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Do This and You May Go To Jail

Do This and You May Go To Jail

Do This and You May Go To Jail

One of the most important things I try and teach people is when you’re justified in using a gun against another person. In my classes I get all types of questions such as “Can I shoot them in the foot, just to wound them?” Or “Can I pull out the gun and threaten them even if I don’t actually plan to use it?”

The answer to both is absolutely not. The only time the gun should leave your holster or your safe in your bedroom is when you’re in immediate fear for your life or of serious bodily injury. Pulling or using the gun at any other time will likely get you sent to jail, like the fellow I’m about to tell you about:

David Flemming is a 61-year-old grandfather who lives inNew Hampshire. Last week, Mr. Flemming came home to find that someone had burglarized his house. While in his house he noticed that the burglar was climbing out of his neighbor’s window.

“Freeze”

Mr. Flemming ran outside with a gun and told the burglar to freeze and then fired a bullet into the ground in front of him. The burglar did indeed freeze and was held at gunpoint until the police arrived.

However, when the police arrived they not only arrested the 27-year-old burglar, they also arrested Mr. Flemming, who now faces close to 7 years in jail. So what did he do wrong here? Hopefully you already know.

If you are firing a gun into the ground that obviously means you’re not in fear for your life or of serious bodily injury. After all, if someone is running at me with a knife to kill me, I’m going to try and shoot them in the chest, not at the ground. And if someone is trying to rape a woman, I hope she’ll shoot the rapist and not the ground.

Don’t get me wrong…

I realize that seeing someone who just burglarized your house crawl out of a window probably makes you pretty angry. However, unless that burglar is threatening your life at that moment, you can’t run outside and shoot him or shoot the ground. Even worse was what Mr. Flemming told Fox News in an interview. Here it is:  “I didn’t think I could handle this guy physically, so I fired into the ground.”

Remember, I am not a lawyer and don’t like most lawyers. But my lawyer’s advice to me is to never talk to the police or anyone until it’s all sorted out. So the fact that this guy is making those comments before he goes to trial is not a good idea either.

I do hope Mr. Flemming gets off and that he doesn’t have to face jail. And I hope this is a reminder that before you buy a gun or before you pick up a gun, you better know when you’re allowed to use it. As those evil lawyers like to say: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

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  • Usafts

    I agree with what you are saying as well as why you have posted it. BUT I do think that people need to be fully aware of the laws that they function under. Each state and even location may have laws that vary from slightly to greatly. In my location, the law (Texas pc9.04) allows me to present my gun as a threat of force against a perceived threat to my health or life. A blanket “Absolutely Not” is an inaccurate statement and should not be made as this misinformation may remove a defensive solution from an individual’s escalation of force.

    § 9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE. The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension
    that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the
    use of deadly force.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
    Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
    1994.

  • shannon_f

    And I thought in Texas, that would be a situation where you would allowed to protect your property? If this story had happened in Texas, would the police have still acted the way they did?

    • GTSRich

       Probably not since it says he saw the burglar exiting his neighbor’s window. 

  • RRobaldo

    Charges were dropped 6 days ago.  Mr. Flemming is a free man and a national hero.

    • FireFighterChen

      How was that extremely important bit of information missed in an article posted 6 days after charges were dropped?  Sigh…Jason is my least favorite writer here…but none the less, has written some good articles.  Keep trying man :)

    • Acftmechus

      Yes you’re correry. But he took a big chance with what he did. Though we are a pro gun state the gov is a liberal which can cause grief every now and then.

    • http://www.jonathanfowler.com/ Jonathan F.

      That’s good. I know he was just trying to do the right thing, but it probably could have been a lot worse. If he’d been living in a really “anti-gun” area, he probably would have gotten the book thrown at him.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5RMP2XLUR2TSIKYN3SN26NDHI Cobra

    Good Article Jason.   I think the basic core message is correct for most jurisdictions that you can only introduce a firearm if there is immediate threat to life . . . not mere loss of property.    A burglar climbing OUT of a neighbors window will NOT give rise to the use of a firearm unless the criminal is actually threatening someone’s life in the process.   A criminal walking away with a TV may make us all want to blow him away but you’ll likely be in a lot of trouble.

    I do have to acknowledge and concur with what poster “Usafts” said as well.   There are indeed exceptions in some jurisdictions and everyone would be wise and prudent to know exactly what the law says in your area.  

