Self-defense is the number one reason people in the United States give for owning a firearm. A significant number of Americans have decided to use deadly force, if necessary, to protect themselves and their loved ones in critical life threatening situations. This book is about what happens if that occurs.
The stories that begin each chapter, while imagined, are based on facts disclosed at the trials of people who were accused of murder and claimed to have acted in self-defense. There are fifteen chapters, each one addressing a different issue in self-defense law, each one illustrating how the courts have handled it historically, and most importantly, why. Together they provide a practical working knowledge of how the law of self-defense works, removing some of the mystery from what appears to be a hodgepodge of statutes and court decisions. It will help you to understand when you can use deadly force to protect yourself, and it will allow you to get comfortable with your decision about whether and under what circumstances you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary, with a firearm.
It is important to understand that most self-defense claims involve a common set of legal issues, the same questions over and over again, and there is remarkable agreement among the states about how to resolve them. This book will help you to identify and think through each of these issues, as you consider whether the use of deadly force in self-defense is something you wish to consider.
This is not a task to be taken lightly. Despite its casual portrayal in our media, using deadly force to kill another human being is about as serious as it gets. Possession of a firearm with intent to use it against another person, if necessary, and under what circumstances, is a serious and very personal decision. This book is not a substitute for legal counsel, but it will help you to decide what's right for you.