What is the "Bystander Effect"? (why others will NOT come to your aid)
Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network
Home break-in stats
M4Carbine.net (great resource for info on AR15/M16 platforms)
National Rifle Association
No Nonsense Self-Defense
Talking to the Police (48 minute video)
The Firing Line Forums
What to do after a self-defense shooting (4 minute video)
Reid v. Covert - US Supreme Court rules Constitution supersedes treaties ratified by the US Senate
Clarity on "Stand-Your-Ground"
Brown v. United States - RE:Stand-your-ground and "Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife." by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr
Rory Millers's BLOG Site - Also and accomplished author of books on the subject of self-defense and use of force
Distinguishing Social and Asocial, by Rory Miller
Sheepdog Seminars Group
Self-Defense: An endangered right by Cato Institute
Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive
Shooting in the back: How fast can someone make a 180 degree turn? Average: 0.58 seconds. Fastest: 0.33 seconds
Urban Combatives. Information on the training needed to survive an actual attack on the street.
Killology Research Group
Force Necessary blog and articles.
Law Library of Congress
Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (Heavily influenced American Common Law)
National Registry of Exoneration (wrongful convictions that were overturned)
Witness Perception and Use of Force with regard to disparity of force i.e. David vs Goliath
April Risk Consulting: William April, a licensed mental health professional
Luis Casado - Barehanded attack in FL; Casado wins immunity hearing in FL in disparity of force case
Thwarting The Furtive Movement, Tuesday October 10 2006
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL VIDEO: If you are ever wrongfully prosecuted for defending yourself, this is what your trial will look like. For the beginning (pre jury selection), find the file "(A) (00) GZT - Pre-Jury Selection Motions". For the end (post verdict), search for this file "(Misc) (4) GZT - Trial (Frye hearing -partial)". (highly suggested)
Gang awareness guide - New Jersey Attorney General
Gang identification - State of Delaware
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs: Aspects of the one-Percenter culture for Emergency Department Personnel to Consider
Today's gangs: How to recognize the signs - Homefront Protective Group
Youth Gangs in American Society Third Edition, Sheldon Tracy Brown
Suggested Books / Videos
All-in Fighting by W.E. Fairbairn
Armed Response by Kenik & Ayoob
Black's Law: A Criminal Lawyer Reveals His Defense Strategies in Four Cliffhanger Cases by Roy Black
Campfire Tales from Hell: Musings on Martial Arts, Survival, Bouncing & General Thug Stuff by Rory Miller
Deadly Force - Understanding your rights to self-defense by Massad Ayoob (highly suggested)
Defend Yourself: Comprehensive Security Plan for the Armed Homeowner by Rob Pincus
Defensive Tactics with Flashlights by John G Peters
Drills: Training for sudden violence by Rory Miller
Facing Violence: Preparing for the unexpected by Rory Miller
Fear Less: Real Truth about Risk, Safety & Security in a Time of Terrorism by Gavin De Becker
Force Decisions: A Citizens' Guide by Rory Miller
Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton Samenow
In the Gravest Extreme by Massad Ayoob
In the Name of Self-Defense: What it costs. When its worth it by Marc MacYoung (highly suggested)
Just 2 Seconds by Gavin De Becker
Kill or Get Killed by Rex Applegate
Lessons from Armed America by Kathy Jackson
Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior by Desmond Morris (1977) - Out of Print
Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence by Rory Miller
More Guns, Less Crime by John R. Lott Jr.
NRA Guide to Personal Protection in the Home
NRA Guide to Personal Protection Outside the Home
On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace by Grossman & Christensen
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman
One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty by Rosenzwieg & Walsh
Personal Defense for Women by Gila Hayes; Forward by Massad Ayoob
Principals of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper
Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children & Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) by Gavin De Becker
Put Him Out: The combative use of improvised weapons by Lee Morrison; published by Paladin Press
Real World Self-Defense by Jerry Van Cook
Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision Making Under Threat of Violence by Miller & Kane
Self Defense Against a Dog Attack by Loren W. Christensen
Strong on Defense by Sanford Strong
The Anatomy of Motive by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker
The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker
The Cornered Cat: A Woman's Guide to Concealed Carry by Kathy Jackson
The Law of Self-Defense by Andrew F. Branca
The Truth about Self Protection by Massad Ayoob
The Basics of Pistol Shooting (NRA)
The Bulletproof Mind: Prevailing in Violent Encounters... and After by Gavin De Becker
The Bracken Anthology by Matthew Bracken
The Little Black Book of Violence by Kris Wilder and Lawrence A. Kane
Violence: A writer's guide by Rory Miller
You Have the Right to Remain Innocent by James Duane
Mass Shooters: The Simplest Self-Defense Scenario by Andrew Branca
Interviewing and Interrogation, Carolina Academic Press, Rabon
Small Talk: Contemporary Interviewing and Interrogation, Pearson Custom Publishing
Interviewing and Investigating: Essential Skills for the Paralegal Third Edition, Wolters Kluwer
Criminal Evidence Tenth Edition, Jefferson L. Ingram, John C. Klotter Justice Administration Legal Series
Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures and Forensic Techniques, Third Edition, Vernon J. Gererth
Warren on Homicide Vol 1-5, Oscar Leroy Warren and Basil Michael Bilas
Court Cases and other Information - Know the Reality!
Defending a Disparity of Force Shooting
Attacked by an unarmed group and using a firearm in self-defense.
