by Gila Hayes

With nearly 3,000 new members coming on board in 2016, an overview of the Network’s support of members should prove useful to our newer friends. In addition, renewing members will be happy to recognize their familiar membership benefits hard at work in a review of the Network’s payment of legal expenses on behalf of members.

The Network pays members’ attorney fees in the aftermath of self defense to assure that members have vigorous legal representation, provides assistance with bail, pays expert witness fees and funding for all the other professional services a fully-fledged trial team needs. Before any of that ever becomes necessary, however, all Network members also receive our in-depth member education package of lectures and a book by the recognized experts in the field of legal defense of use of force in self defense.

Real Life Experience

How has the provision of membership benefits played out in real life? Since the Network opened in 2008, we have paid attorney fees on behalf of thirteen members. In most situations, early representation by aggressive attorneys staved off protracted litigation in either civil or criminal court and to date, no member-involved case has had to be tried in court. Several have come close to going to trial, including one in which the State filed charges twice after losing track of its key witness the first time, then upon finding the supposed victim, it filed charges again.

Our members’ track record of such a low incidence of self-defense emergencies is testament to both the educated and careful self-defense decisions made by Network members, and the fact that we have yet to need to fund a trial underscores the value of having members represented by counsel as quickly as possible after an incident.

It seems that everyone wants to hear the gut-wrenching, real life stories of people shooting to save their lives who then face the wrath of the criminal justice system. Before opening the Network, we, too, had studied post-incident aftermath stories, and knowing that self defense can be misunderstood by the law motivated us to form the Network on the concept of membership benefits, extended when the member’s need for an attorney arises, not as reimbursement.

It is our contention that any use of force in self defense generates the need for legal representation during interaction with responding officers, investigators and prosecutors. This was evident in our first funding case early in 2011 when a Network member, a military veteran, had to draw and point his handgun at attackers to stop such a severe beating that he was sent first to the hospital, and after treatment for his injuries, was jailed on assault charges.

While he waited in jail to be assigned a public defender, a relative of his recognized our member’s name on jail logs and called his father, who called us. Network President Marty Hayes contacted an affiliated attorney, paid him and arranged for him to consult with and prepare our member for court hearings and to face trial. At the 11th hour, our member chose the offer of a brief period of probation over facing aggravated assault charges before a judge and jury in an anti-gun and likely racist metropolis. A black man who defends himself with a gun runs extreme risk of being viewed as just one more armed criminal, he explained.

It’s Not All About Shootings

Like that first case, most times the Network has paid an attorney or attorneys to represent a member, the underlying situation has not involved a shooting, but instead the defensive display of a firearm to stop assault by one or more aggressors. One such example occurred toward the end of 2011, when we paid an attorney to help prepare the member to face a grand jury hearing resulting in no true bill (no criminal charges). A similar thing happened between neighbors in 2013 when we paid an attorney to arrange arbitration with the result that three pending misdemeanor charges against that member were dismissed.

Defensive Display

A similar defensive display with a twist involved Network affiliated instructor member Art Joslin, who agreed to tell us his story. One late summer afternoon in 2015, Joslin was sitting in his car on a public street with the window down when a car pulled in and parked right in front of Joslin’s, blocking him in. The driver leapt out and rushed up screaming threats. Joslin relates, “I think I counted seven or eight times that I said, ‘Sir, you need to stop and stay back.’ He chose not to and as he came around the front of my vehicle, I did draw my weapon out of his line of sight and I just placed it in my lap with my hand on it, not knowing if he was armed or how it would escalate. I was blocked in from all four directions. My only means of escape would have been running him over.

“When he came around the side, he could see into my vehicle and saw the weapon. He stopped and started to back up. He kept yelling, but he didn’t leave. I was still telling him to keep back. I determined that the threat was starting to deescalate some. I felt that I should re-holster, and I went to the pepper spray.”

