Episode 172 with Amanda Suffecool

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 172 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Maybe you’re well trained, or perhaps you’re simply curious about self-defense. I’m Rob Morse and I’m glad you found us. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Amanda Suffecool.

Amanda- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been putting on fashion shows, planning next years line up of fashion shows and teaching and training.   In 6 weeks was in Phoenix, DC, Scranton, Chino Valley, Chicago…

Rob- We received two more ratings on iTunes this week (109/60). Thank you to SkyChief and Laserant for leaving a review. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time.

Amanda- 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 news article in our show notes.  Our first story took place last week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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

You’re on your way home after work. The sun is setting when your teenage daughter calls you. She says two strange men are knocking on the doors and windows of your home. While you’re talking with her, your daughter says the strangers broke the glass door at the back of the house. You tell her to lock herself in the back bathroom. You drive faster and call the police.

The police tell you to wait outside your home until officers arrive. You have your concealed carry permit. You’re armed. You enter your home and go to your daughter. She is unhurt. You tell her to lock herself in the bathroom again and you stand guard until the police clear the house.

You gave the police good pictures of the intruders from your security system.

Amanda- That is every parents nightmare. Give the family credit for locking their doors. Mom thought ahead and had a security system installed. She trained her daughter about what to do when there was a threat. Mom called the police as soon as she could. She was armed and went to defend her daughter. I like it that mom did not clear her house, but left that to the police.

Rob- We’re seeing more stories like this. We have more people carrying concealed. We have more children home alone. Fewer of us know our neighbors very well. Is there anything that we might do if we’re in that situation?

Amanda- This home invasion happened in Fort Lauderdale and that is hurricane country. Add plastic security films to your outside glass. Can your children stay with a neighbor until you get home. Better yet, build a security plan with your neighbors so you can both watch out for each other. Also, teach your children to call 911.

We don’t know her daughter’s age. It makes a difference if she was an immature 12 year old or a mature 19 year old. When the kids are ready, talk to them about self-defense and teach them how to defend themselves.

Rob- Should we teach them to shoot?

Amanda- That is a parent’s decision, but we should do something. If our children are old enough to leave alone then we have to work with them on their safety. We ask 18 year olds to join the army and fly a plane, so they can have the necessary maturity.  And there are many less than lethal options for those in that mid-age zone.

Rob- Have you taught young adults in your classes?

Amanda-  Yes, we interview the parents and find out how they are storing their firearms. And AS LONG as it complies with basic safety rules, we will align our class to correspond with the family rules.  I don’t want to put parents into a situation where “the instructor said” something completely different than you did – dad.  

Rob- What else did you notice?

Amanda- did you catch where the dispatcher tells the parent to ‘stay outside’ – as if…   you would not find that I was willing to leave my child in danger while I was ‘safely outside’ with a guns and knowledge… a means of defending her.  Never in 1000 years. 

Rob- It sounds like the dispatcher is selling department policy rather than best practice.

Amanda- That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed at home early in the morning?   

You’re doing early morning chores outside your home when you hear your girlfriend scream. You rush back inside and see two men with beating your girlfriend and holding her down. The men are armed with a gun and a knife. You grab your shotgun and shoot at them. They run. You call police and EMTs. You girlfriend goes to the hospital for a checkup. Fortunately, she is only bruised.

The police find one of your attackers at the hospital.

Amanda- These are tough stories this week. I’m glad our good guy owned a gun. An innocent person faced a threat that was immediate, unavoidable, and lethal, so our defender used his gun for self-defense. He stopped shooting once the attackers ran away. He called the police and EMTs. He stayed at the scene and gave a statement to the police.

Rob- What should we do when we’re at home?

Amanda- The first thing that comes to mind is to lock your doors. Also, having a gun tucked into a corner of your house is betting on luck. What if the bad guys are between you and your gun? Plan to to carry your defensive tools on your body, and it would have been nice if both adults were armed. Even then, there are also few problems I see. First, Glen Burnie is a suburb of Baltimore. Sheriffs in that area deny concealed carry permits to ordinary citizens, so you can’t carry in public, but you can carry at home.

The second thing I noticed is how strange this attack was. The attackers knew the homeowners. They entered the house even though someone was home. Most intruders run away when they encountered the occupants but these guys attacked them.

Rob- Why do you think that happened?

Amanda- The best bet is that either the attackers were on drugs or they were looking for drugs, or looking for money for drugs. 

Rob- That matches the statistics I’ve seen. Do you train many couples for armed defense?

Amanda- This is probably my least trained group.  In my area, or in my experiences in my area – one half of the couple is interested / invested and the other is apathetic.   It’s great when you see a couple that is just that – a couple, doing things together. Training, defending, and living a good life together.

