Episode 325 with Candy Petticord


Rob- Welcome to episode 325 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and if you’re still learning about armed defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Candy Petticord. What has been keeping you so busy?

Candy- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been training a lot. We had John Farnam teach a class.

How about you?

Rob- We received ratings and a new comment on iTunes (194,356)

Jac has been shooting for the last four years, but is still learning about armed defense. He loves the podcast, and shares it on Twitter and Facebook.

Candy- Jac thanked us, but we thank him for sharing the podcast with his friends. We are still tied in third place for the most popular second amendment podcast in the US. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new gun owners why you listen.

Rob-Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. Each week we look at a few recent examples. The links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.

Candy- Our first story took place last week in Tucson, Arizona.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at home? and here.

You are at home on Thursday afternoon. You hear someone banging on your door. They are trying to break in. You grab your handgun and shout for the intruder to go away and that you’re armed. The intruder tries to smash his way through one of your windows. You shoot through the window, but miss your intruder. Now your attacker reaches through the broken glass and tries to grab you. You shoot him several times until he moves away. You stop shooting. You get your phone and call 911 for help. You stay inside your home.

Arriving officers find your dead attacker on your driveway. You put your gun away and give the officers a statement of what happened. Police identify your attacker.

Your attacker is a registered sex offender. He was sentensed for felony sexual assault and had another prior conviction for domestic violence. You are not charged with a crime.

Candy- The defender  thought that someday, bad things might happen, so they prepared themselves by buying a firearm and learning how to use it.

They locked their doors and windows. 

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • The defender paid attention when someone started banging on their door. 
  • The defender had a gun and grabbed it in case they needed it.
  • The defender tried using verbal commands but they failed.
  • The defender recognized an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat when the attacker broke the window and then tried to grab them. She then fired several rounds until the attacker retreated.
  • The defender did not pursue the attacker.
  • The defender stayed in the house, called 911 and put their gun away when police arrived. 
  • The defender gave a statement to the police.

What would you tell your students to do (that the defender should have done)?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • Apparently, the defender’s door was locked and strong enough to withstand the attacker’s attempts to get in by using the door.
  • The attacker was able to break through a window. There are hurricane impact resistant glass films that prevent the shattered glass from falling out of the frame. These films are available online and are fairly inexpensive.
  • The articles on the other websites state that the defender fired a warning shot through the window in a failed attempt to get the attacker to leave. Best practices say that this is never a good idea. That bullet has to stop somewhere whether it’s aimed or not. Also firing warning shots reduces the amount of ammunition you have available to stop the threat. Warning shots can also cause some legal problems with a self-defense claim. 
  • Could the defender have stepped back, taken cover and waited until the attacker entered through the window before shooting? Tactics are important.
  • Did the defender have a self-defense plan with a lawyer to help them write their statement to the police?   

Rob- Do you see anything else that wasn’t mentioned in the news reports?

Candy- Guns work at a distance. We want to create distance from our attacker so we can shoot them but they can’t grab us. I understand that you are shouting at the person outside, but I want you on the other side of the room so they can’t hurt you, and maybe they can’t even see you.

One of the articles says that the defender fired a warning shot. That is a very bad idea. A gun is a lethal tool. We’re only allowed to use it if we face a lethal threat. If we face a non-lethal threat, then the gun is the wrong tool.

Rob- When would your students learn about when and where to use lethal force?

Candy- Most get their first exposure in the legal section of their concealed carry class. There are other classes about the legal use of lethal force. We keep studying on our own.

Rob- Candy, where are we going next?

Candy- Our second story happened in Houston, Texas.

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

You own a check cashing business. You went to the bank to deposit checks and withdraw some cash. You park next to your business and get out of your car. Two men follow you inside your store and they hit you in the head from behind. You fall to the ground. You roll over and see two men wearing masks over their faces and wearing gloves. You present your firearm and shoot your attackers. One of your employees sees your attack and he shoots your attackers too. Your attackers run out of your store. The getaway driver drives his car from your parking lot.

The news reports aren’t clear if you or one of your employees called 911 for help. You and your employees put your guns away. All of you give statements to the police. Police find your attackers dead in the parking lot.

You were robbed before. It isn’t clear if you have security video inside and outside your store, but the police have the license number of the get-away car. The police think your attackers followed you from the bank. You and your employees are not charged with a crime.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • The defender had a high-risk job. He also had a gun with him when he went to the bank and he probably had a plan.
  • The defender recognized an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat to his life, drew his gun and fired at both attackers.
  • The defender’s employee also had a gun and fired on the attackers.
  • One of the defenders called 911.
  • Neither of the defenders pursued the attackers.
  • Both of them put their guns away and gave statements to the police.

What would you tell your students to do (that the defender should have done)?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • The criminal practice of following and robbing people from high end stores or banks is called “jugging”. 
  • Many banks let you make deposits to your bank accounts from your smartphone. Just photograph the front and back of the checks and send the images electronically. No visit to the bank required. 
  • Withdrawing cash from an ATM or a bank can be risky. Getting cash from a grocery store, convenience store or a big box store is safer because there are lights, cameras and witnesses- three things that criminals hate. 
  • The defender was carrying cash and/or deposits so his situational awareness should have been on “high alert”. 
  • Could the defender have had a second, armed person go with him to the bank? Two armed defenders working together are four times more effective than a single defender working alone.
  • Once the shooting was over, the defender or the employee should have cleared the store of customers or moved them to safety and then secured the doors. Bad guys are like wolves, they always travel in packs and you have to guard against any additional attacks until police arrive. You also have to be careful not to be seen or shot through glass windows. You have to be your own First Responder until the cavalry shows up. 
  • Did the defender have the training and the equipment to handle trauma situations?
  • Video cameras, inside and outside, don’t always stop attacks from occurring but they do help the police catch the robbers.

