"Yeah, I heard about that........"
"Seems a lot of folks want to convict from what I hear. I can't believe the DA is prosecuting that. I mean two punks come in to rob the place, for crissakes. The guy was just defending himself," Doc said indignantly.
"Well, you know Doc, the pharmacist came back inside after he chased the other guy away. Then he shot the kid five more times."
"The punk got what was comin' to him. He deserved to die for what he did."
"I dunno Doc. I guess a jury will have to sort that one out."
Rightly or wrongly, what we say in casual conversation can come back to bite us if we are ever in a lethal encounter with a criminal. I don't like it. I don't think it should be that way, but I recognize it as a cold reality in the world in which we live.
It sometimes amazes me that people who are brilliant often fail to measure the statements they make. Doc got his CCW license about six months ago. He packs almost everywhere he goes now. He is no fool. He is no loose cannon, and no vigilante. Yet it is statements like those that could be used to crucify him in court if he is ever forced to defend himself.
The wise man carries a gun not with ill will, but with a determined will to survive. He does not carry a gun to kill. He carries a gun to live. Our words must reflect that. What we say in casual conversation months prior to a shooting can be used against us to destroy our character and integrity in the inevitable court proceedings that follow. Even more significant, our words can be used to establish mens rea in court.
I did not advise Doc against such statements. He knew better. Knowing there were other ears in the suite, I changed the subject and kept my opinions to myself.