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

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