Episode 148 with David Cole

Rob- Introduction- I’m glad you found us and welcome to episode 148 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. This podcast is for people who might be curious about self-defense, and for those who are already trained. I’m your host, Rob Morse. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor David Cole.

David- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working, training and teaching. I’ve also been practicing with my bow.

David- We’ll talk about recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. Were they lucky, or did they have a plan? What should we do if we were in their place? We give you the links back to the original articles. Our first story took place in Burlington, North Carolina.

Rob- First story-  Do you have a gun nearby when your family is asleep?  

You’re asleep in your home.. You’re startled awake. You thought you heard a sound like glass breaking. Even though it is four in the morning, you’re at home with your son, so you can’t pretend it didn’t happen. You get out of bed. Before you leave your bedroom, you also grab your handgun. Then you walk towards the back of the house where you thought the sound came from. You see a stranger standing in your kitchen. You yell at him. The intruder raises a gun and shoots at you. You shoot back. You both back up. Your attacker climbs back out the kitchen window he used to enter your home. You call  the police. Neither you nor your 10 year old son are hurt.

David, what did our defender do correctly?

David- Good job. She was not a soft target!

Rob- I’m sure she asked herself- What was that noise, and rather than go to sleep, she got up to find out.

David- She also brought her gun with her. That gun is her self-rescue tool if she finds a problem, and in this case, she did.

Rob- Is it unusual that a burglar is armed.

David- He was more than a burglar. He was an attacker because he used lethal force in an assault upon the homeowner. At that point, she had a duty to protect herself and her minor child, and to use lethal force if necessary.

Rob- I’ll ask a better question this time. Does this situation happen very often where a homeowner has to stop an attack from an armed home invader?

David- Well, most burglars prefer to break in when no one is home, so if they do break in while the house is occupied they will often be armed.

Rob- What would you like our students to do if they hear a bump in the night?

David- Usually the best approach is to barricade in a room with your firearm and phone, and to call police. But sometimes that isn’t realistic. If children are in another room, as in this example, you may need to move to them first, then barricade. Another consideration is that we aren’t necessarily going to want to call police for every bump in the night. Some degree of investigation may be needed to verify whether a police response is necessary. This may be simply calling out and challenging, or it may require moving from room to room.

Rob- Anything else?

David- Light is your friend. Have a quality, high-output flashlight with your gun…and don’t be afraid to turn on the lights in your home, either. Besides the obvious benefit of helping identify a possible intruder, and shooting accurately if necessary, it can be another form of challenge. Lights coming on in the home can tell an intruder, “I heard you. I know someone is here,” and may motivate him to go find another victim.

Rob- Do you see anything else?

David- That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Phoenix, Arizona.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed on the street?   

Tag- No shots fired

You’re walking down the street in a residential neighborhood. You hear an 11 year old girl scream and you see a man pulling her off the street. The man is bending the girls arm behind her back. The man puts his free hand over the girls mouth and tells her to be quiet. You step forward and push the man. He falls down and lets go of the girl.

You draw your handgun and tell the man to leave the girl alone. The attacker runs away. You stay at the scene and call police.

David- Scary situation here.

Rob- What did our defender do correctly?

David- He had his rescue tool with him. And it sounds like our defender had his cell phone with him too. It is important to call police any time you use your firearm, even if no shots are fired.

Rob- Is kidnapping rare in the US?

David- It is rare, but it does happen, and outcomes are rarely good. Because the stakes are so high, cases like this are worth paying attention to.

In a situation like this one, making a lot of noise can be very effective. A kidnapping attempt in broad daylight and in public needs to be accomplished quickly and quietly. Loudly challenging the attacker draws attention he doesn’t want.

Rob- I’m not used to yelling in public.

David- Most of us are conditioned that it isn’t polite or proper, so we’re hesitant to do it. But we need to be able to overcome this resistance, as it is a very important part of our defensive tool kit. Verbal commands to “STOP” and “GET BACK” can convince an attacker that you are not a soft target, and create witnesses to the incident.

Rob- Now you have eye witnesses, or ear witnesses. Anything else?

David- We want to remain at the scene and call police. We don’t want to be accused of simply assaulting another person on the street, because the attacker called the police and reported us. This is where creating those witnesses becomes really important.

