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I’m glad you found us and welcome to episode 155 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. This podcast is for people who are curious about self-defense, and for those who are already trained. I’m your host, Rob Morse. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Robyn Street.
Robyn- Hi, Rob. I’ve been taking classes and instructing and training. Before we get started I have something on my heart that I want to share with our listeners. Recently we had a very tragic event occur. Two of the guys that we shoot with at our local match died in a plane crash. They were traveling with their wives and even their dogs. It is hard on us but I can’t even imagine how difficult this event is for their children. When we talk about these self defense gun stories I often talk about preparing to defend our lives so that we can get home to our families, but this reality check pointed out that we also need to prepare for the day that we don’t return home to our family. We owe it to our family members to create a will with a lawyer that is familiar with the laws. Some people choose to create trusts for their firearms. Now is the time to get all of the plans set up.
Rob- I thought of you as I went to a medical trauma class.
Robyn- Don’t plan to improvise or think that you will figure it out when it occurs.. Now is the time to get training, buy quality equipment and figure out how to carry this life saving equipment with you.
Rob- I owe our fans a thank you. We received more comments, and three more ratings, on iTunes. Your comments tell new listeners that the show is worth their time. With a little luck, we’ll have our three hundred thousandth download this month.
Robyn- Congratulations. People are listening.
Rob- Thank you and our listeners for your help.
I’m also looking for help of a different kind. I need a producer for the spanish version of Self-Defense Gun Stories. If you know someone, then please ask them to contact us. Until then, Robyn, please introduce our podcast to our new listeners.
Robyn- We’ll talk about recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. Were they lucky, or did they have a plan? What should we do if we were in their place? We give you the links back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week south of Atlanta, Georgia.
Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby as you sleep?
It is three in the morning. You’re upstairs in your bedroom. You hear someone banging on your front door. Before you know what is happening, you hear glass breaking and someone coming up the stairs. You keep your rifle in your bedroom closet. You grab your gun and wait to see what happens. You shoot the intruder when he comes down the hall toward your bedroom. Now the intruder runs away. You find your phone and call police.
Rob- Robyn, what did our defender do correctly?
Robyn-His locked door slowed down the intruder and forced him to make noise. That delay gave the defender time to go get his firearm. Good planning to have that defensive tool ready and accessible. Our homeowner staged himself from the safest environment. I like that he called the police as soon as he could. The homeowner did not to go hunt for the intruder.
Rob- What could our defender do a little better.
Robyn- He had to go to the bedroom closet. May not always have time to go get self-defense tools. I also wish that the homeowner could have safely called 911 as soon as the problem started. Get help on the way and have 911 recording the event as it unfolded. That is another reason why it is helpful to have other family members or friends working as a team. Finally, Good planning not to chase the intruder.
Rob- This was an ordinary domestic home invasion/robbery. That happens every day, but our defender used a rifle. We don’t see that very often.
Robyn- A new choice that I see people making is to use a Pistol Caliber Carbine for home defense. It is an easy firearm for new shooters to use.
Rob- How long would it take to load a magazine and then put it into a rifle in the dark?
Robyn- That depends on the level of training of the user. If that was the firearm designated for home defense the magazines were most likely already loaded. It would not take long to chamber a round.
Rob- What would you like us to do if we were in this situation?
Robyn – Now is the time to make small preparations. The homeowner could put safety film on the glass near your doors, replace the glass with hurricane glass.
Rob- What else do you suggest?
Robyn – Another relatively inexpensive way to increase security is to install deadbolt locks on the door, install larger striking plates and increase the size of the screws used to install the door.
Robyn- We can also put a good door with a good lock on your bedroom. Simple ways to increase the security of our location and to slow the intruders down.
Rob- Tell me about that.
Robyn- Have a door and a lock that are strong enough that the police will arrive before the robber gets to you. It is better to have a strong door than to have to shoot someone.
It is also a consideration for the bedrooms for the children and guests in the house.
Rob- Did you notice anything else?
