Good afternoon bikers, patriots and Second Amendment supporters. I hope your week is off to a good start. But where do the weekends go? I was able to get about 300 miles in over the weekend, but it was hot and humid here. In fact, sultry probably describes it best. This Thursday I will be heading to the Smoky Mountains with a group of buddies to ride. I will work on a destination blog post when I get back.
In an article my article on Home Defense Basics, this past week, I promised to provide some additional information on Castle Doctrine. This article really could be a companion to that post as Castle Doctrine definitely ties to defending one’s home – or castle. Castle doctrine tends to be fairly similar from state to state, but some states are much more restrictive or have no Castle Doctrine provisions. Additionally, your state may allow you to not only protect yourself with deadly force while in your home, but also if you are in your vehicle, garage, car, hotel, motorcycle or even at work. But there are limitations:
Common Castle Doctrine Limitations:
Anyone that lives in the residence would be excluded from Castle Doctrine
A spouse or significant other would be excluded from Castle Doctrine
You may be in legal jeopardy if you shoot someone who is trying to flee the house after encountering them
We will review each state individually, but it might be good to review a case in which the castle doctrine defense was not allowed and the home owner was convicted.
Byron David Smith
Byron David Smith was a resident of Little Falls, Minnesota. He had become alarmed about a rash of break ins and robberies in his neighborhood and had experienced it at his residence. In order to lure the criminals into his house, he parked his car down the street so it would appear he was not home. The bait was offered and on Thanksgiving 2012 two teens broke into his home through a window. Smith had barricaded himself in his basement and was armed with a Ruger Mini-14 and a small caliber revolver. The first teen, Nick Brady came down the basement stairs and was shot three times with the Ruger Mini-14. The third shot was a lethal shot to the head. The second teen, Haily Kifer, would come down the stairs several minutes later. Smith shot her six times with the final shot being taken nearly at point blank range, under the chin and into her head. Smith did not call 9-11 but his neighbor did after Smith told him he solved the robbery problem.
He was arrested and booked on first degree murder charges. A jury of twelve convicted him of two premeditated murder charges and he will spend the rest of his natural life in prison. The unanimous verdict was largely driven by him moving his car from his home which they considered to be premeditated.
I am not an attorney. And I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Nothing in this blog post should be construed as legal advice. I recommend you speak with an attorney if you have questions about Castle Doctrine.
Until next time, keep the shiny side up, your knees in the wind and carry often!
Greetings and salutations bikers, Second Amendment advocates, Patriots and God Fearing Americans! Unless you live under a rock – or a bunker in the mountains – you are aware of the #Marxist #Anarchists taking to the streets of America. These assnozzles do not care about your safety or your personal property. While they have typically stayed in the downtown urban areas of our larger cities, there have been cases of them wandering into neighborhoods to create chaos and fear. While it is unlikely you will ever experience a Black Lives Matter (#BLM) or #Antifa riot near your castle, you may well experience a home invasion or robbery. Have you done all the things you can do to protect yourself and your home? There are plenty of things everyone should do to secure their bunker.
Firearms are not your only protection
Secure your home with the simple things first. Use your firearms only as a last resort.
Make sure all of your windows are locked – especially those on the ground floor
If you have sliding glass doors, use a heavy doll rod, cut to proper length, in the lower channel of the sliding glass door to prevent it from being forced open
If you don’t already have them, install commercial grade deadbolt locks on all exterior doors (the deadbolt locks sold by big box hardware stores are not commercial grade)
Install adequate security lighting around your home’s exterior – most bad guys prefer to work in the dark
Invest in a canned-air horn, like what is used by pleasure boaters (a couple of quick blasts of one of these horns will probably scare a home intruder away)
If you do not have a home alarm system, consider having one installed. Besides securing your home more completely, you may also save a fairly significant amount of cash on your homeowner’s insurance
Once your home is secure, you need to consider your home defense plan in the event a bad guy is inside. The most important thing is for your family to come together in one place. My house is a two story structure with all of the bedrooms on one level. The meeting place, if I had other people living here, would the master bedroom. By having everyone assemble in one location, in the event of an emergency, a headcount can be quickly taken – insuring that everyone is accounted for. Once everyone is accounted for, barricade your family in the room. I have a dresser I can slide in front of the doors. Call 9-1-1. Remember, there is no need to search out danger. Stay put and protect your family.
