I'm Not A Lawyer... But I Did Stay At A Holiday Inn Express

I’m Not A Lawyer… But I Did Stay At A Holiday Inn Express

The consequences of training…



A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with a fellow attorney.  He was telling me about an event that had occurred recently with another weapons trainer.



It was disturbing.



Evidently, they were running a simulation using sim rounds and had recreated a shooting I was actually involved in.



Many of you know the particulars of the case.



The lawyer was telling me that the trainer had a student standing at the top of a staircase.  This was supposed to represent the student’s home.  Someone had entered the home in the early hours of the morning and the student was posted at the top of the staircase… armed.



The student’s spouse is on the phone with 911 in the upstairs master bedroom and the assailant comes around the corner at the base of the stairs.



The student is instructed to yell, “Get out!”  (This is identical to how the original case went down.)



The assailant then climbs the staircase towards the student.



The lawyer told me the student then shot at the assailant with the sim gun.



The instructor then stopped the scenario and told the student he failed.  Specifically, according to the lawyer, the instructor stated, “This is a fail because you cannot shoot unless you have proof the individual used force to gain entry to the house.”



Ummmmm… yeah, no.



The lawyer pushed back and got into a somewhat heated argument with the instructor that he was misstating the law.



The instructor did not back down… he cited his “experience as a military operator”.



This little story is becoming more and more prevalent, not just here in Southern California, but throughout the country.



I have seen numerous YouTube videos of “gun people” pontificating on the law.  Usually, they give the admonishment that they are not lawyers… but then they go on to give detailed legal analysis.  Worse… sometimes they start getting into legislative analysis which can yield potentially dangerous conclusions.



It is critically important when we read a news story, watch a YouTube video, or consider purchasing something from an infomercial, that we do so with a critical eye.  Opinions are just that… opinions.  Sometimes they may be spot on.  Other times there may be external factors involved to which the instructor is not privy.



In this case, one of the most important aspects of that incident was the county in which it occurred.



District Attorney Todd Spitzer in Orange County is committed to protecting law-abiding citizens, and has publicly stated, “If someone is in your home and you have a reasonable fear of being attacked, and you use deadly force to protect yourself… the DA has your back.”



Those are his words, not mine.  But I have had enough cases in the Orange County DA’s office over the last few years that prove this to be true.



Conversely, we have Los Angeles.



There, DA Gascon is chomping at the bit to prosecute law-abiding citizens who have the temerity to use deadly force to protect themselves.



Oftentimes we have roughly identical fact patterns that in one jurisdiction yield a prosecution, and in the other, the DA refuses to file.



Carrying a gun requires the development of “Professionalism at Arms”.  This is a mindset, and fundamental curiosity that involves deep introspection.  It is more than simple maturity or stoicism.  It is a belief that we are not only perpetual students, but that we are also operating in what is oftentimes best described as a morally ambiguous environment.



Stating there is an “orthodoxy of rules of use-of-force” is simply no longer applicable.  We must be wary of those who suggest it is.



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Comments (5)

  • Chris Reply

    It is sad to think people can not even defend themselves in their own home. It is also sad that there is such a disparity between legal stances within the same state where one party is committed to protecting the rights of their residents while the other party cares more about the opinion of 1%of the population than about the well being of their residents.

    02/14/2024 at 09:16
  • Richard Neblett Reply

    Steven, defending one’s home and family in California is a really scary situation. If you succeed, and the bad guys don’t get you, there is always a chance that someone in California’s government will succeed. I fully support Todd Spitzer and his efforts to maintain a lawful society within Orange County. With each election I truly hope our fellow Californians will make well informed choices. So far I have become more and more disappointed with their uninformed selections.

    02/14/2024 at 09:24
  • John Denney Reply

    “The mutability in the public councils arising from a rapid succession of new members, however qualified they may be, points out, in the strongest manner, the necessity of some stable institution in the government. Every new election in the States is found to change one half of the representatives. From this change of men must proceed a change of opinions; and from a change of opinions, a change of measures. But a continual change even of good measures is inconsistent with every rule of prudence and every prospect of success. ”

    ” It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”
    – The Federalist Papers, #62, The Senate

    02/14/2024 at 12:05
  • Robert Hagler Reply

    Everything I’ve read above is good and correct (it is my opinion) and yet, it defies our logic that others do not see it as we do. To me, this points to leftists! We are having laws interpreted, and in some cases shredded. It creates CHAOS and convolution in, what has always been a somewhat orderly society. It seems we have a political class that thrives on CHAOS.
    We can thank (sarcastic thanks) the many politicians who create an abundance of new law, and yet, on the other side of the aisle, the many politicians who don’t do the best job vetting, and communicating the problems with the new proposed legislation. We are missing the guards (good politicians?) in the State Houses, and in the Capitols, who are supposed to be the check and balance for the population. And of course, we are missing the bi-partisanship that is necessary for proper governance. It is unacceptable, but I am but one citizen. Please attend the community events in your locality, and vet our candidates properly with good questions. If I may, I’d like to point out the Foundation of Applied Conservative Leadership (FACL). Grassroots activism may be the way.

    02/15/2024 at 01:30
  • Norm Ellis Reply

    Thank you Steven. I agree with you. The instructor was completely in the wrong not to look at the overall picture being familiar with the case not as much as you. The judicial is based on theory not facts or better yet, the best money can buy.

    02/17/2024 at 17:11

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