Does training Help you ,Hurt you or Insure trouble if you dont know how it can be used against you

First a Disclaimer " I absolutely believe in Training, (Defensive, and Aggressive(more military style). I believe the right training can and will save your life. I also believe that while range training has some benefit, there are other styles and aspects of training that might be more useful, especially when it comes to gross motor skills vs fine motor skills and what actually happens under stress. End of my General Disclaimer.

I was in a discussion recently with a number of LEOs around training, court and prosecutions. (Police, Agents, and certain others).

The discussion point is this:

We are all told to train, hone our skill and craft, make our fun and our proficiency high. It is recognized that it is needed when the mess hits the fan, God Forbid any of us have that issue, including LEOS.

This has the potential to hurt us in the court house.

Their point being the average American (non Gun familiar) thinks of training in a certain way (expertise), therefore when it comes up in court you are judged more harshly based upon how well you have chased being a “Responsible Gun “Weapon” Carrying Citizen”

A Responsible Gun carrying citizen goes to training and grows in weapon usage, mechanics, powders, cartridges , shooting scenarios and Training, be it in home invasion or shooting from a vehicle or just basic assault training defensive or aggressive, phycological win methods or other (OODA loop example) etc.

The issue is if in court much like a professional boxer , the average juror will see us with our training as more of an expert, and then they will bring their own individual personal views, usually unrealistic (like why don’t you just shoot the guy in the hand or the leg) not knowing anything about stress, gross motor response etc. to the decision. And yes you had a trial , but the reality could be that your training in the jury mind put you in the same category as a professional boxer ie. don’t use your hands because you could kill someone, so the bar is set unconsciously higher.

The way that you are protected from this is how you enter the process if you have a problem, what you or your (Good)lawyer says and when. Do you sit for two or three days in a cell, while waiting for the investigation/probable cause report to be finished before you say anything with your lawyer (that may be perceived as a hostile act by LEO, but it may save by our backside. or are you only talking after the initial investigation is finished and the initial rulings on probable cause (the laws broken and what you are charged with) is finished when you actually know what you are fighting or being charged with?

Training is the cure to our safety and our survival, but if used as a tool to send us to jail in court, that is a problem that needs to be rectified.

That leads to the opening question of DOES our training (perhaps Can is a better word)Hurt us??

We pass all of these verifications but if in court get no credit for that,

We take training to the level of lifestyle but in court can have that used against us (heaven help us if we didn’t train)

What is your opinion, the USCCA has some great lawyers that discuss (one from Arizona is particularly effective in his communication on the issue).

Does Training help or Hurt, by the time court comes, what say you. The ones being put in the fire.

2 Likes

As a former Police Detective I handled Crimes Against Persons (homicides, kidnappings, rapes, ADW, attempted murder, etc.). I dealt with Deputy D.A.s often and sat next to them at trial as their Investigating Officer. I ate lunch with them.
Does a record of firearms training hurt you? It depends on the facts of the case.
One of my sons is a high level firearms trainer. One of his students was convicted of a contract murder in which he sniped the husband of the woman who hired him. This was in Southern CA. My son was contacted by a D.A. Investigator about the shooters level of rifle training. My son cooperated and it was submitted into evidence and used in the D.A.s final argument. Jury took 90 minutes to convict for first degree murder. The training convinced the jury the bad guy had the ability to make the shot (not an easy shot.)
If you are acting legally and responsibly I think it’s really not an issue criminally, but may be civilly. Any trial is a roll of the dice. No getting past that.

3 Likes

If I train, it can be used against me. If I don’t train it can be used against me. ANYthing can be used against me, it’s the way the game is played.
Given that’s true, I’ll do what I can to have the skills to save my life and the lives around me. And I’ll do what I can to have the best legal advice and experts on the stand should I need to.
My concern for defending my life, literally, takes precedence. If I’m dead, the rest won’t matter.

7 Likes

Amen. If you are not there what difference does it make? Work the percentages. And above all be lucky.

3 Likes

A true bugpile,with doing right no where in the equation. Problem,that doesn’t provide much solace in the law,esp if you are a law and order person, it has more to do with how the original reports present you and or what is the detectives view than, us having done right at every turn. Lord don’t make an enemy, and that’s interesting because I do not see Leo’s in that light. But should I ,not because of them but because of the no win laws. And the media . Just heard as bunch of junk come from Eric swalwell of CA . What people swallow vs the truth are so different. Even Pete b who has military service wouldn’t differentiate between military weapons and civilian weapons. Ex diff between 223 vs 556 powder loads and termannlity. Handgun mag capacity. Suppressors vs none. In our state swat is suppressed,and uses that auditory distinction when working,but. They are working on outawing them for civilians. The inequity is a challenge and real

3 Likes

Unfortunately, that is the case.

A good attorney will be able to show how our training has taught us to avoid situations where we may need to defend ourselves as much as possible. So the need to use self-defense was our last resort and we had no other option. They can also go over all of the additional training for the jury.

Will it take longer in court? Yes. But the facts are the facts and if we have truly shot in self-defense, we have the truth on our side. That does not guarantee we will win in a court, which is why our training always includes avoiding questionable situations as much as possible.

However, if you didn’t need to defend yourself or you were the aggressor, your training will definitely be used against you as you should have known better.

5 Likes