Now that my children are adults, and are out of the house, I keep a pistol on my night stand beside my bed (cocked and locked with one in the pipe), an AR-15 with 208 grain subsonic loads next to my nightstand (cocked and locked with one in the pipe and 30 extras in the magazine) and a loaded shotgun under the bed. There are other pistols in a small gun safe in my master bedroom closet. But is a pistol the best choice for protecting yourself, and your family, within your home? My suggestion is to consider having a shotgun close by. Once you’re barricaded in your family’s gathering area, there is nothing that will cause the bad guy to turn and run like the sound of a shotgun being cycled. If you have done your job, up to this point, when the shit bag is trying to get through your barricade, he may well have an epiphany when he hears you cycle a round into the chamber of your shotgun. At this point, he may just turn tail and run into the police, who you recently called.
There has been a lot of debate about what type of load you should use in a shotgun for home defense. I prefer something with a lot of pellets for the first couple of rounds. #6 or #7.5 shot is a perfect choice. In the heat-of-the-moment, if you were to need to engage a bad guy, there is plenty of energy in this type of load to quickly stop an intruder and give them second thoughts about staying around. From close range it is quite lethal and the blast pattern is effective. But, in the event that this does not stop the bad guy, the last couple of shells in my shotgun are #00 buckshot. If it gets to this point, one of these rounds will stop the most strung out zombie in its tracks. And in the event that it is an actual zombie apocalypse, I still have my trusty AR-15 nearby.
In summary, have a plan for you and your family. Make sure all of your family members know where the gathering place is in the event of a break in. Once all of your family members are sheltered together, call 9-1-1. Give a couple of blasts on your canned-air horn. Do not search out the bad guy – let him come to you. Practice your plan a couple of times each year so your family instinctively follows the plan.
My next blog post will take this article as step further with a discussion of what you need to know about the realities of Castle Doctrine – there are some limitations. Don’t miss it.
Until we chat again, keep the shiny side to the sun and never leave your cave without your club – you know no smart caveman would ever do such a thing!
Greetings fellow bikers! If you are like me, you feel a bit cheated this fall. Autumn is my favorite time of the year to ride. After riding all summer, fall usually provides a welcome relief from the heat with beautiful colors and mild temperatures. But this year, after having perhaps the hottest September and early October in history, we dropped into a deep freeze more like January than November. Fall literally lasted less than a week! But that will not keep your Grey Beard Biker from riding. It will just require full leathers, heated grips and heated seats.
Currently, we are living in a relatively quiet time with regards to threats against our Second Amendment rights – rights which we know are given by God – not the government. Because I used to shoot pistols competitively, I started reloading my own ammunition about ten years ago. This actually helped reduce the cost of shooting (which is very expensive when you shoot 7,500-10,000 rounds per year) and provided more consistent ammunition than store bought ammo. It also insured that when Obama and the Democrats in congress threatened punitive gun laws and restrictions after Sandy Hook, causing ammunition shortages, I had plenty of ammunition to continue shooting regularly.
There are many things to keep in mind when you are considering reloading ammunition. The number one consideration is the cost. With ammo costs down, and plenty on the shelves of your local gun store, big box retailer and sporting goods stores, cost will be a major consideration. If you are going to start hand loading your own ammo, you will have to shoot a lot to get a return on your investment – think in terms of 10s of thousands of rounds. If you are going to reload rifle cartridges and handgun ammo, it will be easier to recover the costs of your equipment as rifle ammunition can be very expensive. Also, if you only shoot 9mm or .380 ACP, the time it will take to get a return on your investment is going to be VERY long.
The type of press you purchase will also be something to consider. If you are only going to reload rifle ammunition, you do not need a progressive reloading press. You can easily get by with a single stage press. With this type of press, you will de-cap the spent primers and install new primers outside the press. This is done with a hand primer tool. You also measure your powder outside the press. While you can reload handgun ammunition with a single stage press, it is VERY time consuming. A major benefit for a single stage press is cost: it is much less expensive to get started with the basic equipment to reload.
Grey Beard recommends a progressive press if you are going to reload a lot of ammunition. There are many very good presses on the market today. I use a Hornady Lock-n-Load press which has five separate stations. These stations are:
Brass sizing and de-capping
Case activated powder drop
Brass crimping (not always used)
While you do not necessarily use all of these stages for every caliber cartridge, it is nice that you can do so. It literally creates an assembly line. Besides Hornady, other very good progressive presses are manufactured by RCBS, Redding, Lee, Dillon Precision and Lyman.
Another consideration will be how many calibers you reload. For each caliber you plan on reloading, you will need a die set and shell plate. I reload over two dozen calibers of rifle and pistol ammunition, so I have made a significant investment in just the dies and shell plates.