Our third story happened in Carmichael, California.

Rob- First this message from JPFO



Rob- Third story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?

You are in bed in your apartment. It is about 1am on Sunday morning when you hear someone beating on your front door. They are hitting the door really hard. Fortunately the door stays in place. You grab your gun and walk out of your bedroom. You see a stranger outside. He beats on your windows until he sees you. Then, he shoots at you through your window. You move and shoot back. Your attacker runs away and you call the police and ask for help. You put your gun away when the police arrive. You give a brief statement to the police. You show them your legally owned firearm.

Officers find your attacker outside. He has a gunshot wound to the torso. The police call for Emergency Medical Services. The officers also find a stolen firearm with an illegal extended magazine. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital in serious but stable condition.

A police spokesman said you were a hero. You faced a violent attack and defended yourself until officers could respond. All your shots hit your attacker.

You found out that the attacker was looking for his girlfriend and thought she was in your apartment. You don’t know her and she never lived there as far as you know.

You are not charged with a crime.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • The defender responded to banging on the door. They took a gun with them when they investigated. 
  • Fortunately the door withstood the attacker’s attempt to enter.
  • The defender did not fire at the attacker while he was still outside nor did the defender shoot until fired upon. This was clearly an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat to the defender’s life. 
  • The defender moved when bullets started to fly. That made him/her a tougher target to hit.
  • The defender shot the attacker without any stray bullets.  
  • The defender did not pursue the attacker.
  • The defender called 911, put their gun away when police arrived and only gave a brief statement. 

What would you tell your students to do (that the defender should have done)?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • Best practices would be to call 911 from the bedroom as soon as possible.
  • Yelling from a concealed position that you have already called the police and that you are armed can sometimes stop an attack before it starts. 
  • If no one else is in the house, remaining in the bedroom behind cover/concealment and barricading the door is usually safer than confronting an attacker(s) in another, larger room with windows. The problem is that you don’t know how many attackers there are, where they are and whether they are armed or not. Tactics are more important than firepower. 
  • Backlighting the attackers makes them an easier target and helps to conceal the defender. 
  • “Blipping” a powerful flashlight in an attacker’s face can temporarily blind them and stop an attack. 

Rob- When would your students learn to move as they shoot, and to shoot in low light conditions?

Candy- Those are advanced tactics. Students learn about that once they have mastered the fundamentals. They need the fundamentals so they stay safe.

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Candy- Our fourth story took place in Chicago Illinois.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work as you drive?

You are driving for a rideshare company. You pick up two customers just after midnight. Both the man and the woman get in the back seat. You start to drive when the man puts his gun to your head. You put on the brakes and get out of your car while it is still rolling.

Your attacker gets out of the car and shoots at you. You shoot back. You keep shooting as he gets into your car and tries to drive away. The car stops because you have the keys in your pocket. Both of your attackers run away.

It isn’t clear who called the police because your phone was in your car. So were the two cellphones of the robbers.

You reholster your firearm and show the officers your Firearms Owners Identification Card and your carry permit. The officers find your attacker a block away. The female has a graze wound to her arm and the male was shot in the leg.

Crime is surging in Chicago. Your attacker was out on probation for carjacking. This time he is held without bond. Politicians said that the problem isn’t the courts, but that cars are too easy to steal. You are not charged with a crime.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • The defender took the time and money to get his/her concealed carry license in Illinois- that’s not easy and certainly not cheap there. 
  • The defender carried a gun with him/her and probably had a plan since he/she worked in a dangerous job. 
  • The defender fortunately was able to get out of the car without getting shot. He/she also took the keys with them. 
  • The defender recognized an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat to his/her life and he/she shot back when fired upon. 
  • The defender refrained from firing an excessive amount of rounds and he/she managed to hit the targets.
  • The defender reholstered his/her gun so as not to present a threat to the arriving police. 
  • The defender stayed at the scene and gave the police a statement. 

What would you tell your students to do (that the defender should have done)?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • The defender wisely decided that his/her life was more important than the rideshare company’s rules against carrying a weapon. Jobs can be replaced – lives can’t. 
  • Could the defender have installed a bulletproof glass shield between the passengers and the driver? They won’t stop all attacks and they are expensive. 
  • Installing a visible video camera with remote digital storage might deter some attacks. 
  • Could the defender have another armed person “ride shotgun” with him? Even if all of the rides are paid for electronically, the criminals will still carjack the drivers to get their cars. Carrying a gun increases the odds of survival but there are no guarantees.


Rob- That wraps up this episode. Candy, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?

Candy- Look for me at the Akron & Northcoast Ohio Chapters of A Girl and a Gun. I also teach at Northpointe Training, (and here> Northpointe Training) in Parma, Ohio.

Rob- After you look at Candy’s articles, then leave us a message on the podcast episode webpage.

Candy- We share this podcast with you for free.
Please share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Listen Notes.
We’re also available on
Amazon, Google Podcasts, Tunein, Spotify, Podbean and iHeart Radio.

Rob- This show 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.


2 Replies to “Episode 325 with Candy Petticord”

  1. TX Beth

    That story from Arizona was wild.

    I’ve been catching up on all the episodes I’ve missed this week. I really enjoy your podcast and I am constantly learning from it, and passing those lessons along to the women in my local Armed Women of America chapter. Thanks for all that you guys do for us and the 2A community.

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