Episode 164 with Amanda Suffecool

Rob- Introduction-

Perhaps you’re curious about self-defense. Maybe you’re already trained. I’m glad you found us and welcome to episode 164 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. I’m Rob Morse. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Amanda Suffecool.

Amanda- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working and shooting and training and planning a series of events including a DCProject fundraiser,  AMM-Con Alternative Mass Media Communications where I am emceeing and SAF’s GRPC where I have been asked to speak.  

What is new in your world?

Rob- No range time, only dry practice. We received another rating and another review on iTunes this week (92/54). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and give us a rating and leave a comment.

Amanda- Your reviews tell new listeners that this podcast is worth their time.

We have four recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. Were they lucky, or had they trained? What should we do if we were in their place? We give you the links back to the original news article in our show notes.  Our first story took place last week in Detroit, Michigan

Rob- Are you armed as you work in front of your home?

You’re working on your truck in front of your home. You hear a strange sound and turn your head. You see two large german shepherd dogs running at you. You stand up and step back. One dog grabs the legs of your pants and tries to pull you off your feet.

You’re armed. You draw your firearm and shoot at the dog. You missed, but the dog lets go. It lunges for you again and this time you shoot the dog. Now both dogs run away.  You call the police and animal control.

Amanda- Your only defense is what you have within arms reach. You could have the best gun in the world inside your house. You could have a cannon in your truck, and it won’t help you. If you have to defend yourself, then you can only use what you have right now.

Rob- I don’t want to fight two german shepherds with my bare hands.

Amanda- Our defender was armed. He stopped the threat. He stopped shooting when the dogs ran away and the attack stopped. He called police. He made a report when they arrived. That is what good guys do.

Rob- This was over in seconds. 

Amanda- You won’t be able to think your way out of these problems. You have to act your way out. You only have a split second and you can only use your old habits. All you have available are the actions you rehearsed before.

Rob- That is why you tell us to practice?

Amanda-  Exactly. Practice presenting your firearm. Practice backing-up as you draw. Practice shooting with your gun close to you, because you don’t want to put your arms out where a dog (or a bad guy) can get them.

Think about what you’ll say to the police. Oh, that’s right. You’re supposed to get to a safe place, to look and see if there are witnesses, to call the police.

I think this man thought about a dog attack because a relative had recently been killed by a pack of dogs. He was ready.

Rob- We don’t talk about four legged predators very much.

Amanda- About a thousand people a day go to the emergency room to treat a dog bite.

Rob- You know everything.

Amanda- Yes, and I know that our second story happened last week in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed at work?

It is four in the afternoon. You’re getting the usual mix of customers at this time of day. Some are kids out of school. Some are adults returning home from work. You’re repairing a customer’s phone when a stranger comes through the door. You look up as the stranger throws a bag across the counter. The stranger has a hoodie over his face and a gun in his hand. The gun is pointed at you.

You have your concealed carry permit. You’re armed. The robber turns go step behind the counter and you draw your firearm. You shoot your attacker several times in the head and chest. Your attacker drops to the ground and drops his gun. You stop shooting, call 911, and stay at the scene to talk to police.

Security video shows your attack. You used your military training to defend yourself. This is the third attempted robbery on this store.

 Amanda- I watched the video. This clerk had about 2 and a half seconds from the bad guy presenting a gun until the defense was over. I can’t say my own name that fast.

Our defender recognized a threat. He had a plan of action. He defended himself. He stopped shooting when the attacker went down. He got to a safe place and called the police. They had video surveillance to record the attack. 

Rob- Those are a lot of things done right. How important is that video?

Amanda- You were just in the fight of your life. You don’t know what happened. You think you do, but you don’t. Even if you did know, you’re too excited to explain it. Don’t try. Tell the police to arrest the attacker and Give the police whatever evidence you have.  Then Tell the police you’ll fully cooperate and answer all their questions when you’ve spoken to a lawyer. 

Know It will be a few days before you have a clear head, a few days until you can make a clear statement to your lawyer or through your lawyer, and only then will you really be ready to answer any further questions.

Rob- It takes that long?

Amanda- The adrenalin in your system is so powerful that you suffered a traumatic brain injury. It takes you a few days to recover.

Rob- It is that powerful?

Amanda- Believe it. The good news is that adrenaline makes you fast and strong. The bad news is that it wipes out your ability to think.
Rob- What else would you like us to do if we were attacked in a retail store?

Amanda- It would be nice to move so you don’t get shot. Unfortunately, our defender was sitting down  in a corner with only one way out when he was attacked. He had to move toward the attacker to escape. That might be why our defender stopped the attack immediately by shooting the attacker in the head. It might also be because our eyes are drawn to the threat, and the attacker’s gun was near his face and the rest of his body was hidden behind a counter display. I don’t know.

Rob- That is a lot to think about.

Amanda- While you’re thinking, let’s go on to our third story in Wenatchee, Washington.

