Instead of calling Kill Devil Hills Police (mistake #1) who are used to dealing with prowlers and burglars during the beach community’s off-season, the 55-year-old Brewer grabbed her .38 Special revolver and left the relative safety of her elevated home (mistake #2) and wandered out of her home without a clue of who was outside, how many were outside, or what their intentions were.When Brewer saw two men running away from her home and already in her neighbor’s yard, she opened fire (mistake #3) on them, even though neither apparently armed nor posing the slightest threat towards her. Did I mention, they were already in the neighbor’s yard, running away?!?!?!
Go read the whole thing and assimilate it.
The moment you choose to own firearms for your protections, you are also taking the responsibility to inform yourself the best you can about the laws and the strategies to use. I don’t mean you should get a Law Degree (which would not work anyway, Lawyers cover self-defense one semester only in most schools) but know your State Laws, read about self-defense cases take to court and all the subsequent appeals or consequences.
That has been one of the great “side effects” of following the Gun Rights legislative efforts: you get an idea on how a bill proposed can eventually affect (good or bad) people and you can mold or re-program your defensive strategy. An example is Stand Your Ground Laws which by way of the Trayvon Martin case, allowed me to learn about this individual named Andrew Branca and his book The Law of Self Defense. Silly? You may think so, but I learned some new of stuff and updated another bunch just because I hooked the guy in Twitter and followed his commentary about the trial. He ended up being right and a crapload of TV experts were wrong.
Who to follow/read for advice is a difficult enterprise, but a good rule of thumb is whomever is calling and advertising “The Way of the Warrior-Ninja-Killer” and part of the curriculum involves chest-thumping, probably has zero experience on the realities of the law and the consequences of a bad shooting in Civilian Life. The other guideline I use is if the instructor instructs in-depth the following: Avoidance, Deterrence & De-Escalation.
I have other sources I go to, but I will leave readers share with everybody their preferences.