Lastly, you will need to consider where you will set up your reloading equipment. I have mine set up on an eight-foot workbench and I wish I had double the space. The area needs to be clean and well lit. You will also need plenty of storage as your reloading equipment and supplies take up a lot of space. I store brass in plastic containers on my table. I have an eight-drawer rolling tool box for my dies, shell plates, new brass, bullets, primers and other tools I use. My finished ammunition is stored in 50 or 100 count plastic cases in a locked storage cabinet. This is also where I store all of my powder – which numbers at least 30 different types.
Minimum Initial Investment for Progressive Reloading
Based on your initial investment, reloading may not be something which provides you a return on investment. Having shot at least 45,000 rounds over the past 10 years, I have recovered the cost of my investment many times over. But cost should not be the only thing you consider before reloading. If you enjoy working with your hands, you may get a lot of enjoyment sitting at your press rolling your own ammo. It is something your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker enjoys immensely.
Check out Grey Beard Biker’s YouTube video on reloading:
These days are quite divisive. They never fail to make your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker take pause – and inventory – of the things which are important to us. Specifically, the 1st and 2nd amendments. Freedom of Speech and the right to “Keep and Bear Arms” are central to the founding and long-term health of the United States. Today, the liberal Mainstream Media (MSM) and many leftist congresspeople would like to take action to restrict both amendments.
First, let’s look at some of the assaults on the 1st Amendment – specifically its clauses which provides us Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Assembly. We see blatant disregard for this from the MSM and liberal politicians.
The left is constantly trying to restrict Freedom of Speech. It is done by squashing conservative speech on social platforms where Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are throttling conservative free speech. They restrict who can see our posts and even our search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing. They do not want our message getting out.
Today’s press is highly aligned with liberal and socialist ideologies. When breaking news which does not fit their narrative takes place, you will hardly see a mention of it in print or any major network (NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN Et. Al.) – a good example of which is the recent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. None of the supposed “unbiased media” mentioned that the shooter was a YUGE supporter of Elizabeth Warren.
Freedom of Assembly is being trampled on constantly by politicians, hate groups (Antifa) and social justice groups like the Women’s March. These groups will counter protest against non-violent assembly of conservatives at every turn. Antifa, specifically, will resort to violence against groups they do not agree with, as witnessed recently in Portland, Oregon.
Liberal legislators continually attack Trump, and his supporters, as being Racist Xenophobes, to try and extinguish our message. This is pure hatred and is used to suppress our voices.
Red Flag Laws Are Harmful to the Second Amendment
The latest feel good “commonsense” gun reform, being proposed regularly, appears to be so-called Red Flag Laws. These are also known as (AKA): Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). They are being positioned as a regulation which the majority of law-abiding gun owners support. This is pure hogwash. Once you understand more about these ridiculous laws, no law-abiding gun owner – especially those who partake in Concealed Carry – would ever support these laws.
Several states have passed ERPOs including Vermont, Washington, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Indiana, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, Hawaii and Florida. What’s most surprising about this list is that several of these states have been considered very Pro-2A: Nevada, Indiana and Florida. Florida enacted their Red Flag Law in the wake of the Parkland Shooting.
So, what specifically do most of these Red Flag Laws attempt to do? In the event that someone you know considers you a danger to yourself, or others, they can go to a court and seek an ERPO against you. If the judge grants the motion for the ERPO, law enforcement will come to your home, unannounced, and remove all of your guns. This may seem “commonsense,” but it is anything but. The biggest issue with these laws is what talk radio host, Dana Loesch (Dana Radio) calls, “inverted due process.” These ERPOs are granted Ex Parte. This means that you are not able to be there to represent yourself. Hell, you won’t even know it’s going on until they come for your guns. If you were aware this was taking place you would have the opportunity to hire an attorney and defend yourself against what is nothing more than an illegal seizure of your personal property. Making matters worse, in some states, is that an ex-spouse/lover, neighbor, acquaintance or even someone who barely knows you can make such a claim – not just someone very close to you. This is a total perversion of another one of our Bill of Rights: Amendment IV, regarding unreasonable searches and seizures.
The last pitfall of these laws is that in most cases, besides being “guilty until proven innocent,” you have very limited recourse to repossess your improperly seized property (guns). Most of the states with these laws require you wait a specified amount of time to petition the court to remove the ERPO. Plus, there is a cost to do so, as you will probably have to hire an attorney to represent what should be an inalienable right – the right to keep and bear arms – a right which the 2nd Amendment says, “shall not be infringed.” Obviously, the leftists do not care about this amendment.
Act today. Contact your state, local and Federal legislators and let them know you do not want them to support Red Flag Laws!
The Grey Beard Biker has written several articles on the National Rifle Association recently. The NRA is still very important to gun owners across the United States, but right now it continues to remain in a state of pure chaos. This needs to be remedied quickly, as we are heading swiftly into the 2020 General Election season.
