Worst Case Scenario: The Trayvon Martin Case

Worst Case Scenario: The Trayvon Martin Case

At the request of my online editor, I am very hesitantly going to discuss the Trayvon Martin case, only because it has huge teachable potential to anyone thinking about carrying a gun for self defense.

The Trayvon Martin case is just about the ultimate Worst Case Scenario, a "Perfect Storm" if you will when it comes to a concealed carry confrontation (one where the shooter survives).  I am not talking about the actual physical confrontation, but rather the aftermath.

I don't know what happened that night in Florida, and neither does anyone else.  The only person who knows exactly what happened is George Zimmerman, and even he might be fuzzy on a few things from the photos I've seen of his bloody head.  That fact, however, has apparently been lost on everyone who is screaming about race or gun control or Castle Doctrine.  It's not that I don't have strong opinions on what I think is going on with this case, it's that I recognize that's what they are—opinions.  Let's look at some facts.

If you carry a gun for self-defense, and get involved in a shooting, odds are you will be sued, either by the person you've shot, or their surviving family members.  You should also assume that, no matter how clear cut a case of self-defense it was, that you will be put in handcuffs at the scene, arrested, and treated by the authorities like a criminal.


I am not mentioning these items to dissuade anyone from carrying a gun for self-defense—it's far better to be on trial for shooting someone than to be dead—but rather to make sure nobody has any false illusions about how the justice system in our country can and often does work.




VOTE: Does the Trayvon Martin case demonstrate a flaw with Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground laws?



Once done defending yourself in court (post bail costs and attorney fees), if you find yourself a free man or woman, there is a good chance you will be sued in civil court.  Even if you win, you will have more attorney fees.  No matter what the verdict in George Zimmerman's criminal trial, I would not be surprised if he gets sued by family members of Trayvon Martin.  I predicted to friends that Zimmerman would be charged with civil rights violations by Eric Holder's Justice Department if he wasn't charged by local authorities, and that still may happen.  Again, Zimmerman is living through the Worst Case Scenario of a shooting aftermath, and while it is unlikely that most people who get involved in a self-defense shooting will suffer the same kind of attention, everyone who carries a gun needs to know that it is possible.

It may turn out that a number of people who have leaked information about this case to the press have straight-out lied.  People lie in court all the time.  You cannot control what other people do, only what you do.  Get some documented training, call 9-1-1 either during or as soon as practical after a confrontation, and when the authorities show up, just remember that anything you say can and most likely will be used against you in a court of law.

Protect yourself, protect your loved ones, and if you ever find yourself facing a media lynching or being accused in the press of all sorts of things that just aren't true, maybe your only recourse will be knowing you did the right thing when the time came.


Recommended for You

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market. Semi-Auto

SIG P210 Standard Pistol: Legendary and American Made

Handguns Online Staff - April 23, 2019

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market.

Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first striker-fired semiautomatic. Semi-Auto

Mossberg MC1sc 9mm Pistol Review

Brad Fitzpatrick

Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About Handgun Ammo

All About Handgun Ammo

Rich and Jim get into the nitty gritty of the FBI ammo protocol, firing into various barriers to illustrate what can happen to a bullet.

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a two-tone aluminum-framed model in 9mm (model # 6758). This review by James Tarr will focus on the 9mm. 1911

Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review

James Tarr - May 01, 2019

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a...

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol designed for personal defense. Compact

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review

Jeff Chudwin - January 29, 2019

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol...

See More Stories

More Concealed Carry

Safe and effective purse carry takes knowledge and practice. Concealed Carry

Purse Carry 101

Eve Flanigan - December 11, 2018

Safe and effective purse carry takes knowledge and practice.

Jessica Nyberg and James Tarr discuss draw techniques when it comes to concealed carry. Concealed Carry

Drawing Techniques for Concealed Carry

James Tarr - January 12, 2018

Jessica Nyberg and James Tarr discuss draw techniques when it comes to concealed carry.



Over the last decade, the number of individuals obtaining a concealed carry permit has Concealed Carry

6 Essential Elements of Concealed Carry

Brad Fitzpatrick - August 26, 2016

Over the last decade, the number of individuals obtaining a concealed carry permit has

See More Concealed Carry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.