Episode 176 with Tony Simon
Welcome to episode 176 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Perhaps you’re well trained, or maybe you’re curious about self-defense. I’m Rob Morse and I’m glad you found us this week. We’re joined today by self-defense instructor Tony Simon. I heard you interviewed by John Crump, and by Cheryl Todd on their podcasts.
Tony- Hi, Rob. I’ve been working and instructing and???
Rob- I owe a thank you to our listeners because we had over ten thousand downloads last month. We also received one more ratings and three more comments on iTunes this week (112/63)
Tony- So people wrote a comment, but didn’t give you a star?
Rob- That happens sometimes. We got a comment from a listener in Hawaii, so that made up for it. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time.
Tony- We’ll study recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. Were they lucky, or did they bring good habits with them? We give you the links back to the original news article in our show notes.
Our first story took place last week in Macomb, Michigan.
You and your brother own a convenience store gas station. It is eight at night and you’re both working behind the counter. A stranger walks in and asks for a bottle of liquor. You ring up the sale. Instead of handing you cash or a card, the man hits you in the face with the bottle. You’re stunned and step back. Your attacker raises the bottle again. You have your Michigan concealed pistol license. You’re armed. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker twice. Now your attacker back away. He starts to run and falls to the floor. You and your brother call the police and EMTs.
EMTs take your attacker to the hospital with two gunshot wounds to the stomach. You give the police your security video, and then you go to the hospital as well. The officers say they’d met the same suspect earlier in the day and told him to leave a store down the street after he was acting strangely.
What did our defender do correctly?
Tony- You and your brother were together, but you’re often working alone. You’re confined by a counter, so you have limited directions you can run. You’re probably reaching out for the bottle so you can put it in a paper bag. That bottle is a pretty heavy club. If it broke, you have liquor and glass in your eyes, and you might be cut. Now you realize you have to defend yourself and you are way behind in the fight.
Our defender planned to defend himself. He recognized a risk and he bought a gun. Hopefully he tried several of them and found a gun that fit him. It sounds like he had his gun on him, so that means he had a holster. He learned to carry a concealed firearm. He learned to present his firearm from concealment.. and he practiced. Practice is what lets you present your firearm AFTER someone has hit you in the head, and you may have liquor, blood and glass in your face. Our defender stopped shooting when the attacker moved away. The good guys got to safety and called the police. They also had video evidence to show the police.
What you might not notice at first, but he was injured, and he wants a hospital report describing his injuries.
Rob- He did a lot of things correctly. Is there anything else you’d like us to do?
Tony- He saved his life, and the life of his brother. I want both of you armed and working together on your defense. That makes you much harder to injure or to kill. Rob, if someone is attacking you, then I can come to your defense.
I also want our defender to go to HIS doctor the next day and get an independent report of his injuries. That makes it harder for a prosecutor to say you weren’t really injured when you have your own medical reports. Also, you want your own copies of the video you gave the police. DO NOT give them the original files. Keep those on your hard drive. They can have copies. Have their forensic software tech at your office if they want to do that, but you do not want to depend on the police to turn over the evidence that proves your innocence.
Rob- Is there anything else you noticed about this story?
Tony- Think about what happened. Our defender was a young man. What would happen if an attacker hit a woman or an older man in the head with a full glass bottle? Hits to the head like that will break bones in your face and skull, but the glass can cut your eyes, face and neck.. And that can kill you.
That is why I tell my small business owners is to have a medical kit at work and in their car.
Rob- Accidents are more likely than attacks. Your customer slips, grabs at a shelf, falls down, and knocks down a glass bottle. Now they’re cut. I can imagine my kids doing that when the were younger.
Tony- That’s a good reason to have a medical kit in your car if you are a mom or dad and want to repair your kids until you get them stitched up at the local trauma center. The stop-the-bleed class is only an hour long. How much medical training do you have, Rob?
Rob- About a half day a year. And you?
Rob- Does anything else come to mind before we move on?
Tony- I’m ready for the next story, and it happened last week in Hinesville, Georgia.
You are a clerk in a small town convenience store. You know most of your customers. Some of them buy on credit. A regular customer comes in a few hours after sunset. You say hello, but he says to give him the money from the cash register. He says he has a gun in his pocket and to hand over the cash or he’ll kill you. Your attacker lowers his hands toward his belt line.
You’re armed. You draw your firearm and shoot your attacker. Your attacker steps back after the first shot. You run for the back room and call the police. You give a statement and give the police the security video.
Tony- The clerk recognized that he had a dangerous job. He bought a gun for personal protection. He learned how to shoot. He bought a holster. He learned how to carry concealed and to present his firearm from the concealed holster. It doesn’t mention it in the news article, but Georgia is not a constitutional carry state. That makes me think the clerk probably had his carry permit.
That evening, the clerk recognized a lethal threat when an adult said he was going to kill him and reached for his belt line. Our defender took action to save his life. He did not chase the bad guy, but moved to safety when the threat stopped. He called 911. He made a statement to the police that said he was the victim of an attack and that the injured man was the person who attacked him. Then our defender gave the police the video as evidence.
Rob- I noticed that the clerk did a lot of things correctly before the attacker walked in the store.
Tony- That is the amazing thing about self-defense. Your can’t think about it as it is happening because it happens too quickly and too violently. That means you determine the outcome BEFORE the attack. Are you armed? Are you trained? Did you practice your training so you have good habits? Doing that homework, those few minutes a week, is how you survive the few seconds of an attack.
