RAYMOND, MISSISSIPPI — It’s a situation that couldn’t get any worse if they tried. A woman called 911 to inform law enforcement that her ex-boyfriend was making threats towards her on her property. Her boyfriend arrived on the scene and fired a warning shot but the ex-boyfriend looked to retrieve his own gun.
This prompted the woman, according to WJTV 12, to mistakenly shoot her own brother in the head. Her ex-boyfriend left the scene and apparently sought treatment for a bullet wound in his arm. Her brother, however, is obviously in critical condition in the hospital.
There were a number of really poor decisions that lead up to this tragic moment. If we don’t address them, they may happen to us or someone else we know.
Issue 1: The issue of exes.
If you married your first sweetheart and have none, count yourself lucky. For those who do, we have an obligation to draw some lines. No matter what the conditions of the break-up, there’s lines. These are easily recognizable. Things like property lines, personal vehicles, places of work… These are super easy to locate, identify, and avoid.
If that person has a hard time doing that, feel free to remind them where those lines are. If that makes him or her irrationally angry, then maybe it’s time to discuss restraining orders.
Restraining orders — what are they good for?
Restraining orders are usually reserved when you have a serious concern of physical harm coming to you from another person. For instance, if an ex keeps showing up at your place of work and harassing you… Or likes to hang outside your house and threaten you… Any time this happens, you need to let the police know. In many cases, police will probably recommend you pursue a restraining order.
The restraining order is a piece of paper signed by a judge that basically states another person has to stay a certain distance from you. It can also stipulate things like the person can’t talk to you or other special conditions as dictated by state and local law. This restraining order is good for a set period of time and may be renewed, depending upon the circumstances. It’s good to have one. The piece of paper won’t protect you, though. A gun does that. More specifically, the gun that you carry on you everywhere you go.
See, the great thing about a restraining order is it establishes a known suspicion that this person is a threat to you. That means if the person violates the conditions of that restraining order and, say, threatens you and walks onto your property, in many cases you are completely justified in defending yourself accordingly.
It’s not something anyone looks forward to and, if you believe this may be your situation, you should probably seek the advice of an attorney.
Issue 2: Not knowing jack about firearm safety. Or worse: knowing and not doing.
Firearm safety is super simple. Adhering to firearm safety allows us to carry firearms with us, loaded and ready for when we need them. The simple part is making sure the barrel of your gun is never facing anything it can hurt — unless you need to shoot it. Keeping your finger off the trigger is super simple, as well. All it requires is for you to not do something. It’s not an added step. Just don’t put finger on trigger until ready to fire.
Now, here comes the slightly more complex part of this: knowing what is in front of and directly behind your target. Let’s take this real life tragedy for example.
She obviously didn’t observe her own brother somewhere in the line of fire of her gun. Or worse, she didn’t have the trigger discipline to ensure the gun was on target before she opened fire. No matter what the circumstances, the hard part about guns is what leaves the barrel you can’t take back.
Her brother will never be 100% ever again so long as he lives. That’s a lifetime of pain, grief, and remorse all bottled up in a millisecond of indiscretion.
So, to wrap it all up: defending yourself on your property is a good thing. Shooting siblings or people not involved in the fight is extremely bad and undisciplined. Do the first one, not the other one. That’s why we train and that’s why we carry every single day.