Episode 128 with Amanda Suffecool

Are you safe at home? What should you if you or your family is attacked? Rob and Amanda analyze four new examples of armed defense. (27 minutes)

Rob- Introduction- I’m glad you found us and welcome to episode 128 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.

This podcast is for people who are curious about a firearm for self-defense, and for those who already own one. I’m your host, Rob Morse. We’re joined this week by self defense instructor Amanda Suffecool.

Amanda- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working and shooting- just came back from Davenport Iowa where I got to shoot a fully automatic suppressed MP5..  that was fun and Chicago where I produced and modeled in a concealed carry fashion

Rob- Amanda, how do you listen to the show?

Amanda- I listen to it a couple of ways.   It’s on the . Self Defense Radio Network at SDRN.us and now it part of Self Defense Monday ( along with my show) on KRMARadio.com every monday from 4p to 4a.

Rob- That is how most people listen. Please put us in your pocket every week, and give us rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. Please leave a comment to tell us what you liked about the show.

Please introduce our podcast to our new listeners.

Amanda- We study several news stories where gun owners survived a life threatening situation. Were these defenders lucky, or did they have a plan? What should we do if we were in their place? Our first story took place last week in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Rob- First story-  Do you have a firearm nearby when everyone is in bed asleep?

You wake up to hear someone beating on your front door.  It is 1:30 in the morning on a weekday. The pounding goes on for several minutes. Then you hear glass breaking at the back of the house. Your housemate shouts that someone broke through the back window. You grab your shotgun and wait in the hallway. You see the intruder, and he has a gun. You shoot him. Now your housemate calls the police.

Amanda- There are thousands of home invasion robberies every day. What‘s your plan if it happens to you? If you live alone you need a plan. If you live with someone then both of you really need a plan. Your family needs a plan.

Rob- So my plan has to change if my family is at home with me or if I’m home alone?

Amanda-  It sounds like this was a household of two guys. You need a plan so you don’t shoot your housemates or get shot by them. Talk about it now.

Also, consider if you could hide and let the police solve the problem for you. That depends on who else is in the house with you that minute.  AND the anticipated time for the police to get there.

Rob- So what does a plan look like?

Amanda- The story doesn’t say how the homeowner saw the robber. Did our defender turn on the lights? Did he have a flashlight? How could he see the robbers hands at the other end of the house.

Rob- I have to see the intruder to know if he is a threat.

Amanda- The law assumes that anyone who breaks into my house is there to do me harm, not take me to the prom. Also, this robber was armed, but you can’t assume that. You can’t assume that law in every state – know your laws…and they say you can’t assume very intruder is a danger to you.

Don’t shoot your drunk neighbor or your stupid drugged nephew..unless he is a lethal threat to you.

Rob- The story doesn’t say where the shotgun came from. They make it sound like magic. One minute it wasn’t there, and the next minute the homeowner has a loaded gun in his hands.

Amanda- Gun Safes since this is the middle of the night. A nightstand drawer isn’t secure.  There are a HUGE variety of gun safes that are quick access – available to you. Simply google Quick Access Shotgun Safe.  
Rob- Now that I’m armed, when can I use my gun?

Amanda- Not when they knock on the door. Not when they break the back window. You only use lethal force, and that includes a gun, when you face a lethal threat, and you feel ( and can explain ) why your life was in jeopardy.   Such as… an armed intruder standing in the center of your house – is an immediate unavoidable lethal threat.

THAT is why you can use your gun.

Rob- Anything else?

Amanda- Since you’re working on your safety plan, practice calling the police.  Where you are, what you need, who you are. What you look like.

Also, if you carry in public then you need insurance. If you had insurance you’d want to call them too because if someone fired a shot – there will be a criminal investigation and you are in the center of it.

That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Fort Valley, Georgia.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed at home when you’re getting the kids ready for school?   

Your wife drove off to work. Now you’re getting your young girls ready for school. You hear a crunching sound, and the next thing you know two strangers are standing in your living room. They start to grab your things, and you fight with them to push them back out of your home. The kids are in the back room. You draw your firearm and shoot your nearest attacker. Now, both of the intruders run off. You call the police..and try to explain what happened to your wife.

