Defensive Firearms Instruction conducted a Use of Force and Self Defense Laws Class at Angeles Shooting Ranges. This class was an introduction into the world of criminal law and law enforcement procedures that is not often taught. However, in this increasingly litigious world where even the most righteous acts of self-preservation are microscopically criticized with vicious social bias, it is imperative that a personal defense plan include more training than came in the gun box. When contemplating the legal aftermath and potential consequences of a deadly-force incident, the knowledge on how to become “hard to convict” is most valuable. Jeff Cooper referred to this as the Second Battle.
The class started off with a video clip of a couple out for a walk in a semi-remote park area. When they are suddenly targeted in a “knock-out” style attack the realities of violence immediately grabbed the DFI students’ attention. Even though the video clip was a planned and supervised stress inoculation training exercise, it graphically demonstrated how fast and how violent people can be to each other. The audience was then challenged, with their present level of legal knowledge on the topic, to justify the actions of the defender in this “pre-quiz”. Some tactical answers were proffered, but this class was more about the legalities of a defender’s actions, not whether or not the tactics were “good”. This set the tone for the remainder of the day where vigorous student-instructor interaction was a constant theme. Learn the laws of use of force. Be able to legally justify your use of force. Stay out of jail.