Robyn- The homeowner definitely needs to have a flashlight. You must identify your intruder so that you don’t shoot your neighbor or an unexpected family member. We have installed motion censored lights and cameras by the entry points of our house. Two fold hopefully the lights will discourage the intruder and we can give good information to the police from inside a secure room.
Robyn – Hopefully that makes the intruder decide that we are just not worth the work or risk.
Rob – I have my homework.
Robyn- Our second story happened last week in Niagara Falls, New York.
It is after midnight when you hear someone yelling in your backyard. You and your wife go outside and see a middle aged woman who is obviously drunk or on drugs. You ask her to leave. A few seconds later, two young men come into your yard. You ask them to leave also. They pull guns out of their pockets and announce a robbery.
You’re armed. You draw your firearm and shoot the two young men. They run away. The two of you go inside and call police. The police pickup the two wounded robbers and take them to the hospital. The two young men and the middle aged woman were responsible for six robberies and assaults in the last three days.
Rob- What did our defender do correctly?
Robyn – There is nothing in my backyard that is worth risking my personal safety. I encourage my students to stay in the relative safety of their house and call the police.
Now is the time to plan and prepare. Install flood lights and alarms. You can even set off your car alarm to draw attention to the intruders. All of that can be done while you are in your house calling the police.
These homeowners decided to go investigate. I have to wonder if they had a plan beyond scaring off the offender or offenders.
There was some evidence of planning since the homeowner was armed. You only have the tools on you.
Rob- Three robbers against two victims at night is a bad situation.
Robyn- It is and it could have been even worse. Our defender protected himself and his wife, and they didn’t chase the bad guys. They stayed at the scene and called police.
Rob- What would you like your students to do?
Robyn- Stay inside. Arm yourself with the tools you need at night. That starts with a flashlight, a holster and a gun, and a charged phone..for both of you!
Rob- You want both the husband and wife to be armed?
Robyn- Their lives are worth defending, so I want them to be able to defend themselves and each other. Working as a team is a force multiplier.
Ideally, I want both of you trained well enough that you can stop the threat. Plan how to effectively work together. Training together can be fun too. I often tease Jeff about our romantic dates out at the range shooting the match with our friends.
Rob- Talk to me about using a gun at night.
Robyn- That is something that you need to practice. We suggest that our students put a barrel block in their firearm and then walk around their house to see how their sights work in various lighting environments. They also need to practice manipulating a flashlight with their firearm.
We try to schedule a night shoot each year when the sun sets early and we have a new moon. Sometimes it validates our gear and skills and sometimes it points out weaknesses that need our attention. If you get the opportunity to test your gear and skills, do it.
Our third story happened last week in Bakersfield, California?
You’re cleaning up and getting your kids ready for the day when someone shows up at your front door. You have a stalker. You’ve taken out a restraining order, but here he is again.
You tell him to go away and that you’re armed. You tell your kids to go to the back of the house. Your stalker walks in through the front door. He has a hammer in his hand.
You’re armed and you shoot your attacker one time. Then, he turns around and runs from your home.
Now you call your kids to make sure they are OK. You put away your gun and call the police. They arrest your stalker nearby. He’s taken to the hospital for minor injuries. He is charged with robbery, burglary, child endangerment and assault with a deadly weapon.
Rob- What did our defender do correctly?
Robyn – The first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that he walked through the door. Remember the beefed up locks we talked about earlier? Please use them all the time. Especially if you have a stalker.
Sadly, stalkers can be people that we once had a good relationship with. If the stalker ever had access to the house or the cars, it is important to rekey and reprogram the defense tools. That might be how this attacker walked in the front door.
The homeowner was armed. It is important to find holsters that are comfortable and secure so that you will have immediate access to your firearm if you need it. You have what you have and nothing more. There is no guarantee that you will have the ability or time to go get additional self defense tools.
Stop shooting when the threat stops. Don’t chase trouble when it is running away from you.
I want to say this again. I’m so glad this mom was armed so she didn’t have to fight this bad guy bare handed or run to the back of the house to get her gun and leave her children undefended. Please plan for your own defense.
