Episode 173 with David Cole
Welcome to episode 173 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Perhaps you’re well trained, or maybe 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 David Cole.
David- Hi, Rob. I finished up the USPA season, and ’ve been hunting.
Rob- We received a rating and review on iTunes from Peekajew(110/61). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time.
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 news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Burlington, North Carolina.
You hear crashing sounds from the back of your house. The sounds repeat again and again. You grab your shotgun and go to find out what is happening. You see someone with an axe beating on your back door. You shout for him to leave and tell him that you’re armed. When the door breaks, you have your shotgun pointed at the intruder. Now, the intruder looks at you, looks at the gun, and drops the axe. He turns and runs away. You let him go. You stay in your house and call the police. Officers take a description of your intruder and arrest him as he’s walking down the street a few blocks away.
Tag- no shots fired.
David- The robber used tools left out by the homeowner. It’s not uncommon to have an axe in the backyard next to our woodpile. Still, it was good that our defender locked his doors and had a firearm nearby. He stayed away from the door and used verbal commands. He never let the robber get close to him. Our defender had enough presence of mind that he recognized that a lethal threat was feet away, but that he still had the option not to shoot, and that saved this criminal’s life. Our defender didn’t chase the bad guy. He called police and gave a good description of the criminal.
Rob- Do stories like this happen very often?
David- Criminals may change their habits over time. They often start by stealing things. They go from shoplifting to car theft to burglary. Although most burglaries occur during the daytime, when residents aren’t normally at home, sometimes they stop caring if we’re at home and their burglaries change to robberies. Then they might start robbing people on the street and at home.
The opioid epidemic which has affected much of the country, and is particularly bad in my area, can drive addicts to commit thefts in order to fund their habit, and often nothing is too insignificant to be a target for theft.
Rob- What would you like us to do if someone starts beating on our back door?
David- Put safety film on your windows before that happens. Strengthen your doors. Carry your keys with you And keep them on your nightstand, so you can set off the alarm on your cars. Go armed when you’re at home because this homeowner was counting on hope that he could get to his shotgun before the intruder could get it. Hope is a bad plan.
Better to “game out” scenarios which might occur and consider how you could respond. Make an actual plan…and share it with other members of the household. You also need to know your reaction time. If a person with an axe is close to you, and you still have your gun hanging by one hand, then you’re going to get cut. Guns work at a distance so we want to use that distance to stay safe.
Rob- Talk to me about keeping a loaded gun in the home if you’re not carrying it with you.
David- Secure storage is important to prevent unauthorized people from having access to your firearms. Having a loaded long gun ready to go like this man is all well and good…but what if there are kids in the house? What happens to that gun when you leave?
Rob- Talk to me about storing a loaded handgun that you usually carry on your body.
David- Of course, I’d prefer the loaded handgun be on my person, but if we’re going to stage one, the best option is one of the many rapid-access safes available on the market.
Rob- Is there something else that comes to mind about this story?
David- That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Austin, Texas.
You make an early morning food delivery to an apartment complex. You’re walking back to your car when a stranger comes up to you. The stranger asks you if you know what time it is. You don’t answer, and the stranger draws a gun. You draw yours, and the stranger walks away before you shoot. You duck down between the cars and dart back to your car. You call the cops and drive to a nearby convenience store. Once the cops are back at the apartment building, you drive back and give the police a description of your attacker.
The police find your attacker at the next apartment building.
Tag- no shots fired.
David- Our defender had his carry permit so he could legally carry a gun in public, and he had his gun on his person. He didn’t hesitate to present the gun. He called the police and moved to safety. He waited for police and was prepared to make a statement, and was able to identify his attacker.
Rob- What would you like us to do if we were in this situation.
David- Know when you may and may not use lethal force. Know the law so that you can be confident about your decision. Defend your life when you face a lethal, immediate, and unavoidable threat. In this case, although our defender would almost certainly been justified in shooting, for some reason he chose not to. It worked out in this case. However, had he decided to shoot, the ability to draw while moving and make hits until the threat stops would have been critical.
Rob- That was described to me as the rule of “Can, should, and must.” Why didn’t our defender know about that?
David- Concealed carry courses typically teach you how to safely carry a firearm and perhaps the basics of legal use of force so that you’re not a danger to the public. But most classes are too short to get in depth with the legal aspects of self-defense. Most classes also don’t have time to get into defensive firearm skills such as safely and efficiently drawing and presenting the gun, and other practical shooting skills. Go beyond the minimum education required by law. Today, there are millions of us who live in constitutional carry states where no training is legally required. It is up to us to learn what we need to know.
