The fact that this self-defender is facing murder charges for this defensive gun use is mind-boggling, as the news stories below show. But there are lots of lessons from the video of the incident for all of us as we practice Active Self Protection!
If you value what we do at ASP, would you consider becoming an ASP Patron Member to support the work it takes to make the narrated videos like this defensive gun use? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.
Initial news story on this defensive gun use: https://get-asp.com/6qh8
More from the son of the self-defender, Wayne Parish, that also includes the official filing of the indictment and the police report as well as pictures of Parish’s injuries: https://get-asp.com/qzg5
News story with local defense attorneys and experts questioning why he was even indicted: https://get-asp.com/nxt4
More information from the mother of the deceased and her version of events: https://get-asp.com/9vwt
What does this video teach us about the fight after the fight in a defensive gun use?
- Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up! Clearly, this young man was breaking into the car and I am not saying he wasn’t responsible for that, but just as clearly he has significant mental issues. That didn’t make him any less of a threat!
- One of the most significant paradigms of using deadly force is called the may-should-must paradigm. “May” asks whether your force is lawful (and, if LEO, within policy). “Should” asks whether the rewards outweigh the risks of not acting or of unintended consequences. “Must” asks whether this is the only course of action that can affect the necessary outcome. Knowing how to apply this paradigm in deadly force encounters, in the moment, is an important responsibility for self-defenders! It certainly appears that Parish met the “must” threshold when Charles McDonald rushed him and tried to take his firearm away from him.
- We must each decide what is worth protecting. Life is always worth protecting because it is of inestimable worth; as unique bearers of the image of God, people are the most valuable “thing” imaginable. Property is something else, though. With property we always have to balance the benefit against the risk to ourselves and our families. Even where it’s legally allowed, you should consider whether it’s wise or prudent to defend your property, because doing so puts you at risk and not just the bad guy. It was totally within Parish’s rights to stop McDonald from breaking into the car on his property, but it’s worth considering that he put himself at great risk to do so.
- We must each be ready to face the cost of defending ourselves or others, as well as the cost of not defending. If you defend yourself, especially with a firearm, you might well face significant costs financially, socially, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. You must be ready for those costs! The same holds true of defending others, and you must decide if the costs are worth paying for your family. You can expect to hire an attorney, spend time in jail perhaps, face social pressure from the media or family or your church, etc. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t step in, but it does mean that you have to count the cost and accept it. Certainly, to defend your life or the life of a family member, any cost is bearable. But whether you’re willing to pay that cost for a stranger is a matter for personal reflection and consideration. This is why I strongly recommend that every self-defender have SOME kind of defensive legal protection for the fight after the fight. My comparison of the major players can be found at get-asp.com/protcomp if you need help finding a good one.
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.