After the violence, will you survive the 911 call?
By Lance Earl
The 911 system was created to serve and protect law abiding citizens. Most of the time it functions as advertised. Occasionally, there is a loud backfire and things go terribly wrong.
Take, for example, an incident that occurred to me when I lived in Washington State. When I refused to allow a 13-year-old daughter to hang with members of a Tacoma gang, I and my wife became targeted.
One night, while returning home from work, I found my car surrounded by a dozen or so criminals. They did all in their power to break the glass and get hands on me. Thank heaven for safety glass. Suddenly, one man jumped onto the hood of my car and landed in a crouch. In his hand… a gun.
I hit the gas, popped the clutch and away we went. He lost his balance and did a perfect face plant on the windshield in front of me. Despite all that was going on, I found his flattened face kind of hilarious. Well, he bounced off the glass and I last saw his wide and worried eyes as he slipped off the front of my car and disappeared. Front tire… bump. Rear tire… bump. I swerved into the drive, raced into the house and locked the door.
The next order of business was the 911 call. I explained what had just occurred and then the questions started. I remember this like it was yesterday. It went something like this. Is he hurt? I assume so! Did you check? Hell no!! Is he dead? I hope so!!!
These were my words, but at the same time, they were not. Surely, they do not accurately represent the kind of person I am, the kind of person I want to be. At the time I was mad. I was scared. My veins were filled with adrenalin. I was in fight mode. These realities drove my words. With these words, I placed my foot in a huge judicial bear trap. This trap could have destroyed my life.
“I hope so!!!” Can you imagine what an aggressive prosecutor could have done with that? He could, without breaking a sweat, have made a case that I had intended to kill. He could have argued that I was driven by anger and that this anger drove me to commit second degree attempted murder. You don’t believe me? Wake up and smell the news.
The 911 system can be your friend or it can destroy you. The only way to avoid the trap is to have some idea of how you will handle things before you are facing an emergency. If you wait until the emergency to decide what you will do and say, adrenalin will do the talking, prosecutors will be chomping at the bit and maybe, just maybe, someone will be warming up a 6 X 9 cell just for you.
Innocent people find themselves in tough situations like these every day. Some survive and some go down. Things have become far too complicated to count on luck, good karma, and a healthy diet to save yourself. It is important that individuals understand what the law says and more importantly, how the law will be applied to the lives of the American people.
Careful and reasoned use of the 911 system can, and often does, prove to be the tipping point that leads good people away from prosecution and jail. Chances are that you don’t know and have never considered where these tipping points are. That is a shame.
By the way, the man I left on the road with a giant boo boo? Never did learn his name. We just call him… “Speed Bump.”
Lance Earl is a freelance writer from Rockland, Idaho. He offers firearms instruction and no cost defensive law courses. Learn more at www.lanceearl.com and www.dallypost.com.