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Justifiable homicides are reportedly on the rise in the past couple of years, reaching the highest levels in over a decade. “The concept of justifiable homicide in criminal law is a defense to culpable homicide. Generally, there is a burden of production of exculpatory evidence in the legal defense of justification.” What? In layman’s terms, a justifiable homicide is when a police officer fatally shoots a suspect in the line of duty. And we have seen how well this has been portrayed in the media. Another case of justifiable homicide would be a private citizen killing an attacker in self-defense while committing a felony. Even that has been getting its fair share of negative press lately.

Security analysts believe these numbers represent police officers feeling increasingly threatened by well-armed and aggressive criminals, while the media usually reports an increase in systemic racist police brutality. A change in the attitude of regular citizens taking greater responsibilities concerning their safety in an ever-increasingly dangerous society can be attributed to an increase by non-police officers.

Police departments have been dealing with arms escalation where they have been continuously forced to utilize higher-powered weapons and more aggressive tactics to keep up with criminal offenders, who have been continuously upgrading their arsenals and their aggressive criminal activities. Rinse, repeat.

We Have Rights, right?

If you are familiar with the text “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” it clearly states that all American citizens have the individual right to arm themselves. The Second Amendment, if you were unclear where that text came from, explicitly establishes that the government cannot infringe on that right. “Shall not be infringed.”

Somewhere along the way, we ended up with several cities and states, in America no less, that somehow misinterpret this and restrict law-abiding citizens from owning firearms, stun guns, and pepper spray to protect themselves. Do you know who doesn’t care? The non-law-abiding criminals. They can blatantly disregard whatever laws or restrictions are in place and freely carry whatever weapons they see fit. Because you know, they are criminals.

Besides the countrywide reality check of all of the recent riots, widespread looting, chaos, and violence after every natural disaster, and the increase of desperate acts by desperate individuals amid the current financial turmoil, many people are being motivated to take greater responsibility for their safety and security and of their loved ones. It’s really sad to see what it takes to turn some folks around, but as long as they realize this reality before it’s too late…

An NRA spokesman was quoted a while back saying “Americans are simply refusing to be victims.” While there is some truth to part of that sentiment, the “refusing to be a victim” may be up for another debate.

Conscience vs. Consequences

This brings us to the heart of this article, conscience and consequences. While few should argue about the benefits of owning, carrying, and using self-defense weapons to defend themselves or their family. But it usually ends up being their conscience or fear of consequence preventing them from purchasing and using a firearm, stun guns, or pepper spray. The latter two non-lethal options should be much easier to rationalize in their heads, but it is not always the case.

If someone brandishing a deadly weapon was dead set on harming or killing you or a loved one, and you legitimately feared for your life, would you be able to pull the trigger and shoot someone? Maybe, maybe not.

Let’s say for the sake of argument, in the heat of the moment you can muster up the conviction and pull the trigger. Are you so scared of possible consequences afterward that you would rather not have a firearm or other self-defense weapon readily available to save yourself or your loved one? Are you so afraid of a court appearance where you would have to defend your actions, you just say the heck with personal protection? I truly hope not. You are worth protecting.

There’s an old saying “I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six…”. Or whatever the juror-to-pallbearer count was. It’s less funny if it needs to be explained, but even Jiminy Cricket packed an umbrella if he needed to defend himself. You know, conscience reference?

Of course, everything is situational during the split seconds of a confrontation. The unarmed teenage punk trying to grab a purse is getting some pepper spray to the face. The naked sex offender lunging at you with a knife when interrupted in your daughter’s bedroom at 3 a.m.? He is probably getting shot. Options.

Almost Gone Wrong

We just had a ridiculous case earlier this month. A Manhattan parking garage attendant named Moussa Diarra was shot in the stomach and then grazed in the ear by a second bullet. This stemmed from Diarra confronting an alleged thief he saw peering into cars in the garage he was working at. The alleged thief pulled his gun, shot the attendant twice, had the gun wrestled away, and was shot in the chest himself.

Charles Rhodie, the alleged thief, was charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and burglary. Diarra, the victim, was charged with murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. But not burglary.

“People like (Manhattan District Attorney) Alvin Bragg have made this city unsafe, and this worker is a victim defending himself.” said a NY cop familiar with the case. Eventually, the DA’s office reported they will not prosecute Diarra.

But it goes to show, even cut-and-dry self-defense incidents sometimes need to be defended twice. Once in the street, second in the courtroom.

Defend Yourself

Unless you are John Wick or some martial arts movie action star that can effortlessly disarm and disable an attacker, all of us normal guys and gals can stand to have an equalizer.  Is there a day that you can remember that crime wasn’t in the news? Rapes, robberies, child abductions, assaults, break-ins, carjackings, rioting, looting, home invasions, or other random acts of violence are in the headlines every day. I know I am sick of hearing about it. Every law-abiding citizen has the god given right to self-defense weapons. The bad guys certainly have them. Shouldn’t you be protected too?

Whether it be a firearm, pepper spray, stun gun, knife, telescopic steel baton, or better yet, a combo of 2-3 items to use at your discretion, have the option to successfully defend yourself. It should not be a matter of your conscience or fear of consequences. Unfortunately, you are at the mercy of the local laws and restrictions in your area, but there are options for everyone. At the barest minimum, you can have an earsplitting personal alarm to draw attention to an unfortunate event taking place. Noise ordinances, be dammed. Be safe, and be prepared always.

If the current trajectory continues, it looks like things are getting worse before they get better. When the economy goes down, and the prosecution of criminals is relaxed, the crime rate inevitably goes up. It’s simple math, make sure your personal protection measures add up.

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