Episode 113 with Elizabeth Hautman

Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 113 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.  This podcast is for people who might want a gun for self-defense, and for those who already have one.  I’m your host, Rob Morse. We have firearms instructor Elizabeth Hautman with us as co-host.

Hi, Elizabeth.  How have you been?

Elizabeth- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been running a couple classes a week.

Rob-Please introduce our podcast to our new listeners.

Elizabeth- We study three recent examples of armed defense to see what we can learn.  These gun owners survived a life threatening situation because they were armed. What would you do in their place?

Our first story took place last week near Atlanta, Georgia.  Here’s what happened.

Rob- First story-  Are you armed as you buy groceries?  

You’re shopping with your wife after work. Lots of people are picking up supplies for the Father’s Day weekend. Three men approach you as you walk to your car. They are armed. You’re being robbed. You carry concealed. You and your wife run behind your car. You present your firearm and shoot all three robbers. They shoot back, at least for a while. Soon, one of the robbers runs away. One robber drops to the pavement. The third crawls back inside the store.

You and your wife are shaken, but not shot. Your car isn’t so lucky. You call the police.

The police pick up the two robbers and take them to local hospitals. That is where they arrest the third robber who drove away.

Elizabeth- I notice that our defender was alert. His head was probably out of his phone. He noticed that three men with guns walking up behind him was unusual and he acted on that clue. That is what let him with against three attackers.

Rob- Was this a robbery or a carjacking?

Elizabeth- Maybe. We don’t know if the robbers told him what they wanted, or if he noticed them as they approached. It sounds like the first thing the good guys did is move, and that changed everything.

Rob- What do you mean?

Elizabeth- Most couples would stand there frozen. They would wonder who is going to act first. This couple got behind their car. That kept the bad guys from grabbing them. It limited how many of the robbers could approach them at one time. It also absorbed some of the bullets in the gunfight that followed.

Rob- I see that.

Elizabeth- Moving changed the entire dynamic of the event.

The robbers had a plan. The victims would have their eyes down in their phones or be busy loading their groceries. The robbers would quickly confront them and take their money and keys. The victims would never have time to form a plan and act on it.

Instead, the victims moved. Now it was the robbers who had to react to an armed defender. The defenders had cover and the robbers were out in the open in the lane of traffic. The fact that the wife knew to move made this defense possible. If possible, they could move around opposite ends of the car so that the robbers wouldn’t know who to chase, but the important thing to do is to move and do something.

Rob- I thought you were going to say the armed defender shot well.

Elizabeth- He might have, but he made the shooting part much more effective because he was behind his car rather than out in the open. It is more important to avoid getting shot than to be a good shot. These defenders did both.

Rob- Anything else you notice?

Elizabeth- Most armed robberies have multiple attackers, so this isn’t that unusual. I wish both defenders were armed and trained. That would have made their attackers run away sooner and made this husband and wife even safer.

Our second story happened last week east of Orlando in Seminole County, Florida.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed at home in the afternoon?   

You are at home with your mom when you hear someone break into your home. You both run upstairs and hide in your bedroom. You grab your gun and retreat into a corner. A stranger opens your bedroom door and you shoot him. He runs. Now you call police. You and your mom are frightened but unharmed.

The police arrest the wounded robber at a nearby gas station. They also arrest two of his accomplices. Both are being charged with murder after their partner died at the hospital.

Elizabeth- See, three attackers again. I’m glad the door was locked so the robbers had to break in. That gives you time to act before the robbers are on top of you.

Rob- Good point. The defenders knew how to use the time they had.

Elizabeth- The defender was a young woman who had some firearms training. It isn’t clear if she pulled her mom into her room where she had her gun, or if the young woman was armed at home and went to her mom’s room to defend them both. Either plan would work.

Rob- She made the robbers come to her.

Elizabeth- She thought about this before it happened. She made the bad guys step around the corner and open her bedroom door. That means she got a turn to defend herself before the robbers got a chance to attack either her or her mom. A good plan means you have an opportunity to act and the bad guys have to react rather than hurt you.  

Rob- What else did you notice.

Elizabeth- I want my students to take care of first things first. Get your defensive tools, a gun and a phone. Gather your loved ones and go someplace safe. Then, get help on the way. Maybe mom was calling the police once they were safely in their bedroom. That isn’t the sort of thing that reporters think to ask. Also, the daughter didn’t chase the robbers. She let the police do that. Good for her.

Our third story happened last week in McComb, Mississippi.

Rob- First this message.

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Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work?

You work in a convenience store. It is after dark. You hear some noise from the backroom and turn around. The other night clerk is a young woman. She is being pushed back into the store by a man holding a gun to her head. The robber pushes her into the store and waves his gun at both of you.

You’re armed. You wait for a moment and then draw your own handgun. You shoot the robber. He shoots back and you shoot again. Now he runs out the front of the store. You lock the front door and call police. Neither of you are hurt, but you’re both very upset.

The robber looks like the same man who robbed your gas station last week. This time you were armed. The police find the dead robber across the street. They examine the surveillance video, just as they did last week. There are no charges against you.

Elizabeth- Store clerks carry out the trash late at night when there are not many customers around. Criminals wait in the dark near the dumpster so they can sneak in the back entrance. Both clerks needed to be armed..and maybe to have bright lights they could turn on at the back of the store when they went outside.

Rob- I carry the trash out in the dark at least once a week before pick-up day.

Elizabeth- Lots of us do, and it is predictable. Go armed when you go outside at night. The guys with the best plan win, so better yet, carry the trash out while it is still light outside.

Rob- What else did you notice.

Elizabeth- One of the defenders was armed. That is an improvement from last week when they were both disarmed. I hope the defender had the gun on him rather than having it behind the counter. The clerk could have been working on the displays in the middle of the store when the robber came in using the other clerk as a hostage. You don’t have a gun if it is out of reach.

Rob- A lot of gun owners pretend they have a gun for defense, but the gun is out of reach. Do you talk about that with your students?

Elizabeth- That is one of the first things we talk about. Most of them get it.

Both of the store employees did the right thing when they waited their turn to defend themselves. We don’t know how the female clerk was able to move away from the robber. It is important to think about that ahead of time.

I want my students to practice enough so they know how much time and distance they need to use their firearm effectively. That way they can recognize it when the robber gives them the time they need.

Rob- It sounds like the clerk shot once and then stopped. That is when the robber shot back.

Elizabeth- I noticed that. We want to avoid a gunfight where both sides shoot their guns. Practice so that your first shots hit the target. That give you an advantage because you are not shot and your attacker is. Keep shooting until the attacker stops threatening you.

Rob- Anything else?

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

Elizabeth- I instruct in Colorado Springs.  I teach small classes at my private range in Black Forest.  Students can contact me at Colorado Boots Firearms Instruction.

Rob- Some of you have shared the articles we post on the podcast facebook page.  You can also leave us a message and share your thoughts, either in public or in private.

Elizabeth-   If you liked this show, then you’ll like the other podcasts on the Self-defense radio network. We share this podcast with you for free.  Please share it with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher.  We’re also available on Google Play Music and Spotify.

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

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