Controversies Galore at the NRA
In my last article, which you can read HERE, I had outlined the most glaring issues/controversies this once proud organization is dealing with:
New York Attorney General’s lawsuit
Lawsuit and counter lawsuit with previous president, Oliver North
Lavish spending by NRA leadership – especially Wayne LaPierre
Culture of fear within the employee ranks
Underfunded employee pension plan
These all represent trouble on the flanks of the NRA and are inevitably causing members to walk away – which may be the most significant hurdle they face. Additionally, they have lost their focus – which should be exclusively protecting the Second Amendment.
I follow Gun Talk and read an interesting article industry icon Tom Gresham penned last week. This article really sums up what I have been writing about over my past three blog posts on the NRA. It is worth quoting:
Gun Talk News, “Wayne Must Go”
“The leaders at the NRA and I’m talking about YOU, the board of directors, as well as the hired help, have spent years … decades … setting up a system which gives key people massive financial rewards. In my view, it’s at least malfeasance, and it might even be corruption. Monster salaries, private jets, slush funds, insane budgets spent on TV shows, as well as PR and advertising campaigns designed to do nothing more than generate more funds which can be siphoned off for dubious programs…”
“It has greatly jeopardized what most members believe should be the NRA’s core mission – protecting the Second Amendment and our gun rights. In fact, it looks as though the leadership has subverted the core mission into just making themselves rich.”
“LaPierre now is a symbol of this financial meltdown. In short, no matter what is done, if he remains in this post (or has any role at the NRA), it is utterly impossible to restore the trust of the membership.”
The Grey Beard Biker is an Endowment Life Member of the NRA. He also agrees with Tom Gresham. The membership of the NRA cannot regain trust in the organization with LaPierre at the helm. While he may not be singularly responsible for all of the troubles the organization faces today, he is the executive running the ship there. The buck stops with him.
There are some grass roots efforts taking place to right the NRA ship – most notably, Save the 2A. I encourage you to go to their website and sign up for updates from them. Read their list of necessary fixes. If you agree with them, sign and mail their petition right away (mine is in the mail). The first petition is to set minimum attendance requirements for board members and must be received by Save the 2A in the next ten days.
The NRA is a big organization, which used to have deep pockets. Setting minimum attendance requirements for their board of directors is a start. But in the Grey Beard Biker’s opinion, no amount of fixes will right the ship as long as Wayne is running the NRA. It is time to retire, sir.
It’s happening right before our very eyes. America is in a state of decay. What happened to our great country? Our Founding Fathers, nearly 2 1/2 centuries ago, took 13 small British colonies and declared them independent of the British throne. They knew that the throne would consider them traitors and that they may all swing from the nearest tree. But these brave men created the greatest country on the face of the earth. Since then, we cleansed ourself from the shackles of slavery – with a loss of nearly 10% of our men – in the Civil War, fought fascism and Nazism in Europe and became the world’s greatest superpower. The Patriots who founded our country, and those who paid the supreme sacrifice to promote freedom, must be ashamed of what we have become.
Main Stream Media
One need look no further than the current Main Stream Media (MSM) to see the decay. While they claim to be presenting the news, nearly everything they report as “real” news is shrouded in a blanket of ideology. Their ratings have continued to decline over the past decade, but their followers believe what they spew because it validates their own beliefs. This is not journalism – this is the promotion of one political viewpoint over another – which is not American.
This same MSM provides a platform for politicians they agree with: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, Ilhan Omar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and all the other leftist politicians. Some of those they are providing a microphone to preach anti-American garbage, anti-Semitic trash and socialist doctrine. These politicians do not hold the same views as the average American and are chipping away at what has made America great for over 200 years.
Their policies promote open borders, expansion of the welfare state, Medicare for All, free secondary education and the slow erosion of our Second Amendment. They cannot win on the battlefield of ideas. Their platform is hollow and revolves around class warfare, racism and redistribution of wealth. Simply put, they have to give things away to receive votes. Unfortunately, the entitlements they promote will come at a punitive cost to the American taxpayer.
Antifa is a stain on the great fabric of our country. While peaceful protests and civil disobedience have been key to the advancement of our great nation, Antifa represents neither. Antifa is an acronym for Anti-Fascist and represents a broad militant group. Fascism, according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as:
“A political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”
Nazism during Adolph Hitler’s formation of the Third Reich has many of the same traits as fascism: nation above its people, centralized autocratic government, a dictatorial leader and suppression of opposition.