Another consideration is the implications of intervening in defense of a third person. In the case involving a child it may be a bit less risky, but if we use force in defense of another and the situation is not what we thought, we may be in trouble. What if it was the girl’s father, and he was simply trying to control an unruly child? I’m not saying don’t do anything, but you need to be sure that the situation is what it seems. Opening your mouth and challenging can go a long way in a case like this.

Rob- This isn’t as simple as it sounds.

David- It isn’t easy, but it isn’t complex either. A few moments thought ahead of time is what it takes so we don’t depend on luck.

Our third story happened last week in Dixie, West Virginia.

Rob- First this message from Armed Lutheran Radio

Give a listen at http://www.armedlutheran.us/

Rob- Third story- Do you have a self-defense tool nearby at night when you sleep?

Tag- No shots fired

You hear someone banging on your front door at three in the morning. You grab your shotgun and go to see what is happening. It’s your neighbor and she is standing there with her two small children asking to come inside. She says someone broke into her home and they escaped out the back window. You invite her in. She calms the children and calls the police.

You grab your gun and walk the hundred yards to her home. You assume the intruder ran away, but you see him standing in the middle of her home. He has something in his hands, so you point your shotgun at him and tell him not to move. You tell the intruder to lie down, and the intruder complies.

Police arrive a few minutes later and arrest the intruder. The intruder bites and punches the deputies before being arrested and cuffed.

David- There are certainly some teaching points here. I’m very glad that our defender had his self-defense tool with him, first when he answered his own door, and then when he went next door.

Rob- It doesn’t say if he was on the phone with police as he walked next door. What do you want our students to do?

David- There’s a saying that “fortuitous outcomes reinforce poor tactics,” and it’s way too easy to conclude that because everything turned out OK that the defender did well. In a case like this, better to let the police handle an intruder. Stay in your home and protect the victims. Let the cops search the neighbor’s house for you. They will bring lots of guns and lots of friends with guns. That’s why we pay them.

There are also some significant legal risks if it can be argued that you “went looking for trouble.” What if our defender had ended up shooting the burglar, and a prosecutor decided to charge him and make this argument? It isn’t worth the risk over what is at this point a property crime. Everyone is safe at the neighbor’s home, and there is no upside to leaving that safe location to confront a burglar.

Rob- But you just wanted to help your neighbor.

David- Like I said, you can help by protecting them in your home. I understand the desire to stop bad people, but once this gentleman left the safety of his home and went to confront the burglar, he was no longer defending human life. One thing I learned as a police officer is that there are serious consequences if you point your lethal tool at the wrong person. That is true for armed citizens as well. I don’t want you to make a well intentioned mistake that could cost you.

David- Our forth story took place last week in Duquesne, (Du-kane) Pennsylvania.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed when you’re driving?

You’re 73 years old, and tonight you’re driving for a ride sharing company. Your suspicious once the couple you’re carrying asks you to drive down an alley and stop the car. You turn around and see a gun in pointed in your face. The passenger hits you in the head with the gun. You duck down and open the car door. You back away. The woman runs, but the man with the gun follows you.

You have your Pennsylvania license to carry a firearm in public. You’re armed tonight. You move down the alley and present your gun. Your attacker has his gun pointed at you, so you shoot until he drops the gun. You back out of the alley and call police.

The police arrive and EMTs take you to the hospital for stitches to your face.

David- This guy did an amazing job of defending himself after he was hit in the face and bleeding. This was a tough one.

Rob- What did our defender do correctly?

David- The first thing he did when the opportunity came was to move…he got out of the car where he was better able to get to his firearm and defend himself. Once he was safe, he called police.

Rob- What do you want our students to do if they are in this situation?

David- Every situation is different, but preparation and training can make all the difference. Get quality training, and then practice what you’ve learned. Use a blue gun to rehearse how you might access your carry firearm while seated in your car. Practice unbelting yourself quickly so that you can move and exit your vehicle if necessary.

Rob- How do I learn to do that?

David- These are specialized skills, and the best way to learn them is from a professional instructor in a proper training course. There are such classes out there. In the age of the internet, they are not hard to find.

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

David- My training website is Aegis Solutions on Facebook. I also write about gun rights at BlackManWithAGun.com

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

David- We share this podcast with you for free.  Put us in your pocket every week and share the podcast with a friend. You can let new listeners know you like the podcast by giving us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher.  We’re also available on Google Play Music, Tunein 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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