Episode 55 with Robyn Street

Welcome to episode 55 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Firearms instructor Robyn Street joins us this week. Together, we report and analyze examples of armed civilian defense. Were these gun owners lucky, or were they prepared?

Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 55 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.  This show is for  people who think they might want a gun for self-defense, and those who already have one.  I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Robyn Street.

Hi, Robyn.  How have you been?

Robyn- Hi, Rob.  

We‘ve been busy.  We were at the  tactical conference last week in Little Rock, Arkansas.  It was good to see you there.  We also took a MAG 40 class.  I have the Florida State Shoot for The Well Armed Woman next week.    I’m lucky to see old friends and make new ones at these classes.  Speaking of old friends, welcome back to our regular listeners, and hi to our new listeners.

On this podcast, we report and analyze three examples of armed civilian defense each week.  I hope we inspire you to defend the people you care about.  If you have questions or want to hear more, then please leave us a message on our facebook page.

Our first story took place this month in Louisiana.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at home when you answer the doorbell early in the morning?  You’re asleep in your home in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.  You wake up as someone rings your doorbell again and again.  It isn’t easy to wake up at 3 in the morning.  Half awake, you are about to answer the door when your spouse tells you to take your gun with you.  You see one man standing outside your back door.  The stranger said his car broke down and he needed help.  The strange man turns his head to one side as he speaks.  You open the door a crack and look in the same direction.  There you see a man dressed in black clothes standing by your rose bushes.  The second stranger is wearing a mask and carrying a rifle.  You slam the door closed and yell a warning to your family.  The robber kicks in the door.  You take two steps back and shoot your attacker.  He was the man carrying the rifle.  You move the rifle away from the robber who is now laying on the ground.  You and your family are uninjured, but you’re sure shaken up.

Police arrest both the injured robber at the scene, and they arrest the second injured robber a few miles away.  Both were taken to a local hospital in critical condition.  Both suspects are wanted for an armed robbery and shooting that occurred in Baton Rouge the day before.  In that incident, the homeowner was shot.  Both robbers have a criminal record.  No charges will be filed against you.

Robyn – Prevention – harden your home – Now is the time to do everything that we can to prevent an attack and to make ourselves as safe as possible if we are attacked.

  •        A gate around the property if possible – keep people off your property
  •        Motion sensored lighting
  •        Cameras – interior and exterior
  •        Camera doorbells – limited field of view but you can see and talk from a distance
  •        Trim shrubbery – eliminate “hiding” places or blind spots
  •        Fortify the locks – deadbolts etc.
  •        Alarm systems – some have panic buttons and sirens
  •        Use the locks and alarms!  I am amazed at the number of people who leave the doors unlocked and only set the alarm when the go on vacation

Attackers don’t want to be seen or heard.  If you are too much of a “problem” for them there are so many others that they can go rob or attack.  No guarantee but I want to do everything that I can to prevent it.

It seems obvious that our homeowner was already behind the curve when the door bell is ringing over and over and our sleepy homeowner is heading down to the door.

Rob- This homeowner was really lucky that his spouse stopped him from opening the door unarmed.

Robyn – It is important to have the gun close, preferable in a holster, in case the homeowner needed it.

Rob – So this homeowner did something right.  He had a gun

Robyn – Yes, and he had already decided to protect his family if they were threatened.  That is great.  Now imagine how much better this scenario could have been if the husband AND the wife had both had a gun and were prepared to work together.   Working together is a huge force multiplier.

Rob- I need a solid door.  My wife and I need to be armed.  What else can we learn from this couple’s experience?

Robyn – Do NOT open the door not even a crack!

