Episode 264 with Ben Branam

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 264 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and also if you are still learning about armed defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Ben Branam. How have you been, Ben?

Firearms Instructor Ben Branam

Ben- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working, shooting, and having a great time. 

How about you?

Rob- Teaching a few students.

We received a new rating and comment on iTunes (is 270 by 152) A listener (Bde Sigo) said he has been listening for years. He likes that we describe what the defender did correctly, what instructors teach as best practice, and how we might avoid the fight altogether.

That is exactly what we try to do, and sometimes we succeed.

Robert Beckman said he listens too. Rob hosts the Firearms Trainer’s Podcast.

Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know what you like.

Ben- We defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We look at a few recent examples to see what we can learn. The links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.

Our first story took place last week in North Pole, Alaska.

Is it really at the north pole?

Rob- No, it isn’t.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at night in public?

You have some firearms for sale. You advertised them online. The buyers agree to meet at the local taco bell at 11 at night. You bring the guns. You settle on a price of 27-hundred dollars. One of the buyers is looking at one of your CZ handguns when he points the gun at you. You loaded the gun with snap caps. The second buyer draws his own firearm. He points his gun at you and says they will take all your guns.

Well, not all of them. You’re carrying concealed. You grab the barrel of your robber’s gun. You turn that pistol to the side while you’re drawing your own handgun. You shoot your attacker until he lets go of his gun. Then you turn your firearm to the person holding the gun you were selling. The story isn’t clear if you let the first robber run away, or if he dropped your gun and put his hands up. You call 911 and ask for emergency medical services and for the police.

Police take your attacker’s firearm. EMS transports the wounded robber to the hospital. Your armed attacker dies from complications resulting from a close range gunshot to the abdomen. The police also arrest the surviving attacker. He is charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and manslaughter because he “knowingly engaged in conduct that resulted in the death of another person.” He is 19 years old.

You are not charged with a crime. The robbers didn’t bring any money to buy the guns.

Ben- The story doesn’t say anything about the good guy having a permit, but Alaska is a Constitutional carry state.  Meaning any good person can be armed.  And our good person was!

Our good guy did a couple things right: He Recognized the greater threat

Defended against the immediate threat first

Grabbed the gun

Stopped shooting




Rob- Do online sales end in robbery very often?

Ben- It is kind of hard to rob someone over the internet, someone can steal or embezzle from you.

Rob- I’m sure there are some things you’d like your students to do if they were in a similar situation.

Ben- better meeting spot

Bring a buddy 

Vet the people you are meeting, get their names, addresses and check their profiles.  

Remember robbers love cash, jewelry, electronics, and guns.

Shooting up close from retention 

Practice when to stop shooting. 

Move if possible and stack your targets 

Rob- This could go so wrong so fast. What should we say to the police when they arrive?

Ben-  someone tried to rob and kill me, I defended myself, point out the evidence, point out witnesses, and point out who was involved, then ask for a lawyer and shut up

Rob-  Shut up?

Ben-  Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.  Asking for a lawyer means they can’t ask questions of you and use it in court, any spontaneous statement can be used.

Rob- Talk to me about self-defense insurance. 

Ben- Not a bad thing, it could cost you $100k or more to defend yourself and not go to jail

Rob- Is there more you want to add?

Ben- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work as you drive?

You work as a home healthcare nurse. You deliver medication and monitor patients. You pull up to one of your patients’ homes and it is almost midnight. You turn off the car and a young man appears at your door out of the dark. The stranger points a gun at you. The robber tells you to get out of your car.

You own a gun. You have your Pennsylvania concealed carry permit. You’re armed tonight and carrying concealed on your body. The news story doesn’t say if you presented your firearm while you were seated in your car or if you were standing next to it. You shoot your attacker several times. He runs away.

You stay at the scene and look around. Now you put your gun away and call 911. You give a statement to the police when they arrive, including a description of your robber. Police arrest your robber when he arrives at a local hospital suffering from gunshot wounds to the face, neck and thumb.

You’re not charged with a crime, and you’re late to see your patient.

Ben- This was particularly hard because 


Presentation while you’re getting out of your car

Winter coat and gloves 

Again, when to stop shooting

Do you have to put your gun away so you can use your phone, or can you call 911 with your off hand?

Rob- Is there something else we can do?

Ben- Do a recon of the area if possible, or make sure you pull into the driveway so your lights illuminate the area you will be going and someone could be hiding.  It’s work, but your life is worth it.

Rob- What else do you see?

