Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, or another social networking app every day we see where people get into trouble because of what they say.
Sometimes it’s someone in Hollywood making headlines because they have said something that offends people. Other times it’s a politician who has done something they wish they hadn’t. Yes it’s embarrassing but doesn’t create a legal problem for them.
Then there are those things you don’t want to say because it will create a legal problem for you or at least a lot of questions from lawyer type people. That’s because as armed Americans when we are involved in a violent encounter everything in our life is going to be scrutinized. Social networking especially because it’s easy to search and see who and what we have been talking about. This can be used to demonstrate state of mind by a prosecutor in a criminal trial or by the other party in a civil trial.
For instructors it can be even more important to watch what you are saying because your students are looking at you to train them properly. Encourage your students to know and follow the law but stay away from giving legal advice since that crosses another line. Instill the proper attitude in your students so they are thinking about their actions and not putting them in dangerous situations.
USCCA recommendations of things not to say on social media (our comments after)
- I shoot to kill (we shoot to stop a threat)
- There’s no such thing as a gun-free zone – I carry everywhere (we always follow the law to the best of our ability)
- If they’re in my house, I’ll kill them (we shoot to stop a threat and realize a situation avoided is a situation won)
- I never call the police (refer to #2 & #3)
- The dead can’t sue (we always follow the law and this could open ourselves up to prosecution)
Become aware of how your words can be taken and don’t do anything that would embarrass your grandmother or wouldn’t do in front of your pastor/priest. Remember avoiding a situation is a win even on social media.