    • Greg

      Good article? Don’t worry about those pesky little things called FACTS.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5RMP2XLUR2TSIKYN3SN26NDHI Cobra

        Yes “Greg”, I liked the article as did most here as well.   The only caution really needed was the one I and others pointed out, which is the law can be different in many jurisdictions and we should all be aware of our particular regional laws.   You can whine that you don’t like certain FACTS or that FACTS you want aren’t in his article.  

        So sad, too bad.   Write own article with the FACTS you want and we’ll comment on that too.   Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue to render our opinions and we’re entitled them.   We will all continue to do so whether “YOU” like it or not.

        Jason contributes here regularly and should be commended for his efforts.    Not everything he says is perfect but he’s contributing.   Where are YOUR contributing articles . . . Oh wait . . . YOU don’t have any!    Well, those are all the FACTS I need.

        • Greg

          Hahaha! This whole article is based around the example of how you are going to end up in jail if you do as Mr Flemming did. Which to most people who keep up with news knew was FALSE.

          As for Hanson’s “contributions”, Hanson is not here to enlighten the masses. He is here shilling for his training business! If I were to pay someone for training I would look for someone who gets the facts right. If he had done a simple google search he would have found out the charges were dropped more than a week ago.

          Also a month or so ago Hanson blatantly plagiarized a magazine article and posted here as his own work. Kinda sketchy for an “expert”. But you go ahead and trust his “contributions”. Good luck with that.

  • Ecoexplorer

    I took my CCP classes almost a year ago and after completing the course I have to the conclusion that a LOT of things can go wrong and I can be the one that ends up in jail…so my brand new glock 19 is sitting at home … I’m afraid to use it…Im afraid to carry…I understood the article above…but what if the citizen didn’t shoot and just hold the burglar down at gun point until the police arrived? what if the burglar was inside my home?…what am I supposed to do?…”excuse Mr. burglar can you drop everything and sit down in the couch until the police arrives? do you want some tea while you wait?”…. I’m really confused…the police can draw even though they will most likely not shoot…to make the burglar submit and comply…but we cant??? please notice that Im just talking about drawing from the holster…

  • Ecoexplorer

    I took my CCP classes almost a year ago and after completing the course I have to the conclusion that a LOT of things can go wrong and I can be the one that ends up in jail…so my brand new glock 19 is sitting at home … I’m afraid to use it…Im afraid to carry…I understood the article above…but what if the citizen didn’t shoot and just hold the burglar down at gun point until the police arrived? what if the burglar was inside my home?…what am I supposed to do?…”excuse Mr. burglar can you drop everything and sit down in the couch until the police arrives? do you want some tea while you wait?”…. I’m really confused…the police can draw even though they will most likely not shoot…to make the burglar submit and comply…but we cant??? please notice that Im just talking about drawing from the holster…

    • pastor T

       Don’t be afraid, just be informed.  You sound like you have all your senses and are not some ignorant idiot, so just know the law where you carry and use common sense.  Don’t let a situation like this disarm you.  Get informed, get your Glock and get back out there!

      • Ecoexplorer

        Thanks for you words Pastor T, but my question remains…no drawing if no threat???

        • Madhzrx

          I think its sad that society always tries to find fault in the good guy.  The cops should not of arrested this guy, he should of bin thanked and rewarded for a job well done.

        • pastor T

          To stop a thief coming out of my neighbors window, I would draw down on him. (especially if he just hit my house) but that’s me.  Shooting into the ground…no!  If you have to pull that trigger, it better be a double tap to the chest and your life better be in danger.  Otherwise keep that finger off the trigger.  I think If this guy would have just drawn down on him and held him for police it would have been handled different.  That’s my two cents, if anyone else disagrees please feel free to correct me.

          • BeSafe

            From one Pastor to another. In Ohio you CAN”T shoot a theif coming out a neighbors window or even your own. You have to prove you are in immediate danger of physical harm ot death. We are not allowed to “protect property” only, never ever. So it is obvious the laws very from state to state and people need to be aware of this when posting or reading comments in these forums.
            Be Blest amd Be Safe

          • Jaypaesch

             The bottom line is we cant let anger cloud our thoughts.
            stay calm, and think rational.

          • www.NRACertified.com

            Forgot to mention. You CAN”T draw down on a theif either, if you do you became the aggressor and you’re brandishing in a non life threatening situation.

            Regards

          • cvflyfish

            Some good comments. No one has mentioned that the guy coming out of the window could  have been, in conversation, the neighbor. Also, the court appointed lawyer for the “person” is paid to drain our money, time and rights on our $tab. Question for all who may have a knowlegdable opinion. 1) What is today’s +/- $ cost to fire one round (for ANY reason, right wrong or indifferent) in a residendential neighborhood of any modern town or city? 2) Have you thought about it and do you have the time (remember you will be arrested), cash and/ or insurance to cover same?  

