Have you ever wondered what it would be like, if you had to use your gun? What if you killed the person who was shot? How would that make you feel? These emotions need to be explored before an incident occurs. Just having a concealed carry weapons permit makes this self-examination extremely important. You need to understand what has to be done in case of a shooting incident.
Will you be able to pull the trigger when the time comes?
And then, what? What would you tell the police upon their arrival? And what about the media? What might you say to them?
NOTHING. If you were the shooter, you shouldn’t talk to the police until your attorney is present and even if you were just a bystander to the incident, you should never talk to a reporter, unless you’re only giving them the cold, hard facts. “Person A shot person B with a pistol,” or “I shot this man in self-defense.” Period. No justifications that media people can twist to make their stories front page news. You have to be very careful about what picture you paint when it comes to the media and how they might present your story to the public.
In his article, “All Eyes on You,” at USConcealedCarry.com, K. L. Jamison, Esq. wrote:
“There is a cynical defense attorney statement. It goes: Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you. In the aftermath of a self-defense incident the citizen will be overwhelmed with a desire to justify his conduct. Even when absolutely confident that gunfire was not only the right and proper thing to do, but the only thing to do, the desire to justify can be overwhelming. Experienced lawyers are of the opinion that adrenalin-fueled statements to 911 serve to talk the caller into prison. Statements to the media often record video as well as audio. As we have seen in the Zimmerman case these statements can be easily edited to result in misleading reports and, to be blunt, lies.” (Read more of Jamison’s article here.)
For this reason, keeping your answers to the point, without editorializing the shooter, who may have been in the right all along. And if you’re the shooter, remaining silent could help you stay out of court.
As Jamison points out, the media will bend details to their purpose, so sometimes, things happen in a different way from the way in which the media reports the incident. For example, Jamison cites a situation where a failing student started shooting at the Appalachian School of Law. Two of the students ran to their cars to retrieve their concealed carry weapons and were able to subdue the shooter without any further injury or loss of life.
When the national news services reported the incident, they left out the part about the students having guns because they “… had decided that mentioning the contribution of the pistols would give people the wrong idea about guns.” Manipulation of what we see and hear should NOT be part of the media’s job, but it is.
If you find yourself either involved in or witness to a shooting incident, it’s better to keep silent or to only provide facts, not explanations. By coloring details to justify your actions or the actions of others, the resulting news story could come to be the reason that an innocent person is prosecuted.