Episode 139 with Ben Branam

Rob- Introduction- I’m glad you found us and welcome to episode 139 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 Ben Branam.

Ben- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working and training and instructing.

Rob– We had some nice comments on our Facebook Page this week. We also have a five star rating on iTunes, but there are only 18 comments.

I’m looking for a bilingual podcaster who will make a spanish version of Self-Defense Gun Stories. If you know someone, then please ask them to contact us. Until then, Ben, please introduce our podcast to our new listeners.

Ben- We study several examples where gun owners survived a life threatening situation. Were they 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 Baltimore, Maryland.

Rob- First story-  Are you armed at work?  

It is dark and cold outside. You own and run a neighborhood liquor store set among brownstone apartments. You hear the front door ring and see two men come inside. These customers don’t shake off their jackets and gloves as they enter the warmth of your store. Instead they draw guns and shout at you to hand over the money in the cash register. You are one of the few people in Baltimore who has their Wear and Carry permit. You’re gun is on your hip. You step to the side and present your firearm. You immediately shoot your nearest attacker and then shoot the second one. They shoot back and you move again. Your attackers run from the store. You lock the front door and call police.

You were robbed a few months ago. You show the surveillance video to the police, but you won’t talk to the local newspaper, the Baltimore Sun. Police find one of your attackers bleeding in the snow a block away.

Ben- Neighborhood store. You often know many of your customers. Just because they are friendly doesn’t mean a bad guy can’t walk through the door.

Rob- One customer may shout hello and the next might be a robber who wants to kill you.

Ben- Glad he had a gun.

Rob- Was our good guy a super-ninja-gunfighter? He faced two men who already had their guns in their hands. Why didn’t our good guy get shot?

Ben- It takes time to react. You have to see what is happening, decide what it means, decide what to do, and then you have to execute that plan of action. That takes time. Now let our defender move as he draws and that means the bad guys are pointing their guns where he used to be. That means the bad guys need even more time. A practiced gun owner can put two shots on target in under a second. The record is eight shots.

Rob- Eight shots in a second.

Ben- Yep, but that is the world record. I can’t do that, but I can put three on target in under a second.

Rob- While your moving. What else did our defender do correctly?

Ben- He had a bell so he looked up as two guys came in. Our store owner was interviewing them and they didn’t look right. It is cold outside. They didn’t relax as they came in. They didn’t wave and look at the merchandise. They didn’t do the things that regular customers do. I think our owner was alert even before the robbers drew their guns.

Rob- So our defender was alert and attentive. He was paying attention to his safety.

Ben- He was robbed in November. He locked the doors. He had security video, and he probably had a 911 app on his phone.

Rob- Anything else?

Ben- That is enough for now. Our second story took place in Monroe County, Mississippi.

Rob- Second Story-  Do you have a firearm nearby when you turn in for the night?   

You’re jolted awake. You listen again and hear your dog growell and you hear someone’s voice. You live alone with your dog so that doesn’t make sense. You get up and grab your gun, grab your phone, and turn on the lights. You walk into your house and see someone standing in the kitchen.

You shout at the intruder to put his hands up. He does. You tell him to get on the floor. He does. You back up and call police. The intruder pushes himself up off the floor and runs at you. You shoot him. Now he stops. You back up again and stand there until police and EMTs arrive.

Ben- Let’s look at what he did correctly. Door was locked. Sounds like he had a dog. Glad he was armed. Good that he had his phone. Great that he gave verbal commands.

Ben- Dogs are both good and bad. They alarm, but we love our dogs so we go out to see if they are alright. In a perfect world you’d stay behind your locked door and call the police.

Ben- Turn the bad guy around so he isn’t facing you.

Ben-  Let the bad guy run away.

Our third story happened last week in Jacksonville, Florida

Rob- First this message from my friends at Gun Freedom Radio

Listen to Gun Freedom Radio at http://gunfreedomradio.com

Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you are at work?