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-C-Graham/1685683066 Joshua C Graham

          Many states have what is commonly known as a castle doctrine.  If they are uninvited and unwelcome IN your home “IN” being the operative term than (at least in my state)  the court us legally required to to assume that you had reason to believe that you had reasonable concern that you or your families lives were threatened.  

          • Metalman

             The castle doctrine here in Michigan has been expanded to include all of your property, including out buildings, etc. 

        • Foxbaron

          You most certainly may draw down on him if he is in your house.  Being in your home uninvited means he is a threat.  However if he tries to run out you can’t shoot him. Its hard to justify shooting someone who is running away.  If he comes at you then you “are in fear of your life or grievous bodily injury” and are justified in shooting.  If he comes at you he is a direct threat.  Unfortunately you can’t shoot escaping thieves.

          Drawing down on him coming out a neighbor’s window is also justifiable but you can’t shoot the SOB unless he directly threatens you.  Warning shots are a no no.  

          Unfortunately the law lacks common sense.  Not only should they have the Castle Doctrine in every state but it should also apply to your neighbors homes too.  What you don’t know, when you see the guy coming out the neighbor’s window, is what he just did inside.  Was it just a burglary or did he just rape or kill your neighbor.  

          Then again, the guy coming out the window actually could be related to your neighbor, could have permission to go inside but didn’t have a key to the home, or is just some dumb ass kid who needs an attitude adjustment but not a bullet.

          If the guy is armed he is a direct threat.  If unarmed then attack him physically if you start losing the fight then you may be justified in shooting if you think he may kill or seriously injure you.  If are unable or unwilling to engage him physically then stand back and call the police.  Once again, if he comes at you he is a direct threat.  Try to leave him an avenue of escape so he has a choice to get away or come at you.  If he chooses to come at you, well then……………………………….so sad, too bad.

          Bottom line is the gun is the last resort.  Its purpose is to kill the other guy before he kills you.   Don’t draw down if you aren’t willing to kill him.

          • Stormtrooper1991

            This info sounds pretty sound to me.  well thought response.

    • Concerned GMC

      In most states it is illegal to “hold hostage” a citizen at gun point, regardless of the reason (citizen arrest laws aside) The only reason I would ever clear leather it to prevent death or serious bodily harm to myself or others. Property is replaceable, life is not. Now, if in the process of detaining a suspected (innocent until proven guilty) criminal, I fear for my safety, and can effectively articulate it, I have no problem hurting someone’s feelings!

    • Greg

      Don’t let the obviously uninformed rantings of these training experts scare you into being disarmed. These people make their living by making this whole thing as complicated as they can. This is a perfect example. Mr Hanson thought he would use this incident as a way to scare people into needing more training and asserting his authority. The second amendment clearly says that you can defend yourself with a firearm. State laws differ on what situations are appropriate, but it’s not that complicated. I wouldn’t go playing cop in most circumstances, but I would have done the same as Mr Flemming did. Contrary to the self-proclaimed “expert” Jason Hanson, Mr Flemming did the RIGHT thing.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/KAI5SVUBAOUC66H45TOFDVDOWI William

        I am with you 110% Greg and I could not have said it better myself. I would have done the same as the young man involved when he pulled his weapon altho I would not have wasted a slug on the ground. If I needed to fire my weapon it would have been in the suspect and I would tell the responding Officer whatever had led me to a justified shooting.

             By the way I am a retired Det. Sergeant with over 25 year’s spent on the job pulling my weapon many times without haveing to shoot anyone. I also spent over 22 years as a Weapons Expext, NRA Police Weapons Instructor, Military Small Arms Weapons Instructor and Competition Shooter with both handgun’s and long weapons.
             Even with all of the above I was smart enough to move OUT of NEW JERSEY and to the WEAPON’S FRIENDLY STATE OF VIRGINA where I have the right to carry with or without my retired badge and have been doing so for the past 17 years.
        Bill

    • Bubbaoreilley

      It’s better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6!

      • Blacxkcobra

        True words right there and I can still go chase the women after that and chase some more women

    • Iching622

      Somes states do not have a defense of property law. You go outside, someone in your car, you kick him in head. You get arrested. Assault is worse crime then breaking and entering. When to pull your Glock? Someone is shooting people and your in vicinity, psycho charging you with knife, your old lady has unwanted guest…. Other then that let it go.