Antifa claims to be anti-fascist, often trying to suggest President Donald J. Trump is a fascist, but this is simply not true. Trump is not a fascist. He does not forcibly suppress those who disagree with him. Rather, he calls out his opposition to ensure the people understand what he is dealing with. He is not in charge of an autocratic government. He is the chief executive of a government which still has three distinct branches. Lastly, Trump does not promote the government over the people. He understands that the government is the subject of the people and not the other way around.
Antifa, on the other hand, is fascist in nearly every way. While their chosen name may lead one to believe they are truly anti-fascist, their actions do not support that position. They are protesting a government in which the people vote their legislators and president into office – far from an autocratic form of government. Unlike in a fascist government, the President of the United States can only serve two terms. Antifa members have become violent against many of those they protest, recently beating up a gay reporter, confronting Pro-Life marchers, attacking Trump supporters and blocking traffic. This is nothing like the civil disobedience Henry David Thoreau promoted from Walden Pond. Lastly, they claim to be against white supremacy but come to their protests behind masks – much like the Ku-Klux-Klan did during the 19th and early20th centuries. This is unacceptable in a country which was built upon providing its citizens the freedoms enumerated in our Bill of Rights.
Indoctrination of the People
The Democrats having been losing in the arena of ideas since the Ronald Reagan years. Since the election of William Jefferson Clinton as president, this country has been moving more towards a far-left ideology – one drip at a time. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack H. Obama are disciples of the teachings of Saul Alinksky. Alinsky was the first “community organizer” and wrote the book, “Rules for Radicals” – which provides the modern Democrat Party many of the tactics they use today. The current hatchling of Democrat 2020 hopefuls, and their minions in congress, have not mastered all of Alinsky’s Rules, but some of them they have. Grey Beard has graded their mastery of each one:
Power is not what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have:B- (they attempt to show their power, but the majority of Americans still recognize them as weak – especially on the laws of the land)
Never go outside the experience of your people:D– (they are constantly failing here – with the same tired old faces spewing the same old hatred)
Whenever possible, go outside the experience of your enemy: C- (Trump usually has them tongue tied and resorting to the same old talking points)
Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon:B+ (Ridicule and class warfare is literally the only thing many of them are accomplished at)
A good tactic is one that your people enjoy:A- (Their people love to see them attack Trump, capitalism and religion)
A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag:F (Their call for impeachment and continued investigations of Russian Collusion is way beyond its expiration date – move on already)
Keep the pressure on:B (One must give them credit – they are trying)
The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself:C (most of their plans are still quite terrifying to Patriots)
The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition:B (They have been building their organization through societal indoctrination for many years)
If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive:B (Medicare for all is a good example of their success – the more moderate Democrats have been slowly coming around to this)
The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative:C- (This may be the least understood of Alinsky’s Rules – the newest socialist members are trying to do this by throwing out something really unacceptable – like the Green New Deal – with the more moderate Dems offering a compromise which a short time ago no one would have ever seriously considered – this is perhaps the most dangerous of the Rules)
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it:A+ (Credit where credit is due – the Left has built an entire political agenda around attacking Trump and impeaching him)
Grey Beard Biker’s Summary
Do not underestimate the power these far-left ideologues have to fundamentally change our country. For years they have been formulating their tactics and have quietly worked to take over our education system, starting with the most malleable in society: our children. The leftists knew this was a long-term play – sowing the minds of these children would take a great deal of time before bearing fruit. Today’s Millennials represent a bumper crop for the Left. They have been patient, and unfortunately, they have succeeded in brainwashing an entire generation. All of us Patriots need to start taking these young people back. The risk of not doing so is beyond grave.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position where you have to defend yourself with lethal force, your continued freedom will depend on whether the police, prosecutors and courts believe all five of these components were properly met. If there is any doubt in their minds, that each one was met, your legal team will have to convince a jury that you did in fact meet them.
Reasonableness of your actions is judged both objectively and subjectively. In the event that the police turn your case over to the prosecuting attorney, objective reasonableness will primarily be determined by interviews with witnesses, physical evidence – and if the case goes to court – testimony by expert witnesses. Subjective reasonableness is primarily going to be determined by your actions and any statements you make (Hint: a subject of an upcoming article). Let’s examine both of these.
Objective reasonableness is an imaginary litmus test. Essentially, it implores someone to consider if a reasonable person would make the same decisions and take the same actions you did if in exactly the same situation.
This imaginary person is a law-abiding citizen, does not have anger issues, does not do drugs and never drinks to excess. He/she would be cautious by nature. Average in every way, he/she would not have above average intelligence or super human strength.
