June is National Safety Month, a time to make safety a priority. The largest and most comprehensive survey of American gun owners ever conducted suggests that they use firearms in self-defense about 1.7 million times a year. U.S. LawShield, America’s premier Legal Defense for Self Defense® organization, believes that self-defense, the use of force in response to a threat, can be handled in more ways than one. Within the bounds of federal, state and local laws, reasonable proportional force can be used in defense of yourself or another, against a credible immediate threat. However, understanding the relevant laws regarding use of force where you live is critical in keeping yourself and others safe.
U.S. LawShield recommends the following self-defense strategies to keep yourself safe:
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Trust your gut and go with that feeling.
- Maintain distance from the attacker. If you think someone is following you, cross the street. If you feel someone is waiting for you at your car, go back inside where you came from and call 911. If you have the opportunity to escape a situation before it turns bad, take it.
- Be confident. Attackers search for people who look distracted or frightened. People who are confident and aware are less likely to become a target.
- Diminish the incident, if possible. If the attacker wants your watch, give it to them. If they want your wallet, don’t try and fight them. Do what you can to safely leave the situation without a fight.
- Learn basic self-defense techniques to protect yourself.
- Heel-palm strike: Hitting with an open hand reduces the chance that you’ll injure your hand and enables you to attack from a nonconfrontational stance more easily.
- Eye strike: The eye strike can be used in a standing or prone position. Drive your fingers toward your assailant’s eyes, causing them to withdraw. Even if you don’t hit the assailant’s eyes, it creates the opportunity to hit them.
- Knee strike: A knee to the groin can end a fight immediately.
U.S. LawShield also provides the following legal insight regarding use of lethal force:
“Lethal force should always be the last resort,” said Kirk Evans, president of U.S. LawShield. “It should never be the intended outcome of self-defense. The law does allow for lethal force to be used in certain self-defense situations, but it is important to remember that in any lawful use of force, the threat must be proportional to the amount of force used. This means that if you are using lethal force to defend yourself legally, then the threat you’re defending against must be of a similar nature. That is why it is important to speak to an attorney to verify what the particular criteria is in your jurisdiction before acting in self-defense.”
For more information about U.S. LawShield, visit uslawshield.com.
The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.