The mainstream media have a narrative they will project and protect until their dying days when it comes to the average citizen using a gun for self-defense. The best defensive gun uses, the ones that are clean and pure as the wind-driven snow, will be buried at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile the media will exploit the others for sensationalism value and to further their anti-gun and just-call-911 narratives.
The media especially love to swarm and feed like piranha when the attacker’s family comes out to call foul after their relative has been shot, or if there’s the possibility of exploiting a racial component.
Pro-tip: If you’re ever involved in a defensive gun use, do not talk with the media. Do not invite them into your home. Do not take calls from them or sit down with them. It’s simple really. Do. Not. Talk. To. The. Media.
Their story is already written and an interview with you will only dial up the sensationalism. It’ll also give them a chance to portray you, the victim, as a trigger-happy murdering redneck. Or worse.
Take the recent case of James Rayl of Sydney, Ohio.
Young Mr. Rayl couldn’t accept a “no” from his ex-girlfriend after the couple broke up. So one Sunday morning, when he should have been at church singing hymns and praising Jesus, he instead went to the ex-girlfriend’s home.
At the front door, he was told that the girl didn’t want to talk to him. The girl’s father told Mr. Rayl that if he forced entry, he would be shot.
Rayl apparently didn’t care…or didn’t believe the warning. He put his shoulder into the front door and after about five or six impacts, the door jam shattered into splinters and swung open. That’s when the girl’s father fired three rounds.
All three rounds struck Mr. Rayl, the third one entering his back. Rayl wobbled out to the driveway where he laid down and died.
There’s Ring doorbell video of all of this. One of the most-comprehensive videos is this one . . .
How did NBC News report on this story? Look at chyron on the bottom of the screen.
They described Rayl’s violent forced entry as “…attempting to push door open.” As if he was just a pesky door-to-door vacuum salesman. As if he hadn’t been explicitly warned before successfully breaching the front door of the home.
Here’s their report, titled, “Ohio Man Fatally Shoots Daughter’s Ex After He Attempts To Break In.”
What did NBC News not share with their viewers?
He just “attempted to push the door open.”
Again, as Rayl approached the front door, the family dialed 9-1-1 for help. But as we all know, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Those inside the home told Rayl that his ex didn’t want to talk to him. They told him to leave. They warned him not to try to enter. Dad told Rayl that if he forced his way in, dad would shoot him.
Yet despite all that, at 11a.m. on a Sunday morning, Rayl made the fateful decision to force entry and was shot.
Then there’s the neighbor who came over to offer his two cents, asking why they shot the intruder. “He doesn’t have a gun,” the neighbor said a couple of times. As if the homeowner knew that or it makes it okay to break down down someone’s door.
The local stations grabbed video from police bodycams and incorporated that into their stories, showing the victim’s family in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Fanning the flames, the late Mr. Rayl’s family set up a “Justice for James Rayl” Facebook page and has held some protests. However, they aren’t getting a lot of traction or many posts lately. Most who have seen the video have a pretty clear view of who was the aggressor and who was the defender.
With all of the publicity, the victim family has put their house on the market as they’re seeking to relocate. Can you blame them?
If you’re involved in a self-defense incident, you may see that video from the incident on YouTube or the local news station. So be extra careful what you say and who or what can overhear it.
We’ve covered strategies for talking with responding and investigating officers in the aftermath of a self-defense use-of-force incident. Suffice it to say, keep your mouth shut as much as possible. Talk with your attorney, and only your attorney. Don’t say anything to your family members that can be overheard by police body cameras.
As always, we recommend subscribing to one of the legal programs that will provide a legal team for your defense. US Law Shield is one of the biggest in the nation. There’s also Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network and US Concealed Carry Association to name a couple of others.
I carry both US Law Shield and Armed Citizens. Why both? Because US Law Shield defends you in red flag hearings and their Illinois attorney is based North of I-80, which is probably the most likely place I’d have to pull a trigger in self-defense. Meanwhile, Armed Citizens lets me hire my criminal defense team and I have a relationship with a large, regional firm that does outstanding criminal defense work. They think I’m a rock star for my help with a murder trial they successfully handled for an acquittal. I appreciate them for their masterful work in court.
Your mileage may vary in terms of needs and relationships, so pick the company and plan that works best for your needs.
Just remember this: there’s absolutely, positively NOTHING to be gained – for you at least – from talking with the media after a situation such as this. Nothing.