The police capture your wounded attacker. He is taken to the hospital with non-life threatening chest wound. You know this man. You’ve given him donations of clothes before.

Amanda- It says this was a break in, so I assume the door was locked. Good for them.  That is always a good habit to get into.

Rob- It also sounds like the homeowner was either wearing a gun or had it very close to him.

Amanda- I’d like you to go armed so you don’t have to fight off two intruders just to go get your defensive tools.   Its easiest to know where you put your gun, when its with you.

Rob- Was this a gun problem?

Amanda- You’re being attacked by two people in your home. You’re also defending your family. You could not retreat because your family was there. The fact that you were outnumbered and felt that they intended to do you and yours harm – means you were ‘in the right’ to use a tool to stop the attack.

You are NOT allowed to use lethal force if the six year old next door comes over and starts fighting with you. That is not an immediate, unavoidable life threatening danger to you or others. You can just push the little stinker out the door and send him home, and the law expects you to do that.

Also, nobody wants to be shot by a gun.  That is true if the gun is a 22 or a 45. All guns have the potential to deliver lethal wounds, but most handgun wounds are not fatal.

Rob- So even a shot to my arm could be fatal if it isn’t treated.

Amanda- Exactly. Not treated, or in the ‘lucky or unlucky spot’  We teach people to aim for the center of the chest in order to stop the attack because its the largest area with the most ‘critical to life’ organs.  

Rob- The pictures of people at the shooting range show the shooter standing very still with his arms stuck out and firing very carefully. This man’s living room didn’t look anything like that. This was a dogfight that involved firearms.

Amanda- You’re talking about target shooting, and I love target shooting. We teach that, but we also teach people how to defend themselves with a handgun. Self-defense is usually over in the blink of an eye.

Rob- Is self-defense complicated?
Amanda- Yes and no. Look at the range of topics we talk about each week and you can see that the situations are not that simple, but handling a gun is easier than driving a car. You didn’t learn to drive a car in a one hour class, and I can’t pour everything you should learn into your head in an hour either.

Rob- So step at a time.

Amanda- Step at a time.  And Practice, practice, practice.

Rob- Lets step on to our next story.

Amanda- Our third story happened last week outside of Gans, Oklahoma.

Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Please support Buckeye Firearms Foundation at https://www.buckeyefirearmsfoundation.org/

Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you’re ex-boyfriend has been drinking?

You have a restraining order against your ex-boyfriend. You also have a firearm in your purse. Your ex shows knocks on the door of your apartment. He says he’s been drinking and wants to lay down. You say no. He raises his arm to push his way inside. You shoot him once in the center of the chest and he stops.  You stop shooting. You call 911 and ask for police and medical services.

EMT’s arrive and call for a life-flight transport due to life threatening injuries.

The sheriff said this was self defense.

Amanda- If you have an abusive ex then get a restraining order.   That was the paperwork – filed in a time where your head’s not swirling, and emotions are running high.  You can think through and explain why you are feeling a threat from this person.

Rob- What does a piece of paper do?

Amanda- Going to court now for the restraining order can keep you from going to jail later.  It also puts them on notice that you will not be tolerating their BS. This is part of your defensive plan – but I also want you to change the locks, get good locks on your doors, and learn armed self-defense.  Look at the lighting, trim the bushes and any hiding places… read up on implementing a defensive plan.

Rob- Some of your students have been victims of domestic violence? How are they as students?

Amanda-  Well, Rob,  They are interested, They are engaged.  THEY know that there is one person responsible for  their safety – and its them.

Rob- What would you tell your students to do in this situation?

Amanda- Don’t open the door. Make them break the door down because you changed the locks and their key doesn’t work any more. This isn’t negotiable. Change where you live if your landlord won’t put in new locks.   Maybe change where you live, anyway.

Rob- She had her gun with her.

Amanda- In a purse. I’d rather it was on her body because we put our purse down when we get home.

Bad start for opening the door – Don’t- just dont.  Good restraint for stopping when the threat stopped.   Your job is to stop the treat, the medical teams job is to provide the medical help necessary so that you can then take them through the legal system.

