Episode 122 with Elizabeth Hautman
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 122 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. This podcast is for people who are thinking about a firearm for self-defense, and for those who already own own. I’m your host, Rob Morse. We have self defense instructor Elizabeth Hautman with us as co-host.
Elizabeth- Hi, Rob. I’ve been working and shooting and I even got to watch the outhouse races.
Rob- Elizabeth, someone asked us how they can listen. Most people have an application on their cell phone that automatically loads each new episode. Please tell our new listeners what they have in their pocket.
Elizabeth- We’re going to look at several news stories about armed defense. These gun owners survived a life threatening situation, but were they lucky, or smart, or did they have a plan? What should we do if we were in their place, and how would we learn those new skills?
Our first story took place last week in Elmira, New York.
It is Sunday morning, so you get to sleep in. You’re at home with your wife and four young children. You’re jolted awake when you hear a crashing sound from the front of your house. Someone kicked in your front door. You keep a shotgun in the corner. You grab your gun and walk toward the front of the house. A stranger is standing in your house and walks toward you. You shoot him once. Now he turns around. You stop shooting.
Your wife grabs the children and calls police. The intruder was a felon who served time for robbery.
Rob- This story sounds scary, but is it that unusual?
Elizabeth- Self defense thousands of times a day. Most are assaults in public, but many of them are inside your home or business.
Rob- What is the first thing we should do to defend ourselves?
Elizabeth- Have a plan to protect yourself and your family. That usually means you’ll want a gun as part of your plan.
Rob- You didn’t say, get your gun. You said the first thing to do is to make a plan.
Elizabeth- Once you’re attacked there is too much to do and no time to do it. That is why you want to talk about this and rehearse the possible scenarios ahead of time with your spouse..and later as they grow up, with your children. Just like when I taught my children about fire drills. It is not to panic them but to equip them with the skills and knowledge to handle the situation. And every child is different, as the parent, you get to decide at what level and how much information that will educate your children but not scare them.
Rob- What comes first.
Elizabeth- If you had a fire then you’d wake up your family and get them out of the house. Then you’d grab a fire fighting tool like a fire extinguisher. If you had an intruder, you’d grab your defensive tool, your gun, and your spouse grabs the kids and then calls 911.
The man grabbed a gun and went to investigate, because it was not a door to door salesman knocking at the door, it was an intruder who kicked his way inside. Your family is in danger right now and protecting them comes first.
Rob- That means a lot, because I could waste a lot of time calling 911 when I needed to protect my family.
Elizabeth- It sounds like the adults worked together. Someone called the police before the intruder was shot. I imagine that was the wife making a call on her cell phone. That’s great. She updated the police after shots were fired and her family was safe. If you can, stay on the phone until the police arrive. That is hard to do as you take care of four children.
Rob- What do you recommend for home defense.
Elizabeth- This is what I tell my students. If you conceal carry, then use the tool you know best. That may be your handgun. If you’re a hunter who doesn’t carry a handgun every day, then again use the tool you’re most comfortable with.
Rob- What would you tell a stay at home mom or dad to carry? This question comes up in my classes quite a bit.
Elizabeth- I want them to get a permit and carry all the time. Until then, carry on body at home. You say you’re a stay at home parent, but your out of the home a lot. You go to school, to the store, to the gym, to the mailbox or to a neighbor’s house. You might be working in the yard. I want you to have your defensive tool all the time, that means a handgun that is carried on your body.
You took driving lessons to drive a car. You’d take swimming lessons if you didn’t know how to swim, or take lessons to learn how to ride a horse or scuba dive. We aren’t born knowing those things. Take a class and learn how to use your defensive tool.
Rob- Do you give your students homework?
Elizabeth- I do. Sometimes I go to their home and we walk through it together. Sometimes another pair of eyes can look at situations and floorplans in different ways. I can also suggest tools to keep your firearm accessible and unavailable to unauthorized people – kids…
Rob- What sort of things are you looking for.
Elizabeth- Start with inexpensive fixes – trim hedges away from the house – eliminating dark hiding places for bad guys, proper lighting, possible timers with different schedules to turn lights on and off when you are not around – especially as fall approaches and it is getting dark earlier. Deadbolts, gun safes,
Rob- Anything else?
Elizabeth- That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Redding, California.