  • CJL44mag

    The good people who try to protect their property and life seem to always be held to a higher standard than the criminals trying to take them. If a criminal gets hurt in your house while robbing you, they can sue you and win.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-C-Graham/1685683066 Joshua C Graham

      Depends on state law. If your state does not have a castle doctrine write your congressmen. If your state does have a castle doctrine, to hell with’em

    • TMTMTL

      As much as I hate to agree with you, it’s true. That’s why you need a lot of insurance, a big dog and a bigger gun. If the bad guy gets past the dog use the gun. Following this plan of action will result in not having to use the insurance. If all else fails, have a good lawyer on retainer.

  • Ron

    These damn people that break in to homes and we cant protect our property, they should be able to be fair game. ( I know it’s not legal, but) They broke into my home stealing my shit, that I worked my ass off for, only to have some thug steal it and the courts let them go!. All we can do is sit and watch them run off with it, and hope the cops catch them, good luck with that. Once again the criminals have more rights than us, and they know it. That’s why they keep doing it.

    • Bubbaoreilley

      Move to a state with better laws ie: Okla. or Texas

    • Stoney Burt

      Or maybe Idaho

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ANL5H2P3TBLQ3ZWCIINA5Z5ARM T.

      What about citizen’s arrest or detention?

      • j410

        When the cops come they have force”many”If you are a big person well it’s up to you.I am not large person and that is 1 reason I got my CCW.But your ? sure brings up lots more.Hope we both get answers.I did not get my CCW to feel bigger just equal. Thanks SAM.

  • Sylvia Ortiz

    Thank you for this story. I have never owned a gun but am currently looking into it due to the “impending” Dooms Day that is rapidly approaching. I want to be fully educated on the “safety and laws of ownership” before actually holding one in my hands.

  • Bc48028

    Although he should not have fired his weapon , I can’t believe he would go to jail for firing a warning shot at the ground. Obviously it was not his intention to do the felon bodily harm. I guess now you can’t even scare a criminal in your own defense!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1082881734 Donthaveone Starfire

    One thing we can all do is serve on juries, and if we ever get a case where this kind of good citizen is on trial.  ACQUIT THEM!

  • Jar1807

    Good thing he lives NH. This story may have a different ending in another of the New England States.

  • Info@tibatactical.com

    Just an FYI, in the state of Utah you CAN legally threaten force as long as it is in self defense:

    76-10-506. Threatening with or using dangerous weapon in fight or quarrel.

    Every person, … who, not in necessary self defense in the presence of two or more persons, draws or exhibits any dangerous weapon in an angry and threatening manner or unlawfully uses the same in any fight or quarrel is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

  • Me

    Shoot him in the chest & drop a knife near him?

  • Ghdalton

    I’m reminded of the comment that the Undersheriff of the County that was putting on the Academy that I attended when I was a ‘newbee’ Police Officer:  “When you shoot, kill the Son Of A Bitch.  That way there is only one story going to be told – yours,”  Maybe Mr. Flemming needs to know this little bit of wisdom.

  • weeze

    We don’t know if the guy climbing out of the window had just killed everyone inside with a gun or knife. If we let him go and he had killed everyone, people would be asking why the neighbor did not do anything like stop him or hold him at gun point. If the neighbor didn’t do anything but yell at him to stop and they saw each others face, wouldn’t then the neighbor be scared for his family thinking the burglar would come back for him!

    Living in Illinois, I am not sure what I would do since we have sooo many gun laws and Obama’s buddy Rahm running Chicago. Makes me want to actually build a castle wall around my property to keep the bad guys out! Thats just awful to think that way in America!

  • http://www.facebook.com/montchristo Jim Isbell

    I agree that the Law often is inexact.  BUT….if you pull your weapon (you need to be pulling it as early as you detect the threat, not necessarily just before you pull the trigger) , point it toward the perp and he immediately turns and runs, do you have shoot him in the back?  Cummon, if pulling the weapon stops the attack, for morality sake, dont kill the guy.  I think a court would understand that you were NOT “brandishing”

    Oh, in Texas you can shoot him….anywhere, back front, up the..well you get the idea…if he is on your property and threatening your PROPERTY.  Also if you are coming to the defence of your neighbours property even if the neighbour is not there!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000911417008 Patrick Fox

    actually in some states the gentleman discharging the fire arm, may have commited a crime more offenseful than the burgular,,  the thief? possibly a mistimeanor theft charge, the good guy,shooting a warning shot? discharging a firearm in the city limits, discharging a fire arm within a hundred feet of a inhabited dwelling and possible assult with a deadly weapon charge,,keep in mind, alot of states do NOT allow you to discharge a fire arm in the comisson of a crime, where one is not infear of their life or the life of another, property in NOT concidered life threatning, so this guy may have lucked out by no,t being charged with a felony charge, BUT once again this all depends on which state you live in ya i knoe it dosn’t seem fair to not be able to protect ours and our good neighbors possesions but thats the way itis….

