Monday, December 28, 2009

The Importance of Knowledge

There are some things you need to know in advance. These include...

what to do if fire breaks out in your home;
what to do if a health problem or injury occurs;
what to do if your car skids on snow or ice; and

what to do (and what NOT to do) if you shoot someone in your home!

Local news includes reports of a shooting in Wauconda last week-end. The details can be read in the local papers.

How many residents are ready to defend themselves, should the need arise? If you own firearms that are going to be available to you if your home is invaded, you had better decide several things in advance, including whether you are willing to use one of them, whether your family expects you to use one of them, and exactly what you are going to do after you use one of them.

There are several things you do want to do. Primary among these is protecting your rights. The police will want to know what happened, and you are going to have to decide quickly what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. The tendency is to believe that you had the right to defend yourself and that the police will agree with you.

OK, what color jail suit do you want (orange is the preferred color) and do you want an odd- or even-numbered cell?

You'd better be thinking of the attorney you will want on your side, and you had better refresh yourself on your Miranda Rights.

#1 "You have the right to remain silent."

As hard as that is going to be, you may want to keep your mouth shut, saying only that you believed your life was in danger. You will probably want to tell the cops what happened. Later you may wish you had kept your mouth shut. Since there is no taking back what was said, you had better decided in advance how you will say whatever you do decide to say.

#2 "Anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law."

Say this out loud: "Anything I say, can and will be used against me in a court of law." Now, read #1 again.

It may be that the very best thing you can do is keep your mouth shut until you talk to your attorney. Don't have an attorney? If you own a gun, you should know what attorney you will call.

On Saturday two bad guys got shot inside a Wauconda residence. They were in the front yard when the cops arrived. "Police confiscated the gun, which was registered."

Well, probably not. What does "registered" mean? If this had happened in Chicago, that sentence could be correct. And perhaps in a handful of suburbs that haven't given up yet and realized they can't prevent law-abiding citizens from owning handguns.

I hadn't heard that Wauconda required registration of handguns, so what did the reporter mean by "registered"?

Check out


Cal Skinner said...

Guns do not have to be registered under Illinois law. There is a Firearms Owners Identification Card that must be obtained.

DownByTheRiver said...

So right you are, Gus.

I was quite the shot in my boyhood days with others’ guns, particularly rifles, back in a more rational era. While currently not a gun owner, I am encouraged to be one as each and every day goes by – if not for the fact of President Hope-ium’s rise to power, lacking any other excuse to BE an owner. The current lack of the ability to concealed carry in Illinois, as well as a total lack of any “castle doctrine” laws have lulled me into complacency – in other words, what is the point? Did you know that Illinois and Wisconsin are the SOLE holdouts in this regard? Weird, eh? Perhaps I’ve fallen to their nefarious desires? All I have to defend myself at present is a butcher knife and a bowling pin – even though I recently would have had the opportunity to find a gun useful in defending myself against an unbalanced family member (by marriage) who was at large with a sawed-off shotgun!

What Gus said is entirely correct – you better decide what it is that you WILL do when the time comes to defend yourself. I would further advance that IF you have a gun, and IF that is your means of defense, you MUST decide beforehand that you WILL use it, and that you WILL use it to kill if necessary. Nothing is more dangerous than a gun that is “pulled” in a bad situation when you are unable or unwilling to use it. If you can’t shoot to kill, you should not have, nor should you, use a gun – period.

In the aftermath, you NEVER want the forensics team to ascertain that one of your slugs went into the back of your fleeing “victim”. If a gun owner, regardless of whether or not you need the training to get a concealed carry permit, you ALWAYS want to have actual TRAINING in the use of your weapon from a qualified instructor. A “fleeing victim” will always win the case or suit against you – as they rightfully should. If you shoot someone in retreat, you have gone beyond self-defense and have entered the realm of judge, jury and executioner. Good training will help you avoid this crucial mistake.

Gus is also providing the very best advice in that should you have reason to believe that you will use your gun in such a circumstance, you need a lawyer on speed-dial. And not just ANY lawyer, but a lawyer that has experience with Second Amendment cases. Your kindly family lawyer that has handled your wills, real-estate closings or adoptions is NOT adequate to your needs in such a situation. Only a criminal defense attorney will do. Yep, that’s right, you’re gonna be looked at as a criminal defendant until you can prove otherwise. DO NOT allow your actions in defending yourself and your loved ones be IN ANY WAY construed as criminal. The only way to avoid that incorrect attitude on the part of the cops or the public is to put a stop to it in the first place as quickly as possible – get the proper training AND the proper counsel BEFORE it becomes an issue.

Having “nothing to hide” in this instance (or any other) is NOT an excuse for not having adequate counsel – in ANY sort of dispute. Just as you were willing to utilize your weapon in defense of yourself and your loved ones “whatever the cost”, so too, don’t skimp the thousand dollars or so that may also be necessary to save you and your loved ones “whatever the cost”. More often than not, the “bad guys” (or their families) will engage an attorney in this instance. Don’t YOU go forth unarmed either!


Gus said...

Thanks, Cal.

I knew about the FOID card. I think Chicago still requires residents to register guns, and I'm not sure about Evanston, Morton Grove, Skokie, Winnetka. These last four might have given up after Heller, but the NRA is going to have grind Daley into the ground in the current Federal case, McDonald vs. the City of Chicago, to be argued March 2, 2010, before the U.S. Supreme Court.

DownByTheRiver said...

Hey Gus,

Winnetka backed off. You do not mention Oak Park, which may still be holding on!


Gus said...

DBTR, thanks for your excellent commentary. You're right on target!