Rob- Have any of your students come to you when they had a stalker or felt personally threatened?
Robyn – Sadly yes
Rob- What do they need to know? (which classes)
Robyn- I start out by explaining that each one of us is on our own personal journey. We each have unique backgrounds, experiences and skill sets. I tell them that I am honored to be joining them on their journey of self-reliance and self-defense. It is so interesting to hear what has brought them to this awareness
I welcome them and start to explain the options and responsibilities of self-defense. We start at situational awareness, hardening their homes and lives. Then we discuss alarms, flashlights, OC spray, and other tools up to and including firearms. Once we start to discuss firearm options I often encounter one of three distinct reactions. First, I am afraid of guns. I explain that it is one tool in the tool kit. It may not be the appropriate tool for them now or ever. Right now we have the opportunity to study firearms to better understand how to most safely interact with them, how they work, their effectiveness and limitations. For some people they will never purchase or train with a firearm, but they are much safe aware of their environment with their flashlight in hand.
The second reaction is “Oh I have a gun …” This one usually involves firearm as a magic talisman that will repel all evil. Thankfully, they have come to the realization that they need to train with it. They learn that they need to learn about safety considerations, legal, medical etc. They will often say I knew that I needed to know more but I had no idea that I needed to learn all of this.
The third reaction is the group that knows they are on a journey. They share what they have done already, what is their current skill level and where they want to go. These people have a plan and I am there to evaluate and make suggestions for improvement.
Robyn- Our forth story took place last week in Sun City Center, Florida.
It is 9 am on a weekday. You’re getting your hearing-aid shop ready for the day. One of your employees shouts for you to look at something outside. You see an armed man approaching cars and businesses in the strip mall. You check that your front door is locked, and it is. You duck out the back of your store to lock your car doors. That is when the armed man comes around the corner and points his gun at you.
You have your Florida concealed carry license. You’re armed. You draw your gun and shoot your attacker. You run inside and call the police. Your attacker had ten previous convictions for drug possession.
Robyn- Our defender saved his life. Have the tools you need for self-defense. Practice using them.
Rob- Robyn, this defender had to draw his firearm from a concealed holster. He didn’t have time to think about it. He had to draw and fire as he moved. When do your students learn to do that?
Robyn – We offer classes and events that we call Scoot and Shoots. The attendees get to draw from their holster. We offer training for the shooters that have not had the opportunity to do holster work and an opportunity for more experienced shooters to improve their competency.
Stay inside. Lock down the store, get out of sight and call the police.
Rob- This store manager thought he was doing the right thing by keeping a druggie from getting into his car. He didn’t think the armed attacker would run behind the stripmall, but that is what happened.
Robyn- We need to make it a habit to always lock the car. It is important that we never leave anything that even looks like it might be valuable in sight. Your car is not worth the risk of your life or being put in a position that requires shooting someone. If he really needed to lock his car, perhaps he could have used his car fab to automatically lock it from within the building. Best if it was just a habit to always lock the doors.
Robyn – Our defender had a loaded gun pointed at him. What if he had been shot or otherwise injured? Have a medical kit so you can save your own life if you’re shot or injured.
Rob- This is an armed assault. Does this happen very often?
Robyn- There are about 300 thousand aggravated assaults each year. The word aggravated doesn’t mean the attacker was angry, but that he was armed with a lethal tool to injure his victim.
Rob- Those are a lot of people who need your instruction to stay safe.
Robyn – I am glad that the other employee was aware of the surroundings to give the heads up that something was not “normal.” I am wondering if the other store employee was armed to protect themselves. I want them both to have a plan and to work together to ensure their safety.
Exit- Rob- Robyn, thank you for helping us again this episode. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you visit Robyn, then leave us a message for us on the podcast facebook page.
Robyn- We share this podcast with you for free. Please share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. We’re also available on Google Play Music,Tunein, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.
Rob- This podcast is part of the Self-defense radio network at sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.