by Marty Hayes, J.D.
First off, please hear me when I tell you that I can both sympathize and empathize with all those Network members who have been financially impacted by the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we here at the Network have weathered the storm pretty well and have been able to resume office functions with fairly restrictive procedures in place, we are doing okay. Revenue/renewals have been down, but we have a good reserve financially, and will come through this just fine.
I am not a big conspiracy theorist when it comes to what is actually happening behind the scenes, but I can’t help but wonder if this was handled correctly by our state and federal governments. There is simply too much conflicting information to make sense of it all. For example, even the question of whether a person should wear a mask in public has logical-sounding theories on both sides of the question. The best I can do at this time is to process all the different bits of information and hope someday to come to a conclusion.
I happen to live in one of the most restrictive states when it comes to the state government responses to the virus, and I, for one, am really tired of it. I drive downtown and see the “non-essential” business shuttered with empty parking lots and wonder how many are not going to make it back. The arbitrary nature of who is “essential” and who is not is mind boggling. A lawyer’s office is essential, but I talk to lawyers who say they are twiddling their thumbs, because the courts are shut down. This comes at a time when there are threats of arresting and jailing people who violate their state’s lockdown orders and operate their businesses, while at the same time the state releases inmates so they don’t catch COVID-19. It is mind boggling.
Hopefully by next month, most of this insanity will have passed and we will have returned to normalcy, but somehow, I think we are going to have to live with it a little longer. Again, I feel for those Network members who have suffered hardships because of this.
Watch What You Say and Do…
Recently, I heard about one of our competitors telling their customers that after a self-defense incident, they should text a message to them to start their version of assistance. What the heck? Getting on your phone and texting anything after an incident is precisely the opposite of what you want to do. Every keystroke you make on your phone lives in perpetuity, and if there is even a hint of impropriety in your defensive shooting, then that phone of yours will be confiscated and searched for incriminating evidence.
What incriminating evidence can live in your phone? Oh, how about mindset evidence to show “premeditation” that would change a second-degree murder charge to a first degree murder charge. A prosecutor who has an anti-gun/anti-self-defense political agenda (they do exist) could make it look like you were planning to kill someone. DO NOT text anyone after an incident. You should be using the phone as a phone, with an intent to verbally “talk” to someone who is either legal counsel or can arrange legal counsel.
For people of my generation, this precaution makes sense, but with increasingly frequency I interact with younger folks who abhor the idea of having to use the phone for its intended purpose–to converse. They would rather spend a half an hour texting back and forth to someone, than spend the five minutes it would take to settle the same issue with a quick phone call.
In this same theme, I got a text the other day from a member wanting me to text him back, supplying my e-mail address so he could e-mail me from his phone. Ahhh, no. There are several reasons I oppose plans to make text or email contact after a self-defense incident, many of which I won’t go into here, but the biggest reason is that you could lose your phone (or have it confiscated by the police after an incident) and your entire life is cracked opened like a ripe melon for all to see. So, if you need to contact me after an incident, call me. Don’t text me or e-mail me. Call me. Just because you have a piece of technology, you don’t have to use it.
Update on the Network v. WA Insurance Commissioner
Actually, there is no news I can report at this time. The wheels of justice move very slowly, and behind the scenes we are making progress towards a resolution of the insurance commissioner’s claim against us, but for now, all I can say is that we are very positive that we will see a successful resolution to the issue. I am anxious to be able to report good news, perhaps next month. I do thank those of you who have donated over $7,000 towards the fight. It is a big help knowing that you are behind us and our fight, too.
As we are now moving toward the end of our first complimentary 90-day extension of membership to Washington members from whom we may not accept financial transactions, we expect to begin getting more and more calls and emails from worried members. While we can’t give complimentary extensions indefinitely, we positively do plan to continue to do so for the next few months until we have prevailed in either our request for a stay of the insurance commissioner’s cease and desist order or gotten this restriction overthrown completely.
If you are a Washingtonian whose membership is currently being extended, please pay extra attention to your mailbox and email inbox for our announcement that we are again allowed to accept dues from Washingtonians, at which time the comp will expire and your renewal will be billed in the usual fashion.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.