As soon as the aggressor stepped back, Joslin jockeyed his car out of the parking spot, calling 9-1-1 while putting a little distance between him and the other man. Both men were on the phone with 9-1-1 and the aggressor screamed at the dispatcher, “Some guy just pulled a gun on me,” threatening to kill Joslin if police didn’t get there quickly. Joslin gave the police dispatcher his description and said he had retreated and was waiting down the street for responding officers.

While waiting, Joslin mentally reviewed training from Massad Ayoob and the Network trying to prepare for what was likely to happen when police arrived, to work through what steps he needed to undertake. He considered several choices including, “Not saying anything until an attorney was present—which might have been a choice; or I could just give specific information, as we are taught to do.” He stood outside his car, holding his identification. The first officer on the scene asked, “Is that your gun?” He answered, “Yes,” and she took the gun out of his holster without any further words. Reading the attitudes and “the way police approached,” Joslin decided to give “just enough information to show that I was the victim.”

The sergeant in charge repeatedly asked, “What did you think he was going to do?” Joslin responded with “exactly what I thought he was going to do” and his answers remained uniform. Conversely, the witnesses against him were inconsistent. Not only his attacker, but also a number of family members from his house, claimed they saw Joslin point a gun at the man, which was not possible because the gun was held on his lap out of view until he holstered it.

“Because of my training, I was able to keep a cool head and articulate specifically what had happened—just relevant facts. Not only that, I had a body camera to back it up.” Because the body camera was new to him, Joslin forgot all about it, and found later that, “it had recorded the entire event”—about two and a half hours, including his interaction with law enforcement. Police confiscated his firearm and body camera and sealed both as evidence, which was sent to the prosecutor, adding a unique twist to the problem.

Felonious Assault Charges Pending

Because the stories of the assailant and his family members changed repeatedly, the sergeant told Joslin, “I’m not sure what we are going to do here.” Joslin believes that if he had refused to give any information, the accusations would have left police with no alternative but to arrest him on the spot. Informed that the pending charge was felonious assault, he responded, “I didn’t realize he had a weapon!” and was told, “He didn’t, the charge is against you.”

Surprised by the pending charges, Joslin invoked his right to counsel, and was released to go home. From there, he called the after hours number for the law firm Simon & Geherin of Ann Arbor, MI, and received a return phone call within ten minutes. He spoke with Dan Geherin again the following morning, and then he called and sought the assistance of the Network President Marty Hayes.

The law firm had requested a flat rate retainer of $2,000 for representation up to and including any preliminary hearings. Joslin continues, “Within 15 minutes of getting off the phone with Marty, I had an email from the attorney’s office that he and Marty had spoken, the $2,000 had been paid and they were retained.”

Although Joslin knew Dan Geherin by reputation, he had not met him face to face. He had, however, previously reached out to friends working in law enforcement and several related that they had been on the receiving end of a Geherin cross-examination and opined that, “If, as police officers, they were ever involved in an incident, that was who they would contact.”

The advice turned out to be solid, and within an hour of Joslin’s Friday morning meeting at Geherin’s office, the attorney had notified the prosecutor’s office that he was representing Joslin, long before the police forwarded the evidence. Finally, three long weeks after the encounter, the prosecutor viewed the body camera recording and stated that Joslin “did absolutely nothing wrong and that the other man should have been charged with assault.” They closed the case, and told Joslin to go pick up his gun, body camera and other evidence seized from him the night of the incident.

As the Network has seen time and again, early, vigorous representation may derail charges. In his situation, Joslin gives equal credit to Geherin’s efforts and the unusual evidence of the body camera to counteract the lies of the assailant and his family. He also credits his prior education in use of force for helping him keep a clear mind while giving a statement containing sufficient detail but not too much.

Responding to Home Invasions

Two Network members have been the victims of violent home invasions. In 2014, the first was injured while fighting off an intruder into his home and we paid an attorney to make sure no charges were filed against our member while he recuperated in the hospital. The second home invasion shooting occurred just two years ago. The underlying facts show that an autistic man broke down John Daub’s front door just before 6:30 a.m. January 5, 2015 and rushed into the home where Daub was with his wife and three children. Daub has discussed the shooting at length in and was later interviewed by Massad Ayoob in an article linked at In addition, Tom Givens speaks briefly to the Network’s efforts for Daub in a short statement at, so with plenty of facts about the incident readily available, let us focus here on the aftermath.