When considering objective reasonableness, the police and district attorney may well transfer your physical characteristics to the imaginary person. If you are old, frail, small or handicapped you would likely fear for your life more quickly than a healthy man in his mid-20s. As such, a lower threshold would have to be exceeded before you began to become fearful and the fight-or-flight instinct kicked in – that point in time when you believed the threat was imminent.
In a self-defense case the court may also allow Mr. Reasonable to have specialized knowledge which you possess. A good example would be if you knew the person was extremely violent, unstable or had a reputation as a vicious fighter. If you were to find yourself in a position where he was coming quickly at you with clenched fists, and in an obvious rage, you may believe the threat to be imminent more quickly than if you did not have this specialized knowledge. Having this knowledge transferred to Mr. Reasonable is only fair because a reasonable person with such knowledge would be more likely to react quickly.
Other specialized knowledge, such as your previous understanding of the Tueller Drill (for more information see the article on Imminence) can be passed to Mr. Reasonable – and he, like you – will know that a knife wielding man is an imminent threat at 21 feet – which may not seem reasonable to everyone. But if you were to find yourself in court, you will most likely need to prove that you knew this before you used lethal force. Owning a book which cites the Tueller Drill, with a receipt, would be proof. Attending a self-defense class, prior to the incident, which provided information on the Tueller Drill may well suffice as proof.
If Mr. Reasonable would have taken the same actions you did, you have passed the litmus test for objective reasonableness. But that does not mean you are out of the “proverbial woods” yet.
Subjective reasonableness takes into consideration all of the things you did and said. Just because Mr. Reasonable would have acted like you did, from an objective standpoint, if you did not believe you were innocent, there was not an imminent threat or your actions were not proportional, you are at risk of not passing the subjective reasonableness test. You may be wondering, “How would the police or prosecutor know I did not believe this if I did not tell them?” This is where your statement to the police may come into play. If you were to say, “I was not afraid for my life,” or “I could have taken him with my fists,” you are in jeopardy of losing your self-defense claim because there was not an imminent threat and your actions were not proportional to your perception of the threat.
Other things which can cause police and prosecutors to fail your self-defense claim, due to subjective reasonableness, would be running from the scene, hiding from police or tampering with evidence. These actions will immediately cause them to believe you were not the innocent party.
In closing, remember that you must be able to prove the following to claim self-defense: you are INNOCENT, you believed there was an IMMINENT threat of death or serious injury, your use of force was PROPORTIONAL, there was no reasonable avenue of AVOIDANCE and a REASONABLE person would have taken the same actions.
Grey Beard Biker
Note: Neither the Grey Beard Biker or Michael are an attorney. While he has been involved in self-defense for many years, this article is provided for informational purposes only. Check with an attorney to understand your state’s laws.
This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.
Other articles in this series can be read by clicking on the following links:
Your whiskery, ever lovable Grey Beard Biker does some of his best thinking early in the morning while sipping his coffee. And while he may not be very talkative early in the morning, he thinks he is quite wise at this time of the day. This morning, reflecting on last week’s Democrat Presidential Debates, one thing which kept spinning around the cobwebs of his mind was their prophetic calls for “Commonsense Gun Reforms.” This group of 20+ wannabes are so damn predictable. Whether it’s student loan forgiveness, healthcare for all, reparations for the downtrodden, government funded abortions or commonsense gun reform they all spout the same stupid talking points.
But the Grey Beard is getting ahead of himself. Having read the linked article yesterday, on Personal Defense World, he was reminded of the Bullet Points article he wrote for the July issue of Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine. You see, when GBB wrote this article in mid-June, he was obviously being quite prescient about what would be said in last week’s debates. Let’s examine the July 2019 Bullet Points article (reprinted here with permission)….
Second Amendment – Danger On Our Flanks
Hello, fellow bikers. Greetings from middle Tennessee. Today, as I write my monthly article for Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky, I am preparing to take a Father’s Day ride. Father’s Day is among my favorite holidays, only being surpassed by Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. It is a day to reflect on our fathers and grandfathers.
Speaking of reflecting, all of us Second Amendment loving Patriots need to reflect on the current state of political duress facing each of us. We definitely need to be involved in our political process as we are currently facing a serious threat on our flanks. Look no further than the current slate of 23(?) Democrats who have officially announced their candidacy for their party’s presidential nomination. All of these candidates will have a chance over the coming months to state their positions – and all of them have a position on the Second Amendment. Let’s look at some:
Joe Biden’s (D-DE) official position on guns is that he wants universal background checks, bans on “assault rifles” and adoption of finger print activated “smart guns.” While on the stump, in May, he admitted that the “Second Amendment exists,” but it doesn’t mean, “[everyone is] entitled to own a gun.”