Rob- First this message from Doctors for responsible gun ownership, DRGO.us

Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you stop for gasoline?

You’re pulling into a gas station with your jet ski in tow behind your truck. You need gas. Before you can park, you see the store clerk run from the store. A man is chasing her and punching her in the head. She runs toward your truck screaming for help. You get out of your truck and keep the truck between you and the attacker. The attacker hits the woman again and then he moves toward you. You draw your firearm and order the attacker to the ground. You stand behind him. You shout for other bystanders to call 911.

The attack inside the store and outside the store are caught on surveillance video. You stay at the scene and tell the police what you saw. 

Amanda- This is amazing. Lots of us would deny what was happening right in front of our eyes. That man can’t be hitting that woman. She can’t be screaming for help. He can’t be threatening us.

He was. She was. He is, and we have to act.

Our good guy did the right thing. He stayed behind the truck. He didn’t shoot because he didn’t face an immediate unavoidable threat. He stopped the attack and he stayed and spoke to the police.

Rob- The truck offered some protection to our good guy. That protection might have saved the attacker’s life because it kept him at a distance. Is there anything else you’d like to add to this story? What should we think about if this happened to us?

Amanda- It kept our defender safe, but if the attacker hit the clerk again, then an innocent person would face an immediate threat. There is lots to think about.

Also, if you don’t have training in holding someone at gunpoint, then you really want them to run away. Let the police get them later. I wonder if this defender was trained. See what being hidden behind the truck did for him; he could draw slowly or present quickly, and the attacker couldn’t see it coming because the good guy’s hands were hidden behind the back of the truck.

When the attack is over, you want to ask every witness if they are injured and ask them to call 911..even if you’ve already called. Making that call puts the witnesses at the scene so the police can contact them later.

Also, it would have been great if someone could have rendered first aid to the injured lady. You can’t do that while you have a firearm in your hands.  Your attention is holding the bad guy at bay. 

If you can’t call, then you want someone with a phone talking to 911 and also talking to you. That way you can put your gun away as the police arrive.

When the police get there, you could be cuffed and put on the ground. Let the police take control of the crime scene. Your job is to not get hurt, and you do that by doing what the police tell you to do.

Rob- Is it very common that we defend a stranger?

Amanda-  One would think that they would.  So yeah – I think it’s more common than not.  

Amanda- Our forth story took place last week in Trinity, Florida.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?

It is after work and you’re mowing your grass. You hear your neighbor scream. A few seconds later you notice her putting her kids on the roof as she lowers them out of a second story window. You hear screams from inside the house. You come over and grab the kids as they try to get down. You back toward your house with the children. A man comes out of the house and yells at you. You say you’re just worried about the kids and back into your yard. The neighbor shouts at you and then shoots at you.

You have your Florida concealed carry license. You’re armed. You draw your concealed firearm and shoot your attacker. He stops shooting. You get the kids to safety and call the police.

The sheriff said you were a hero.

Amanda- Wow. What do you do? Yes, you’re going to get involved because you see that children are in danger. At first, all you know is what your heard. You don’t know if it is a fire or a fight. Our defender backed away once the kids were safe. He tried to de-escalate with words and to de-escalate the situation with distance.

When our good guy was attacked, our defender was prepared to protect his life because he faced a lethal, immediate, and unavoidable threat. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He got the kids to safety and called police. He complied with the police when they arrived. He stayed at the scene and made a short statement. He identified witnesses.

Rob- That is a lot. How do I remember to do all that, and when do you talk to your students about a situation like this?

Amanda- Practice. Take a self-defense class. Take a class on the legal use of lethal force. Study these stories. Listen to them, and then go back and read them when you’re not driving down the road. Imagine them happening to you, and consider what you could do, and what you should do.

Rob- Yes, teacher.

Amanda- I expect the answers on my desk tomorrow.

Rob- You can’t do things unless under stress unless you imagined them first. When I shoot IDPA I’ve been put in a pretend situation where I have to grab a friend and pull them to safety. That makes me shoot one-handed.

Amanda- Even better would be to practice a 911 call at the end of the competition. You’d be out of breath and mumble mouthed, but that is the sort of practice we need.

Rob- What else do you see?

Amanda- Defending a third person is hard. You don’t know if you’re helping a mom who’s being attacked, or if the dad is the legal guardian with full time custody and the mom is kidnapping the kids. In this case, you were simply protecting the children until the cops can sort out what is going on.

The kids make it easier to decide what to do because we know that the young kids were not the aggressors in this fight.


Rob- Amanda, you always give me something to think about, Amanda. That wraps up this episode. Where can we learn more about you?

Amanda- You can find me at eye on the target radio radio. I have a nationally syndicated radio show. You can call in and talk with us Sunday nights from 5 to 7 eastern time. I also instruct on the weekends.

Rob- After you sign up for Amanda’s podcast, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page or on the Self Defense Gun Stories webpage.

Amanda- 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 Amanda’s Eye on the Target Radio, are part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more great podcasts at sdrn.us

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

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