispatch operator there has been an event that initiated a self-defense action with use of deadly force.  Leave it just that simple and straight forward.  Dispatch operators will ask more questions about that.
    • If there has been an injury, let the 911 operator know and to what extent you think the injury level is.
    • Let the 911 operator know what you look like, cloths worn, colors of cloths, etc...  Remember to keep calm and collected.
  4. Let the operator know what the subject looks like, cloths, colors, and other identifying attributes.
  5. You likely will be asked a number of questions by the 911 operator, and this would be normal.  Answer to the best of your ability, keep it just to the point.
  6. Information at the forefront, before they arrive, will aid law enforcement in what to expect in theater. For all they would know, they are responding to an active situation involving an armed participant, actor(s).  This is partly why you would want to "set the stage" before law enforcement arrives, so they know what to expect.
  7. Place your weapon on the ground or floor, serial number visible, any place but in your hands, and away from the actor in theater.
  8. If you think about it, and without altering the theater stage, you might consider taking pictures from varying angles, without altering the stage environment.
  9. Ensure your photos have a wide enough field of vision to document your composition area, location of shell casings, material splatter on walls, floors, etc.... A picture tells a story.
  10. Take a photo of your weapon, making sure you are able to capture the serial number, the reason for laying down serial number up.
  11. Remember, you too are an actor, still, in theater. Keep these photos for you. Law enforcement will most certainly be taking their own. Worth repeating, DO NOT DISTURB THE THEATER STAGE.
  12. Personally, I would find no need to inform law enforcement you have taken the photos.
  13. Also, assuming it is a mobile phone, it also might be beneficial to set your phone up in an audio recording mode, capture voice audio conversation, perhaps of your questioning. This may be of great benefit to you.

Over There

  1. As long as you know you are safe, distance yourself from subject. On arrival, law enforcement has to assess any situation as if there is a threat factor, and that factor remains in place until the scene has been stabilized, and they have it controlled.
  2. When law enforcement does arrive, it is probably a good idea to be highly visible.  This is in part the reason you would describe yourself to the 911 operators.
  3. It might be wise to place your hands on your head, perhaps get on your knees, cross your ankles, and follow specific direction of the responding officers.
  4. Do not demonstrate any level of aggression, resistance, or other factors that might affect a law enforcement officer’s perception of your threat level factor. Fully cooperate and be compliant to an officers commands.
    • You may be placed in handcuffs, and potentially an officer standing in proximity, in a readiness response orientation directed toward you. Or, you may be placed in the back of a cruiser, handcuffed.
    • Law enforcement is going to ask you questions, a scene discovery phase, probably lots of them. Some questions may seem the same, asked in different ways, and potentially asked by different officers.
  5. They are using interrogation techniques designed to extract information, comparing statements for consistency and accuracy.
  6. This information will be used in their assessment of the scene.
    • During discovery, this might be the time you might want to provide information to the responding officers, keeping information clear and concise, answering to only what is asked.

Lawyer Up

  1. Regardless of the immediate scene outcome, you would be strongly urged to pursue legal representation.
  2. Situation pending, justified defense or not, you are going to need legal representation.
  3. If you do go to jail, you will need both a bail bond and a lawyer.  It might be good to have some of this information in the back of your mind, as a just in case need.

Insurance 

I have read many articles on whether it is a good policy to have specific insurance for your concealed carry and self defense.  First, check into your homeowner policy to see exactly what is covered.  Better yet, after you do read your policy, call your agent and have it explained.  If no coverage, it may be beneficial to look into specific coverage.  Legal fees will prove to be expensive, and add up quickly.  A few dollars a month is worth every penny in the long run.  After the fact is not the time to consider insurance.

Summary

In an active situation, there are a lot of things you will need to process, in a very short period of time, quick seconds, and you better make sure you get it right, the first time.  You do not get a second chance or do over.

  1. Know the laws of your state, know your rights.  Read some of the many good articles on firearms and self-defense.
  2. Mentally rehearse in your mind different situations and how you might react in your scenario, keeping in mind the lawful application of your actions.  Dry run type drills.
  3. Training, Training, Training.
    • Go to the range as much as you can.
    • Document your trips to the range, dates, times, rounds, weapon, etc.…, spreadsheets work well for this.
    • Document your training, be progressive in your training, advancing your skills along the way.  It is good to show a type of recurring education, handgun safety, tactical techniques.
    • Keep a three ring binder of what you do, range time, training, certificates, etc.…
    • Know your states laws, and understand them.

Final Thought

If ever a need to be in court, you most certainly want to be defending yourself with your lawyer, and your rightful and legal actions, rather than have someone defend you on your behalf, because you are not alive to tell your side of the story.