Immediately after shooting the large, husky man who had smashed through his front door and who advanced toward him despite orders at gunpoint to get out of the house, Daub flashed on instruction from one of his mentors, Tom Givens, about another Rangemaster student who incapacitated one assailant, only to be attacked by that man’s companions. Were more intruders waiting outside in the dark, Daub wondered? “Until it’s over, it ain’t over,” he exclaims. “In this case, I cannot consider it over until police are on scene.” Dialing 9-1-1, he withdrew as far back into his home as possible, without giving up a sightline to the front door. He recalls feeling, “This can’t be happening! I just wanted police to get here ASAP.”

Both Daub and his wife dialed 9-1-1 and asked for assistance. After giving his address, he reported his door had been kicked in and that he had challenged, then shot the invader who advanced toward him. Daub asked for emergency medical services for the fallen man, remaining on the line with Austin Police Department (APD) and emergency medical services (EMS) until police arrived.

Dispatchers asked, “Where is the gun?”

“In my hand,” he replied, refusing to put the gun down, despite 9-1-1 demands, retorting that he was not going to put down the gun until he knew that he and his family were not in danger. Dispatchers explained that he needed to put the gun away for the safety of first responders and for his own safety to avoid a mistaken identity shooting. “I understand,” he answered, “You tell me when APD is here on scene.”

The EMS dispatcher asked for Daub to check the physical condition of the invader. Not knowing whether the man was conscious, he refused to approach. Sometimes a combatant who has lost blood and collapsed can get up and start fighting again after their blood pressure has stabilized. “I don’t know if dude has a gun, a knife, so I am not going anywhere near him!” he recalls. He was subsequently quizzed by both the APD dispatcher, as well as the Austin-Travis County EMS dispatcher, about the age of the “patient,” whether the intruder was alone, and more.

Daub explains, “There is a perception that you have to do what the dispatcher tells you to do, but that is incorrect. You should listen to them, but you don’t have to obey them blindly,” he stresses. “The 9-1-1 dispatcher is somebody sitting in a building miles away from you, who does not know what is going on! Don’t fight them, don’t get into an argument with them, but you have to be able to think of your safety and what is the best way to manage the situation.”

Officers arrived about five minutes after Daub called 9-1-1, thanks to earlier calls from neighbors asking for help with the same man who was scaring others in the neighborhood by banging on doors before smashing Daub’s doorframe. Likely officers were already en route by the time the Daubs dialed 9-1-1. Although that’s extraordinarily rapid police response, “To me, it felt like an eternity, ” he notes. When officers arrived, he put the gun down on his dining room table and put his hands up so officers would not feel threatened.

Interaction with Police

Now, Daub had to think through the next steps. Would he clam up and refuse to speak to police as has been widely promoted? He identifies two opposite schools of thought: shut up and say not a word to first responders or suffer logorrhea and be unable to stop talking. “Really, a balance of the two is needed,” he opines. “Police who have come to the scene don’t know who is good, who is bad, not anything. They need to make sense of this situation and I need to make sure that they make sense of the situation in a way that is understandable and, if you will, favorable to me. I needed to say, ‘I am the homeowner and this is what happened. Here are the facts that you need to make sense out of this,’ but I am not going to editorialize.” Daub did not have an attorney whom he could call and so he didn’t think of calling a lawyer so soon after the shooting.

Obtaining counsel was made more difficult when police entered Daub’s home and immediately sequestered him in a stairwell and away from his family. “Basically, I was not allowed to move, go anywhere…not make a phone call, not do anything! I did my best. If they asked me a question, I answered the question.

“The favorite question they kept asking me was, ‘How many shots did you fire?’ I said, ‘I don’t know,’ because I didn’t. It was legitimate; I had no idea.’”

