Dear Fellow Survivalist;
Taking the step to arm yourself so that you are able to defend yourself and those around you is a major decision. In some cases, it takes people a considerable amount of time to make that decision. That’s okay. This isn’t the type of decision to take lightly; those who do obviously haven’t thought about the responsibility that goes with it.
One part of that decision should be the willingness to take responsibility for your actions. That one piece of the decision includes a considerable amount of liability. We all know that shooting in self-defense is allowed by the law. We also know that shooting the wrong person by accident is against the law. The reality is, any time we take up arms in self-defense, that possibility does exist, no matter how well you or I can shoot.
But let’s say that everything goes well, we get the bad guy and we’re the hero of the day. Does that mean we’re free and clear? Not necessarily. The way the law is written, the courts have to agree that our actions were a reasonable use of force in self-defense. In other words, a decision that we had to make in a matter of seconds could be debated by law enforcement and the courts for weeks or even months, as they try to analyze our motives and actions.
Granted, there are cases where the police decide that the evidence is clear enough that you acted in self-defense and you are never even hauled in, let alone charged with any crime. There are also cases where the district attorney decides that there isn’t enough evidence to convict you or that the evidence shows that you acted in a reasonable manner to defend yourself. But you can’t count on that.
But in addition to the criminal charges, there is also the possibility of facing civil litigation. You’ve probably heard of cases where the family of some criminal who was shot bringing a law suit against the person who defended themselves, seeking financial compensation. The law allows for that.
Typically, the civil suit doesn’t go to court until after the criminal case is decided. That can actually be to your advantage, as in some states the civil case is dismissed if the criminal case determines that you are innocent. This isn’t so much something that is written into the law in most states, as it is something that is part of the legal culture of the state. Your lawyer will know about this and will be able to advise you.
Nevertheless, all these deliberations mean that we have to be ready to defend ourselves in more than one way. Not only do we have to defend ourselves from criminals, but we have to be ready to defend ourselves legally as well. Of the two, this legal battle can be the harder battle to win.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been involved in any legal proceedings, but I have; and I can guarantee you, they’re expensive. Lawyers don’t come cheap; and what they do takes a considerable amount of time. That $5,000 retainer that they ask for up front can disappear quickly at $250 an hour. When that happens, they’ll just come back for more. The lawyers, or maybe the system, has you over a barrel.
You really don’t have any option on this; it’s either pay the piper (lawyer) or you run the risk of being treated to a lengthy vacation in government owned housing, with some really nasty neighbors. At the same time, your family will be forced to move out of your house, because the relatives of the scumbag you had to shoot in order to protect yourself have sued you for everything you own.
Actually, you do have an option, and I don’t mean heading for the hills and hiding out. That’s to buy legal insurance for concealed carry holders. While this won’t pay any fines you might incur or pay off the law suit brought against you, if you lose; it will pay all your legal fees. In other words, you won’t be shelling out $5,000 to $10,000 to pay a lawyer. That’s a big deal.
Please note that just because you have other legal insurance, that doesn’t mean you are covered for this sort of situation. Those policies are often very specific in what they cover, so don’t assume you’re covered unless you have already checked what is included in the insurance you have.
There are several companies which offer this insurance; most notably the NRA, the NAGR and US Law Shield. There may be others, but these are the ones that I know of. Premiums are usually rather low, in the $10 to $20 per month range. If you ever have to use it, as I have, that small premium suddenly seems insignificant.
The other advantage of having one of these policies is that the lawyers who are under contract with the insurance providers are true experts in this legal specialty. Your regular family lawyer may not know a whole lot about firearms law or self-defense; but these lawyers are specially trained in this area and have the experience of having defended others in similar circumstances. So they can provide you with a better defense, than you would otherwise receive. Yes, I know this is one more extra expense, but it’s worth it. As I mentioned, I’ve had to use this service and the lawyer’s bill I would have had to pay would pay for over six years of premiums. Oh, and I didn’t even have to go to court on that one. So to me, my concealed carry insurance is just one more part of my EDC; just like keeping my powder dry and my survival gear close at hand.