  • Greg

    Holy cow this Jason Hanson is dense. I read his posts now simply to see what ridiculous nonsense he’s going to come up with now. First it was blatantly plagiarizing a magazine article because he couldn’t think of something to write. Now here he didn’t realize the charges against Flemming were dropped a long time ago. By dropping the charges the authorities are admitting he wasn’t “wrong” as Hanson suggests.

    As for saying “The only time the gun should leave your holster or your safe in your bedroom is when you’re in immediate fear for your life or of serious bodily injury.” what a hysterical piece of nonsense! I like having a gun laying on the desk in front of me while I’m working. I like having one on the car seat next to me when I’m driving. I like having them over the fireplace mantel… Hiding firearms and giving them some mystical power just helps arm the democrats in their anti-gun propaganda.

    • BC1

      There is much wisdom in his advice regarding this issue. He is not referring to having a gun on your desk. He is giving you some very simple advice; something I learned from Mas Ayyob years ago.

      In the event you use a firearm in self defense, even if you are 100% correct ,it will probably ruin your life. You may be arrested. A grand jry may get it all wrong and you’re indicted. You may pay substantial attorney fees for a criminal defense and in some states may be sued regardless of the criminal outcome… more attorney fees. You may  have to re-mortgage your house, raid your retirement or kid’s college funds to foot the bill.

      Only pull that gun when the need is so great that your must ruin your life.

  • Hersfelder

    Here in Colorado, you are justified in using deadly force to stop a threat to your life or another’s life.  A bad-guy stealing your stuff (or anybody else’s stuff) and running out of your house (or your neighbor’s house) is not regarded as a threat.  (Now, if the bad guy stops inside your house and turns around to face you, that is a different story.)  If you have to engage, you engage until the threat is stopped, and no further.  That is why most folks aim for the cranio-ocular region or the critical-thoracic triangle.  One round of sufficient “size” in either of those two areas means that you only have to fire once, and the threat will be permanently stopped. 

  • torch

    A local police officer [central coast Cal.] started to work one morning and as he went into his garage a total stranger was helping his self to the tools on the officer’s work bench. He hit the button to lift the garage door and watched as the thief ran off. He told me that there was less trouble to him for letting the thief go,,and the thief would not be back to his house. He then told me what I could do and not him as an Officer. He said,” Shoot the ‘SOB’ then drag the body down the street as far away from your house as possible. At two different times I have shown my 357 to punks in my neighbor hood late at night and told them to leave and if they come back I will let them have some lead.

  • Jwgrosser97

    Free as well he should be!

  • Backacre

    Wouldn’t happen in Montana.  Montana Code Annotated: 45-3-104. Use of force in defense of other property. A person is
    justified in the use of force or threat to use force against another when and to
    the extent that the person reasonably believes that the conduct is necessary to
    prevent or terminate the other person’s trespass on or other tortious or
    criminal interference with either real property, other than an occupied
    structure, or personal property lawfully in the person’s possession or in the
    possession of another who is a member of the person’s immediate family or
    household or of a person whose property the person has a legal duty to protect.
    However, the person is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or
    serious bodily harm only if the person reasonably believes that the force is
    necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

  • SFret2

    I haven’t taught CCW since 1998 in Arizona.  One more note.  If you put your hand on your gun without drawing it, you can be charged with assault.  Don’t even put your hand on your him next to it.  It leaves you open to “he said, she said”.  No matter what, be prepared for the thiefs family to sue you in civil court (Jury needs to only be 6+1 against you).

    Now, get out there and hug a felon.

    Jim
    Special Forces Ret.

    • SFret2

      … don’t put your hand on your HIPS…..

    • Greg

      Spoken like a true “training expert”. The more scare tactics you put out, the more our liberty will be taken.

  • Joe826

    As an officer, we do NOT fire any warning shots.

  • Bubbaoreilley

    The castle doctrine in Texas states that you have a right to protect your property.

  • DailyDefender

    Correct me if I am wrong but this is why I would approach the guy first, then if a threat presented itself upon approach I’d be justified. Also, his release several days later is beyond the point, cover you’re rear and know the law, no one wants the time and money of trial even. If you know the law you’ll be sleeping soundly next to your 45 that night rather then next to Harry, a 45 year old lonely cell mate.

