A recent conversation about training equipment brought up the discussion on planning backwards. So, if you carry a firearm for self defense or in the performance of your duties after a critical incident have you asked yourself , “what next?”
Hopefully you never find yourself in that situation, but hope is not very helpful after the fact. Instead, you need to sit down and take time to seriously reflect on your thoughts; things like what are you willing to do to protect your life, your family’s life or other loved ones. Take the time to consider the realities, to protect life you may have to take life. Have you really thought that through? Yes, this is worse case scenario, but you have to consider the worse case first. Once you have had the serious discussion within yourself, have it with your family. Make sure you have their support because you will need it after the fact.
One consideration is to hypothetically go through a critical incident. Start with you survived the incident uninjured; how will you interact with law enforcement. What will you say, how will you act. Take time to consider you will be in heighten emotional state so talk about this now. Then, the legal proceedings. Be familiar with them from the worse case, to the best case. How will they go down, what will it cost and who will you call? Then have a discussion about returning to normal, when does that happen how will you know. Do you have access to mental health professionals that can help you, do you think you need help your family cannot provide, how will you know?
If you haven’t consulted with a lawyer, again after the fact is not the time. You need to do some research and find someone locally who is knowledgeable in the law regarding self defense. Make sure you take the time to speak with them, ask them for their advise on how to interact with law enforcement. They should be able to give you some good advice if they are worth their salt and then follow it. Some of the advice prior will be to make sure you have their contact number on your body at all times. Then, to make sure your family has their contact information.
Keep in mind that after the fact you will be the subject of an investigation. Some you will have to cooperate with and other; mainly the media will be based off the situation. Always consult your legal council before making any statements to anyone and when in doubt keep quite or politely refer them to your legal team. Protect your privacy at all costs, don’t take calls from numbers you don’t know and don’t answer the door to people you don’t know.
This might not be a subject that you want to have, but you need to have it. Talking about this subject doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a responsible person. You do not want to be burdened with these issues during or after, before is the time to deal with them. Take the time now, if for no other reason than peace of mind.