Sunday, February 3, 2008

THE SUPER BOWL 4:00 minutes left in the game

I DON'T CARE WHO WINS - BUT WHAT A GAME! Gotta love this game, pretty good defense on both sides. A true battle, a better game than any loud mouthed, obnoxious, Patriots fan apparently thought it would have been; and almost as good as any loud mouthed, obnoxious, Giants fan thought it would be. No matter what winds up being the final score, I like it.

Byt the way, this is only the third game I have watched this year. More this year than in the last two combined.

All the best,

Ballseye's Firearms Training and Tactics: A Self Defense Shooting, The Immediate Aftermath - What To Do If You Win

On one of the forums over at The High Road someone asked if we have a "medical obligation" to assist someone is we shoot them in self defense. I left a reply on THR, but also figured I would share my very long answer here on my blog, with some revisions and additions (not many of these though). This is my opinion, based upon my personal experience. It is long, but I think you may learn something from my experience, and from my opinion. Bear in mind, anything I mention below is my opinion; you need to act appropriately in whatever situation you find yourself based upon the totality of the circumstances and on your own ability to think and act under those circumstances. This therefore is meant as a sort of general guideline; but again I stress this is my opinion. Before reading on, and before taking any action based upon what you read here, see my disclaimer to the right on my blog home page.

These are the things I think you need to do in the immediate aftermath of you shooting someone in self defense or defense of an innocent.

After you wound someone in self defense:

You have a moral obligation to render at least first aid, if you know how to do so. You also have a moral obligation to render aid beyond that is you are so qualified. However, you have other obligations first - before rendering aid to someone you wounded in self defense or in defense of another innocent.

You have the obligation to ascertain that the area is clear of dangers to you and other innocents, this includes that the area be free of other dirt bags looking to do you harm, bad guys usually work in teams. YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET BLINDSIDED.

You have the obligation to secure the bad guy's weapon(s).You have the absolute moral and common sense obligation to yourself, and to other innocents, to make sure that the bad guy has been stopped. This includes immobilizing the bad guy with restraints, even if you think he may be dead or mortally wounded. Remember that just a moment before he was a deadly threat, and just because he has stopped for the moment, does not mean he will remain so. If you cannot get the assistance of another person to do this, you will have to secure your weapon, and the bad guy's weapon, and then secure the bad guy yourself.

You have the obligation to make sure you are not wounded, and if you are wounded to make sure you take care of yourself. (I added this since my reply at THR.)

You have the obligation to yourself and others to explain what just happened and to request assistance. Have someone else call 911 - NOT YOU - if at all possible (you calling 911, and saying something stupid in the haste and excitement of the moment could be devastating to you in court later). Tell them to explain to the 911 operator that a BAD GUY HAS JUST BEEN STOPPED IN THE COMMISSION OF A VIOLENT FELONY (word it however applicable).

You have the self saving obligation to make sure that the person calling 911 gives them the description of the GOOD GUY - that would be YOU, and to make sure that 911 got it right.

Tell the person to repeat to 911, that this is the description of the good guy.

Tell the person calling 911 to say that “YOU (meaning yourself) require immediate medical attention from a doctor.

All the above should not have taken much more than a minute or two, maybe as little as 15 seconds.

Now help the badguy.

If you do assist someone who is injured, you should say out loud, as you are doing it, what it is you are doing. It is just like CPR when you are taught to say what you are doing out loud. Checking for pulse, checking for breathing, and in a shooting - trying to stop bleeding, applying pressure to the wound, and so forth. Use a loud, slow, clear voice. This way they will not mistakenly think you are trying to kill the guy, or that you are in the process of going through his pockets to rob him, after just having shot him. Police who arrive on scene may also hear you saying this and thus be less likely to mistake you for a bad guy doing a bad thing. (At this point your weapon had best be put away and secure.)

You have the legal and moral obligation to await the arrival of law enforcement on the scene.

You have the obligation under law, and by way of common sense, to obey the commands of uniformed law enforcement officers - otherwise you may well end up STOPPED. If a uniformed cop yells out: "Police don't move, and you still have your gun out, you had better not move, not even to turn to look at him. Even if you are then unarmed, or armed and the weapon is secure, do not move. Follow their instructions, or you could wind up dead.

If a plain clothes officer is giving commands, ask to see some form of ID.

Remember the police are in control - not you.

Once the police are calm, request immediate medical attention from a doctor.

Upon arrival of the police, you do not have no to speak to the police other than telling them who you are, and such, and you can tell them you defended yourself against a life threatening situation. Let them know you are armed if they do not ask first, then calmly tell them so, but make sure your hands are in plain sight.

Get it, that is all you say about what happened: "I defended myself against a life threatening situation." If they ask, did the guy have a gun, did he have a knife, did he have a brick - what do you say? You say: "Officer I will answer your questions upon advice of legal counsel. As for right now officer, I am requesting immediate medical attention, from a doctor. " You do not need to go into details.

Tell the police you will speak to them more in the presence of a lawyer. You do not need to go beyond that.

Tell them you need the medical attention of a doctor immediately.

