By John Boch
If any doubt exists, hold your gun silent. Act to the standard to which you will be judged.
Those are the words we teach each and every student in our firearms training classes when it comes to the use of deadly force to protect innocent life. Why is that? As the George Zimmerman case proves, even the most noble and legitimate use of deadly force may be followed by the most despicable and unethical prosecutors filing charges against you . . .
Even worse, those trying the case may draw and exploit a far-from-impartial judge as they seek to exploit the tiniest of imperfections as evidence of criminal intent, to say nothing of so-called witnesses that are untruthful and suspect. Following that, you will be judged by a jury of your peers and frankly, those peers will probably have little or no training or education in the law of self-defense, other than what they’ve gotten from Hollywood and the mainstream media.
Anyone with legitimate training in the law of self-defense would have dispassionately look at the facts of the Zimmerman case and concluded in a matter of moments that it was a classic “back against the wall” self-defense case. Sure, those ignorant of deadly force law, and those driven by bigotry of a racial stripe or otherwise will try to cloud the issue with a host of irrelevant facts as they apply detached reflection and personal biases to the incident.
Those who proclaim how this was an unjust shooting are only showing their inability or unwillingness to recognize the fundamental legal requirements of using force for self-defense.
George Zimmerman will be used as a case study for a generation on how a perfectly righteous use of force in self-defense can utterly ruin a person’s life. The fact that it took a jury of Zimmerman’s peers over sixteen hours of deliberations to determine his innocence is but another reason that relying on a jury of your Hollywood- and media-trained peers can be risky.
Even with all of the evidence exonerating your actions, with all of the testimony supporting the appropriate use of self-defense, with all of the written instructions that the jury is left with, you are still relying on a panel of strangers to follow the law, not emotional arguments or personal misconceptions in a time when common sense seems to be less common every day.
Go forth, be prudent and be safe. Avoid any conflicts which might escalate. Remove yourself from heated discussions, even if it involves backing down to an unlawful aggressor. Only if there is no other option available to save innocent life should you use your firearm. The only thing good that will follow using deadly force is that innocent life will probably live to see another day.
About the author: John Boch has been a practicing firearms and personal protection instructor for sixteen years, currently holding instructor certifications from the NRA, USRA and LIVE FREE USA and can wallpaper his study with training certificates received over the years. He’s also president of Guns Save Life and Vice-President of LIVE FREE USA.
A version of this post originally appeared at gunssavelife.com. It is reprinted here with permission.