By Jason Chlapek
Self-defense is a necessity at times.
There are times, however, when it can come back to haunt the person who defends itself. Gary Blalock knows this all too well.
Blalock was the guest speaker at Lions Club of Livingston last week. He’s a representative of Texas LawShield – a legal defense program for self-defense.
Blalock was once involved in a self-defense situation in which a legal defense program could’ve helped him. Unfortunately, Texas LawShield didn’t exist until 2009 and the incident involving Blalock took place in 2000.
“I owned a bar and two patrons were involved in a fight,” Blalock said. “Then one of them assaulted one of my employees. The employee called me and I came to the bar to talk to them.”
Once Blalock arrived on the scene, trouble ensued. The patrons were not in the mood to reason with him at first.
“When I tried to stop them in the parking lot, they tried to run over me in their car,” Blalock said. “I drew my firearm and when they saw the laser beam pointed at them, they got out and were willing to talk. Fortunately, I didn’t have to use deadly force.”
While Blalock wasn’t forced to use the firearm, the worst was yet to come. He soon found himself in legal trouble.
“I found out a few days later that there was a warrant out for my arrest,” Blalock said. “They went in and filed a report against me and I had to take care of things legally.”
Blalock had to pay approximately $4,000 in legal fees to prove that he acted in self-defense. He learned a valuable lesson from that fateful night.
“I should’ve called law enforcement and filed a report,” Blalock said.
Fast forward to 2010 and Blalock was with a former Marine friend at a gun show in Houston. It was there that he discovered Texas LawShield.
“The people who found Texas LawShield was the law firm of Walker, Rice and Wisdom – a law firm in Houston,” Blalock said. “All three gentlemen are from the Houston area and it was found in 2009. I became a member then went to work for it six months later. I became a member because of what it cost me in legal fees 20 years ago. One of my former Marine buddies still works for the company. He introduced me to the attorneys at a gun show at the George Brown Convention Center. They explained to me what they do and how they protect us. For $10.95 a month, all of my legal defense is covered.”
Blalock has been involved with Texas LawShield since 2010. First as a member and now as a representative.
“The benefits are you have 24-hour access to a live attorney on an emergency hotline,” Blalock said. “When you’re in an ‘aww shucks’ moment and you’ve had to use force or deadly force, I want to know that I can contact my attorney and they’re going to be on their way to defend me. That’s the big thing. The fact that it’s so inexpensive, I don’t have to worry about going into my Dave Ramsey emergency fund, my retirement or the mortage for my house because all of my legal defense is covered because of this great program.”
Texas LawShield is under the U.S. LawShield umbrella. Blalock also discussed some of the coverages associated with the program.
“They offer additional coverages such as gunowner identity theft, multi-state protection and family protection,” he said. “I have my wife covered as well. I recommend this for everyone, especially now that we cover an individual for any kind of weapon. It no longer has to be a firearm. In today’s world, you see what happens. You have to defend yourself if someone attacks you. To me, it’s a no-brainer.”
Especially when self-defense becomes a necessity.