You’re visiting your girlfriend. It is a weeknight and lots of people are in the house. Your girlfriend’s cousin is working on homework and you are helping her. You’re also holding a four month old infant in your arms. Two men start a loud argument, and the homeowner tells them to go outside. They go outside, but they keep fighting.
You walk outside and ask them to stop. One of the men attacks you as you’re holding the infant. He hits you in the face several times. The child slips from your arms, but you catch her before she hits the ground.
You own a gun. You have your concealed carry permit. You’re carrying concealed today. You draw your gun and shoot your attacker once in the chest. Now he stops hitting you.
You shout for other people to call police. You stay on the porch until the police arrive.
EMTs said your attacker was dead when they arrived. The police identified your attacker and said he was a registered sex offender and had a long record of crimes and run-ins with the law.
Elizabeth- This is important?
Elizabeth- Suppose someone who is my own size and strength hits me. That isn’t considered a lethal threat. I can backup, or run away, or hit back to protect myself.
If I have a child in my arms then I need to immediately stop the threat for the safety of the innocent child. Thank god this man had a gun.
Rob- I’m imagining that I was in this man’s situation. All I’m doing is visiting a friend. That sounds like a safe place, and then things turned violent in a fraction of a second.
Elizabeth- Right. If you knew it would get crazy, you wouldn’t go. In fact, everyone would leave. You’re helping a student with their math and then this man attacked you and you had to defend yourself and others.
Rob- This was a dangerous situation.
Elizabeth- It is a really hard problem. You’re getting hit in the face. You have an infant in your arms so you can’t put up your arms and defend yourself. You have to turn your body so your body is between you and your attacker. You have to pull up your shirt, grab your gun, point it at your attacker, and press the trigger. Try doing that with one one handed while you’re holding a child.
Rob- Great. Now we’re one of the few podcasts that give homework to our listeners. But you’re right. I need to try that myself and see if I can do it and how long it takes me.
Elizabeth- me too.
Rob- What else do you notice.
Elizabeth- Our defender asked people to call the police. He stayed on the scene to give his story. If you’re safe, then don’t run away. Bad guys run away and good guys stay and talk to the police. Unfortunately, our good guy dropped the gun rather than put it back into his holster. I wish he’d listened to these stories so he would have known what to do.
Rob- Putting your gun back into the holster isn’t easy when your that excited.
Elizabeth- Again, that takes practice. I know that I would be really emotional if I just defended my life and shot someone. Now I’ve got a baby on the ground and a gun in my hand. If I didn’t have a plan to safely re-holster my gun, if I hadn’t practiced that motion time after time, then it is easy to imagine being overwhelmed in the moment. That is why it is so important to practice holstering your gun. I teach my students to draw from their holsters efficiently and reholster reluctantly. This is where muscle memory comes into play.
Rob- So we have been practicing all along. Good for us.
Elizabeth- You’re not done yet. You can’t influence the witnesses, but you can ask them if they are hurt. Ask them to stay put so the EMTs can look at them, and then ask them to stay so they can tell the police what they saw. They are part of your defense that you did the right thing, and you want the police to talk to them and establish their statements as part of your record.
Rob- You didn’t commit a crime, but you’re already putting elements in place that will show you’re the good guy in a court of law. Do you talk to your students about that too?
Elizabeth- I tell everyone about that..even our listeners. Our third story happened last week near Detroit, Michigan.
Rob- Fist this message from my friends at Armed Lutheran Radio.
You work at a pawn shop. The store isn’t open yet, but you’re already getting ready for the day. There is equipment to repair. You’ll put construction tools out in front as workmen rent them for the day. Before you get that done, there is a loud crash from the front of your store. You look into the front room to see a truck drive out of your store. He smashed a hole where your front door used to be. Now two men run inside and run to the gun counter. You shoot them. They run back outside, jump into their truck, and drive away.
You call the police and show them the surveillance videos.
Elizabeth- This is harder than it looks.
Rob- Why is that?
Elizabeth- If this break in were at my home then I’d be in my bedroom. The door is already locked. I’d grab my gun, point it at the door, and call the police.
I’d do the same thing if this were a clothing shop before it opened. Let them steal the money and the sox.
But this store had guns, and the thieves wanted the guns to commit more crimes. That is why gun-store employees go armed. They will kill you if you try to rob them.
