Understanding Blunt Force Trauma Lethality

An Interview with Dr. Robert MarguliesRAMargulies

by Gila Hayes

The long-time standard for self defense allows use of force proportional to that used by the attacker. A common misunderstanding arising from this general guideline is the very real danger of crippling or even lethal outcomes from blunt force injury inflicted during a purely physical attack. Can the armed citizen justify defensive display of a firearm or shooting to stop a physical beating?

It is not hard to find reports of deaths from blunt force trauma. In 2011, a 25-year old man took a $5 bet to be punched in the face by a woman. The autopsy showed that an artery burst in his neck and that he died from brain hemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma. At 5’5”, 142 pounds, the woman was reportedly not a bodybuilder nor was she trained in martial arts nor did she possess any extraordinary fighting skills.

Another well-publicized case from 2011 tells of a tourist in Las Vegas who was punched, fell to a tile floor and hit the back of his head. At trial, a Clark County, NV forensic pathologist identified the cause of death as blunt-force trauma from hitting his head on the floor.

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President’s Message

Marty eJournal column pixby Marty Hayes, J.D.

Before I get into the details of a major announcement, I wish you all a very happy holiday season. We are all healthy and happy here at the Network, and life is good.

Network Dues Increase

First, a little history: In 2008, we started the Network offering membership for $85 per year. With that payment, members received three educational DVDs and a promise from the Network to pay up to $5,000 retainer so our members could afford to get immediate representation. We also promised to start funding a separate Legal Defense Fund, taking 20% of that $85 per year and putting it away into a separate bank account. By the end of that first year, we had 600 members and about $10,000 in the Legal Defense Fund.

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Attorney Question of the Month


Our Network Affiliated Attorneys have been discussing protecting your rights after self defense while calling 9-1-1 for law enforcement assistance. The responses to the question we asked were so numerous that the commentary on this subject has run for several months. We wrap up this portion of the discussion this month with the following comments. The question is–

Assuming the immediate violence is over, the armed citizen and his or her family is safe, should the armed citizen call 9-1-1, and if they do, what should they tell the police dispatcher?

Timothy A. Forshey
Timothy A. Forshey, P.C.
1650 North First Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I would most emphatically say yes, the armed citizen should call 911 as soon as it is possible after ascertaining that the situation is safe.

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Book Review

Fighting Smarter

Fighting Smarter: A Practical Guide for Surviving Violent Confrontations
By Tom Givens
318 page, illustrated, full color, softbound, 8”x10”
Third edition, published Jan. 26, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1506027579
List Price: $39.95

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

One of the first books I reviewed for this journal back in 2008 was an earlier edition of Tom Givens’ Fighting Smarter. It was an impressive instructional tome that made a difference in my thinking on personal defense. Givens has now rewritten, updated and revised Fighting Smarter, and it is even better this time around.

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News from our Affiliates


Compiled by Gila Hayes

The name of Affiliated Instructor Laurie Winslow’s business would be a good motto for all of us in these post-Paris terrorism days: Keep Calm and Carry. We recently sent this instructor a resupply of our Foundation’s booklet, What Every Gun Owner Needs to know About Self-Defense Law. Keep Calm has a full slate of Oregon CHL training slated for December, and can provide a good variety of pistol, gun safety, child gun safety, gun selection, and personal safety classes upon request. Check out the full array of classes at http://www.keepcalmandcarry.net/keep-calm-and-carry-class-schedule and get to know more about Laurie at https://www.facebook.com/KeepCalmCarry/ and at http://www.keepcalmandcarry.net/about.php. It is a very full website, so plan to spend some time there learning.

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Editor’s Notebook

GHayesby Gila Hayes

What are the chances? It is surprising how often we try to guess the likelihood of facing that for which we strive to prepare. The question arose a couple of times this week. The day before Thanksgiving, I was visiting with a former student who owns a couple of champion Buhunds, a Scandinavian spitz-type dog of moderate size. Showing the dogs entails some long trips, including a cross-country trek to a competition in Orlando next month. She explained that while worried about travel safety, she has worked hard to attain this standing and will not stop out of fear of terrorism.

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About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/our-journal. Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

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