Channon Christian and Christopher Newson
A case of torture, rape and murder: 46 Counts
Single blow to the head results in stroke
Boyfriend charged with felony domestic assault
Petit family murders - Home invasion
Wichita Massacre - Home Invasion
Michael Zebuhr Murder - Two teens in Minneapolis kill Zebuhr after taking mothers purse
Courtney Brown, 15, Murdered in N. Minneapolis for his jersey
Washington State jury found that a beating by fist or shod foot to be considered "Great Bodily Harm"
Being kicked or punched while on the ground are considered "crushing blows" and likely to cause permanent injury or death.
1974 Hi-Fi Murders in Ogden, UT -Never allow yourself to be taken to a secondary location, even if its from the kitchen to the basement.
November 17, 2023 from the Las Vegas (AP): Jonathan Lewis Jr. (age 17) was beaten to death by eight classmates ranging in age from 13 to 17 years of age. Charges are pending but all are expected to be charged with murder. Attorney Andrew Branca provides commentary on this deadly beat-down and discusses the concept of "disparity of force / disparity of numbers" as it relates to self defense. In addition to the Jonathan Lewis Jr case, there is another mob attack at a high school in North Carolina. The details are discussed by Andrew Branca, here.
- Graham v. Connor — This is the essential use of force rubric in the country.
- Tennessee v. Garner — Addresses deadly force to prevent escape.
- Terry v. Ohio — Established the legality of so-called “Stop & Frisk” searches.
- Plakas v. Drinski — No constitutional duty to use lesser force when deadly force is authorized.
- Pena v. Leombruni — Addresses suspect’s known mental state regarding force.
- Thompson v. Hubbard — Case where suspect appeared to be drawing a gun and no gun found.
- Smith v. Freland — Examined policy violation but no violation of Constitutional law.
- Bush v. City of Tallahassee — Addresses excessive force applied through Graham.
- Green v. N.J. State Police — Addresses excessive force applied through Graham.
- Forrett v. Richardson — Unarmed fleeing felon applied through Tennessee v. Garner.
- Elliot v. Leavitt — Addresses 20/20 hindsight on officer shooting.
- Brown v. United States — The original (1921) Graham v. Connor style decision.
- Wardlaw v. Pickett — Punching an approaching verbally argumentative person.
- City of Canton v. Harris — Addresses liability and “failure to train.”
- Powpow v. Margate — Addresses shooting an innocent person (training).
- Salinas v. Texas - Invoking right to remain silent is admissible in court and can be used against you.
- New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen
- District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)
- McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010)
- Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U.S. (2016)
One of the most frequently asked questions: "When can I legally display my gun and or shoot someone?"
Lets begin with identifying the various levels of proof (low to high) with regard to a potential threat to your safety:
- Mere suspicion (MS): Beliefs are unfounded. You are making a wild-ass-guess.
- Articulable suspicion (AS): (if you cannot explain it, don't do it!).
- Probable cause (PC): Grey area between suspicion and proof. Can be less than 50% certainty.
- Preponderance of the evidence (POE): Gray area between suspicion and proof but with greater than 50% certainty.
- Beyond a reasonable doubt (BARD): 95% to 99.9% certainty.
Lets now identify the levels of awareness that you have or should have learned through training and research (low to high):
- White: You are not aware of your surroundings
- Yellow: You are aware of your surroundings (relaxed awareness)
- Orange: Unspecified alert. Danger exists but not yet known. Look for the "target stare", whats in peoples hands.
- Red: Threat has identified itself (fight or flight). Will experience high level of body alarm response.
- Black: The lethal assault is underway and someone is trying to kill you.
When can you display your firearm and or shoot someone 1:
- MS and condition White: Never draw gun. Heart Rate 60-80 (normal range)
- AS and condition Yellow: Never draw gun. Heart rate 100-115
- PC and condition Orange: Never draw gun. Heart rate 115-145. Fine motor skills deteriorate. Optimal for survival and combat performance.
- POE and condition Red: Take at gunpoint. Heart rate 160-175. Common effects: Tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, loss of near vision, loss of depth perception, vasoconstriction, cognitive processing deteriorates. A person may experience some, all or none of these body responses.
- BARD and condition Black: Fire your gun. Heart rate 175-220. Common effects: Irrational fight or flee, freezing, submissive behavior, void bladder and or bowel... including effects experienced in condition Red. A person may experience some, all or none of these body responses.
Heart rates and related impact on the human body came from: On Combat by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (2004), chapter 4, page 31
1 The purpose of this chart is to align levels of proof with conditions of awareness in order to help identify when displaying a firearm and or using a firearm is most likely to be justified. Every self-defense situation is different so there is no cookie-cutter answer. The event must be judged based on the totality of the circumstances unfolding in front of the victim. What is considered a "reasonable" response in self-defense often comes down to the victims training and experiences. Also remember that in Minnesota there is a duty to retreat when outside the home if safe to do so. Even in states with stand-your-ground laws, retreat is always the best bet because even if the victim does everything right, there is no 100% guarantee that an overzealous county prosecutor (Kyle Rittenhouse case) wont want to make an example out of the victim(s) (Duke LaCross case) or succumb to political pressure which is what happened in the Zimmerman case down in Florida (wrongful prosecution). A case that goes before a Grand Jury and is No-Billed can cost as much as $50K. To prepare for and go through a complete jury trial can cost upwards of $2M as it did in the George Zimmerman case. Considering all of this, instead of asking, "When can I shoot?", a better way to ask this question is, "Should I shoot?"