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2. Your weapon will be confiscated and perhaps never returned to you, even if you win the case. I’d hate to forfeit a Luke Volkmann 1911 Combat Model with Dan Chinnock ivory grips!

3. Whether you are right or wrong, your decision will be second-guessed by a prosecutor and a police officer using their standards and not yours. These standards vary from community to community and from region to region and you need to be aware of what they are before making this type of decision.

4. Your name will be entered into a police computer and may result in you having a permanent arrest record, even if you are acquitted or the charges are later dismissed. I have seen cases in the last several years where guns were pulled after road rage incidents during verbal altercations on the highway. In most of these cases, the police were called and the armed party was initially charged.

There are overt and hidden prejudices sometimes in law enforcement directed toward citizens who use guns to defend themselves. It cannot be said that all law enforcement officers and prosecutors are on the side of the armed citizen when investigating these disputes. A firearm should never be displayed to make a point or for any other reason than to protect one against an imminent threat of serious bodily harm to themselves or an innocent third party.

Whether you win or not, legal fees will be incurred, your name could be unfairly publicized in the newspaper, jobs could be lost and the unintended social cost levied against you. Your gun will be confiscated and maybe never returned.

It has been my experience that shooters who opt for practical and tactical shooting training beyond their CCW classes make more intelligent and reasonable decisions in avoiding unnecessarily displaying their firearm. The mere possession of a handgun or self-defense firearm does not qualify one to use it, any more than the mere ownership of a beautiful brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle makes one a proficient Harley rider. Training, education and experience seem to help practitioners be more responsible.

The defenses allowable for the use of a weapon are also afforded the citizen in the threat of the use of a weapon, i.e. pointing it at an assailant or threat. However, remember the four rules of firearms safety always apply! Pointing a gun at another person with a crowd around could get you charged with pointing a gun at an innocent crowd member. Pointing a gun at someone you are not prepared or legally entitled to shoot could also be dangerous. Your firearm could be taken from you. You could be shot by a third party who wrongly thought you were an attacker. Your gun could be taken from you and used against you by an assailant with superior training.

The bottom line here is that before you point a firearm at someone, you need to be sure you are legally and morally entitled to do so and you can do so without injury to innocent bystanders.

God bless and good luck.

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