Ego unchecked = Trouble (Cont.)

I wrote about Detroit homeowner Tigh Croff who found a burglar in his house, chased him down the neighborhood, killed him and was charged with second-degree murder.

It seems that the Jury dealocked and the judge declared a mistrial. Prosecution will have anther round at Mr, Croff and there are accusations that the judge acted improperly. Anyway, I am sure Mr. Croff wishes he would just let the guy run to whatever little hole he crawled out of from.

Ego unchecked, not a good counselor.

Ego unchecked = Trouble.

The few unlucky people that have been instructed by me, receive several mantras and the first one is: The first casualty of carrying concealed is the Ego.  When you decide to have a gun with you and to travel outside your home, you will learn to endure the verbal “slings and arrows” and that they are not there to right wrongs, defend maidens’ honors soiled by a mouthy sailor or to stop any petty (or major) crime in progress that offends your sense of order in society. In most localities you are not allowed to defend property and I do not recall one state where you are allowed to pursue and use deadly force against anybody once the crime has ceased.

We have this case in Detroit where a home owner, Tigh Croff, arrived home to find it being broken into and now he is facing hard time for chasing down and killing one of the perps. It was the third time that his house had been broken in during the same week and I am guessing he was incensed like anybody else would be. But he had a gun and an unchecked ego:

“He turned around and looked dumb. He had that ‘mercy’ look,” Croff told police after the shooting, per Detroit Police Sgt. Gary Diaz. “I told him he was gonna die, and I shot him.”

Ego, just like alcohol, does not combine well with firearms. Words don’t hurt, gang rape in the local house of detention does.

Dump the Ego.

A trial ended yesterday. The case involved a shooting on a female by a male resulting in the grievous injury of the female. She sustained damage to her arm both muscular and neural. Her arm will never again be 100% functional and she has, no joke, developed a mongo aversion to guns. The male was a childhood friend of hers and one silly night and because one silly stupid argument, two lives have been changed forever.

The fight was about a truly irrelevant object but it escalated to the point where the male produced his firearm and a shot rang out. Was there intention to kill? I don’t think so and he was not charged with that  but a much lesser count. Still the jury found him guilty and he will probably be sentenced to 8 years in prison. The male had a Concealed Weapons permit and there is no other way to put it: he fucked up. According to what I was told, during trial he initially tried to say that it was an accidental shooting, that the gun went off, but with modern firearms (read: basically anything built in the last 50 years) that is near impossible and he got shredded by the expert witness. His lawyer tried to pull a mid trial switch for Self Defense but a male facing a 5’4″ female armed with a car key and a cellphone does not rise to the necessary standard for self defense. Basically BOTH sides suffered from runaway mouths with almost deadly consequences. The cause of the incident was plain old ego on both sides. She caught the bullet, he caught the prison time.

I tell my students and anybody considering having a gun for self protection that they are about to embark in a life-changing trip. This trip will have “casualties” and the first one must be ego. No longer will you feel the need to right perceived wrongs by verbally or physically counter an insult, wave off or even a direct taunt. You have with you the power of creating immense harm and that is something that you cannot take lightly. I don’t care if they call your Mom names, accuse your wife of being a $10 whore or dirty comments about naked pictures of your favorite aunt in the Internet, your first duty is to disengage and step away from the person trying to incite you. Allow your manhood or womanhood to be dragged in the mud, let them call you coward, faggot, chickeshit, whatever: Words don’t hurt, prison time does.

So remember the this phrase:

Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and deescalation.

A bit of disclosure is in order. The female is a dear friend of mine, almost like an adopted crazy niece. We worked together and I still remember the night I was told she was shot and the Gordian knot that my stomach became. She was out for six months recovering from her wound and with a new dose of maturity. It was radical but instructive for the both of us. Although she is still the same vibrant spirit, the innocence is gone and there will be a dark cloud following her for a long time. I don’t know the guy and I really don’t hold any particular personal grudge against him (I know, I should but I think I matured after all) but as a Gun Owner and CWP holder I will cut him no mercy: He misused a gun, hurt an innocent person and rightly he should serve his punishment. Most Gun Owners agree with me on this. We don’t give freebies to our fellow members that break the faith and eschew responsibility. We are not forgiving just because you  are a fdellow gun owner, say you are sorry sorry and fly to the nearest detox clinic. We come down on you hard and you better get used to it. We hold ourselves to a higher standard.

I will try to get a transcript of the trial and I plan to use it in future classes and in this blog. I think there is much to be learned by everybody.

Again people: Words don’t hurt, prison time does. Dump the Ego.

The Gut Feeling confirmed.

So the Kid approaches me last night as I was with another co-worker  and with a great amount of urgency asks me when can he take the class so he can get his concealed weapons permit.  As I try to come up with the words to let him down easy, he launches on a tirade about something it happened to him and his child earlier that day.  It seems that while at a park with the Kid and a couple of friends, a particularly big sporting sphere flew by near them and the standard fare of cussing between Group One and Sport Sphere Group was initiated. Somehow and after a couple of minutes of trash talking, the ball was launched back at them and missed the Kid’s head by inches which prompted physical retaliation by one of the Kid’s friends.The next thing coming out of the Kid’s mouth was a description on how he would have fed the ball-tosser Mountain Oysters made out of his own genitalia.

Before he could utter another word, I told the Kid that in my opinion he was not ready to carry a concealed weapon. He was not happy to say the least and asked me what I meant by that. I reminded him of the conversation we had earlier and asked him what was the first thing he needed to shed in order to carry a gun but he could not remember so I refreshed his memory: EGO. I told him again that he could not let his ego dictate his actions and that he demonstrated not enough responsibility during the events. He got angry (another bad sign) and asked me what would have I done different if somebody almost hit my son with a ball. The answer caught him by surprise even though for us is obvious: get the boy and leave the area as fast and as far away as possible. He blinked hard, I guess it never entered in his brain that keeping a child safe might involve something other than blasting some caps on some schmuck. I drove the point home by telling him that what i just heard did not show a concerned parent seeking the safety of his progeny but a hot headed youngster who was dissed, had his ego “damaged” and wanted immediate satisfaction even though it was not the smart thing to do.

The sad part was that the Kid still didn’t get it. I was staring at his eyes and that brief moment of surprise faded quick. No light-bulb-moment-of-clarity illuminated his obtuse head. I think he just thought I was being a scared and ornery old fart who did not want to get in trouble.  And he is right, I am afraid for him, for his kid and for innocent bystanders if this guy ever gets to carry a weapon. More likely, if the Kid gets in a situation, his child may have to visit Daddy at a grave site or at Everglades Correctional Institute or even at Raiford State as Daddy waits for the needle.