Did a time come when Daub felt he had given the basic information and declined to answer further questions? From the beginning, he asserts, he applied training “to answer what needed to be answered—and then shut up! I was aware that anything I said could be used against me, but I did not feel that I had diarrhea of the mouth,” he recalls.

Isolated on the stairwell, Daub kept thinking of things he should do, including calling for legal assistance, but the scene was “whirling around me, and one officer would come talk to me, then a detective would talk to me, and it got to a point where, ‘I’m doing what I’m being told, OK? OK?’ I’m still dealing with trying to get the taste of adrenaline out of my mouth, and all this kind of stuff. I really have to say, I should have retained counsel sooner than I did. It was my responsibility to do it,” he owns.

Although Daub knew that he needed legal counsel, despite other very solid training and preparation, he had not worked out how to get legal help. Pointing this out is in no way critical of him, and we appreciate his frank honesty so that other Network members can learn and be better prepared. Daub adds, “There are things that I know I did not necessarily do right! If people can learn from my [experience] and do better for it, then fantastic! I am all for that.”

Daub remembers wishing again that he had an attorney when he and his family were taken to APD headquarters to make formal statements. Investigators wanted to obtain statements from everyone in the home without influence from anyone else. Daub believes that the consistency in all five statements given by himself, his wife, his daughter and his two sons worked to his favor. “There was never any chance to coordinate stories, or say, ‘Kids, say this,’ or make things up. The kids are going to tell the truth. Everyone had a different perspective, but fundamentally, everyone had the same story because everyone was flat-out honest.” He stresses several times that Austin Police Department was very professional, and he “has nothing but high praise” for their response.

Returned with his family to their neighborhood by mid-afternoon, Daub telephoned Network President Marty Hayes and told him what had occurred. He remembers that Hayes asked, “ ‘Do you have an attorney you would like me to call?’ And I said, ‘Please, Marty, could you please just take care of it?’ and Marty said, ‘Of course,’ and he contacted Gene Anthes, who then contacted me. [Daub] I think Gene was already aware of it, because headline news in Austin that day was, ‘Homeowner Shoots Autistic Man.’ So Gene came to the house and met with me. I had no prior relationship to Gene, just knew he was a Network Affiliated Attorney.

“Our house was still a crime scene, so APD kept my wife and kids with the neighbor across the street. I was at the house, so Gene came to the house. I explained everything to him, and then Gene went across the street, got my wife and kids and brought them back. Since we were the top news story, one of the big things Gene was very good and sensitive about was working to shield us from the news media. When he went across the street to get my wife and children, he was careful that they could come in the house without being hounded by news cameras.”

Anthes comments that although he had been a Network Affiliated Attorney for several years, the call to Daub’s home was the first time he was called on to represent a member. “When I first met with John, the scene was all roped off, so I had to show my bar card to a police officer just to gain access to the scene, and then I met with John in his dining room. By the time I got there, the body had been removed, but there were still bloodstains, and little triangle markers marking shells and other pieces of evidence,” he recalls.

“John came off very polite, educated, well spoken, but I could tell he was in shock. It is not the kind of shock that is a trauma to the body; it is a shock of the senses. His brain was just grappling, ‘What do I do?’ So to have a lawyer there to tell you what you should do, what you should say and not, I think that is crucial,” Anthes explains.

Anthes emphasizes how extremely disruptive a deadly force incident and its aftermath is and how many different demands pull and tug at the survivor. “I’ve represented many police officers in shootings, and of course they are trained, but they are in shock after something like that happens, too. I have never been with a home owner like that, and frankly someone with the caliber of John’s training–his hobby is self defense–it amazed me how much of an impact the shock can have. I think that is the main reason it is important to hire counsel. You can’t comprehend what is going on around you after something like this. There are so many wheels in motion and it is all a blur to you. You are in shock! You had to take someone else’s life!” he describes.