Ben- The good news is that darkness works both ways. The robber can’t see as you remove your seatbelt and reach back for your gun. Use a distraction like, “You want my wallet too?” It turns out that the robber can’t watch what you’re doing, talk to you, and plan his next move at the same time. And people expect to see what they are thinking about.

Rob- Is there anything else?

Ben- Be aware of crime in your area. They have had a lot of carjackings in Philly after the DA said he wouldn’t prosecute auto theft as a property crime.

Rob- How would your students learn about being safe as they drive?

Ben- They have to read local news stories and listen to shows like this.  Let’s move onto Our third story also took place in Philadelphia.

Rob- First this message from doctors for responsible gun ownership.



Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you drive home?

You pull up to your house in North Philadelphia. You’re lucky to find a parking place on the street. It is about 7:30 in the evening when you turn off your car. Two young men walk up to the driver’s side door. They point a firearm at your head. They tell you to leave your keys in the car. You’re being robbed.

You have your carry permit. You’re carrying concealed tonight. You take off your seatbelt and get out of your car. The attacker still has his gun pointed at your face. You step to the side and present your handgun. You shoot your attacker several times. He shoots at you. You keep shooting until he drops his gun. Now your attacker limps around the corner. The other robber runs away. You stay near your car and call the police.

You holster your gun and pull out your cell phone. You call 911 and tell them what happend. Your ears are ringing and there are powder burns on the side of your head. You show the officers your carry permit when they arrive. The police find your wounded attacker in a jeep parked around the corner. He is shot in both legs and in the shoulder. EMS takes him to the hospital in critical condition.

The blood stained Jeep your attacker used was reported stolen a few days ago. This is Philadelphia’s 91st carjacking in the first two weeks of 2022. You are sixty years old and your attacker was sixteen. You are not charged with a crime.

Ben- Armed. He chose the right robber to shoot, and evidently the right robber not to shoot. He is lucky he moved so he wasn’t wounded, but he was hurt. He probably lost hearing in one ear and may be scarred for life by the powder burns on his face.

Short of murder, aggravated robbery and attempted aggravated murder is a very serious crime. Some DAs let teenagers get a reduced sentence, and that has led to more murders.  There is an old law enforcement theory that once a person gets caught for a crime, on average it is their 10th attempt. DA’s pose it to judges that this is their first time, really it is their first time getting caught.

Rob- Powder burns.

Ben- Multiple attackers. Motion.

Rob- When do you talk to your students about when they should shoot?

Ben-  all the time constantly.  It’s one of those things we just can’t talk enough about.  When it is time, you have to act without hesitation.  If our good guy hadn’t stepped out of the way he probably would have been shot in the head as evident by the powder burns on his face. 

Rob- How easy is that to do, and when do your students get to practice?

Ben-  It’s hard to know when to shoot and when not to.  And it is only your life and someone else’s in the balance.  You can practice by putting yourself in these situations and thinking about when and how you would react.


Ben- Our fourth story took place in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

Rob- Fourth story- Do you have a gun nearby at night?

You hear a long crashing sound. There is another one and it is loud and your house shakes. Now someone is knocking on windows outside. You and your wife get out of bed, pull on clothes, and go see what happened. You also grab your firearm. A stranger standing next to your neighbor’s house sees you. He runs onto your porch. He knocks your wife down as he forces his way into your home. You follow both of them and tell him to get out. He charges you and you shoot him until he lets go of you. You and your wife step away and call 911. Your wife isn’t hurt.

Emergency medical services enter your home and declare your attacker dead at the scene. It is 5am when you give a brief statement to the police. Your attacker crashed through the building of a nearby fast food restaurant, drove through another front yard, and backed into your house before he started beating on your neighbor’s windows. You are not charged with a crime.


Ben-  Put the gun away. Alcohol or drugs.

Rob- What else would you like us to do?

Ben- Both be armed.

Rob- When do your students learn about storing their firearms for the night?



Rob- That wraps up this episode. Thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about what Ben Branam is doing?

Ben- I teach armed self-defense and church security. I live in San Antonio, and most of my classes are in central Texas. Sign up for my classes at Modern Self Protection.com, and subscribe to my weekly podcast called Modern Self-Protection.

Rob- After you look at Ben’s videos and sign up for his podcast, then leave a comment for him at the Self Defense Gun Stories webpage at the bottom of each episode.

Ben- 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 Podcasts, Tunein, Spotify, Podbean and iHeart Radio.

Rob- Like Ben’s show, this podcast is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more pro-freedom podcasts at sdrn.us

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

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