When can you use your gun?

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When can you use your gun?

Jason McKay

Sunday, March 22, 2020

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Last week I discussed ammunition, choice of gun and the legal implications of carrying a firearm. This week I am examining the scenarios wherein you can actually use this fine weapon that you have spent your mortgage on.

By the way, last week a slight misprint had indicated that you would get charged criminally if your house was burgled and your gun stolen from a vault. Well, someone forgot the word 'not'. So, if you are going to leave it at home, ensure it is vaulted in a Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA)-approved safe.

Anyhow, let us say you are attacked enroute to work at daytime. I will assume you must be driving, because FLA does not issue licensed firearms to 'walk foot'. So if you are attacked in your car and it is broad daylight, there is probably too much traffic to use a gun.

Secondly, driving is another form of defence and you cannot shoot and drive at the same time. Forget everything you saw on Bad Boys 3; driving is usually the better option. But if you have to engage and you are stationary in a car, get the hell out! It is a death trap.

Combat requires movement, the car restricts that and bullets go through windows like a hot knife goes through butter.

Attacks on regular citizens usually occur in the form of robberies, and death occurs when the robberies go bad. I normally say do not resist when being robbed at gunpoint, unless you are being removed to a secondary crime scene, or you believe it is going to be fatal.

However, once you are armed they will likely kill you once they see the gun; especially if they think you are a cop. So, you are going to have to try something. In fact, try anything.

Many robberies occur while you are entering or exiting your home. Just so you know, robberies that occur at the garden gate or in your driveway and become shootouts will be conducted at point-blank range, and the best-case scenario is that both you and the attackers get hit (even those dunces can hit at five feet).

I say attackers, and not attacker, because the cowards never work alone. It is likely they will number even more than two. My only advice is to fire fast, use volume and do not give up — irrespective of how many times you are hit. As long as you are conscious, fight! Fire!

If you run out, change the clip, then fire again until the threat is mitigated. If you are totally out of ammunition, then try to run away. If that fails, use that gun as a baton, or use that car as a weapon. Then kick, punch, or strangle.

Anything goes, because once they get you under their control you will be shot repeatedly in your head. Yes, that is right. Watch the videos. They are murderous animals!

Intervention in an armed robbery in a public setting, like a restaurant or pharmacy, is probably another fantasy you are playing out in your head. Well, that may not work out very well. Innocent people will almost definitely get hurt or killed. Also, the criminals normally have a 'sleeper' who you do not know is involved. This actually occurred in the robbery of an ice cream store many years ago and the licensed firearm holder was killed.

Okay, so you are probably wondering 'what environment is appropriate for the use of this gun?' Well, if you are in your home and hear killers breaking in, you can at least greet them with something other than your pleading voice. That is the scenario that best invites the use of a licensed firearm. However, a shotgun would be more suitable than a handgun in this case.

Also, remember the licence says 'protection of life and property'. That is any life, not just yours. You can come to the aid of a fellow citizen if you see him or her under attack. In this case you have the edge, because you are not yet under attack so you have the benefit of surprise.

To be frank, the feeling of invincibility is a farce. A gun is almost useless in close-quarter attacks. If you come under attack first, then responding is difficult. This is because you might be hit multiple times and once you are shot in the head you are going to lose consciousness. So, detection of the threat is paramount.

When you are aware of danger you can run, draw and warn, or take cover. You can even fire first if you can justify that you were 'in fear'. This could occur if the firearm is pointing in your direction, or several other circumstances. However, you must justify the fear factor.

Equally as important as observing and reacting is that you do not kill an innocent person by accident. You may convince a jury and be spared conviction, but you still have to live with yourself.

Remember also, protect the weapon at all costs. This includes keeping it in front of you, where you can control it. Appendix carry is what I recommend in plain clothes. Avoid crowds and sit with your back to a wall. And remember, in Jamaica we do not have 'stand your ground' laws. In fact, our law leans toward 'tactical retreat'.

So if the windshield wiper guy tells you about your mother, you cannot come out and shoot him. In fact, even if he spits in your face you cannot do that. Revenge is not a defence in our law.

Avoid putting yourself in situations where people can tell lies on you. It is a favourite pastime for many to tell lies on gun owners. They know you value it and therefore it is something that can be used as an extortion tactic against you.

Install cameras inside your home so that it is harder for people to say you drew your gun on them. Protect yourself from them.

In closing, life has changed. You are now a member of a privileged minority. You have a responsibility to protect the weak, not abuse the poor. You can be special because our country's Constitution does not give you the right to bear arms. So, you are part of a hand-picked group that should be protecting society.

Good men and women have granted you this privilege. Do not let them down.

Feedback: jasonamckay@gmail.com


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