by K. L. Jamison
It is unlikely you will have to fast draw your pistol. You will have to fast draw your cell phone. In the aftermath of a defensive incident, the first person to call 911 is the victim. The other person, by default, is the bad guy.
Despite the dramatic stories, few self-defense incidents end with the attacker stretched out on the concrete. When faced with a gun, criminals surrender or run. The defender fires in less than 16% of defensive gun uses. This leaves the defender with a live enemy on the loose; and he is not happy. In his world, victims are not supposed to fight back, and never win. He wants revenge. He can’t get it himself, because his target has a gun. He can call 911 and claim that a nut with a gun is threatening people; in his world, that may be what just happened.
There are three places to put a name on the 911 operator’s screen; under victim, witness or suspect. It is much better to be the victim or witness. The first caller gets to make the introductions.
A lady in Lees Summit, Missouri was accosted by a carload of thugs who demanded that she join their party, as the party favor. She declined. The leader got out of the car and instructed her at gunpoint that she was going with them because he had a gun. While he was talking about his gun, she drew hers and shot him. The thugs drove their leader to a hospital and the lady walked away, satisfied with the results. However, there was a second act. Hospitals are required to report gunshots. When questioned, the thug told officers that the woman shot him for no reason at all. With no other information, the officers arrested the lady. They ultimately determined that her story made more sense than his, but it was a bad night for the lady. A quick cell phone call would have saved her a great deal of trouble.
A great advantage of cell phones is that nearly all have cameras. One can take a picture of the threat and scene, or even movies with audio. Many courts do not allow cell phones, so the data must be printed out or saved on other media. It is then possible to show the judge that on the night in question the assailant was snarling, slobbering and wearing a T-Shirt showing the Al Pacino character from Scarface, “Say Hello to my Little Friend.”
A client saw thugs breaking into cars and quickly called 911. When he did, his phone started to scream. The designer thought that when 911 was called, the phone should emit a siren so police could find the caller. The bad guys didn’t know my client was there until his phone ratted him out. He also had a gun, so the story has a happy ending.
Phones do not replace guns. They help prove how they were used.
Kevin L. Jamison is an attorney in the Kansas City Missouri area concentrating in the area of weapons and self-defense.
Please send questions to Kevin L. Jamison 2614 NE 56th Ter Gladstone Missouri 64119-2311 KLJamisonLaw@earthlink.net. Individual answers are not usually possible but may be addressed in future columns.
This information is for legal information purposes and does not constitute legal advice. For specific questions you should consult a qualified attorney.