You have an absolute obligation to yourself to tell the police officers you want immediate medical attention from a doctor. You will not be well, believe me, even if you think you do feel okay, you will not be okay! Get that, understand that, you need immediate medical attention. Some of the things you may actually feel could be: chest pains, talkative, euphoric, talkative, headache, talkative, strong, talkative, hyped up, talkative, speedy, talkative, dizzy, talkative, faint, talkative, disoriented, talkative, hot, talkative, cold, talkative, weak, talkative, ready to pee your pants, talkative, wet in the pants back and or front, talkative, nervous, talkative, justified, talkative. I can almost assure you without a doubt - your pulse and blood pressure are probably abnormal all while you are feeling talkative.

Why are you feeling talkative? Well because if you are normal you want to have other people understand you did something right, not wrong - that you were the good guy. Be forewarned though, a wrong word here, a sentence you word poorly, can be misinterpreted by police and later by a jury even though you mean it another way. Think about whether or not you want to possibly say something that will result in you going to jail for life if a police officer asks leading questions (and it is part of their job to ask questions, and leading questions are quite alright in law enforcement interrogations and interviews) and you blurt out something wrong. I do not mean something you did wrong, but that you somehow in the eyes of the law say it wrong even though you did it right, and meant to say something one way but just said it in a way that could be misconstrued.

Ask for immediate medical attention from a doctor.

Now of course, if there was another guy, a bad guy, you can and should tell police. If there is another victim requiring aid, do likewise – tell the police. Give a description, tell them if you think he was armed (reserve anything about the guy you just shot having been armed unless you actually have his gun and have secured it). Ask for immediate medical attention.

When EMS arrives, when a paramedic show up, ask them for IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION FROM A DOCTOR.

I was involved in a shooting once where I hit the bad guy. The shooting itself could fill pages, it is a long story, I like to blab. So I'll not go into it here except to say I was fully justified; but I will go into the immediate aftermath because it is pertinent to this type of a situation. I started to blab like an opera singer to the police when they arrived. I was the center point of a semi-circle of several uniformed officers up to an NYPD Lieutenant. There were also at least a few detectives on scene. I answered every question they were asking me, I even answered the proverbial Officer DipShit who said if I actually hit the guy then surely 'I INTENTIONALLY must have shot him in the back based upon what I described because according to me (this is in the eyes of this one officer) I had shot the guy as he retreated, and I had back shot him'. I never described it that way, not in any way shape or form, but officer Joe DipShit thought I had, go figure. A regular officer arriving along with a white shirt (the NYPD Lt.) suddenly burst into the middle of the semicircle, gets in my face, and I mean right in my face, and in an overwhelming loud and commanding voice he says to me: "Sir, do you require medical attention? I think you should seek immediate medical attention." He did that about 3 or 4 times, maybe even 5, and I did not know why. He added things like my blood pressure may be high and so on.

I was having the hint slapped in my face, his face was a few inches from my face. He kept barking this out, and after each question from another one of the officers, he would again ask me (actually almost command me to answer him) if I wanted medical attention. It never made sense to me, not then anyhow, why he was doing this. He was doing this because I was being a blabbermouth. I had nothing to hide, but read again what I wrote above about Officer Joe DipShit and his conclusion after having heard my statements as to what had happened. I was exonerated (by a grand jury) of any wrong in this, but as Ralph Kramden would have said: “I have a Big Mouth!”. That could have screwed me over if more officers than just that one had thought I was saying what he thought I was saying, and in fact had I shot the guy in the back. It wound up good for me I had not in light of how that one guy thought.

Now you may wonder why did that one officer get in my face and tell me to shut up when I as being interviewed/interrogated by the other officers and detectives on the scene - including a lieutenant. That was like stepping on his on willy, and stomping hard at that because NYPD lieutenants are like demi-gods in the ranks of the NYPD. I don't know for sure; but my guess is that he found out I was another law enforcement officer, and he reacted as he would for a coworker. You see, I later learned he was a union representative of some sort with the Policeman's Benevolent Association (the NYPD police union). I asked some cops I knew about this later on. They assured me that anyone involved in a shooting is better off to FIRST ask for IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION FROM A DOCTOR, then ask for a lawyer. Why from a doctor? Well, this is because it likely means they will have to take you to a hospital and get you out of what is potentially a hostile environment as would be your environment had you been being interrogated by an officer Joe DipShit of your own; and even more importantly it assures you will be given prompt medical attention to rule out any life threatening condition that was a result of your having been involved in a traumatic (both physically and mentally) incident. Yes you will have been traumatized in some way if you shoot someone if you are a normal person.

I am in law enforcement myself; and I can tell you without a doubt: If I ever shoot anyone again, I may answer some questions on scene as I pointed out above, and I will remain polite and professional to any responding officers, but I will also make darned sure to request, and demand if need be, immediate medical attention from a medical doctor because now I know that after a shooting such is required to assure my own health and well being. Then I will ask for an attorney. Then, once it has been determined by a doctor that I am capable of being interrogated or interviewed, I'll answer more questions on the advice of my attorney.

Bear in mind, I am not telling you to do anything wrong here. You are not failing to render assistance to a wounded person, you are not impeding an investigation or lying, you are seeking to make sure that you and other innocents are alright before anything else - that's why you took those defensive actions in the first place. And try to remember, you are not weak because you help the badguy after you stop him, you are morally superior if anything; and of course you help assure he will spend a long time in jail with Bubba his big hairy cellmate. Of course, you need not help in most palces, but it is probably what I would choose to do.

All the best,
Glenn B