  •         That is why I like the new doorbells – you can see and talk to someone on the outside without opening the door.  You could be upstairs in a relatively safe room with your loved ones while you are instructing the person at your door to leave.  It would be great if another family member was on the phone with 911.  That would get help on the way and the 911 recording would document that you tried to get them to leave.
  •        You have to train your spouse, housemate and children not to open doors for strangers.
  •       Sometimes they use a decoy to get the door open and then the real attack begins.  In this case the bad guy at the door did not appear too threatening (someone unprepared might open the door to help him) but his accomplice in the rose bushes with a rifle and a mask (I don’t think even an unprepared person would have opened the door to help him.
  •       Schedule some time to train your housemates.  

Rob- You can do that tonight.

Robyn – In this case the bad guy said that the car was broken down and he needed help.  I am pretty skepticism about car broken down story – almost everyone today has a cell phone.  They can call for help.

Robyn – If I decided to talk to them through my doorbell camera/speaker, I don’t know how to fix a car.  I could offer to call 911 for them.  I imagine that they robbers would not be likely to hang around if I tell them that I have already called 911 and help is on the way.

Robyn – Sometimes they know to see if someone is home – if not burglary is easier

       Sometimes they want someone home

– use to open safes, get valuables

– might just want to attack

In either case if they know that police are on the way.  The clock has started on this attack. They don’t want to be around when the police arrive.

Robyn- Slammed door and yelled for the family.  

Do they know what to do? Come to him, hide, run??    

Family discussions and drills.

Robyn – I noticed that the homeowner took 2 steps back   If the robber with a rifle was advancing toward the homeowner, the robber could go much faster going forward than the homeowner could go backward. The robber would have his sights on the homeowner.  The homeowner would have to be careful not to trip.  If possible, work toward an angle.  If there was time, the homeowner should try to put a barrier between like furniture or a couch.  I imagine this happened very fast once the bad guys decided to enter the house.

Robyn – The homeowner shot the man with the rifle first.  Good job that robber was the most immediate threat.

Robyn – After the robber was shot and had fallen to the ground, the homeowner kicked the rifle away.  If the homeowner could safely get the weapons away it is a good idea.   

Robyn – As soon as it is safe to do so call 911.  Get the police and an ambulance on the way.

Rob- The Bureau of Justice Statistics said that almost half of us will be victims of a violent crime sometime in our lifetime.  The average hides more than it reveals.  Your chance of being attacked depends on where you live and what you do.    Some of us are less likely to be attacked, and some of us are more likely.

Robyn – Tom Givens says that it is not the odds but the stakes that is important.  You are not very likely to lose your family tonight, but who wants to take that chance.

Rob- Good point.  Let me say thank you to all our listeners who own a gun and are trained to use it.

Robyn- Our second story took place in Missouri.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed when you work at a kid’s party store?

You own a party store in North Saint Louis.  The room is filled with rubber balloons, helium balloons and mylar balloons.  You’re busy preparing the next  order when a teenage customer walks in at 11 o’clock in the morning.  The customer looks around the store and selects the balloon he wants.  He brings it to the cash register. Instead of reaching for his wallet,  the teenage boy pulls back his coat and shows you the grip of a gun that is tucked into his pants.  “Give me the money,” he says.

You’re armed.  You see a lethal threat.  You grab the handgun that you keep behind the counter and fire one time.  The robber turns and runs from the store.  You check, and neither you, nor your customers, nor any bystanders are hurt.  Then you call the police.  The police say they will charge the teenage robber when he gets out of the hospital.  You won’t be charged.

Robyn- obvious that the store owner understood that this could happen.

Rob- So the store owner made a decision and had a gun?

Robyn – He was physically prepared – he had a gun at work.  He was mentally prepared to use lethal force to defend himself.

Rob- What if the robber had been talking to the owner and they were both standing in the middle of his store when the robber drew his gun?  Then the store owner would have been disarmed even though the robber still has a gun.

Robyn- You don’t have a gun if it is out of reach.  On body carry would have been better for the shop owner.  Also, call the police as soon as possible.

Rob- So this store owner had a gun.  Maybe some of our listeners are shop owners.  I bet your students ask you this question all the time.  What should someone do if they are not familiar with firearms and they want a gun for personal protection?

