Get Your Story Straight

This is a guest post from AJ Jensen

Watch your mouth, man. Get your story straight.

These days, social networking brings us all kinds of good things. We make new friends, we share pictures of kitty-cats and bacon, fight over internet gunpolitics and best of all, meet fellow hobbyists.

Today I saw a story about a home invasion. A homeowner had chased the intruder with a gun, firing shots along the pursuit, and although the perpetrator initially escaped he was roundly apprehended later by police.

Predictably, the homeowner was charged as well, for having taken shots at a fleeing suspect who posed no physical threat.

Even more predictably, the comment thread at the foot of that story was full of big talk about what “I’d do to a home invader if the guy had targeted MY house.”

In this day and age such talk is a big mistake however you may feel about a home invaders’ civil rights in your own living room. And here is the reason why.

Let’s say you DO encounter a home invader and you DO gun him down, perfectly within the law. The authorities are still going to take a long hard look at you, and that can easily include your activity on social networking sites, email and whatever else they can dig up. Do you really want to face a jury, after they’ve been read ten pages of your innermost thoughts on how to handle a home invader? Remember, print lasts forever, and the context won’t look the same when you’re in the defendant’s chair, after the fact.

We live in a country with a patchwork of gun laws, defense laws and firearm restrictions. What may be true in one community certainly isn’t true everywhere else, nor does the law remain the same. Add to that the general human tendency to pretend to know something, like your buddy who always wanted to go to law school and thinks he knows everything about gun laws.

The bottom line for the armed homeowner is to know your state’s defense laws, and know them for a fact. Don’t guess. And God forbid you’re forced to use a firearm to save your own life, shoot to stop the threat. Cooperate with authorities, and don’t pave the way beforehand for some zealous prosecutor by seeding the internet with “I’d have shot the guy dead” or “He deserved it,” or even more explicit remarks. It’s true when they say it can and will be used against you.

Use your head when talking on the internet, because you talk louder than you might even believe.

And, may you never need your gun for anything more than a lifetime of enjoyment at the range.


AJ Jensen is a web developer and writer, with eight years’ Army experience and an avid shooting sports enthusiast


  1. Good article and very true!

  2. Well said, good home defense begins with good thinking not just a gun.

  3. Good advice as the “Castle doctrine” and “Stand your ground” laws vary so much from state to state.

  4. Donal Westbrook says:

    Very, very, true. Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. This is something I would certainly like to see more of. I read so many comments on so many sites that could come back to bite one…. like the deputy in Cali who shot the kid with the fake AK. He posted honestly and earnestly, with no malice; a trainer at Gunsite, as well as other places. While he may well prevail in the courts, it would have been a lot easier if he’d been less open.

  6. Great article. Very good and very true points.

  7. Maureen dobbins says:

    I feel that is very good advice. People are so eager to express their option about what they think
    They don’t think passed the keyboard. Once they hit send or post it’s out there forever.
    I live in va. And I have been advised that if an intruder makes their way into my house and I can’t get outside and away from them , than for me to go to a room and lock the door and if
    Intruder makes it in there after I have tried to get away from this intruder than if they make it to me after making my distance from them than I can use my weapon for self defense. Also told to make sure I call police while trying to do this . ( if able)

  8. I don’t think it’s a bright idea posting a copy of one’s concealed carry license on a social networking site either. Sure you may be proud of it, but there is a reason it’s called “concealed carry”.

  9. Very good advice and very true As I have said some thing’s I probably shouldn’t have but some time’s thing’s just have a way of getting to a person and they have to vent . I would never want to use a gun in self defense but I would if need came up . I can’t understand why people can’t just live and let live why does every one feel they have to force their view’s on other’s . I believe in God , if you do not that is your choice but don’t try and force me to not believe as I don’t try to force you to believe. In my eye’s this is where the country is going down hill very rapidly .

  10. I always wondered about this myself. I think the first thing to do would be to try to get away and make sure you tell the police that you tried this if you are forced to use a gun for self-defense.

  11. steve lewis says:

    Kudos! Excellent article and perfect timing for such sage advice when so many of us are sharing everything online & every media or government agency is watching every word. Thanks!

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