Whenever a critical event happens, we seldom rise to the occasion but instead fall back on our training. While it’s common sense to train our skills at the range, seldom do we practice what to do after bang as much as we practice what to do before bang. With this in mind, here is a five-point mental training list of what you should do if you ever have to use your firearm in self-defense.
- Make Sure You Are Safe.
First and foremost, your safety should be the first priority. Many law enforcement officers say “Where there is one – there’s two. Where there are two – there are three.” Scan the area to ensure no further threats exist.
- Call 911.
Remember, 911 calls are recorded! Tell the operator you have been the victim of a crime and need law enforcement assistance. Give them your name, location, and identifying factors. For example, “My name is Michele Byington, and I was just the victim of an attempted robbery at the gas station at 1234 Main St. I’m wearing a turquoise dress. Please send help.” After that short statement, hang up the phone.
- Return the Gun to Safekeeping.
Whatever you do, do NOT have a gun in your hand when law enforcement arrives. They will most likely see this as a threat, as they may not know who the good guy or bad guy is when they get to the scene. Either holster the gun or place it somewhere secure, like in a locked motor vehicle or gun safe.
- Call Your Lawyer!
Using a gun in self-defense will be one of the most traumatic events of your life. Your body will undergo several physiological effects that may cloud your recollection of the incident. When you’re trying to recover from an adrenaline dump, it is not the best time to give a detailed statement to law enforcement. This is because every statement you make will be scrutinized, and if there are any discrepancies between your statement and the physical evidence, it could cause a lot of trouble in the long run. Instead, tell your lawyer exactly what happened. Be as detailed as possible with the events immediately surrounding your use of a gun. They will advise you throughout the process and ensure your rights are protected!
- If You Can’t Call A Lawyer, Invoke Your Rights.
If the police arrive before you can call a lawyer, as mentioned, you are not in any condition to give statements or be questioned. Tell the police officer you are invoking your right to an attorney, and your right to remain silent, and then simply remain silent. If you can weather the storm, eventually you will have an opportunity to speak to an attorney, and be in a significantly better position with regards to any pending criminal cases compared to if you had simply spilled your guts to law enforcement.