  • Cobray

    In Milan, Michigan (about two weeks ago) a home invasion took place, the homeowner was tied up, while the 2 suspects went through his house.  The homeowner was able to free himself, grabbed his weapon, and followed (chased) the footprints in the snow.  The suspects were followed a short distance to a car they had parked and in the process of “getting away”.  The homeowner fired through the passenger window, killing that person, the other one was able to flee.  The police are looking for the suspect that got away, and the homeowner has been charged with murder.  

  • Roberttmcmahanjr

    Jason worked for an agency of the Federal gumment which disarmed its employees well enough that a miscreant could walk down the line of cars waiting to enter the campus shooting folks systematically. Many of those employee had the training to defend themselves, but were not permitted to carry into the agency.

    All that said, Jason is giving important advice. And, those who said we need to get the dumb laws changed are right too.

    One of the groups in Virginia doing that is VCDL. The members often open carry. Jason doesn’t like that either, unsurprising given his background. If you live in Northern Virginia, Google VCDL and attend a meeting. You will learn a lot about what you can and cannot do. Nit dress appropriately. I wear a 1911 in a Blackhawk! holster.

  • FredMiller

    Well I was trained years ago and was taught then and still practice the safe rule of pulling out your gun. 
    If you pull it out of its holster and aim it someone, you better be ready to shoot them, PERIOD!  If my life is not in danger, I will not show my weapon!  I will not try to threaten someone and hope they stay still or run away.  If I pull it, I will shoot it. 
    Everyone has their own ideas on what is right and wrong, but so does the law.   No matter how good you think you are, if you ever shoot anyone no matter how bad they are, you will change your life and how you think about everything.  I only hope not to shoot anyone again.

  • blogengeezer

    Common sense ruled the USA for many long years, Even ‘Set Guns’ were a fairly common deterrence. Then back around the 1960′s, as they took over power, the “liberal’ interpretation of all laws started to take effect. A local business owner that had been victimized many times, in desperate exasperation finally had enough. He eventually caught the criminal, giving him a ‘Whipping’… literally. The criminal went to prison, but with the ACLU’s now common pro-bono, sued the business owner in ABQ’s South Valley, taking away his family’s lifetime business.

    After that history changing experience in the mid 1960′s, law enforcement’s ‘off camera’ suggestion was made, and has many times (presumably) since been followed, “Drag the body inside if you shoot him”. Of course Mexican border state NM, having been recently a ‘Territory’ has a different set of laws. The endlessly ‘repatriated’, ‘re-educated’ and ‘counciled’, taxpayer ‘Subsidized’ Career Repeat Offender (they are the only ones with copious amounts of idle time) is responsible for all but a miniscule number of the crimes. The state Legislature, themselves in desperation, passed the CCW laws in response to threats on Their Own safety. Our state Representatives (in direct contrast to our present political party adherence US Senators) are well aware (well the majority of them) of the Right of ‘self protection’.

  • Blevins921

    I know I can’t shoot somebody for robbing me. Then what do you suggest a person do to detain a robber? Ask him if he wants a some coffee and have a seat? 

  • Kevinkr

    state residets with castle doctrine law would disagree, The burden of proof is on the victim.

  • Rwood

    Americans need to put more faith in our “Founding Fathers”. They set forth the Second Amendment for a reason. Be proud to be American!!

  • Larryffwtoyota

    The fact is we should not be scared to defend ourselves and our family but we have become so antigun in this country that we must hesitate to consider the ramifacations of what we do instead of reacting to the threat. This cost us that valuable split second that will eventually cost someone there life. This elderly man was scared and did not know how this criminal that had allready decided that he was not scared of anyone in the houses or he would have never entered them would react. That makes it scary and that makes him a threat. If you don’t want to get shot then don’t make the decision to come in my house uninvited. What is so hard to understand about that.

  • Stoney Burt

    “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” is BS, not saying
    that it is incorrect, just saying it’s BS. Most lawyers and cops that I know
    have no idea what all laws are applicable in what case. There are just TOO MANY
    laws on the books now days for anybody to have much of a handle on them.
    Unfortunately for us, no matter what we do and when, if someone wants to burn
    us all they have to do is take the time and they will ultimately find a law to
    prosecute us with. We’re screwed no matter what. Especially those poor souls
    living anywhere near the East Coast.

  • Squirebond-007

    People often don’t like lawyers until they need one.   That guy in N.H. – both of them actually, need lawyers.  Without lawyers the world would be a dark and dismal place.  There is something to be said for the rule of law.  Just ask someone living in Mogadishu.