Rob- One of our listeners sent in an local article. In this case, a local stalker had harassed over 20 women. The judge not only put the stalker in jail, but the judge provided free concealed carry instruction classes for the victims. The link to that article is in our show notes. If you listen on your smartphone, the link might be in your pocket. Thank you, Matt for the article.

Amanda- This is important because domestic violence and stalking victims think they are alone and powerless. Abuse is a disease of doubt, and this class let the recovering victims see that they are not alone and they are not powerless. It is a beautiful prescription and a powerful antidote to abuse. Now, get trained and carry.

Rob- Let’s go on to our fourth story.

Amanda- Forth story? We usually do three stories.

Rob- Our listeners left us a message on the podcast facebook page and asked for a fourth story. If you like more stories, then let us know. If you want a shorter podcast, then let us know that as well.

Amanda- Our fourth story took place last week in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed when you’re protecting your daughter from an abusive boyfriend?

Amanda- This is our episode for stopping crazy ex-boyfriends.

Rob- It is. Your daughter called you. It is late at night, but she heard from her ex-boyfriend. She’d taken out a restraining order, but the guy didn’t learn. You’re inside her home when the ex boyfriend tries to break into the house. You’re armed, but the door holds and he can’t get in. He stops shaking the door and you think he went away. You hope he went away, but you see him at the back of the house. He is trying to set the house on fire. Now, you go outside and tell him to leave. He moves toward you and you shoot him. That stops the attack and you stop shooting.

Your daughter calls police. You stay and talk to them. EMTs take the attacker to the hospital. He is arrested and charged with attempted aggravated arson, home invasion, domestic abuse battery, simple assault and simple criminal damage to property, and two counts of violating a protective order.

Amanda- If abusers learned then they wouldn’t be abusers. Get the restraining order because a few hundred dollars for a lawyer now saves you tens of thousands of dollars later if you have to protect yourself.

Rob- What else did you see?

Amanda- Abusers and their victims both normalize violence. That is why it was great that the victim called her dad. He doesn’t accept excuses, like that is just the way he is, or he was just trying to frighten me, or it won’t happen again.   That small eroding of confidence and space. Creeping in, getting closer.

Rob- Strangers see with clear eyes.

Amanda- And strangers carry their defensive tools. There was no time to go back inside the house, get your gun, load it, and then defend yourself. Like a fire extinguisher, you need it right now.

Rob- This happened at 10 at night.

Amanda- Bring a flashlight. You don’t want to shoot the neighbor who saw the fire and came over to put it out. You must, you must, identify your attacker before you shoot.

Rob- You mentioned a fire extinguisher. It would be good to have that.

Amanda- And mount them on the wall rather than leaving them in the litter on the bottom of the closet.

Again, I give the dad credit for stopping when the attack stopped.

Rob- Talk to us about talking to the police.

Amanda- if you have domestic abuse in your family, then you have to talk about it. We have the urge to keep it quiet. Talk about who to call, what to do, and what to say to the police.

Be brief until you talk to your lawyer before you give a full statement later..and you will talk to your lawyer if you even mention that you have a gun.

Brief, and it isn’t easy for me to be brief- I was attacked. I defended myself, I want the person arrested. I’ll swear that in a statement and testify. I was standing about here when I shot, so the shell casing should be about here. i’ll give you a full statement after I’ve talked with my lawyer.

Rob- Why do we talk to a lawyer?

Amanda- You and I don’t speak clearly. The lawyer will take our story the next day and present it in a way that can’t be twisted or misrepresented.  And they help you get it complete – with an event like this, your head is swirling, things are going through your head like a kaleidoscope. You need a clear, concise and complete story of what happened.  Right the first time

Exit-  Rob- Well I’ll take your statement and turn it into a podcast. Thank you again for helping us. Where can we learn more about you?

Amanda- You can find me at eye on the target radio radio. I have a nationally syndicated radio show on Sunday night. Give us a listen and call in and talk with us.  I also instruct on the weekends.

Rob- Thanks again for the comments you’ve left on our podcast facebook page.

Amanda- We share this podcast with you for free.  All we ask is that you share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher.  We’re also available on Google Play Music and Spotify.

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.