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• MUST: It seemed unlikely most people would believe Dunn reasonably concluded (or in fact believed himself) he and/or his fiancée were faced with imminent almost certain or even likely death or great bodily harm. I did not believe this to be true, especially as to the fiancée.

And now, the chase:
• If you are in unfamiliar surroundings, uncertain circumstances or context, and/or you encounter questionable strangers, just leave. (Dunn could and should have driven away from the parking spot, collected his fiancée, and departed without interaction with the occupants of the SUV).

• Know the law on firearms carriage, unlawful discharge, brandishing, and use of deadly force for each and every jurisdiction into which you go armed. Understand how they are interrelated. That insight will help you formulate lawful and tactically correct responses to what may or may not be life-threatening situations. Yes, self-defense law usually makes good tactical sense.

• Carrying a gun outside your home, especially when away from one’s usual locale, is gravely serious business. It is not for the light in head or faint of heart. Get more than simple CCW training in all of the necessary skill sets, mental, tactical and legal. (Keeping an unloaded, holstered handgun in your glove compartment is a nonstarter whether you are in or out of the vehicle).

• When armed, don’t drink alcoholic beverages. (There are tactical and legal reasons for this).

• Learn at least the fundamentals of armed/unarmed team tactics and engagement of multiple threats. Always have a plan or three for you and loved ones.

• Do not fire warning shots or shots for suppression purposes.

• Do not pursue unless it is apparent (and you are certain) the failure to do so will result in serious harm to innocent human life. Do not pursue unless you are up to the difficult task.

• Do not leave the scene if you discharge your firearm. From a place of safety, promptly notify the authorities and conduct yourself consistent with lawful identification of witnesses and preservation of evidence. Then put into effect your shooting “aftermath” plan.

• Get an attorney before you speak with police investigators, whether you acted lawfully or not.

• That you CAN or MAY “stand your ground” does not mean you SHOULD.

• That you MAY use deadly force does not mean you SHOULD or MUST.

The Dunn trial, unlike the Zimmerman trial, left me with questions about the temperament and behavior of the defendant. (That’s interesting, since Dunn testified and Zimmerman did not). I was left with many unanswered evidentiary questions in Dunn’s trial, as well. Nonetheless, of this I am certain (and I absolutely do not say it because of where this appears): Dunn would not be where he sits today had he more initial and refresher training time, engaged periodically in some stress inoculation handgun work like IDPA competition, active and timed range exercises/drills, and probably most important, studied the Network’s videos and online eJournal. (In case you are wondering, Ayoob’s must-read book, In The Gravest Extreme is not in the prison library).

Finally, to those who argue Florida’s SYG laws permit someone to use deadly force against persons of another ethnicity or race simply because he or she “feels threatened,” I respond: the Dunn verdict shouts otherwise. For more detailed discussion on Florida SYG law see page seven of our April 2012 journal:

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