  • Horsesavers

    You need to know the laws of the state you carry in. They all are diffrent.Certified firearms instructor,Florida.

  • Arc Angel

    I’m another one who uses his computer with a pistol lying right next to it on the desk.  Ever since an early morning home invasion back in 1990, I’ve seldom been out of reach of a loaded firearm while at home. 

    As for leaving a pistol on the car seat next to me while driving?  No, that’s NOT a smart thing to do; and taking your gun out too soon, or leaving it on a car seat while the vehicle is moving, has now been memorialized as one of the paramount mistakes committed by two unfortunate FBI agents during the infamous 1986, ‘Miami Shootout’. 
     
    Whenever I’m riding inside a motor vehicle I always use some sort of appendix carry for my weapon.  I’m ambidextrous; so I can carry a pistol on either side; but, if I’m the driver, I always carry with the pistol on my right-side and away from the steering wheel.  It’s too slow and too difficult to bring a pistol into action with your left hand while driving!  Leave the weapon holstered until AFTER the vehicle stops moving. 
     
    (If you’re a left handed driver what should you do?  Learn to draw and fire a pistol with your right hand, and with reasonable accuracy, too.  Well, either that or move to England where your left handed draw will be an asset.  Oh, wait!  I forgot.)  ;) 

    • Greg

      The passenger seat isn’t the greatest idea, but in Wisconsin there has been some trouble defining what “concealed” means in a vehicle. Some have even advised to keeping it on the dashboard! Open carry IS legal here in a vehicle for all of our citizens, so until the courts decide what exactly “concealed” and “open” mean in a vehicle, I will keep it on the seat in plain view.

  • Leeman7

    A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government” ― George Washington

  • Warren3174

    We have the Castle Doctrine in place here in Missouri. We don’t shoot the ground.

  • Gvaldeg1

    This is not true in Arizona.  Simple “brandishing” is no longer ann offense.  Also, there is no “need to retreat”.  Castle doctrine statutes have been considerably strengthened in Arizona in favor of the good guys.

  • jimjamer

    Like others, I take exception to the statement “If you are firing a gun into the ground that obviously means you’re not in fear for your life or of serious bodily injury.”

    Let’s step through this. Bad guy causes me to fear for my life. I draw on him, or shoot into the ground. That stops him – he may or may not run away. But was I not in fear of my life when I drew/fired/brandished? Of course I was. And if he doesn’t run away I will be in fear of my life if I put the gun away.

    Of course, I understand. The evil prosecutors will charge you anyway, and this may be the law. But it shouldn’t be, and I hope we can work to get the laws changed.

  • Patterson_johnm

    Similar thing happened in Houtson about 1-2 years ago.  As I remember fleing thief caught a shotgum blast and was killed.  SHotter was no bill.  Crime rate dropped (at least for a while)

  • Mactex53

    Folks, it is not that hard – if you are not in fear of your life (the homeowner had left his home and was now in his neighbor’s, so he went TO the threat) you can’t shoot someone. As much as we may dislike it, property does not hold more value than a human life, at least in the court’s opinion. Is that the way it should be – that is something that each person has to decide for themselves.  Should he have shot him in the back if he had continue to walk away with (or without) the property? You KNOW how the courts would have ruled on that. Giving orders without being sure of what you will do if they do not comply puts you in a dangerous situation – both physically and legally.

  • Mactex53

    Excellent turn of thought in the final paragraph – well written.

  • Cammerfe

    Don’t point it until you’re about to shoot it. And don’t shoot it unless you ar ready to kill. Hit him with a 2X4 or a rock but use some common sense about pulling the trigger.

    KS

  • Tonyshelton

    Are you out if your mind? This is the insanity we live in today and you are reporting it as a matter of fact instead of using your platform to cry out for the injustice.

    A life was spared to give another chance and this is a bad thing? A thing we need to worry about as we defend our property.

    Quit pretending. You aren’t concerned with protecting our rights. You are just reporting and nothing more.

  • http://www.thinlineshooting.com/ Thin Line Shooting Academy

    What Jason Should have articulated is that we should not shoot to wound, or fire warning shots as a prosecutor or civil attorney can tear these up. The point is that we train to shoot for the center of mass, and to shoot until the threat stops. If we follow these principals in every case then we will limit the attacks on our Mental State. We also are taught to use our firearm for defense of our self, another, or property in some states. If Jason had stated in his article that he keeps a loaded ”gun” anywhere but in the “politically correct” places then he would open all of us up to attacks from the Anti-Gun crowd. Do not ever think that gun owners are the only members here. 