Daub describes the demands on his attention after the shooting as “just continually asking, ‘Well, what now? What now?’ After I was back in the house, I was looking at my front door and realized that I need help to fix the broken door,” he continues. “I called my handyman and he said, ‘Hey, I heard there was something going on on your street today.’ He is retired after 27 years on APD, so he understood. He had one of his guys come right over to board up the door. How could we sleep without a front door?”

One Day at a Time

Daub describes taking it one day at a time, asking himself each day, “What now? Got to take care of the kids, make sure they’re OK; check all the news stories, news media websites, Facebook and Twitter, Reddit and any kind of social media websites to see what is being said. That was how I noticed that there was a big question about what had happened. When APD’s spokesman gave their first statement, they said that he ‘broke the threshold.’ Of course, that is a technical legal term, but to the public, that gives the impression that everything happened at the doorway.” After barging six to ten feet inside the Daub home, being shot, and turning around, the intruder collapsed just outside the door on the front porch, with one foot just inside. “When EMS arrived, they started working right at the front door. So this notion started going around that this all happened at the front door. I told Gene and that was when Gene released a picture of our front door to the news media,” he explains.

Troubled by the wild tales circulating, Daub, a long-time blogger, would eventually share his experience at but his comments show the distress inaccurate reports cause, as well as the strong drive to get the accurate facts out to the public. Immediately after the shooting, Daub’s blog was temporarily taken off line, upon advice of Attorney Anthes. Social media and other accounts were also turned off temporarily.

Daub understood the need to limit what the news media, for example, could discover about his private life. “The moment the story hit, the news media was digging up everything they possibly could,” Daub recalls. They discovered that he was an NRA-certified firearms instructor working with KR Training, and knew that he was self-employed through his own company, Hsoi Enterprises, LLC. His family was also scrutinized, but reporters made mistakes and Daub chuckles that when reports stated that he was the father of three daughters, his two sons were “very, very bothered” although “they’ve learned to live with it,” he says wryly. In one on-the-scene report, taped right beneath a street sign, the reporter still misstated the location.

Still, Daub stresses, “On the whole, the media was not too bad. Of course, they were trying to make a story out of it. They really wanted to play up that the gentleman who was shot was not just autistic; he was also black. They wanted to make something out of that.” In the backlash of the FL Zimmerman/Martin shooting a move was underway to repeal Texas’ Stand Your Ground laws at the time, Daub recalls.

“One day a couple of weeks after all this, I got a knock at my door by a reporter from the local NBC affiliate, wanting to know what I thought of the bill that was in the legislature to repeal the Stand Your Ground law. I think the reporter who was sent was sincerely not interested in doing this story and was basically forced to by his news manager. He was very, very apologetic, but they definitely wanted to make an issue out of it. I was not going to get into that. I said, ‘No thank you, have a nice day.’ ”

Waiting for the Grand Jury

The unknown loomed large in Daub’s worries. He waited five months to learn whether the grand jury would indict him. Daub recalls, “After questioning at APD, I thought that if they were going to charge me with something, I should have been charged right then and there,” and he held on to that idea as the weeks turned into months before the grand jury considered the case. Eventually, they returned a finding of no true bill, meaning that he would not face criminal prosecution.

While waiting for the grand jury, “I tried to get on with life as best as I could.” He notes that Anthes was very accessible, and Daub was encouraged to call and ask questions anytime he needed help. Although in the days immediately following, Daub had a lot of questions and was in contact with the attorney frequently, he always received a prompt and polite response.

Daub fully expected to testify before the grand jury, and had steeled himself to answer their questions. Although he was never required to appear, Anthes had prepared him as best he could, explaining how the law firm would respond to different possible outcomes in the legal process.

“I’ve been a prosecutor and a defense lawyer here in town for a long time, so I reached out to the D.A. whom I’ve worked with before to say, ‘Look, we are happy to help in any way that we can.’ I made sure John was OK with that and he was, so I said, ‘We are happy to testify in front of the grand jury should it be needed,’ ” Anthes adds.

