by Gila Hayes
The Network, its leadership and its members suffered a blow at the end of November when we lost attorney and Advisory Board member Jim Fleming. He had been sick for some weeks before we learned on Nov. 27th of his passing. Still, word of his death hit me hard; we had last heard that his condition was slowly improving. Traditionally, a death is marked by an obituary with detailed dates and lists naming the bereaved family left behind. Well, Jim was never afraid to buck tradition and he asked that no funeral services, eulogies or obituaries mark his passing.
One of the Jim’s remarkable characteristics was the many kinds of people he connected with, contributed to and enriched. I doubt that I am alone in thinking of Jim with a fond smile and resolve to keep striving to accomplish the goals we shared with him. We connected with Jim just a little over a year after the Network’s introduction. He and his wife ran a private law practice and he defended clients on behalf of the Minnesota Public Defender’s office, as well. He also found time to work as an expert witness, teach firearms classes and write about self defense and the law. After his retirement last year – having invested over 30 years of his life to providing representation for his clients – he told me that he was thoroughly enjoying doing more work as a use of force expert in self-defense cases.
Jim came on-board with the Network in 2009 and in 2011, he accepted our invitation to take a position on our Advisory Board. We were, by that time, running a monthly Attorney Question of the Month in our online journal, and Jim was a generous contributor, weighing in with reality checks and opinions drawn from his many years practicing law and his work as a law enforcement officer before becoming a lawyer. He also contributed a large number of interviews on legal topics on which Network members need a clear understanding.
Talking with Jim was always enjoyable because of the enthusiasm with which he loved to set the record straight with historical facts, citing science to debunk popular myths going around, and occasionally leavening the conversation with amusing flashbacks to his first career as a police officer in Nebraska. He had a great vocabulary that made visiting with him, attending a lecture he gave, and reading his articles and books a joy.
I’d like to suggest that we honor Jim’s memory as a writer, lecturer and commentator who was passionate about educating his fellow citizens about our history, our country, our laws and our safety by reading his articles and interviews and other contributions in our eJournal archives at the below links. I think Jim would be pleased to know his efforts to educate us about the law and self defense continue to provide valuable lessons.
May 2021 – The Current State of Stand Your Ground Laws
Sept. 2020 – A 2-Part Lesson About Initial Aggressor Issues
https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/initial-aggressor and https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/intitial-agressor-2
Feb. 2018 – Introducing Character Evidence in Court
June 2017 – Defending Knife Use
Oct. 2016 – Defense Against Road Rage
Jim’s own writing:
In 2011, he contributed Finding the Right Attorney https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/44-our-journal/263-finding-the-right-attorney
Our review of Jim’s first book Aftermath: Lessons in Self-Defense: What to Expect When the Shooting Stops
Our review of Jim’s second book The Second Amendment and the American Gun: Evolution of a Right Under Siege
The story of Jim’s defense of an innocent man, The Bison King
Video: Defending a Self-Defense Shooting
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.