Avoidance: More than just the Obvious.


We wrote about the shooting of agitated convenience store customer Shawn Breland by an open-carrying “firearms instructor” (it says so, right on his shirt) when the incident took place in early April.We noted at the time that the “instructor’s” decision to follow Breland out of the store, overtly attempting to get his license plate number, was a dangerous and needless provocation, roundly panned by defensive firearms experts and serious students of self-defense alike

Source: “Firearms Instructor” Avoids Charges After Shooting Man in Shoving Match – Bearing Arms


”You are not sworn to endanger your life to apprehend a dangerous criminal, nor you are paid to do it.”

Jim Cirillo

Our mandate is to avoid or survive any dangerous situation, not to go into them. But I am not going to pound on the instructor but make a point that may go against the grain: He probably did not see anything wrong or provocative on getting the plates. That does not mean he was right or gets a pass, I am simply stating that his mindset was not properly trained and he was acting truly as society thinks good guys should act. How many times have we seen on TV on both movies and reality/news show police asking if anybody saw the license plate number of an offending vehicle and bemoaning that nobody did?

The problem is that most people do not understand that the criminal mind operate with a totally different software than they do. As we understand that there are limits to our behavior and have embedded a deep sense of respect for human life that is not ours, criminal have zero respect for any life that is not their own nor care about the conventions of civilized society.  The best example I can give you is those people who you seen in Youtube approaching and/or petting a wild animal and then being trounced by it. In their souls, they were being affectionate and non threatening, but the wild animal does not give a damn about your intentions but only cares about priorities. You not touching them is high on their list.

I believe that is what happened in this case. The instructor saw nothing provocative on checking the license plate at what most of us would consider a safe distance, but that did not turn out to be the case. The instructor probably acted with good intentions in his heart, but the reaction of the other subject proved he was in the wrong: he became more aggressive, followed the instructor inside the store and got physical with him. The result was one death and a load of legal problems.

It sounds egotistical, but in cases like this caring for one’s life is primordial and anything else comes second including other lives. We cannot predict the outcome of our interventions no matter how pure our hearts might be at the time.


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