As a member of the tech community, I like to see novel applications to practical life. Today I am focusing on self defense because a friend of mine just got mugged and felt completely helpless. I want to help him feel more secure so that he will leave the house at night once again. I know there is much to fear, but dire situations don’t happen to most of us. He felt that his was potentially life-threatening and he wants a legal way to defend himself next time. I volunteered to research his options. I wondered what was allowed locally even though it might be banned in other areas. I’d read a guide at https://www.selfdefenseguide.org/defending-yourself-legally/, but I needed to know more about what laws applied locally.
I called the Chamber of Commerce and was referred to City Hall. After going through a lot of ignorant people, I decided that my best bet would be the police department. I didn’t want to pay to consult an attorney. As it turns out, the clerk at the other end of the line was quite knowledgeable. While it is unlawful to carry an unregistered weapon, most other protective measures are allowed such as pepper spray, a knife, a stun gun or Taser, and a modern form of the old brass knuckles. Some of these items are technologically advanced. I even know of an incredible pop-open baton that is sturdy enough to knockout an assailant. The clerk thanked me for my inquiry and said it was an example of good citizenship to check first and not go off half-cocked and crazy. She mentioned that the victim must feel a need to fight back in the case of a mugging or other assault. You don’t want to be more aggressive than necessary, however, should you provoke more violence in retaliation.
She said that the police department holds community classes at the local high school to train people in basic maneuvers and how to use various implements, and you can find details of the events on Facebook. You have rights in many cases but the case of a “legal” shooting may draw criticism and would be carefully scrutinized. The victim must prove the need for drastic measures of self defense. The wrong actions can lead to your arrest and enormous legal fees. Plus, you may be subject to a civil lawsuit. You may be innocent in the eyes of the law but you have to convince a jury. Don’t feel that you can pull a trigger at the drop of a hat. In any case, the shooter’s gun will be confiscated and not returned until after an investigation. Decisions on this subject are not automatic.
Given this information and the words of caution, my friend decided not to carry a concealed weapon. He would be loath to use it and feel guilty if he killed someone, even a mugger. Many criminals are high on drugs and not conscious of their actions. Of course, they are not model citizens. This doesn’t mean you want to take drastic measures because you are angry.