Rob- does that make a difference if they work together?

Our third story happened last week in Memphis, Tennessee.

Rob- First this message from CPRC

Rob- Third story- Are you armed in public?

You walk out of a store late at night. As you’re walking across the parking lot, you notice that someone is inside your car. You shout for him to get out. Someone in a black SUV nearby shoots at you. You shoot back. The robber gets out of your car and jumps into the SUV before it drives away.

You call police. The SUV drops off the wounded robber at a nearby hospital.

Amanda- Our good guy was armed in public, he had his concealed carry permit and made use of it. He was aware of a problem before he got to his car. He tried verbal commands. He faced a lethal threat, one that you or I would not necesarily expect – from a ‘second area’ and not from the car that was his specific area of focus.   He defended himself. AND He stopped shooting when the bad guys drove away. AND He didn’t chase them, but stayed and called 911. He gave a brief statement to the police.

Rob- This is harder than hiding in your bedroom. 

Amanda- It is. Parking lots are dangerous. Parking lots at night are extra dangerous. You have to know how to carry concealed, how to present from concealment, and how to shoot in low light. I’d also bet our good guy was moving after the bad guys started shooting. I’d run back into the store I just left and stay there watching my car until the police arrived.

Rob- Tell me about that.

Amanda- Let’s back up. To defend yourself like this, you need to have some skills at the level of automatic or unconscious reactions. A new student is thinking about how the gun fits in their hand. Their attention is on the mechanics rather than on the tactics of staying alive. those skills become automatic by practicing at home with an empty gun. We call that “dry practice”. Work with an instructor so you have dry practice, range practice, and then review your progress with your instructor to make sure you haven’t let some bad habits creep in. Also, those automatic reactions go away if you don’t refresh them.   Think about it like the skills of driving a car. In the beginning you are unsure, watching and second guessing each step needed to keep the car on the road and the speed steady. Soon though – you are zipping around, driving with one hand, and a burger in the other. You need that level of skill with your firearm. 

Rob- When was the last time you tested your performance?

Amanda- I won a competition at Gunsite Academy last month, but I’d be kidding myself if I thought those skills would be there in six months if I didn’t practice.

Amanda- Our forth story took place last week outside Houston, Texas.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work?

You’re working in the back room of your jewelry store. You look up to see several young men rush through the front door. Now there are four men wearing masks and with hammers in their hands. They are threatening your employees and smashing your display cases.

You’re armed. You draw your gun, step to the doorway, and shoot your attackers. The robbers run away. You check on your employees and call the police.

Fortunately, your employes aren’t hurt. Police look at the security video from your store and from other stores nearby. The police locate the robbers and the getaway vehicle. They also find drugs and stolen jewelry from other stores. Two of the robbers were wounded.

Amanda- Our defender had an electronic door control so he had to look up and see each person who entered the store. He had a video system and a one way mirror so  he could watch the showroom while he worked in the back office. He was armed. He defended his employees. He didn’t chase the robbers down the street. He called police and gave them the surveillance video.

Rob- Does it get better than that?

Amanda- Maybe. The bad guy held the door open so the three other robbers could run inside. It also sounds like the store owner was the only person who was armed. This attack took place in Texas, so the employees could get their concealed carry permit.

Criminals don’t want a fair fight. There were four attackers in this case. Four attacker with a heavy blunt object.  Was it to break the cases or to break resistance? That means your entire staff needs to be part of the defense. They need to work together for their own safety.

The store owner was shooting at the attackers from the back of the store. His own employees were in front of him. Did they have a plan so the employees were supposed to get out of the way and drop to the floor?

Rob- The four attackers had hammers. If one of the employees was being beaten, he might have run toward the back of the shop. That means he might have run into a bullet fired by the store owner.

Amanda- It is really important to talk to your employees and get on the same page so you’re all working together.

Rob- A common excuse I’ve heard is that defense is the job of the police.

Amanda- That is an excuse. It isn’t true. The police won’t protect you, they cannot be everywhere.  They are 10 minutes away – 10 LONG minutes. The police will take a report and start an investigation. Your safety, and the safety of your employees or co-workers is up to you.

Rob- Anything else before we close out the show?

Amanda- One last thing. Have a medical kit. There was a lot of flying glass in this attack. Treat your staff and customers with respect and have more than a box of bandaids to help them.


Rob- You wrap up a wound, and I’ll wrap up this episode. Amanda, thank you for joining us again. 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, when I am not out representing the DCProject. 50 pro gun women from 50 states. Check out my website at EyeOnTheTargetRadio.com, and check out the DCProject.info 

Rob- After you subscribe to Amanda’s show, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.

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 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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