If I may, I would like to share a personal success in deescalation…
I was at my mother’s home, and legally fine to fire my AR-300Blk on her property…BUT, because I did, I was wrongly accused of not using a proper backstop (I was), and sailing rounds past guys’ heads in a hay field about 200 yds downrange.
The reasons I knew they did NOT hear bullets whizzing past their heads were:
- I was indeed using a good backstop
- I knew there could be people beyond my backstop, and I triangulated the shot from the height of my barrel, the declination of it, and the distance, so that any rounds which could in a million years pass my target would strike dirt at 18 yards behind the target, and there was zero in that dirt to cause a ricochet…
So, I am putting my AR away, and I see through the windows of the house that there is someone at my mother’s front door…naturally, since she is a widow alone there, I went to investigate. The person turned out to be three persons, claiming I had been whizzing rounds past their heads while they were bailing hay which, again, was an impossibility. I can calculate a shot to a mile, so I think calculating one to 50 yards is easy enough (I later verified my calculations - spot on).
I get to the door, and these guys are loud, rude, etc., and this is at the front door of my 79 yo mom’s house. Not ok. I understood they thought they’d heard bullets, and having personally had them whir past my own head, I understand how sounds can play tricks on one’s perceptive capabilities…but in any case, I’m at her front door, facing her neighbor, with a man at each side of him, and him hurling hateful, loud words towards us. It was quickly obvious he only wanted a fight. Since I had a pistol on my belt and one in my pocket, I did not wish to get into even a verbal altercation with these clowns cause a prosecutor could turn it around into me being aggressive while armed and next thing, I’m being arraigned for armed assault or something.
What did I do?
- I explained my qualifications and calculations. They didn’t care.
- I told them they were on private property acting like a$$es and needed to leave, which 1 did immediately and the other 2 did in short order
- I went and got my stuff put into my vehicle, made sure Mom was tucked into her home, and backed out since they had called the township sheriff and I know half those dudes and how slow it is to respond there…heck, I graduated with half that department and the county court.
Whilst leaving, 1 guy was using his phone to record me on video, and asks me “you’re leaving? We called the sheriff and you’re leaving?”
I replied, “I think the sheriffs would want me to deescalate this situation, and every time you guys open your mouths with foul language, it does the opposite, so the sheriff can call me if he wishes.” And I offered to give my number - they did not take it.
I got a call from the responding officer about 1.5 hours later, and he and I had a nice chat about how the place I picked for my targets was a good spot, and that to “appease the neighbor,” I may want to put some railroad ties and sand behind the backstop I already had, but that it was a great looking setup I already had, etc. etc. (agreed that neighbor was just being disagreeable, my setup was fine).
Now, all that said, I decided that, because I do NOT wish to cause my mother’s blood pressure to rise, or deal with her persnickety neighbors again, I simply will not shoot there again. There’s an indoor range 5 mins from my house, takes 14 to her’s + setup.
Point? I could have been the type to claim 3 guys were threatening, etc., and pulled, if not fired on them. That would have no doubt landed me in jail where I would remain now for the screw up.
Yes, I was rather angry. BUT, was lethal force required from me? Nope, nobody presented a threat of imminent severe bodily harm or death, so in my state of Ohio, drawing a gun, even if just to coax them off the property, would have been a serious mistake, so I did not.
That said, had any one of them physically attacked me, it would have been a polar opposite decision - 3 against me, on my family’s property? Disparity of force, plus I have a medical device that physical attacks could quickly cause to kill me by medicine overdose…but, nobody attacked physically. They indeed angered me, but, we who are RESPONSIBLY armed realize that anger is not just cause to use lethal force now don’t we?!!
I hope and pray my USCCA brothers/sisters at arms would not have decided on lethal force, and I appreciate the training the USCCA encouraged me to get on my own that caused me to not be a dumb redneck on tv that evening…
Peace & Blessings,