Some states forbid you from protecting property. Some states allow you to defend yourself from any intruder. Michigan is a stand your ground state. The employee had no duty to run. That means that people who break into your home, your office or your store are assumed to be there to hurt you. You don’t have to get hit before you can defend yourself given that they have already smashed down the wall of your building.
That is the law. In general, don’t use your gun unless human life is at immediate risk.
Rob- That is a lot to think about. In fact, it is too much for me to think about if it was happening to me. I’d have to plan what to do ahead of time.
Elizabeth- I talk to store owners. I train them and train with them. Safety is part of their business plan. They have their rules for them and their employees. Don’t go to war over the sox and snickers bars, but if employees are at risk of immediate serious harm, then they and you may and should use lethal force do protect human life. Think about it now.
Know your target and what is beyond..
Rob- How do your students learn about that?
Elizabeth- We talk about it a little, but there are excellent books and seminars on exactly that subject. (Which ones have you been to? NRA? Branka? McYoung? Kincaid?)
Rob-What else should we do in this situation.
Elizabeth- Don’t chase the bad guys. Make sure you’re safe. Once you’re sure you’re out of danger, then holster your gun and take a breath. Also, tell yourself a joke. Call the police. Call your lawyer. Wait for the police and give them a brief statement.
Rob- Even the simplest story is complex. Let’s stop here and go on to our fourth story.
Elizabeth- Forth story? We usually do three stories.
Rob- Our listeners left messages on the podcast facebook page. About 70 percent of the comments are in favor of a longer episode. Thank you, Leroy. If you like more stories, then let us know. If you want a shorter podcast, then tell us.
Elizabeth- Our fourth story took place in Winterhaven, Florida.
It is late at night. You’re driving for a ride sharing company. You get a call to drive someone home from a local bar. You’ve been there before. You identify yourself as you drive up. The lady matches her picture on the Uber account. She gets in and you start to drive her home. You’re on the highway when a pickup truck tries to run you off the road. You pull over to let him pass.
A truck driver stops and gets out of his truck. He runs toward your car and has something in his hands. The truck driver shouts, “You know I’ve got a pistol. You want me to f’ing shoot you!”
You own a gun. You have your concealed carry permit. You’re armed and carrying concealed right now. You draw your firearm and shoot your attacker as he reaches the door of your car.
You call 911 and provide emergency medical aid to your attacker.
Police said the driver thought you drove away from the bar with his girlfriend. You had never seen this passenger before this ride, and the truck driver’s girlfriend was back at the bar.
The police believe the truck driver may have been intoxicated and are waiting for medical reports on drugs and alcohol from the state medical examiner.
Elizabeth- This is a good story. I’m glad the driver had the means to protect himself and his passenger.
Rob- What do you see?
Elizabeth- Most of the attackers in assault cases are intoxicated on either drugs or alcohol. That is true for both robberies and fights at the local bar.
Rob- So you’re saying that the attacker’s story doesn’t have to make sense.
Elizabeth- Sometimes the crazy person is out to get you for no reason. That means you can’t always talk your way out of a problem. Yes, you should deescalate a situation if you can, but sometimes you can’t.
Rob- What do you tell your students to do?
Elizabeth- Be the innocent good guy. You can defend yourself because you didn’t do anything wrong. You lose that legal presumption of innocence if you threaten someone in a bar. You lose that innocence if you try to run someone off the road in a road-rage incident. If you do, then you lose the right of self-defense.
Rob- There is a lot to learn as you carry a gun for self-defense.
Elizabeth- But you can learn it. Not in one day, but you didn’t learn to drive in one day. It took a lot of practice before you could drive anywhere, day or night. Like learning to drive, there might be situations where you wouldn’t carry your gun yet because you feel you don’t have enough experience. That voice of concern you hear might be your good judgement trying to give you a message. Keep learning.
Rob- Is there more?
Elizabeth- Rob- That is enough for now. We’ll be back after this message from Buckeye Firearms Foundation
Please support Buckeye Firearms Foundation at https://www.buckeyefirearmsfoundation.org/
Exit- Rob- That wraps up this episode. Elizabeth Hautman, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Elizabeth- 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- Let us know what you think. Do you like the longer podcast with four stories? Do you want more personal news from our instructors? Leave us a message on the podcast facebook page. We have an inbox there if you don’t want to leave your message in public.
Elizabeth- 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- I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.