The Perils of Inadequate Self-Defense Training


Ruger LCRx Revolver .357 Magnum Muzzle
File Photo: Revolver .357 Magnum Muzzle

“Knowledge defeats fear. Preparation defeats failure. Discipline defeats panic” ~ Michael Lang.

Bad outcomes!

In a recent court case in which I consulted, a householder answered his front doorbell one afternoon.

A person he knew (slightly) was at his door and wanted to come in.

The householder opened the door, and the person at the entry, who was very upset about something, aggressively pushed past the homeowner and entered the home.

A loud argument immediately developed, with the homeowner insisting that his “guest” leave immediately.

He did not, and a physical altercation ensued.

The homeowner retreated to a bedroom and recovered a revolver loaded (357mg hardball, brand unknown).

Confronting the invader (who had not followed him into the bedroom) at gunpoint, the homeowner shouted for the invader (now probably, by definition, a “burglar”) to leave.

As the confrontation continued, the homeowner manually cocked the hammer on his revolver. Predictably, a few seconds later, the revolver UD’d, and a single bullet struck the invader in the abdomen, passing through and through.

The invader ran out of the house, got to his car, and called the police. The invader’s single bullet wound was not fatal.

Police arrived and investigated.

The homeowner was uninjured and admitted to police that his single shot (that struck the burglary suspect) was unintentional.

Police arrested the homeowner, and the local prosecutor (a Soros-installed, anti-gun, woke leftist) subsequently charged him with attempted murder!

The burglary suspect himself has not been arrested nor charged so far.

The case is currently active.

Important Self Defense Lessons, and there are several!

1) When you own gun(s) for serious purposes, you had better expose yourself to competent training, not just in how to operate guns, but also in how to interact with our Criminal Justice System.

The homeowner in this case (obviously), had no lethal force training, had no idea of what he was doing, and is now experiencing dire consequences.

A good start to this critical education process is to join ACLDN (Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network)!

2) Be careful when answering your door!

Have good, heavy locks on all perimeter doors, and keep all doors locked.

Do not open (nor even unlock) your door until you’re confident this person does not represent a threat.

Use your Ring System to talk with person(s) at your door before the door is ever unlocked.

Door-to-door salesmen, religious advocates, solicitors of any kind, people claiming to be doing “surveys,” anyone you were not expecting need to be politely (and remotely) dismissed and invited to be on their way, all with your door never being opened.

Never unlock and open your door for people whose motives you are suspicious. When someone refuses to leave, call police, but never unlock your door and confront them directly

When there is more than one person at your door, be particularly cautious!

When someone enters your home and then refuses to leave, you’re going to have a terrible time getting him/them out, as we see!

This is a particularly thorny issue when it involves “estranged” friends or family members, such as ex-wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, business partners, etc. When anyone in this category wants to meet with you, arrange a meeting (when you choose to meet with them at all) at a neutral place, such as a local restaurant

Never invite them into your home.

3) Be “first to the phone!” In any deadly-force episode, be the first one to call the police. Who gets to the phone first will invariably be considered the “complainant/plaintiff” by arriving officers.

4) Be careful what you say to police. You have to know what to say and what not to say. Either way, it’s all recorded!

This homeowner, in this case, voluntarily told police the single shot he launched at the suspect was “accidental.”

Had the exact same shot, at the exact same moment, been “intentional,” this homeowner would probably have had a strong case for legitimate self-defense and thus may not have even been charged—however, the contention of “self-defense” in the only available to you in an intentional shooting. In an accidental shooting, the argument for “self-defense” will not be allowed, as this homeowner is belatedly discovering!

So at this point, this homeowner’s lawyer is mostly in “damage control.”

5) Select serious ammunition carefully! The single hardball (FMJ) bullet, as in this case, went through-and-through the suspect (as noted above) but then went on to penetrate several walls!

Fortunately, no one (aside from the suspect) was injured.

Serious defensive ammunition is designed to stay within the body cavity and not exit.

6) Sloppy, stupid gun-handling is never considered “understandable under the circumstances.”

Don’t expect any sympathy/tolerance here!

As far as the Court is concerned, when you don’t know how to run a gun, you shouldn’t own one.

“There are no ‘Secrets to Success.’ Success is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” ~ Colin Powell.

It is always best to learn the harshest lessons from other people’s failures!


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About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc

As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor, John Farnam will urge you, based on your beliefs, to make up your mind about what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to ensure that its students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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