Member Story: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

No good deed, or in this case, “good warning shot” goes unpunished.

Imagine spending two years of your life fighting a charge for defusing a violent fistfight in your front yard. That’s exactly what happened to one LawShield member in 2016.

One evening in the Fall of 2016, a LawShield member went out for dinner with her husband and his brother. Like any family, differences of opinion can arise, and the member’s husband and his brother began an argument on the way home. When they arrived at their residence, the member went inside the home and began to get ready for bed.

The next thing she heard was a loud argument in her front yard. She looked out of her window and saw her husband and his brother locked in a bloody fistfight. She then ran outside and pleaded with the men to stop fighting. They wouldn’t listen.

The member ran back into her bedroom, retrieved her handgun, and walked out of the front door. She again shouted, “Stop fighting.” But they continued brawling. The member, fearing the fight would escalate further, pointed her firearm down to the ground and away from the direction of the men and her neighbors’ homes. She fired directly into the soft ground.

The men immediately stopped fighting. Understandably, a concerned neighbor called the police when he heard the gunshot. The police arrived, rushed their investigation, and instead of arresting either man, arrested the member for deadly conduct; recklessly engaging in conduct that placed another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.

There was absolutely no direct, circumstantial, or forensic evidence showing that the member’s shot into the ground placed any person in imminent danger of suffering serious bodily injury. The evidence showed only that the bullet went into the ground, away from any buildings or people.

However, based on the responding officers’ assumptions and misunderstanding of the law, the member was arrested. The member’s nightmare was just beginning. Countless court settings and two years later, prosecutors finally dismissed her case because they couldn’t find any evidence to corroborate the alleged crime.

As you can see, the police and even prosecutors can sometimes misunderstand the facts and the law. Luckily, the member had an Independent Program Attorney armed with the knowledge to defend her and obtain dismissal of her criminal charge.

While this member was reasonable in her actions that night, and ultimately her case was dismissed, you should never fire a warning shot, unless you’re up for a long and hard fight for your freedom.

Member Story: Armed Neighbor Crosses the Line

This is a re-enactment and dramatization of an actual member story. This video does not and is not intended to depict or replicate the actual persons, places, or circumstances involved in the incident.

The Situation

In this story, our member lives in a rural area. He and his neighbor have had multiple disagreements over the years.

One day, our member receives a call from his wife while he is at work. She was in a panic, and frantically told her husband about an encounter she’d just had with their neighbor. She told him that their neighbor had entered their property and harassed her. She also told her husband that the neighbor was armed. Although being armed outside isn’t necessarily uncommon in their area, this was no friendly chat. The neighbor threatened her both verbally and with a gun.

Fearing for the safety of his wife and family, our member grabbed his firearm, immediately left work, and rushed home, where he confronted the neighbor about the situation. Tempers flared, and the police were called. Our member assumed nothing more would come of it. He assumed wrong. An investigation began, and it targeted our member as the criminal—not the victim.

The Outcome

Thankfully, our member called the U.S. LawShield emergency hotline, and an Independent Program Attorney intervened. After multiple interactions between law enforcement and the Independent Program Attorney, the investigation was eventually dropped, and no charges were filed against the member.

This story is a great reminder that any confrontation can unexpectedly escalate into a full-fledged police investigation, even if you’ve done nothing legally wrong. All it takes is one person to accuse another of wrongdoing, and a victim is suddenly targeted as an alleged assailant.

Our member did the right thing by contacting the emergency hotline at the first sign of a problem, which ultimately ensured his rights were protected.

Member Story: Bad Guy Sends Good Guy to Jail With a Lie

Not all people are good people, but we tend to assume most people act with positive intent. There are people who will lie in order to inflict legal and reputational harm against you. We fought this member’s misdemeanor unlawful carry charge for over three years before it was finally dismissed. This is a prime example of how slowly the wheels of justice move, and of how much damage can be done by a simple unfounded accusation.

The Incident

Our member was driving home from work on a 2-lane back road when a man on a motorcycle initiated the confrontation. Our member engaged at first—made a few hand gestures and yelled back at him—but otherwise just went about his drive home as normal. 

As our member continued his drive home, the motorcyclist continued to follow him.  

Police Involvement

No one called 911. Why not? Because nothing had happened that was worthy of a 911 call. While the motorcyclist was following our member, they passed a police car stopped on the side of the road. The motorcyclist pulled over, flagged the officer down, and made up a story that our member had pointed a gun at him. 

The motorcyclist gave the officer a description of the member’s truck and a partial license plate number. When the police found our member, they asked him if he had been involved in a road rage altercation. At first, the member didn’t even know what the police were talking about. It was such a minor incident that he had moved on with his day and forgotten about it. Then, the member realized it must have been the motorcyclist and confirmed that they had interacted. He then gave police access to his vehicle where they located the member’s carry pistol. These two things were all the police needed to corroborate the motorcyclist’s tale and arrest our member. 

