Episode 150 with Ben Branam

Rob- Introduction- I’m glad you found us and welcome to episode 150 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.

This podcast is for people who are 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 Ben Branam.

Ben- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been instructing and shooting and…

Rob- We received two new comments on iTunes this week. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and give us a rating and leave a comment. People asked why the podcast seems scripted. The answer is that I do podcasts and radio three times a week. My instructors record with me every two months, so we have to keep things simple. Ben is the exception since he has his own podcast.

Ben- We’ve been recording together for three years. Where do you get these stories? Are they easy to find?

Rob- A number of sources collect these news articles every day. It is easier to find good stories for some weeks than others, but there are always several from which to choose.

Ben- We’ll talk about recent stories where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. We want to find out if they were lucky, or did they have a plan and do the right thing. We want to understand what we should do if we were in their place. Our show notes give you links back to the original news article.

Our first story took place last week near me in San Antonio, Texas.

Rob- First story-  Are you armed as you arrive home?

It is early Sunday morning when you drive up to your apartment complex. You enter your security code to open the gate. You drive up to your garage and press the door opener to raise your garage door. Then, you close the garage door and get out of your car. That is when an armed attacker hits you in the head with his gun.

You step back. You’re armed. You draw and fire as you back into your house. That is where you call the police. They find the unresponsive robber in the corner of your garage.

Evidently the robber was hiding nearby as you opened your garage door.

Ben- Had his gun with him. It doesn’t say he was carrying on body, so it might have been in his car.  

Rob- Our victim thought he was safe since he lived in a gated community.

Ben- Many people don’t carry a gun because they have a gate and an automatic garage door opener. This attacker counted on his victim leaving their gun at home. The robber wanted this man’s wallet, phone, and maybe his car. The attacker might have demanded the victim open the house and turn off the alarm so he could take valuables as well.

Rob- This wasn’t a burglar. This was an armed robber.

Ben- He probably started out as a burglar a few years ago, but criminals lose fear of their victims as they complete crime after crime. Now he wants you to hand him your valuables, and the robber brought a gun to make sure you would. I like that our defender backed away to a safe place to call police. If the robber ran away, then let him go.

Rob- What do you want us to do in this situation?

Ben- The Transitional spaces are where criminals look for victims. That can be a parking lot, a mall, or the end of your driveway.

Lock your car doors before you back out of your garage and unlock them after you’ve closed your garage. Also, have your rescue tool with you. (Now you see why I call a gun a “self-rescue” tool.) Also, you just fought for your life. You’re going to be more upset than you’ve ever been. That is why you have to have a plan about what to say to the police.

Rob- What should we say?

Ben- Ask for help, give them location. Say I was attacked. I need police and EMTs.

When the police arrive, say I called you because I was attacked. I defended myself. I want to file a complaint against my attacker. This is where it happened. This is how I was injured. I’d like to get medical care as soon as possible.

After you show the policeman the evidence, then say these words. “I’ll cooperate and answer all your questions once I’ve spoken to my lawyer.” Every word after that costs you a thousand dollars.

Rob- Anything else?

Ben- That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Jacksonville, Florida.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed at work?   

It is 5:30 in the evening on a weekday eve. You work at a cell phone store. Another customer comes in. You’re standing behind the cash register working with another customer. A customer walks up and stands in line. Another employee asks the new customer if he can help him. The customer pulls out a knife and demands the money from the register. Every one backs away. So do you, except you have your concealed carry permit and you’re armed. You draw your gun and shoot your attacker several times as you back away from the sales counter. The robber runs out the door.

You ask your co-worker to call the police. You go outside and tell the barber who works next door that you were robbed. You also ask the barber to call the police and to lock his door. A group of people in the parking lot are standing around your attacker shouting for him to tie a tourniquet around his leg. EMTs arrive and take your attacker to the hospital.

Ben- This happens. Thousands of people are stabbed during robberies. The criminal is more likely to use a knife than a rifle or shotgun. The advantage of using a firearm for self-defense is that it works at a distance. You can back away and protect yourself, and that is exactly what this clerk did.

The clerk had his gun on his body. That is important  because you can’t get the gun under the counter after you back away from the knife wielding robber standing at the cash register. I’m not willing to walk into a knife in order to get my gun.