Rob– When was the last time you took a refresher class or read a book to get better at gun handling or the legal aspects of using lethal force in self-defense.
David- Read and listen to Anderew Branca at the Law of self defense!
Rob- Did you notice anything else?
David- This happened in dim light or in the dark. Consider how you will deal with this. Keep a quality flashlight with your defensive firearm, and don’t forget: It’s your house…turn the lights on! Take a low-light shooting class.
Rob- Where are we going next?
David- Our third story happened last week in Cocoa, Florida.
It is early Sunday morning. You stopped to get gas and a soft drink. You see a security guard talking to two men outside the convenience store. The two men attack the guard. They keep hitting the guard even after he is down on the ground. You shout for them to stop. One of the men looks up and charges you. You have your concealed carry permit. You’re armed. You draw your gun and shoot your attacker once in the chest. Now he stops. You step back and call the police.
Later, the police told you your attacker jumped the security guard because he was peeing in public was the guard asked him to leave..
David- This is a tough one, for reasons we’ll get to in a moment. But our defender had his permit and was armed, and knew the law so he recognized when he could intervene in the defense of an innocent person. The victim was outnumbered and faced an immediate, unavoidable and potentially lethal threat so our defender was justified in using lethal force. The defender stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He stayed at the scene and gave a statement to the police.
Rob- There is more to it than that.
David- Defending an innocent party is always a tough call, because you don’t know what happened before you came on the scene. For example, most states allow you to use force to defend another if that person would have been allowed to use that level of force themselves. One of the fundamental elements of legal self-defense is innocence, meaning you didn’t start things. Do you know for sure that the person you are about to shoot is innocent? In this case, our defenders made the right call.
Rob- Speaking of making a call. Tell me about the 911 call.
David- You want to make that call. Don’t count on other people. You want to stay in touch with the dispatcher so you know when to put your gun away. Expect to be handcuffed until the police figure out what is going on. Be prepared to make a statement and help the police identify witnesses and point out any evidence that might help them investigate. You might also want to get the injured guard to safety and then make sure he receives treatment. Do you have first aid supplies and the training to use them?
David- Our forth story took place last week in Akron, Ohio.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work?
It is after dark. You and your co-worker are getting ready to close up for the day. Two men come inside your beauty supply store. They are dressed in black, wearing masks over their faces, and they have guns in their hands. They demand the money from the cash register. You draw your firearm and shoot one of your attackers and he drops to the floor. The other attacker runs away.
Rob- David, this news story leaves out some important details.
David- It really does. Let’s ask some of those unanswered questions after we know what the defender did correctly. First, our defender was armed. That probably means he had his concealed carry permit since Ohio is not a constitutional carry state. He called the police. He stayed at the scene and gave a statement.
Rob- Now let’s get to those questions.
David- Were both employees armed?
Rob- Why does that matter?
David- It is harder to defend against or control multiple people than just one! Just like two robbers are more difficult to manage than one…two defenders are harder to control than just one. If both defenders are armed, the robbers’ problem just got tougher.
Still, there are important considerations when working with an armed partner. We need to consider separating from each other; creating distance so that the threat can’t easily cover both of us. At the same time, we want to consider the direction we may have to shoot, and where our partner is positioned, so that we don’t shoot each other. And just like in our home defense planning, discussing scenarios and planning with our co-workers can help reduce confusion and lag time if a real defensive situation occurs.
Rob- You posted a video of you shooting several competition stages. You put two shots into each of two targets before a robber would be able to look up, take his gun off the counter, and see where you’re standing now.
David- True, but most people are not competitive shooters. Thinking out potential problems in advance can get us a step ahead, so that we don’t need to be so fast.
Have both you and your co-workers armed, if possible. Think about positioning, considering cover, concealment, and the locations of potential threats and your co-workers. Think about timing and opportunities to access your gun…or maybe creating a distraction.The best time to go to work is when the bad guy isn’t pointing a gun at you or at the other employees and isn’t looking at you.
After you shoot, then get away from your attackers. Lock the door. Find out if anyone like a co-worker or customer is hurt. Call 911 and be sure to tell them the scene is secure. Stay in the back room until the police or EMTs arrive. Holster your gun and keep talking to the dispatcher so you know when to go to the front of the store and unlock the door. Give a very brief statement to the police and give them the store security video.
Rob- Have you taught many people who carry in their stores?
David- Unfortunately, a lot of workplaces don’t allow it, but I think that is improving.
That wraps up this episode. David, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you look at David articles, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
David- 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. Find more great shows at sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories, and have a happy Thanksgiving.