Corey Booker (D-NJ) is proposing a national (Federal) gun licensing program which would impose minimum standards for gun ownership across the country. Prospective gun owners would have to apply for a license, and sit for an interview, in much the same way one applies for a passport. Additionally, universal background checks and assault weapon bans are part of Booker’s wish list.
Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) is also promoting far reaching gun regulations including such “common sense” reforms as holding the gun industry responsible for gun violence, banning “military” assault rifles and the establishment of a nationwide gun licensing system.
Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) is proud of her NRA “F” rating and touting it on her own campaign website, where she calls for passing universal background checks – which would inevitably require national gun registration – closing gun sale loopholes (which don’t exist) and banning assault style weapons.
Kamala Harris (D-CA) is making executive action the centerpiece of her plans on gun control, where she would implement “near universal background checks,” revoking gun manufacturers’ licenses (which they don’t need today) and require anyone selling more than five guns per year to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
John Hickelooper (D-CO) also promotes his NRA “F” rating, promoting a policy on gun reform which will include universal background checks, national gun licensing, raising the national age for gun purchases to 21, restricting magazine capacities, banning all assault rifles and providing Federal grants to states which pass “Red Flag” laws.
Eric Swalwell (D-CA) states that he will no longer turn a blind eye to gun violence, proposing “truly” universal background checks, for guns and ammunition, push states to enact “gun violence restraining orders” and remove all “weapons of war” (code speak for those scary black assault rifles) from our communities, “once and for all.” This created a Twitter firestorm, where Joe Biggs Tweeted, “So basically Swalwell wants a war… You’re outta your fucking mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power.” Swalwell, in true gun grabber speak, quickly responded to Biggs, Tweeting, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.”
Now, this is nothing new for leftist politicians. They have been after our guns for a very long time. But the biggest threat is that they are listening more carefully to a media which is unhinged when it comes to guns. A media which neither understands gun owners, how guns work or the current Federal requirements of background checks. This is setting up a very dangerous dichotomy which blurs what we have today to what their Utopian societal dreams truly are. They cloak most of their proposals in the grossly overused phrase, “common sense gun reform.” But please don’t be fooled by anything any one of these candidates refer to as common sense. They totally prove the adage, “common sense is not so common” today.
The Grey Beard Biker realizes that the General Election of 2020 is still a long way in the future. Do not be lured into thinking their proposals are not an imminent threat. The politicians running to lead our state and Federal governments are attracting growing numbers of supporters who believe government should be larger. That the government should provide the things we have provided ourselves for generations: health care insurance, free college tuition, free abortions and student loan forgiveness. These people also want a country free of any reference to God, a country where free speech is limited to those whom they agree with, a country where the government sanctions killing babies – even after they’re born, a country where everyone – including the dead and illegal aliens – can vote – as long as they vote for them. But most importantly they want a country free of guns – unless you are an ultra-rich celebrity, politician, athlete, philanthropist, or Democrat/Socialist donor. Then you can own guns for the times you leave your walled compound with your armed gestapo. Do not let them take our country, brothers and sisters. Act today. Talk to your children and young people around you. The fight is here. Entertain your Grey Beard Biker as he dissects some of their stupid ideas:
Universal Background Checks
Every time a heinous crime is committed with a firearm – be it a pistol or rifle – the gun grabbers reiterate their call for universal background checks. These anti-freedom politicians never even wait for the victims’ bodies to cool before they step up to a supportive press to call for “commonsense gun reform” – which is followed immediately by a fresh call for universal background checks.
So what would a universal background check bill entail? First, universal background checks would require background checks on sales of firearms between individuals. Today, private sales do not require a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer to perform a NICS (NationalInstant Criminal Background CheckSystem) be run by the FBI before the transfer. With a universal background check bill in place, a father could not give his son a shotgun for Christmas!
What those Leftists proposing universal background checks know, but will never admit, is that universal background checks cannot work without one very critical component: a gun registry. Without the gun registry the government would have no idea who owns which guns. They would have no way to enforce background checks between individuals without the registry.
You must recognize they position new regulations as commonsense, knowing they will have to come back and enact more stringent laws to enforce their simple, commonsense gun reforms. This is their way of slowly moving further to the left, one little commonsense gun reform at a time. It’s kind of like dropping a frog in boiling water. He will jump right out. But if you put him in water and slowly bring it to a boil, the poor frog won’t realize he is the main course until he is well on the way to be cooked. Sooner or later, that dripping faucet will fill a pool. Drip, drip, drip, drip…
Never forget that their ultimate goal is to get rid of all guns. The universal background check will lead to a gun registry which is necessary for them to create their Utopian Society – free of all guns. Without the gun registry, they do not know where the guns are. With it, they know exactly where to send their gestapo to confiscate all of our guns.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO)
While not part of every Leftist wannabe president’s platform, they all support Extreme Risk Protection Orders – better known as Red Flag Laws. Several states have already passed such laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. No surprise here. These leftist states are all against personal freedom when it comes to the Second Amendment. Designed to temporarily remove guns from someone who poses an immediate threat to themselves or a spouse, these laws may seem “commonsense.” Everyone can agree that someone can suffer a temporary lack of judgment during a breakup, financial crisis or custody fight. This could lead them to do something horrendous which they would never normally do. The problem with these ERPOs is how they are obtained.