Ben- The armed clerk asked the other employee to call police. He also asked his neighbor to call police and to lock his door so he’d be safe. Those actions are what good guys do.

Rob- What should we do?

Ben- Lock the door when the robber leaves. Call the police ourselves. Tell them where you are, what you need, and what you look like. Ask everyone in the store to call the police too. (That way the police have the phone number of every witness.) Ask the witnesses if they are injured. Ask the other employees and customers to step to the back of the store until police arrive and have secured the area. Being worried about innocent people being injured by a knife wielding attacker is what the good guys do.

Rob- I’d gave me a four sentence plan, but I’d never do that unless I thought about it now.

Ben- Welcome to self-defense gun stories, Rob.

Rob- Thank you, Ben. Let’s go on.

Ben- Our third story happened last week in Saint Louis, Missouri.Please support the Crime Prevention Research Center at http://crimeresearch.org/

Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you walk down the street?

You and your friend stepped out of the gas station. It is almost ten at night when you walk across the parking lot a stranger steps out from between two cars. The stranger has a gun and demands your wallet and phone. You’re being robbed.

You have your concealed carry permit. You’re armed. You draw your gun and shoot your attacker three times as you step back. You and your friend both run away from the attack.

You call police and EMTs. They take your attacker to the hospital.

Ben- Defend yourself and your friend from a man with a gun at night.

Rob- How do I protect my friend?

Ben- I like that our defender had his gun with him. He carried on body rather than leaving it back in his car or in a backpack. He had his defensive tool so he could get to it in a fraction of a second. He moved as he defended himself. It is harder to shoot as you move, but it is much harder to be shot as you move, and to goal is to not get shot.

Rob- That is a good goal.

Ben- Our good guy called the police and stayed on the scene to give a report. Good job. Now I’ll answer your question about protecting friends. Say I’m out with my family or friends. It is very hard to rob two people if they are armed and have a plan. My wife can hide behind me and draw her gun. My friend and I can step away from each other and both draw as we back up.

Rob- I can’t watch two moving targets at the same time.

Ben- Nor can the criminal.

Rob- You make it sound easy.

Ben- You need to have a plan because you can’t think when you’re being robbed.

Rob- What else do we need beyond a plan.

Ben- You need to practice. Defense is both a mental and a physical skill. Get your permit. Learn to draw from concealment, and practice until it is second nature.

Rob- You make it sound simple.

Ben- I have a physical fitness plan. It is simple, but like self-defense, it isn’t easy. You will get results if you do the work.

Rob- Effort in, Results out.

Ben- Exactly. Let’s go to our fourth story that took place last week in Seattle , Washington.

Rob- Fourth story- Do you have a self-defense tool nearby when you’re asleep?

You’re startled awake by the sound of glass breaking. It is after midnight and you were asleep in your own bed. You call police and tell them someone is downstairs in your home. You grab your gun and hide in the closet. You hear someone come up the stairs. You shoot the intruder after he entered your bedroom and starts toward you. You tell the dispatcher to send EMTs.

Police arrive a few minutes later. Neighbors say there are a lot of homeless people and drug users in the area.

Ben- I think our defender had a plan because he did so many things correctly. I’m glad the homeowner could defend himself. He stayed upstairs and called the police rather than go investigate the noise.

Rob- He had the police on the phone.

Ben- Let’s talk about that. There is a time to talk and a time to defend. Get the things you need right now before the things you might need later.

Grab your rescue tool. If you’re a new listener, that means your firearm.

Grab your flashlight and your cell phone. Lock your bedroom door. Turn on the light. That frightens most burglars away.

Rob- When would your students learn about this sort of situation?

Ben-  Only to save another family member.  The police will come in force and will be prepared to deal with anything inside the house… you are not ready in the middle of sleep and will take too much time to get ready.  During that time you are vulnerable.

Rob- Should you do anything different?

Ben- I like the idea of an announcement.  Keep the police on the line so everything is recorded (remember everything is being recorded), and tell the person down stairs, I have a gun, police are on the way, if you leave now you can probably get away, if you come up here I will shoot you.

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 website, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.

Ben- We share this podcast with you for free.  Please share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. We’re also available on Google Play Music,Tunein, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.

Rob- This podcast and Ben’s are 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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