The Takeaway

This is a great example of how little evidence the state needs to place you under arrest. It only takes one person’s word to get you arrested in the state of Texas. The word of a lying bad guy is enough to put you through the wringer of the criminal justice system. Interestingly, this motorcyclist had a previous conviction for making a false police report. What did he lie to the police about in the past? He falsely accused a different man of pulling a gun on him! So, even a known, convicted liar can get you arrested. 

Thankfully, the prosecutors eventually saw through the story and all charges against the member were dropped after three years in the legal system.

How Texas LawShield Protected Me from my Neighbor

One Texas LawShield member found out what one of his neighbors would do after a neighborhood dispute turned into a violent road rage incident. Jerry N. was driving out of his neighborhood when a neighbor suddenly pulled in front of him and got out of his truck threatening to kill him. Watch our video to find out what happened next and how Texas LawShield was able to help Jerry through the legal aftermath.  

Self-defense incidents occur every day. Most of the time, you’ll have to defend yourself against people you know. Will you be prepared like Jerry? Become a member of U.S. and Texas LawShield, the legal defense for self-defense today.

True Story—Wrongfully Accused Member Arrested By S.W.A.T.

After avoiding a reckless driver, our member Joyce thought the worst was over. She soon found out the worst was just beginning. From phone calls with police detectives, to answering her door with a SWAT team gun directed at her face, Joyce had to face the ugly side of our criminal justice system. Watch our video to find out how U.S. & Texas LawShield was able to assist Joyce.

Law-abiding gun owners should never have to fear arrest and prosecution. Unfortunately, in today’s America, even the most upstanding armed citizens can and do find themselves at the mercy of a hostile system. Protect yourself. Become a U.S. LawShield member now.

I Defended My Loved One—My Pet Part 2 – Texas

In Part I, we saw the actions Clint took to defend his dog from being killed by the neighborhood stray. Now, in Part II you will learn if his actions followed the law. Watch Independent Program Attorney Emily Taylor teach you the law, so you will know what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Paul Ready: Welcome back to Part II of our feature on defending your pets. In Part I, our member Clint was forced to defend his dog against an attack by another bigger dog. Many of you have asked what the law says about how and when you can defend your four-legged friends. The answer will be different depending on the law in your state. That’s why we’ve asked the Independent Program Attorneys in your state to tell us more.

Emily Taylor: It’s a terrible situation to see another dog attacking your pet. But what does Texas law have to say about shooting a dog to protect your own. You have a specific statutory authorization under the Health and Safety Code to kill a dog or coyote that is attacking your domestic animals.

Texas Health and Safety Code 822.013 simply requires that the dog is attacking, is about to attack, or has just attacked your domestic animal. This same statute also allows you to kill a dog or coyote that is attacking your livestock animals or fowl.

Keep in mind this statute does not cover attacks on humans by dogs. If a dog is attacking you or another person, you have no statute to rely upon and will have to assert the defense of necessity.

Paul: For more information on when you can use force in your state, please go to GunLawSeminar.com and register to attend one of our events in your area. If you missed Part I of Clint’s story, you can click the link on your screen to see it. And as always if you are not a member we would love for you to join us at uslawshield.com.

I Defended My Loved One, My Pet

Recently, Our Member Clint found himself in a situation where a stray dog tried to eat his dog. What does the law say? Watch our video to find out how Clint handled the situation. 

Sherry Hale: What happens when a vicious animal attacks your pet? What do you do? What does the law say? Our member Clint, recently found himself in this very situation.
Clint: I just got home from work and let the dogs out while I got started on dinner. It felt like only a second had
gone by when I heard one of my dogs yelp loudly. I ran to the door just in time to see a big black dog attacking one of my babies. He was trying to eat my little dog. I didn’t have time to think, so I grabbed my firearm. After I called the police I called the LawShield emergency hotline on the back of my member card. The program attorney advised me what I should say and do with the police during questioning and no charges were filed.
Sherry: Whether you’re defending yourself or your four-legged loved one, you’ve got enough to worry about with the stress of the situation, but don’t worry about your financial or actual freedom. We’re here for you with our 24/7/365 Attorney Answered Emergency Hotline. Stay tuned for part two to hear your Independent Program
Attorney share what the law says in your state, so you will know what to do if you are ever in a situation such as our member was. Oh and no animals were harmed in the making of this video, right Scout? I think he’s just fine.

You Won’t Believe What Our Member Was Packing

There are endless scenarios in which First Aid for Gunshot Wounds can be applied. Getting certified gives you the tools to save lives from many traumatic injuries. For Andrew, the course gave him the tools to save his own life from a massive puncture wound. Watch Andrew’s story and learn how you can get certified to know how to save your own life. 

