Back to Basics: Safety in the Home

An Interview with Sheriff Jim WilsonWilson

Interview by Gila Hayes

We should learn from the experiences of others and who better to ask about such lessons than retired county sheriff Jim Wilson, who saw and resolved countless instructive situations during his career when called to investigate after homes were broken into. With summer heat tempting folks to open windows and doors to cool down their homes, I thought members would benefit from a reminder that it’s a lot better to prevent a break-in than it is to have a midnight encounter with a burglar, so I asked Wilson for tips on how to increase safety at home.

eJournal: I appreciate the chance to pick your brain about ways to avoid being victims of crime inside our own homes.

Wilson: I think there are two real important things people need to realize. The first is how very dynamic home invasions can be; how quickly they occur. If a person is not prepared, has not done any home improvement or any planning, the door flies open, and those people are in their face immediately and they only have a matter of seconds to react in any manner.

The second thing I think is really important and that people don’t realize is that prevention of a home invasion is a layered thing. We can’t point at any one thing and say, “If only you had better locks…” It is lighting; it is locks; it is security video; it is having a little dog that will bark to let you know that something is going on. A lot of people don’t realize the importance of having a combination of prevention.

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Better Security through Technology

An IT Professional Weighs In

Interview by Gila Hayes

Screenshot 2023 07 27 at 12.09.42 PMSheriff Wilson gave us a lot to think about in this month’s lead article. One of the things mentioned in passing were advances in consumer electronics that make it easier than even ten years ago to have motion activated video outside one’s house or motion activated lights without having to hire someone to wire and install the equipment.

I can remember when even a motion activated light over the front door required drilling holes in the siding and pulling wires through to install the light. Now, we have solar-powered motion-activated lights and they’re really affordable. Motion activated video is a bit costlier and as I dug deeper into the subject, I found options that offer more than just video that I thought would be very useful for the back door or the front gate where there’s no line of sight.

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President’s Message

Marty Hayes

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

No News on Insurance Commissioner Fight

We still haven’t heard a word about our appeal to the WA State Div. II Court of Appeals. It has now been four months. Hopefully, we will be reporting good news soon.

New Educational Video Coming Soon

Just last week, Massad Ayoob and I filmed another educational video, this one centered around the issue of using deadly force against someone attacking with bare fists (think George Zimmerman). The project is now being edited and produced and should be able to be distributed soon. Look forward to the link being sent to members via e-mail.

In addition to this roughly hour-long production, Ayoob also participated in a Zoom discussion with Arizona attorney Marc Victor, and that discussion should be up on YouTube now. Do a YouTube search for Marc Victor/Massad Ayoob or keep an eye out for it on Victor's YouTube channel at . The topic of the video was a discussion on what to say to the police after a self-defense shooting. Victor is a strong proponent of just saying nothing to the police, allowing yourself to be arrested and calling your attorney. Then your attorney will discuss your case with the prosecutor and hopefully charges will be dismissed.

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Attorney Question of the Month

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One element in the Network’s assistance to members is paying to appeal a wrongful conviction or a judgment assessing damages against a member who acted in self defense. People harbor a lot of misconceptions about appeals and retrials and this month we asked our affiliated attorneys to help us dispel the myths. We asked —

If one is wrongfully convicted or ordered to pay damages without good reason, is he or she guaranteed that an appellate court will review the verdict? What are the leading reasons appeals are denied? If granted, how long before the court hears the appeal?

Is it true that even if a court of appeals orders a retrial, the second time before a judge and/or jury is rarely more successful than the first? If so, why?

Thomas C. Watts III
Thomas C. Watts, Inc.
8175 Kaiser Boulevard Suite 100, Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

According to Bureau of Justice stats, the reversal rate in criminal matters is just under seven per cent (7%). In my state of California, the reversal rate is just slightly higher than the fifteen percent (15%) for the several states.

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News From Our Afilliates

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by Gila Hayes

Every August, our Network affiliated instructor and owner of Riverside Sporting Gear Jon Thompson takes our Educational Foundation’s free booklets What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self Defense Law and gives them out at his exhibit at the MN Game Fair. That event is coming up again on August 11-13 and the following weekend August 18-20. A regular exhibitor at the yearly Game Fair, Thompson told us that in addition to his regular exhibit, this year he is teaching a seminar entitled Developing a Personal and Home Protection Plan in a Changing World.

BookletThompson has been a Network affiliated instructor for a decade now. During that time, he has handed out many, many copies of our Foundation’s booklet both in his sporting goods store and at his concealed carry classes, as well as at for-the-public events, including Harley owners group get-togethers, and, of course, the Game Fair.

If you’re around Minnesota’s Twin Cities the second or third weekend of August, head out to the Armstrong Ranch Kennels 4.5 miles West of Anoka and look up Riverside Sporting Gear on the exhibitor info given out at the admissions gate. Go support your fellow Network member at this fun event. There are a lot more details at .

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Book Review


What the Ukraine War Teaches Americans About the Right to Bear Arms

By Mark W. Smith
Published by Bombardier Books, Post Hill Press180 pg. eBook $7.99; 220 pg. paperback $14.99
ISBN: 978-1-63758-923-6

DisarmedReviewed by Gila Hayes

Popular YouTube commentator Mark Smith of Four Boxes Diner fame has written a meticulously documented study of Ukrainian citizens fighting Russian invaders, starting with the observation that, “Many experts would have told you before the invasion that all this effort was a waste of time and lives. How could civilians with small arms expect to stop one of the world’s most powerful militaries, a military with nuclear weapons?”

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Guest Commentary

A member recently shared a story that reminds us that a gun is only a tiny part of the personal safety equation. I’ve long said that we get hyper focused on shooting for self defense and ignore the bigger picture to our great detriment. Paying attention to “left of bang” and acting if we see danger signs is so ably illustrated by a story about a Network member’s wife that I am passing along his advice in his own words.

—Gila Hayes

“May I help you?”

by Rev. Stephan M. Mattsen (Ret.)

Shouting “MAY I HELP YOU!!!” into someone’s face could be considered rude. It could also prevent an attack or even save your life. But . . . only if you don’t ignore your instincts.

My wife joined a health club located on the lowest level of a hotel with an adjoining multi-story parking garage. After finishing a water aerobics class, she paused outside the locker room for a drink from the water fountain. A man standing nearby with a gym bag in hand stared hard and deeply into her eyes. It was the kind of gaze that made the hair on the back of her neck stand up.

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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 Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

Do not mistake information presented in this online publication for legal advice; it is not. The Network strives to assure that information published in this journal is both accurate and useful. Reader, it is your responsibility to consult your own attorney to receive professional assurance that this information and your interpretation or understanding of it is accurate, complete and appropriate with respect to your particular situation.

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