Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bad Personal Protection Tip: If You Have To Shoot Someone, Afterwards Drag Them Into The House

Bad Personal Protection Tip: If You Have To Shoot Someone, Afterwards Drag Them Into The House
A persistent and troubling personal protection tip that I first heard during my youth and that I continue to hear today - and I am sure that you have heard it too - is that if you have to shoot someone you should consider dragging them into your house. 

Presumably, this woeful and questionably legal tactic was first created and shared during an era when self-defense laws around the country were more stringent than they are today. Not too long ago, persons who opted to use firearms to defend themselves and their families while at home from an intruder often found themselves in legal trouble.

Many states had laws on the books that officially recognized self-defense but still required armed homeowners to retreat from danger even while in their very homes. In some extreme cases, homeowners were so concerned about being prosecuted that they retreated into the furthest room of their residences and climbed through opened windows to go outside and not risk a confrontation with a dangerous criminal which even if he survived may cause him to be later convicted of a serious crime.

So, it is not too hard to imagine the grief and angst a home owner might feel about defending himself on his property outside of his home. Thus, an urban legend was born. Under the circumstances of that day and age, shooting a perceived threat and dragging him into your home offered some legal but tenuous cover. If the shooting could be staged to look like it really happened after a break-in, it could - in theory - gain sympathy from the community, investigating law enforcement officers, and the local prosecutor. Personally, I have never heard of someone actually trying this gambit.

For the record, if you shoot someone outside of your home while on your property, do not "drag the body" into your home. Forensics, blue lights, and professional investigators should be able to determine if the evidence doesn't look right. Furthermore, attempting to stage a crime scene could garner additional penalties and charges: Obstruction of Justice, Tampering with Evidence, and Making False Statements.

Fortunately, in Michigan and many other states today the lethal force and self-defense laws have changed over the years to level the playing field for the benefit of upstanding citizens who are attacked by violent criminals.

For one, the Castle Doctrine became law in Michigan in October of 2006. If someone invades your home, it is presumed that a reasonable and imminent danger exists and there is no "Duty to Retreat." However, the presumption has exceptions and is rebuttable by the local prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that no danger existed.

Secondly, many states such as Michigan have also extended the Castle Doctrine beyond the home to include any place a citizen has a legal right to be. The net effect is that if a person is presented with a reasonable and imminent threat to his safety, he does not need to flee the area before defending himself. Of course, there are other qualifying considerations but they are outside the scope of this safety tip.

In all, if you know and understand the lethal force and self-defense laws of your state and your local area, you do not ever need to be dragging bodies after defending yourself. However, it seems that many people need to be updated. As an active Firearm Safety and CPL Instructor, I know that many people still believe that moving dead bodies is a good idea.

For more info on the subjects of Responsible Firearm Ownership, Personal Protection, or Gun Rights, please visit our blog - Legally Armed In Detroit - on the Internet:
About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.

Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

For more info about free shooting lessons for women and Michigan CCW Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Phone: 313.733.7404

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