Get certified by attending one of our First Aid for Gunshot Wounds Seminars. The online certification course is also available.

How American Heroism and Battlefield Medical Training Saved Lives on a Train in Paris

[L to R] Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone. Photo Courtesy of USAF.
[L to R] Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone. Photo Courtesy of USAF.

It was as if someone “flipped a switch.”

Spencer Stone, jostled from a catnap aboard a Paris-bound train, suddenly faced a shirtless gunman. He didn’t stop to think about what to do. Vowing not to die sitting down, Spencer rushed the man, later identified as Moroccan-born terrorist inspired by ISIS.

“Go, Spencer!” urged childhood friend Alek Skarlatos who with Anthony Sadler, another school buddy, joined the charge, unarmed, against a fanatic with an AK-47.

Who does that?

Of course “flipping a switch” is how we start gadgets, but these lifelong friends were no robots.

Each one’s character—and their friendship—forged at a Christian school in Fair Oaks, California. They were known as polite young men, but also hard workers, fit, primed for service, and loyal to each other.

Anthony enrolled to study kinesiology at California State University, Sacramento, while Spencer enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served at a base in Portugal.

Alek joined the National Guard in Oregon. After he completed a deployment to Afghanistan, the friends, all in their early 20s, reunited for a European vacation.

On Aug. 21, 2015 they were on a train that departed Amsterdam, destined for Paris. It passed through Belgium into France, but at about 5:45 p.m., Ayoub El Kahzzani, emerged from a restroom with the AK, a 9 mm pistol, and a box cutter.

Mark Moogalian, an American-born Frenchman, grabbed for the rifle, but El Kahzzani wounded him in the neck with the pistol.

Alek, hearing the noise, poked the napping Spencer who turned and saw the threat.

Spencer’s recollections are described in the trio’s shared autobiography, The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story Of A Terrorist, A Train, And Three American Heroes, soon to be a feature film directed by Clint Eastwood.

The book recounts that Spencer felt that, “Someone has to get this guy.”

The story continues: “A sliver of frustration sparks off something in his brain. I’m gonna die here—then an electrical charge surges through his entire body and one more final thought tumbles home with a flood of energy, a notion stored away from a classroom at Fort Sam two years ago that his brain now accesses like a hard drive retrieving a kernel of information: I am not going to die sitting down …  Spencer gets up and starts running. Alek’s voice comes to him as encouragement from another universe, cheering him on: ‘Spencer, go!’ and Spencer locks eyes with the terrorist …”

It was a powerful tackle, but the man sliced Spencer with the box cutter and nearly severed a thumb. Also in the fray was British businessman Chris Norman. With Anthony and Alek they disarmed El Kahzzani, and then Alek pummeled him into unconsciousness with the AK.

But their heroism didn’t stop there. They applied their medical training to Mark, who bled profusely.

Here, the book also explores Anthony’s thoughts:

“Through the fog lifting in his mind he understands they’ve just encountered a terrorist. We frigging stopped a terrorist.

“Mostly, it doesn’t make sense that Spencer got out of his seat so fast it was like he charged the terrorist before the terrorist even showed up … Spencer, how did you know? But Spencer is busy talking to Mark, the man with the bullet wound, who’s started groaning again. ‘I’m sorry, bud,’ Spencer says. ‘If I move, you die.’

“He has an arterial bleed, and is only alive because Spencer is plugging with his fingers, but Mark doesn’t seem to know or care all that much about the fact that he’s dying.

“‘I can’t move you,’ Spencer says. ‘I’ll lose the hole.’

“‘Just let me shift a little, my arm’s really sore.’

“‘Yeah. We’re not worried about your arm right now.’”

But Mark, an English teacher in his early 50s, survived. So did others on the train, which would not have been the case if El Kahzzani had been able to unload the multiple AK magazines he carried.

For their heroism, the three Californians and Norman earned the Legion of Honor medal, France’s highest decoration. The trio also received military honors and invitations to appear on TV. Alek even won third place on “Dancing with the Stars.”

And Eastwood, so impressed with the young men, chose them to portray themselves in the movie, due to hit theaters in February.

“Actions like this clearly illustrate the courage and commitment our young men and women have all the time, whether they are on duty or on leave,” said then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

El Kahzzani is jailed, facing multiple charges of terrorism.

“He seemed like he was ready to fight to the end,” Spencer said. “So were we.”

Anyone who aspires to be a civilian “sheep dog” can relate to these heroes who, at the core, are just ordinary people, but well trained to meet danger and its aftermath because of their willingness to serve.

— by Bill Miller, contributor, Texas, U.S. Law Shield

You can learn the same life-saving techniques taught to our soldiers by getting certified in First Aid for Gunshot Wounds. Go to 2aInstitute.com to get certified today!