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After You Shoot: Your Gun's Hot. The Perp's Not. Now What? Perfect Paperback – November 8, 2010
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About the Author
Alan Korwin, the author of five books and co-author of eight others, is a full-time freelance writer, consultant, speaker and businessman with a twenty-five-year track record. He is a founder and two-term past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association, which has presented him with its Visionary Leadership award, named in his honor, the Korwin Award. He has received national awards for his publicity work as a member of the Society for Technical Communication, and is a past board member of the Arizona chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Mr. Korwin wrote the business plan that raised $5 million in venture capital and launched the in-flight catalog SkyMall; he did the publicity for Pulitzer Prize cartoonist Steve Benson s fourth book; working with American Express, he wrote the strategic plan that defined their worldwide telecommunications strategy for the 1990s; and he had a hand in developing ASPED, Arizona s economic strategic plan. Korwin s writing appears nationally regularly. Korwin turned his first book, The Arizona Gun Owner s Guide, into a self-published best-seller, now in its 24th edition. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in the country. It is built around nine books he has completed on the topic, including unabridged federal guides Gun Laws of America and Supreme Court Gun Cases, a large line of related books and DVDs, and nearly 1,000 radio and TV appearances. He was an invited guest at the U.S. Supreme Court for oral argument in D.C. v. Heller, which led to his 11th book, The Heller Case: Gun Rights Affirmed. After You Shoot is his 13th book. Alan Korwin is originally from New York City, where his clients included IBM, AT&T, NYNEX and others, many with real names. He is a pretty good guitarist and singer, with a penchant for parody (his current band is The Cartridge Family). In 1986, finally married, he moved to the Valley of the Sun. It was a joyful and successful move.
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Also, when I read his suggestion to carry a CARD in your wallet stating that you want to cooperate but won't talk to police until you talk to a lawyer, I thought "this would seem damn wonky and work against you." And the lawyers Korwin interviews at the end agreed with my thought and disagreed with Korwin on this.
Korwin says over and over that you should ask to speak to "MY attorney" not "AN attorney." The difference of this wording of one over the other are not the mystical "get out of jail free" "magic words" Korwin seems to imply they are by constantly stressing the wording. And while Korwin's suggestion to pay for an hour with a lawyer up front to suss them out is a good idea, it doesn't really makes them "your" lawyer. Only HIRING a lawyer truly makes them "your" lawyer. And the lawyers Korwin interviews at the end agreed with my thought and disagreed with Korwin on this. Korwin suggested putting down a 10 or 20 grand retainer, which does not even make them YOUR lawyer, until you actually HIRE them. And most people do not have the resources to do this.
Regarding Korwin's suggestion to ask potential lawyers "If I were in a self-defense shoot, would you call 911 for me?" - I read that and thought "Most lawyers would think 'So, are you planning a homicide and trying to rope me in as cover?'." And someone in the legal profession I talked to agreed on this. And finally, on page 117, Korwin even brings it up!
Korwin is right that it IS a travesty that 911 calls are released to the press and used in court, and it is time for a change in that. But when you're facing serious possible charges is not the time to start working on changing that. A simple traffic stop may be a good time for activism and flexing your rights. But a self-defense shooting is NOT the time for activism. It's the time to call 911, keep it short and sweet, then shut up until you talk to your lawyer.
Instead of presenting this as a "how to" book, Korwin should have written it purely as an analysis of current law and a need for changes in the law. That would have made it a "clean" book. Instead he made it into a book of very bad advice that I believe could harm anyone trying to use it as a how-to. And the several lawyers, ex-cops and private investigators he interviews mostly all felt that he was wrong. But Korwin, a non-lawyer, thinks he knows better than them. He also didn't provide a single example of anyone who had done what he suggests and had it turn out well. In fact, he didn't interview ANYONE who had been in a self-defense shoot and been cleared. Which makes him pretty much a theorist.
As for the writing: there were several places in the book where Korwin was lazy with quote marks and indentation and I could not tell if he was quoting this person, that person or himself. The book could have used a pass by an editor to rectify this.
I almost NEVER write bad reviews of books. I know what it takes to write a book and if a book is simply not good, I just ignore it. But I'm making the exception here because I believe this book is DANGEROUS to the reader.
Korwin should stick to activism and summarizing existing laws rather than endangering people by suggesting needed changes in laws as what they should actually try when they may be facing life in prison or a lethal injection.
Where the author misses his mark is his insistence on a pure libertarian solution that almost no lawyer or gun expert consulted agrees with: Refusing to call 911 after a shooting (because you will be recorded and it can be used against you), and having a pre-printed card on you to hand to the police stating that you will not talk to them without your lawyer present. These actions seem guaranteed to make you look guilty in the eyes of the police, who understandably have a job to do of determining exactly what happened.
I just finished reading this book and if you own or carry a weapon you should too. If you don't it's almost better to be a victim (assuming you live) than to defend yourself against the criminal. If the state decides to attack you it will be far worse than the beating the criminal gives you... I can't believe I would even say this but it's true which is exactly what the state wants. In carrying my weapon for 35+ years I've only had to pull it once and I am glad (especially after reading this book) that I did not have to shoot the SOB.
The small amount of money you spend on this book is worth thousands in attorney's fees. As he points out in the book there is no "one way" to handle your encounter with the state after such an event but there sure are general ways in which to conduct yourself. This book will make you think about what to do in advance. You will have a plan which is far better than what most of us had before reading the book.
We all think we know what we'd do and say but do you really want to go with that?? I also liked his short discussion on juries and nullification if you aren't aware of what this is you should be. Our government "sckools" have made sure that we never learned about it from them.