Robyn- Go shooting with an instructor or a trusted friend.  Take a class, because knowing what to do and how to do it is much more important than the particular hardware you use.

Rob- If you want to get somewhere, you need a map.

Robyn- Right.  It will take a few trips to the range before you find the gun that is right for you.  Gun owners need to know how to safely operate their firearm and they need to learn how to shoot.

Get some scenario based training too.  That is a fancy way of saying you want to act out your self-defense training with other people.  You put your skills and training to the test without the possibility of injuring anyone.  That way we can safely look at each action to see what went well and what we could improve.

Rob- You told me you used to use these stories with your students so they could brainstorm solutions.  Do you still do that?

Robyn- I do.  I had a meeting last night.  We ran through the scenarios to brainstorm ideas and consequences of our action choices.  Great discussion.

Robyn- Our third story took place in Georgia.

Rob- and we’ll hear about being armed in Georgia after this brief message.

Listen to other podcasts on the Self Defense Radio Network

Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work?  Your job is pretty simple.  They call, and you come fix their problem.  You’re a maintenance man for a chain of sandwich shops in Acworth, Georgia.  You arrive early  in the day so the customers wouldn’t see you working on the cooling and washing equipment during the lunchtime rush.  You are almost finished with this repair and it is only 10:30 in the morning.  You hear shouts from the front of the store near the sandwich counter.  You turn and see a 20 year old standing behind the counter with a gun. You know the employees, and he isn’t one of them.  This thug is pointing his gun at the clerk.  You draw your own weapon and shoot the thug once in the chest.  The attacker turns and runs from the store.

Police say a getaway car dumped the injured robber at a local urgent care clinic.  The robber will be charged once he gets out of the hospital.  You are not facing charges.

Rob- You’re a third party to the robbery.  Should you be a good witness or get involved?

Robyn- As a third party you have no duty to intervene.

Robyn – Take some time now to make a mental list of people and situations where you’re going to use lethal force to defend someone.  Intervening in a third party dispute means that you are risking your treasure and your freedom and your life to defend that person.

Robyn – People should be responsible for their own safety.  It is not our duty as gun owners to defend someone who has neither training nor a gun.

Rob- Some adults chose to be disarmed.

Robyn-  Right, but kids didn’t have a choice.  Now is the time to make the moral decisions about what you would do, not in the moment of the attack.

Rob- You won’t have time to think, but you will have time to execute the actions you already considered.  The maintenance man decided he would protect some people he knew if a stranger threatened them with a gun.  That was his plan.

Robyn- When you’re protecting a stranger, you have to be sure of the details from beginning to end.  In this case, the entire robbery took place in front of the defender.

Rob- So the defender had a plan on when he would use deadly force for personal protection.  Did he have a plan on when to stop shooting?

Robyn- Yes.  The maintenance man only fired one shot.  Good discipline – as soon as the threat stops, so does the justification to use lethal force.  Those simple rules allow us to act quickly and to stop quickly.

Rob- What is the next step?  What is the next simple rule we want to know?

Robyn-  Make sure you’re safe, then call 911. This not only gets help on the way, it is the beginning of the next fight.  That is the potential legal battle.

Rob- Exit- That wraps up this episode. Robyn, thank you for helping me today.  Where can our listeners learn more about you?

Robyn-  I teach in Naples Florida, and our listeners can find me at Step by Step Gun Training.com.  We provide custom training courses as well as group classes.  They can also contact us on Facebook.

Rob- Our listeners can share their thoughts with us by leaving a message on the podcast facebook page.  

Robyn-  If you liked this show, then you’ll like the other podcasts on the Self-defense radio network.  We create this podcast under a creative commons license, so please share them with a friend, and give us a rating on I-Tunes.

Rob- I’m Rob Morse.  We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.

Listen to Gun Freedom Radio.

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