New Gun Safety Rules Released
Dial 911 and fry? How to not convict yourself after shooting in self defense
by Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
Protection of the innocent is at stake
Protection of the innocent is at stake
A new set of firearm-safety rules has been introduced.
The classic gun-safety rules used nationwide for decades were designed for two main purposes. First are the safe-gun-handling and accident-prevention rules that all new students get drilled into their heads. Roughly, these include: always assume it’s loaded, point in a safe direction, and don’t touch the trigger until ready to fire, along with many others of a similar nature. The actual wordings vary depending on the source.
Next are the gun-safety rules for surviving an attack. Less widely known, these are nonetheless critically important to an innocent person, the police, or anyone in combat who must depend on firearms to survive.
The classic “Lovejoy’s Rules of Gun Safety” include, for example:
1 – You must have a gun.
2 – Your gun should always be loaded and ready to fire.
3 – The first hit counts more than the first shot.
As with the classics, numerous versions and different rules circulate. The first rule is sometimes expressed as: “The best gun is the one you have.”
A third set of gun-safety rules has now been proposed in a new book, After You Shoot: Your gun’s hot. The perp’s not. Now what? released in November, 2010. The publisher, Arizona-based Bloomfield Press, is the nation’s largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books.
Author Alan Korwin points out that, “Many people don’t fully realize that if they shoot in self defense, even in the most pure and perfectly clean case, they can face murder charges and an onslaught of legal troubles that may be worse than the criminal assault they survived.”
After You Shoot is focused on how to survive the legal threats and aftermath an innocent victim faces. The bottom line according to Korwin is that, “It’s always better to avoid a gunfight than to survive one.”
To drive the point home, the book proposes a third set of gun safety rules for self defense, to keep in mind before entering a confrontation. The five rules are:
NEW GUN SAFETY RULES FOR SELF DEFENSE:
1. If you ever shoot in self defense you must prepare to defend yourself against execution for murder.
2. When you drop the hammer plan to cash in your life savings for your lawyer’s retainer. Avoid this unless your life depends on it.
3. Sometimes the innocent get decent treatment, sometimes they don’t.
4. It’s always better to avoid a gunfight than to win one.
5. If innocent life doesn’t immediately depend on it, don’t shoot. And if it does, don’t miss.
The last rule has been included in Korwin’s state-by-state gun-owner guides for at least a decade (https://www.gunlaws.com/books.htm), as part of the chapter on self defense. It is a single sound-bite-sized summary of all the law on self defense.
After You Shoot, released in November, 2010, examines the right of a defendant to remain silent and to have an attorney present prior to and during any questioning. Both rights are relinquished by calling 911 after an incident and talking into a police voice recorder. The book also looks at how lawyers handle self-defense cases, the differences between how police and the public are treated in similar situations, and how people can avoid convicting themselves after surviving a deadly criminal assault.
Laws, Korwin says, could be better drafted to do more to protect the innocent. His home state of Arizona has done much in this regard, with a defensive display statute that protects a person who draws but doesn’t fire a gun in self defense, and a 911 Limited Immunity statute now in the works, which was introduced in the new book. The state legislature moved it easily through committee, but then it sat idle while budget concerns squeezed out other activity. Plans are underway to introduce it again next year.
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