ERPOs are obtained by a family member, friend, neighbor or acquaintance going to a judge and asking for the order, Ex Parte. Ex parte means that the person being accused is not present. The judge will make a decision to remove someone’s firearms based solely on testimony of an individual without speaking with the accused being interviewed. This is fraught with pitfalls. What if the person requesting the ERPO is themselves a gun owner and is actually the person planning to use the firearm illegally? By obtaining the Red Flag order, the police will go and remove the only protection the accused has against the person who is a risk, leaving them with no means of protection. Lastly, who decides when the person deemed an Extreme Risk can get their property back. Without equal protection under the law, these ERPOs are dangerous. The Grey Beard Biker could get behind these laws if they offer both parties parity in protection.
Assault Weapon Bans & Restrictions on Magazine Capacities
These two gun grabber proposals do not need a lot of examination from your Grey Beard Biker. First, the scary black assault rifles the leftists propose to either ban or confiscate are no different than the common semi-automatic hunting rifles in gun safes across the country. They want to define them by simple cosmetic accoutrements like pistol grips, forearm stocks or collapsible butt stocks. But, at the end of the day, these two guns operate the same – one bullet fired with each trigger pull. A true assault rifle – or “weapon of war” – has a select fire switch – offering single shot, three round burst or fully automatic fire. These firearms are already highly controlled and have not been used in any mass shootings.
Restrictions on high-capacity magazines are not affective in reducing the body count of a determined madman. With practice, swapping magazines can be quickly done – even in an extreme stress situation. One need just remember the Virginia Tech shooter who used common semi-automatic pistols to kill 33 people! Pushing either of these commonsense gun laws will prove folly and will do nothing to prevent the next mass shooting.
Ammo restrictions are something which were nearly unthinkable three years ago. Today, several states have enacted laws which require background checks to purchase ammunition, limits on how much can be purchased, how often purchases can be made and how much ammunition you can possess at one time. The states with the most restrictive ammunition laws are California and New York who require background checks at the point-of-purchase. But other liberal states are not missing the chance to limit your personal freedoms. Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey all require ammunition purchasers to pass a background check to obtain a license to buy ammunition. These are prime examples of leftist gun grabbing laws designed to keep law abiding gun owners from exercising their rights, as codified by God and the Second Amendment. The current laws in these states will do absolutely nothing to prevent gun violence.
Interviews with murderers and gangbangers in prison have proven that these people are not buying guns and ammunition legally at a local gun store or big-box retailer. They get their stuff illegally on the street. But, mark Grey Beard Biker’s words, every one of these candidates will support background checks on ammunition sales and limits on how much ammo a person can possess. Swalwell has already come out and said he supports this restriction. In fact, his state, California has already passed such a law. These laws are more about taxing people than making our streets safer.
Grey Beard Biker Recommendations
Ranting about stupid leftist gun grabber proposals is not something Grey Beard will do without offering recommendations which make sense and which will reduce potential body counts. So here are some Grey Beard Biker Approved Commonsense things our legislators can do now:
Enforce current laws regarding FFL background checks and prosecute everyone who lies on form 4473 to attempt an illegal gun purchase – this includes straw purchasers, those who lie about current orders of protection, previous felonies or previous dishonorable discharges from the military
Require every state to immediately report commitments to inpatient mental health facilities, whether they are voluntary or involuntary. These records should be instantly available to the FBI and stored in one FBI database. Currently, at best, these are reported to the NICS system sporadically – or worse yet – not at all!
Require all schools have either SROs, specially trained teachers or armed forces veterans present and fully armed in our schools. It is well documented that those bent on killing large quantities of people stay clear of “gun-free zones.” – not necessarily because they don’t want to die – but because they do not want their death toll diminished because an armed good guy kills them too quickly.
Provide firearms safety training in all public schools – by taking away the curiosity young children have with guns they will learn to respect them and use them safely
Together, legal law abiding gun owners working with their legislators can make our children and innocent people safer in our streets. An armed public, is after all, a polite public and a good guy with a gun is the best protection against a bad guy with a gun.