“In TX, the lawyer is not allowed to be present while the person is testifying. You are questioned not by one person, but by however many grand jurors are in there. It is very intimidating! At any point, you could take time out to go talk to your lawyer who is sitting right outside. I have spent many hours sitting outside a grand jury room while a client testified,” he relates.

On the morning the grand jury was scheduled to consider his case, Anthes was notified and immediately called Daub to report they had decided not to indict and Daub did not need to testify. After letting loved ones know the outcome, Daub was finally able to move forward with his work and family life.

The decision further freed Daub of a very real concern about a lawsuit for damages. Because Texas law provides for civil immunity, the grand jury’s decision encapsulated not only the freedom from facing criminal trial, but relief from danger that the family of the man who broke into his home might come after his assets in a punitive manner. Daub had one additional worry about civil litigation: “Here, there is also a third party involved: the care facility,” he adds, noting, “It is evident that this happened because of their negligence.” He worried, however, that the company owning the care facility had “deeper pockets and more lawyers” than Daub, so he was concerned they might find a way to shift the responsibility for losing control of their patient off on to him. “I’m sitting here saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, what am I going to do?”

Queried about how likely a civil suit was, Anthes explains that he took the threat seriously, adding, “That’s why I would have preferred he talked to me first before giving his statement to the police. Now that the case is closed, I am sure there have been a slew of open records requests from civil lawyers getting John’s statement. The thing that helps him avoid [civil suit] was the deeper pockets of the mental health care home. I think that has been shut down now and there is a lawsuit by the victim’s family against that company. I’m hopeful that because of what we leaked to the media it would be such a clear cut case of self defense that any civil lawyer looking at it would say, ‘You’re out of your mind! You’ve got no case here! I’m not taking this case!’

Cleared by the grand jury, Daub was finally free to address mistakes that had been published about him. He wrote a detailed blog post addressing all the misinformation that had been published about the shooting. “This is the age of the Internet,” Daub exclaims, “and once something is published, it is out there forever. I worry about that. I’m a software developer, and believe me, my entire industry, anybody who I interact with, knows how to Google search people. If I apply for a new job or try to get a new contract they’re going to punch my name into Google and look what is going to come up! I want to make sure that the truth is put out there, to clear the air.”

He believed a first-person account was needed to counter the archived stories that were posted as the news was breaking. “Those facts are incorrect, but are going to sit on the news organization’s website forever along with the Internet armchair quarterbacks who all comment, based on their misinformation and filling in with their own ‘facts.’ ” Had he not published his own account, Daub felt he would be “forever branded by everyone else’s words, and not my own.” Attorney Anthes first approved the blog, as well.

Anthes explains, “I reviewed his blog for him to make sure there was not anything that would subject him to more criminal or civil liability and made a couple of tweaks here or there.” As he did with statements to the police, the blog avoided “editorializing, going off and ranting and raving and condemning,” Daub explains. Instead, it is a very personal post, explaining the sad event that happened and the human beings involved. Still, Daub faces being “that guy who…” he explains, “I started this new job just back in September and I know there is at least one guy there who does know about this. I never brought it up. He just came to me one day and was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, dude, did this really happen to you?’ ”

"The Aftermath is the Rest of Your Life"

Daub comments that many think of the aftermath of a critical incident as spanning a few weeks or months. “That event is going to last a matter of seconds. The aftermath is going to last months, maybe years. The reality is, the aftermath is the rest of your life because you are going to have to live with this for the rest of your life like anything else in your past. Being able to have a ‘rest of your life,’ and being able to handle that, is important,” he emphasizes.

Daub credits self-defense training, including force on force exercises, with inoculating him and his family against being devastated by the events of January 5, 2015, “Because I’d considered that this might happen, I’d prepared that this might happen, not just in a skills sense, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually.”

