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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Post Shooting Accident Rules

Found this incredible article while surfing through FreeRepublic. This needs to be forwarded to each and every media outlet since they are so ignorant about shooting accidents - especially rule number 8! Extreme hat tip to the author, Alan Korwin.

"The following rules generally apply after a shooting incident (accidental or self-defense), whether you are the Vice President of the United States or not. Thanks to my friend Dr. Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., a clinical and forensic psychologist, for reminding me of these important basics, and providing facts. For some mysterious reason, little of this has come out in news reports.

1. All shooting incidents are traumatic for the good guys, especially when innocent people have been hurt.
2. Post-shooting trauma is REAL and every good person involved in a shooting incident gets it. Sleeplessness, flashbacks, disorientation, remorse, malaise and other post-trauma symptoms are routine, expected and must be dealt with.
3. You have no legal obligation to contact or talk to the press, and defense attorneys advise against doing so.
4. A person is least capable of making a coherent and consistent statement, with good word choices and chronological accuracy, immediately after a shooting incident, even though the urge to talk is typically great, and everyone around you will encourage it.
5. Knowing this, the police have adopted good standard procedures you can use as a guide. Remove yourself from all public contact, and go on "administrative leave" (with pay), until an official statement can be released in writing, in cooperation with a team of lawyers, within two weeks.
6. No statement of any kind should be made until conferring with attorneys.
7. You are advised against talking with police unless your lawyer is present.
8. The first concern must be for an injured party. Timely reporting to law enforcement authorities is also essential, and it would be improper for police to leak this to the press (both rules were observed in the Cheney incident).
9. Allow yourself time to appropriately psychologically process your post-shooting psychological trauma, and debrief this critical incident for 24 to 48 hours. Only then should you consider making a statement to the press, the authorities, or anyone. Expressing sadness, contrition and assuming FULL responsibility for the accident (as Cheney did in this case) is appropriate.
10. Do everything you can to avoid such situations.

I highly recommend Alan Korwin's web site, Great articles and an excellent resource for research.

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