You’re checking on inventory at the back of a cell phone store. It is after dark and another employee runs into the back room and crashes into the back wall. She pushes off the wall and looks at you. “He has a gun,” she says. She points at the door to the display area. You’re armed. You put your hand on your gun and look around the corner into the showroom. A man is bent over the cash register. He sees you and points his gun at you. You draw your firearm and shoot him. Now your attacker runs. You slowly walk out of the back room and lock the front door. Your co-worker comes into the front of the store and is already on the phone with the police. The police find your 28 year old attacker when he called 911 claiming he was the victim of a shooting.

Ben- This is hard.  In our first story, our store clerk saw the robbery unfold. In this case, all you see is your frightened co-worker.

Rob- Should our good guy have stayed in the back room?

Ben- That is a hard call because you have an armed man who threatened to kill your co-worker just around the corner. Do you wait until he comes to you shooting? Can you run out the back door? Do you know that there isn’t a second bad guy outside the back door? I guess you might if you had video cameras everywhere, but you don’t have time to watch video all day long because you have other work to do.

Ben- Good that he was armed. He hit his attacker. It was a psychological stop because the robber was able to run away and call police.

Ben- Good that he locked the front door.

Ben- Our forth story took place last week in Gordon, Wisconsin.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you walk your dog?

It is four in the afternoon and the sun is already close to the horizon. You hear someone knocking heavily on your front door. This is a rural community and it has been between 10 and 20 degrees below freezing all day so you don’t expect many visitors. Your wife answers the door and your neighbor rushes in. Your neighbor is lead by her large dog and dragging a teenage girl behind her. The teenager isn’t wearing the right clothes for this weather.

Your neighbor shouts for you to get your gun and call the police. You look at your wife and you both blink. Your neighbor lets go of her dog and starts to tear off her gloves. You don’t know what is going on, but you can see the concern on your neighbor’s face and hear it in her voice. You head to your bedroom closet and grab your rifle. Your wife is already dialing 911. You come back with your gun and a head full of questions.

Your neighbor says, ‘This girl escaped her kidnapper and we need to hide her. He might be out there looking for her.’ Your wife is talking to the emergency operator. You tell your kids to go downstairs and watch TV until you call for them. You push your neighbor’s dog into the bathroom. Your teenager visitor looks to be in shock.

The operator tells you to lock the doors and then move into the middle of the house until law enforcement arrives. Officers drive up a few minutes later. The deputies ask you to watch out the back door as they walk down the snow covered driveway and come in the front. Your wife unlocks the door and lets the sheriff’s deputies inside.

The deputies say the young girl was kidnapped a few months ago. She escaped a few minutes before your neighbor found her. The women huddle in the middle of the house as the three armed defenders defend the windows and doors. The police found and arrested the girl’s kidnapper while he was driving around the neighborhood looking for her. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

Ben- This is the story you love and you hate. It is great that this girl escaped and that her defenders were armed.

Ben- This young girl’s kidnapper was a known murderer and he was out looking for her. All the neighbor who found her had for protection was a dog. She needed a gun. So did her two neighbors. All three of them are lucky the murderer didn’t find them.

Rob- What did they do correctly?

Ben- Great response by the family considering that they were completely surprised. Get your defensive tools. Call police. Get the kids safe. Get people into the center of the house. Turn off the lights so you’re in the dark and can’t be seen and the bad guy is outside in the light where you can see him. I might have sent everyone downstairs with the kids and stayed at the stairway to wait for police.

Rob- Rifle?

Ben- I carry a handgun all the time. I do that because I can carry a handgun all the time. That doesn’t mean it is the weapon I want, but the weapon I can have with me. I’d have a long gun in my hands if I knew that a bad guy was on the prowl. If I knew he was coming..I’d leave..maybe. The police caught the murderer when he was driving around looking for the teenager.

Ben- Good response with law enforcement. That is why a team is so valuable. One person was talking to the police dispatcher. The police knew there was an armed defender inside. The homeowner knew the police could protect the front of the house as they arrived. He covered the back. They stayed in the house place with blue lights flashing out front until they had more armed backup or the kidnapper was captured. That is how it is supposed to work.

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

Ben- Look for me at Modern Self Protection.com.  I live in San Antonio, and most of my classes are in central Texas.  I teach armed self-defense and church security. Listeners can see my class schedule at my website, and they can also listen to my weekly podcast Modern Self-Protection.

Rob- After you look at Ben’s site, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.

Ben- 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.

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