By Mike Sherman
We have spent several weeks discussing various aspects of self-protection in your RV. Several comments from our readers were quite beneficial in pushing the conversation along, providing enlightenment on the type of weapons, ammunition, and the pros and cons of one’s choices. It is time to take a closer look at the ramifications of any shooting, should you ever be faced with that difficult decision.
You’ve made your decisions, got some training, and are comfortable knowing that you will probably never need to call upon the implements you have or the training you have received for protecting yourself or your family. Police training involves an abundance of scenarios and we could spend hours going over just a fraction of the potential problems one could encounter.
If you are ever faced with the decision to fire a weapon in self-defense, odds are you won’t have a lot of time to think about it. Do I shoot? Do I not shoot? If someone is trying to break down your door, you will probably be terrified, but you will have a few moments to make some decisions and gather your thoughts. This is where training and some forethought become beneficial.
Depending on the extent of your training, you will have a level of confidence … standing there ready to fire if the suspect actually gains entry. You’ve already called 911, but there are no neighbors coming to your aid, and you are on your own until help arrives. So if the bad guy does in fact tear open the door and gestures to advance … BOOM … problem solved, just like in the movies, right?
Well, not always. You may have terminated the immediate threat but now others are coming, in a more subtle form. You will be questioned by the authorities and at times it can feel like an interrogation. You will feel like you are a suspect for saving your life and the lives of your family. They will request a blood sample to test for drugs. They will try to determine your state of mind, what you were thinking, what exactly you did in the moments leading up to the shooting. Were you just scared or were you in actual fear for your life.
I am obviously making this simple and very basic, but it can happen. You will be put under a microscope. Did you intend to kill the suspect? Absolutely not … You intended to stop the suspect.
You can actually buy insurance to cover a shooting incident. The odds of a civil suit filed by the deceased’s family will probably take place. Overall, you solved one problem but now you have another. The legal, financial and emotional loops you will go through can be devastating.
Fortunately, justified shootings can easily be determined and if you are cleared, the civil suit may not happen. Those aspects of your case will end up being black-and-white, no gray areas left open for speculation on why you fired. You’ll hear those wonderful words: “You’re free to go.”
But your journey may not be over. Your emotions, for whatever reason, can have you suffering through sleepless nights. It’s not easy killing someone. What are the odds? But it happened, and now you seek closure. Having no criminal charges filed against you and no civil lawsuit coming at you, you focus on your well-being. This is when insurance, family, friends, faith, etc. bring you full circle to closure.
We’ll talk insurance next week. Your comments are appreciated.
Note: We know what we discuss in this column may be controversial. While we invite your polite, constructive comments, inflammatory remarks will be immediately deleted.
Mike Sherman is a retired street cop and investigator with 30+ years of RV experience as a traveler, camp host and all-around advocate for the joys of living on the road. His articles are for general discussion purposes only – you should always consult your local authorities or legal counsel for specific answers if necessary. Write him at MikeShermanPI@gmail.com if you have questions, or leave a comment below.