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When to Call the Cavalry


Imagine that you have been involved in an act of self-defense — a shooting. The fact that you, your family, your friends, your business associates and all of your fellow church and club members believe the shooting was absolutely justified will not influence the judicial and political processes.

Protection Following a Self-Defense Incident

If you are smart, you will have legal protection through the USCCA or some other organization. Those benefits include access to a lawyer who is pro-2A and who understands concealed carry (and who may, in fact, also carry himself or herself). Your attorney will not be frightened when children draw pictures of cowboys with guns or shoot spitballs through straws (these days considered a “microaggression”).

The media and the public prosecutor’s office and any special groups or affiliations the perp may have been associated with — and whether he or she is dead or alive doesn’t matter — may not see things your way. In fact, they may go to idiotic extremes to cover their own negligence and culpability in raising a punk.

Two years ago, when three teens armed with knives and brass knuckles broke into a home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the resident shot them dead with an AR-15. One of the grandfathers subsequently whined that it wasn’t a “fair fight” and that the teens did not “deserve to die.” The grandfather’s comments made national news.

You may feel that you are being assaulted twice as attorneys stand in line to protect the criminal who assaulted you. They will project an image of their client as an upstanding citizen. Then, they will craft an image of you as a trigger-happy individual, a “loose cannon” who hates people in general.

Your case may quickly become far more complicated than you ever imagined. And no matter how much you try to explain and demonstrate and diagram, professional rabble-rousers will materialize to create a feeding frenzy.

A painting called "Vive L'Empereur" painted in 1891 by Edouart Detaille. The image depicts the 4th Hussars cavalry in red uniform, fur hats and with curved sabers charging across a battlefield on horses.

Sometimes the simple truth is not enough and, at that point, you (as a responsibly armed American) — in consultation with your attorney — may decide to hire a Public Relations firm. (“Vive L’Empereur” by Edouart Detaille — image via public domain)

Ask an Attorney for Help…

We believe we can take care of ourselves, speak for ourselves, manage our own time and money. But if a politically motivated prosecutor crawls into the slime and begins digging for celebrity at your expense, you may need to ask your attorney about hiring a public relations firm. You will need a team of specialists who can counter the type of public smear campaign that sells newspapers and juices emotional callers to talk radio.

A PR firm will cost money which you may not have in the bank, but if it does a good job, it can — in tandem with your attorney — literally save your life. A PR team can help you craft and sell a message so that when your hands shake in front of a microphone, you or a representative can still deliver the talking points you, as a responsibly armed American, want to get out (beyond the essential “I was afraid for my life and I shot in self-defense”). Your PR firm will understand the media system and allow you to present the general public with an accurate and balanced picture of who you are and what happened to you.

Not every PR firm specializes in the type of support you need. It’s fine to shop around. And remember (before you dismiss the idea out-of-hand) that you will probably have to live in the community long after you are eventually cleared.

About Rick Sapp

Richard “Rick” Sapp was a U.S. Army infantry platoon leader until recruited to the 66th Military Intelligence Group. There, he worked with the West German KRIPO (Criminal Police) at Czechoslovakian border stations during the Soviet invasion of 1968.

Returning to the U.S., he earned a Ph.D. in social anthropology after studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Catholic University of America and the University of Florida, following which he moved to Paris, France, for a year.

After four years with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, he turned to journalism and freelance writing, specializing in outdoor features. His journalism experience includes newspapers and magazines. He has authored more than 50 books for a variety of international publishers.

Rick is married and lives in Florida.

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