To IFAK or to not IFAK that is the question!

The core argument by Correia on why to carry is so you can use it for yourself or someone you feel a responsibility to aid. The core argument by the lawyers (yes, they really are attorneys and it is rather snide to put that word in quotation marks) is that a legal opponent might try to use the fact you have a kit (and training) as indication you planned on hurting others.

In terms of decisions by the self-defense-aware community, the added consideration is whether we plan to or would give medical aid to a person who had only minutes ago tried to injure or kill us. Note my careful phrasing above, someone you feel a responsibility to aid. Correia leaves open the possibility that you might feel responsible to aid a downed attacker.

With this option in mind, I recommend reading Greg Ellifritz’s blog article, Should I Provide First Aid to the Attacker I Just Shot? Greg is a recently retired cop, and a top national instructor not only in firearms for self defense, but also in physical defense, close quarters battle, and emergency medical aid. Greg makes the point that an downed attacker is still a potential threat, and the risk is very high to stow your weapon and get within arms length of the proven miscreant. There is no legal requirement for a private citizen to give medical aid to an attacker. (This is not the same as for paid first responders, cops and EMTs.)

If you feel a moral or ethical responsibility to help any injured stranger with hands-on
medical assistance, have you weighed that responsibilty against the risks Greg described?

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I carry an EDC kit with me everywhere I go. it’s been habit for many years. Its season specific also. As for helping an attacker. possibly not. But it would be one of those 1 sec decisions :us:

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100% correct. If I just shot the guy, I am not going to get close enough for that person to harm me. Very likely that person would be seeking retribution after being shot for their stupidity of trying to harm me or a family member.

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Well, Nathan I see that you can foretell the future. It is really helpful to be able to know what the closing argument of the prosecuting attorney will be. I think you have a future in criminal defense. You could hire out to defense attorneys being able to predict what closing argument will cover.

I on the other hand, lacking that ability, just muddle through as best I can. I am inclined to think I would not attempt to treat an assailant as I lack formal medical training and am concerned if I am not successful in my attempts at treatment, I might face civil suite because of my failure. That’s why I pay taxes, to pay the salaries of public EMTs who are trained and have a much more extensive list of equipment and supplies. For example, they have a portable EKG machine. I don’t happen to carry one in my trunk. They carry Ringer’s solution and plasma in their emergency vehicle. Nope, no Ringer’s in my first aid kit and I am fresh out of plasma. I do have a tourniquet but have never had to apply it in a real situation, only practice where the person I was practicing on was not squirting blood across the room and wasn’t all slick with blood and thrashing around but was just laying perfectly still while I put on the cuff.


I think you misunderstood my post.

If you do NOT carry a first aid kit, there is no way for the prosecutor to say “why didn’t you use your first aid kit on the guy who just tried to stab you”

I don’t need to tell the future or be an attorney to know they won’t use the fact that you had an IFAK and didn’t use it against you in court, when you in fact did not have an IFAK

If you prevail against an attacker but you, or a loved one, dies because you were hurt and you had no means to take care of yourself for the 10-20 minutes I’ll take an EMT to get to you…. Did you win?

I think most folks think because they have the means and even the training to defend themselves they are now leak proof and invulnerable. A deadly force encounter ONLY happens if someone else is trying to take your life. Pretty presumptuous and totally lacking in common sense to think you’ll be the only one not bleeding after the event.

BTW, a lot of nonsense is assumed about what happens and doesn’t happen in a courtroom. If a prosecutor starts going after you for not rendering aid to the guy that just tried to kill you and your attorney can’t stop that on its tracks or successfully turn that around you got yourself a terrible attorney.

Even in a civil trial stating or even implying that the bad guy “could” have survived if you rendered aid is just complete speculation and an useless argument.


Obvious counter-arguments aside (i.e. "a first aid kit is for helping others, not hurting others; does wearing a seat belt imply that I planned to be involved in a car accident?), has this ever worked in court? I’ve heard lawyers make plenty of dumb arguments during a trial, but not every argument helps a prosecutor’s case.

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I recall some big examples. (I’m not a lawyer so maybe these weren’t dumb, but, they didn’t really strike a cord with me)

Kyle R’s prosecution trying to argue Call of Duty the video game

George Z’s prosecution implying that the injuries could have been caused by running into tree branches because there were trees in the area of the incident

George’s prosecution insisting that it would be impossible to draw a pistol from a holster on his belt with a person on top of him (groundfighting mount position)