Rob- What else did you notice about this story?
Tony- In these first two stories, the attacker didn’t produce a gun. We won’t always know what a threat looks like.
Our defender knew his attacker. I think the attacker had an addiction problem, and even though the attacker was familiar to the victim, the victim took the threat seriously. That is hard to do. We don’t expect to have our life threatened by someone we see several times a week.
I like that the store had video recordings. That makes it much easier to prove your innocence.
If you work retail, then I want you to think about this. If you have to defend yourself, what is behind the attacker? Are you looking down a long row of merchandise where other customers might be shopping? Is it the checkout line where innocent people are standing? Is it the store windows and the street? Now would you have to move so you had a solid background behind your attacker?
Rob- That IS something to think about.
Tony- Our third story happened last week in Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation
You’re done shopping. It is late in the day but still light outside when you walk out of the store. You turn down the street when two men start walking toward you. They step in front of you so you can’t pass them. One of the men pulls a gun from his pocket. They tell you to empty your pockets. You have your Illinois Concealed Carry License in your pocket along with your Firearms Owners Identification Card. You have your personal firearm on your hip. You step back, draw and fire your handgun. You shoot the armed attacker in the shoulder and thigh. Both men run. You run the other way and call the police.
Your attacker is arrested at a local hospital.
Tony- As we’re looking at these stories, it keeps getting harder for our defenders. This defender faced two armed men who attacked him on the street. Fortunately, he did the right things we mentioned earlier.
Rob- He was armed. He knew how to present his firearm. He ran. What else?
Tony- If possible, you want to move. Can you move between parked cars so there is something between you and the bad guys as you defend yourself?
He didn’t chase his attackers, but ran to a safe place and called the police. That puts you in the good-guy column.
This is what you want to say to the 911 operator..
Rob- What if they ask you how many people attacked you? How they were armed, how long ago you were attacked, or how many shots you fired?
Tony- You don’t have to answer those questions, because you really don’t know the answers. It feels like it was a few seconds ago, but it probably was over a minute before you made the call. You can say, I defended myself with several shots and then I called you immediately once I was safe.
Also, you saved your life. Now I want you to save your innocence. Have a self-defense lawyer you can call. There are several legal plans across the US and you should have one if you carry concealed.
Rob- I’m going to listen to that again when I edit the show.
Tony- You should.
Rob- When do your students get to move as they shoot?
Tony- Our forth story took place last week in Amarillo, Texas.
Tony- Are you trying to make a point here with the convenience store stories?
Rob- Yes, I am. Learn from other peoples’ experience where bad things happen to good people.
It is a few minutes before 9 at night. Two teenagers walk into your store. One of them is carrying a shotgun and he points the gun at you. The younger man has a handgun. You put your hands up and move to the side. You’re armed. The two teens move toward the cash register. That is when you move, present your firearm and shoot the nearest attacker twice, then you shoot the second attacker. They drop their guns and try to run.
You step back and call the police. EMTs take your attackers to the hospital.
Tony- This clerk was prepared. He thought about what he would do if he faced a lethal, immediate, and unavoidable theat, and a shotgun is exactly that. Criminals cheat. Our defender was outnumbered. He faced two armed attackers. They had their guns out and pointed at him before he knew there was a threat.
These news stories are incomplete, but since Texas isn’t a constitutional carry state, I think our defender probably had his Texas License to Carry card. Our attacker did a good job avoiding a gunfight. He waited until he had the time he needed to defend himself. He recognized when he had an opportunity and he knew how much time he needed because he’d practiced drawing and shooting from concealment. He had some training so he knew to put two shots on the high center-chest of the primary attacker and then move to the next threat. He called the police and then gave a statement.
Rob- What else do you tell your students to do in this situation?
Tony- Move. Get in the habit of moving your feet. If you have to practice in a range with ports where they won’t let you draw, then move to one side of the port and step to the other side as you aim and fire. You can’t do that until you know the fundamentals, and have practiced them. That takes a few minutes every other day. You can also move as you dry-practice at home.
If the criminals run away, then lock the door so they don’t come back. You might have to get their guns so a customer doesn’t pick them up. If you can, and it is a big if and depends on circumstances, then you might still lock the door so an armed get-away-driver can’t come in and shoot you or your customers. Check on your customers. Ask them if they are hurt and ask them to call 911 on their phones. It would be great to have surveillance video to use in your defense.
Be brief when you talk to 911 and the police. Right now you are under the influence of a brain altering chemical called adrenaline. That means you have no idea what happened or what you’re saying.
Repeat this back to me so I know you heard it, you did good, but you’re messed up, so shut up.
Rob- I did good, but I”m messed up, so I should shut up.
Tony- That’s right. Ask the responding police for a drink of water and you probably have to go to the bathroom.
Rob- What is the hardest thing to do when you decide to protect yourself?
Tony- That is easy. The hard part is admitting there are things you don’t know. Then you have to do the dull, routine, repetitive, essential, dry-practice to learn new habits. Everyone wants to be fast and accurate, but you have to earn those skills a few minutes a week.
Rob- We keep talking about dry practice. When do you teach your students to safely practice without ammunition in their gun?
Exit- Rob- that wraps up this episode. Tony, thank you for helping us this week. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you look at Tony’s classes, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
Tony- 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, Podbean, Tunein, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.
Rob- This show is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find other great podcasts at sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. Merry Christmas, and we’ll be back in a few weeks with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.