“So many people approached us in the aftermath and said, “Oh, are you OK? Gosh, I can’t imagine…Are you all right?’ and it showed me that I’m OK. I was sad because it was a sad situation.” Viewed through the responses of others, Daub saw that he was emotionally strong, “because I thought someone was breaking into my house, was going to cause harm to my family. I had to do what a good father and husband and protector had to do and I don’t feel guilty about that. I gave him every opportunity. I pointed the gun at him. I told him to get out of my house three times and he still decided to come toward me. What else could I think? I gave him every opportunity.” He saw that his sympathetic friends and associates were “just blown away by this because they had never fathomed it, never in their lives considered that it could happen, so it hit them like a ton of bricks.

“I implore readers to think about the aftermath and to make sure that they get training and education and exposure about the aftermath so that the first time they experience it is not the actual aftermath. I was reading Alexis Artwohl’s book, Deadly Force Encounters (see, and it is right along these lines. That would be a great book for people to read. I had that preparation. I knew where my line was drawn. I can justify myself to myself, to my family, to my friends, to the courts, and to God that this was OK because I figured this out beforehand. You can deal with the aftermath a lot better when you know the aftermath, not when the aftermath is the first time you ever experience this.

“I think the biggest thing was the Mark of Cain syndrome. This was top news in Austin. I had people coming out of the woodwork to whom I never said a word, who had obviously heard about it in the news. There aren’t many John Daubs in this world, let alone here in Austin, so it is like, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s John!’ I remember very distinctly not too long afterwards, I had to buy mattresses and the guy’s asking all my information for delivery and I’m thinking, ‘I don’t want to give him my name,’ but I gave him my name and I just went about my business.”

Daub’s preparation, faith and family made him strong. Although occasionally a strange noise or a loud knock on the door elicits a startle response, the Daub family by and large is doing fine.

A Closing Synopsis

Of the thirteen members for whom we paid legal fees after self defense, several went before a grand jury or like Daub the facts of their incidents were reviewed and no billed by grand juries and they were not indicted, several others were charged, went through pre-trial legal processes and eventually of their own volition accepted favorable plea bargains, and finally, the rest were not charged, although all had the benefit of an attorney’s advice soon after the incident.

Of the underlying incidents, seven involved defensive display of a firearm without shooting, four have included discharge of the member’s handgun, two incidents entailed improvised weapon use, one being a golf club when our member, a retired gentleman, was attacked on the golf course and the other improvised defense entailing threatening his assailants with what was at hand, a hammer. As members should know, we do not limit Network support to firearms-related self defense, and both of the members improvising an object at hand enjoyed the payment of attorney fees to the attorney of their choice.

A question about the Network’s track record that seems to be of great concern to folks who are interested in Network membership but have not yet made the decision to join, asks us to account for funding requests that were denied. First, we do receive a number of requests for assistance from non-members, and obviously, we must say no to those poor folks. Sadly, those are so frequent that we have, frankly, lost count. Only two Network members have asked for help and been denied after being involved in what was clearly not self defense (one entailed destruction of public utilities while intoxicated and another left the safety of his home to go outside and fire a shot to frighten away a dog). We fully explored all possible avenues of assisting, but when unable to turn up any elements of self defense, we regretfully declined, explaining that the Legal Defense Fund must be reserved to help members who have no recourse but to defend themselves or be killed or injured, elements that were entirely absent in situations underlying the two denials.

All member-involved incidents that have contained self-defense elements have received funding paid to the attorneys designated by the members. The Network has immediately provided at a minimum, the initial fee deposit after the incident, paid to the member’s attorney to all those making requests. Only one situation has required extensive preparation for trial–twice, in fact–and we paid two law firms to do that work.

We are often questioned about how much we’ve paid out for the legal fees of members, a total of just over $110,000 and a subject on which Network President Marty Hayes will comment in the following article. Amounts we have paid on behalf of members have been all across the spectrum! One member’s situation was resolved by an hour-long consultation with the attorney (actually, I think it ran more than an hour, but the attorney only billed us for one hour) so we wrote a check for $400, and the majority of the fees for representation ranged from a low of $2,000 up to $10,000 because the legal issues were resolved without actually going to trial.

Click here to return to our January 2017 Journal to read more.