My part in the ACLDN track record – and what you can learn from it

Two years ago I had a life-changing experience – one I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

I’ve maintained wanting something positive to come from the event; to find ways to make good, to make things better. One way has been sharing the event and answering any questions people may have about the event, my experiences, and living in the aftermath.

A few weeks ago, Gila Hayes of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (ACLDN) contacted me (Disclosure: I am obviously a member of ACLDN, have been, and will continue to be). She was wanting to ask me and my lawyer, Gene Anthes, some questions about Gene’s services to me as a Network member, and explain why and what he did on my behalf and why it was important. As well, Gila wanted to gain some insights into my experiences from a post-incident legal focus, since that’s where ACLDN works. The goal of the article being to educate network members (or whomever wishes to read the newsletter, as the newsletter is freely available to the public) about things that happen post-incident.

Gila and I spoke at length, and the result of our talk is posted in the January 2017 issue of the ACLDN Newsletter, available here.

The article discusses the Network’s track record over the past 8 years. I learned a great deal from the article.

I will also say that reading the article was tough. When Gila sent me a draft for review, it really hit me hard. There were all my short-comings, laid bare for the world to see. Having already been subject to armchair quarterbacks in the court of ignorant public opinion, part of me didn’t want to go through all that judgment again. But that’s actually a teaching point in and of itself! We are human – we won’t do things perfectly, especially during a novel and high-pressure, high-stakes situation. This is why it’s so important to train to a high level, so when things go south and everything degrades, you still remain at a high-enough level to do what needs to be done.

What I hope you can take from the article is understanding that self-defense incidents are quick and relatively simple. But the aftermath is slow,  lengthy, and complex. I cannot imagine what it would have been like for me and my family if I didn’t have ACLDN and a lawyer like Gene Anthes.

You don’t get to choose when bad things will happen to you. But when bad things do happen, the more prepared you are the better you’ll fare both during and after the event. It’s good to prepare for events, but it’s also important to prepare for the aftermath of those events. You don’t have to join ACLDN – they are certainly my choice – just do your homework, and prepare. As I’ve said: the event lasts seconds, the aftermath is the rest of your life.

5 thoughts on “My part in the ACLDN track record – and what you can learn from it

  1. After having an exchange with you in the thread ‘ Lessons from observing 5000 gunfights’, I read your latest post. I am glad that everything turned out ok for you and your family. You have convinced me to join the ACLDN. Originally I was going to join the USCCA, for their legal protection they offered, but when I contacted them for more specific information about it, they never replied. That essentially closed the door on that idea. I have no wish to rely upon something that may in fact not exist. Your story and having read the associated links, was the what convinced me. Its funny, I do not recall how I came to your site, some trip down the rabbit hole of the interwebz apparently, but like in a mine, I struck gold. Thank you.

    • Thank you.

      There are a lot of choices out there. When I first made my choice, there were only a few, like ACLDN and USCCA. Honestly, I was turned off by USCCA’s change to being more flash and marketing bombardment (the loss of Kathy Jackson as their magazine editor was a signal to their switch to being more “slick”). I still think they have some value, but when I look at all the choices out there these days, I still think ACLDN provides the best overall value and benefit. I know some people choose with their wallets — and that’s fair — but the wallet factor comes into play very differently in the aftermath of a self-defense incident, and I’d rather have the best support I could possibly have. In fact, if that support helps avoid incidents in the first place — I don’t think anyone does pro-active education (in this area) better than ACLDN — then that’s an even bigger win.

      And yes, customer service with ACLDN has been great. They are small (in terms of in-house staffing), but I’ve always found them responsive.

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