  • Tinmann

    Ridiculous, Why do they “allow” us to have firearms and than don`t want us to use them?

  • Joplin001

    Then why damn police can draw their gun whenever they like???

  • G19_4Me

    OK, I’m not crazy about everything Jason Hanson writes either; but, let’s be fair, his writing and articles aren’t THAT bad – Right!  How about we, all, stop with the, ‘hate fest’.  If we’re, all, going to get together and dump on someone, how about everybody heading over to Rosie’s house, yes!

  • G19_4Me

    Joplin001,  Congratulations!  You’ve just discovered one of the great idiosyncrasies in American jurisprudence.

  • Ken Brewer

    Never happen in Texas! You may use a gun to defend property, as well as life. Remember the burglars who were killed after hitting a neighbor’s house in Houston? The only reason that there was any controversy is that they were illegals. Even in New Hampshire, Mr. Flemming was cleared.

  • Jpjones

    What you can and can’t do varies by state.  In Texas, you can shoot to protect property although I advise against it for various reasons.  In Texas you can display your firearm in a situation where you would be legally authorized to fire it.  In either case Texas law understands that simply displaying your firearm may cause a would be assailant to back off without being shot; in other words, you don’t have to actually shoot to make the threat to go away.

  • Zippster223

    Mr. Flemming should have shot that burglar dead in his
    tracks. I hope to God if my neighbor saw someone crawling through my window that
    He would to act as if he were on his own property and shoot the dirtbag.

  • ldgrey1963

    Some common sense should come into play here, Unfortunately Mr Flemming did not need to fire his weapon. CLEARLY his life was not in peril. The lawyers just love this type of case. I am glad the authorities released Mr Flemming.  

  • Rodgerroadstar99

    Please do not belittle Jason.  At least he has the balls to write his opinion for the public to read and scrutinize.  Good job Jason.  I may not always agree with you, but I do respect you Jason.  Thanks for the article.

  • Makdaddy32

    With all due respect Jason…REALLY!!!

  • Medhawk00

    My weapon will only be brought out if I fear for my life, and God forbid I do draw my weapon it will be for one primary reason, shoot to kill.

  • http://www.jonathanfowler.com/ Jonathan F.

    Very good advice! I think too many people rush out to buy a handgun and they don’t do their homework or near enough reading on self defense, the law, and repercussions of using a handgun….even when justified. 

  • j410

    I may not have said it right in my post I did Not get my CCW to feel bigger just equal.Thanks SAM.

  • Joey W. Baker

    Hello, Jason
    I am a FL. resident and I agree with most everything you said in your article “Do This And You May Go To Jail” Good article by the way. The thing is and I’m not and expert on law myself by no means, anyway in the great state of Florida you are allowed to use your firearm if you SEE a felony being committed. I will leave it at that for more info you can check the Florida dept. of agriculture website.

    Thank you

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004002871364 Gimmie Itnowok

    You state the answer to both of your “dumb” questions(Can I pull out the gun and threaten them even if I don’t actually plan to use it?) is no. I believe you are mistaken (though I agree it is a stupid idea).
    Apparently you are unaware of Arizona law, and probably the law of several other states.
    Arizona law states you are justified in using or “THREATENING” the use of deadly physical force to prevent a burglary in the 1st or 2nd degree.
    ARS 13-411

  • jj

    this guy is a dumb fuck, just because you shoot a bullet at the ground doesn’t mean your not scared you retard. It means that you don’t have the heart to straight up kill someone. dumb ass.

  • WON’T BE A VICTIM

    Anyone comes into my home when I’m here … they’re gonna die… PERIOD.

    Castle Doctrine.

    Liberals/Progressives have been taking away the rights of honest people for decades. Now they want to let the United Nations dictate what weapons we can purchase?

    Liberal/Progressives protect the criminal … not the honest man.

  • WON’T BE A VICTIM

    Jason is an ass.

    • Clathrus

      At least unaware that the laws of one state are definitly different from the other 49 states. Not real bright.

  • xman

    I was detained and received a misdemeanor for having a loaded hand gun in my car. What can I expect when I go to court?

  • rolando blackman

    I caught a burglar in my house, and i told him to freeze and get on the ground, and he did. I then opened fire shooting him 27 times, including once right in the nut sack. I then reloaded my 45 acp and emptied another clip in him for good measure, and to make sure i turned him to mush. The cops showed up and drew their weapo ns, and they emptied several clips into him, we dont like burglars in this town.

    • Clathrus

      What a jerk.