Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.
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Guns can be an effective tool for self-defense when used responsibly by law-abiding citizens. Research shows that defensive gun use is relatively common in the United States, with estimates ranging from around 55,000 to 4.7 million incidents per year.
Citizens have a legal right to use guns in self-defense in situations where they reasonably believe that they or others face the imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. This right is protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as affirmed in recent Supreme Court decisions like District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.
However, the use of deadly force in self-defense does have some limitations. According to sites like Avvo and LawInfo, self-defense gun use must meet certain criteria to be legally justified, including:
Self-defense laws vary somewhat by state, so it’s important to understand the specific laws in your jurisdiction. Consulting with a local criminal defense lawyer can help clarify these details.
There have been many studies over the years attempting to estimate the frequency of defensive gun use by American citizens. However, these estimates vary widely due to differences in research methods, definitions, data sources, and other factors.
According to a Reddit community tracking news reports, there are over 1,500 verified examples of defensive gun uses per year. However, this is likely a significant undercount since only a fraction of incidents receive media coverage.
Some national surveys, such as those conducted by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, have estimated much higher numbers. Kleck’s research found approximately 2.5 million DGU incidents per year in the United States. Other surveys have estimated figures between 55,000 and 4.7 million per year.
|Defensive Gun Uses Per Year
|NSPOF (Bureau of Justice)
|NCVS (Bureau of Justice)
The wide variation in estimates is due in part to the lack of comprehensive national data and inconsistencies in how DGUs are defined and measured across polls and surveys. Nonetheless, the available data suggests defensive uses are commonplace.
The documented examples clearly demonstrate that guns can be used successfully for protection in home invasions, carjackings, assaults, and other crimes. Lawfully armed citizens can defend themselves and their families and prevent loss of life.
However, using a gun for self-defense also carries inherent risks. In the heat of the moment, even people with the best intentions can make poor decisions that have tragic consequences. Accidental shootings do occur, and self-defense claims can be subject to extensive legal scrutiny after the fact.
Firearms training is essential for those choosing to have a gun for protection. Proper handling, storage, awareness of state laws, and most importantly, a calm demeanor during conflict, can help mitigate risks associated with armed self-defense.
While guns can save innocent lives as a last resort, they should not be considered a replacement for prevention and de-escalation. Security measures like alarm systems, locks, lighting can help avoid dangerous confrontations in the first place.
If a sketchy situation starts unfolding, creating distance and safely leaving are the best initial options. Communication skills, body language, active listening, and empathy can help defuse rising tensions. Carrying pepper spray or tasers is also useful for intermediate stages prior to lethal force.
Drawing a firearm should always be an absolute last ditch life-preserving action when all other options have been exhausted and the danger is immediately life-threatening. Responsible gun owners have a duty retreat whenever safely possible before resorting to firing their weapon.
Those involved in a self-defense shooting often need expert legal help, even when acting justifiably under the law. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you on interacting with police, preserving evidence, conducting a private investigation, and building an affirmative defense case.
A lawyer can also represent you if charges are filed, negotiate with prosecutors, defend you at trial, and appeal any convictions. They understand self-defense laws and cases involving firearms inside and out. So don’t hesitate to consult an attorney if you use a gun to protect yourself.
Self-defense shootings can be complex legal situations, but the right lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected. Don’t leave anything to chance or try to handle it alone without qualified legal guidance.
Exercising Second Amendment rights comes with great responsibility. Gun owners must store their firearms securely, receive professional training, practice regularly, understand self-defense laws, and make safety their top priority.
With proper precautions, defensive firearms can provide citizens with an effective last line of defense while also deterring violent crime. Tens of thousands of times each year, lawfully armed Americans protect themselves and others without needing to fire a single shot.
But guns should never be seen as a first option, their use always carries risks, and those risks must be responsibly mitigated. Anyone choosing to own guns for self-protection must make safety, education, understanding the law, and avoiding conflict their highest priorities.
Used judiciously and an absolute last resort by responsible armed citizens, guns can and do save innocent lives.
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