Episode 178 with Amanda Suffecool
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Welcome to episode 178 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Perhaps you’re well trained in self defense, or maybe you’re only curious. I’m Rob Morse and I’m glad you found us today. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Amanda Suffecool.
Amanda- Hi, Rob. I’ve been working and shooting and… training and training, and training. Both training myself and others.
Rob- We received two more ratings and comment on iTunes this week (122/73). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time. A commenter said this was too scripted.
Amanda- I’m on this show every two months, and I’m doing the best I can. Is he talking scripted or according to a plan. Because its plan, but I think we fly off in different directions pretty often.
Rob- We take a long discussion and cut it down to 20 minutes. If it sounds choppy, that is my fault.
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 Las Vegas, Nevada
Rob- First story- Are you armed when you’re home alone?
It is after noon when you hear a knock at your front door. You ignore it since you’re home alone and not expecting visitors. A few minutes later, you hear glass breaking downstairs from the back of your house. You go to your bedroom and get your handgun. An intruder enters your bedroom and moves toward you. You shoot him one time in the chest. Now he runs away.
You call the police. The police find your attacker passed out in his getaway car. They take your attacker to the hospital where he died.
Amanda- I like that our defender owned a gun. She locked her doors and windows. Instead of looking for trouble, she retreated to a safe location. She defended herself before the intruder could reach her. Our defender didn’t chase the attacker as he ran away. She called the police and gave a statement
Rob- That is a lot to get right. Is there anything else you’d like us to do in a situation like this?
Amanda- It is a lot to get right, so I think our defender had thought about what to do and had a plan for her defense. Please carry on your body. What if our defender was at the other end of her house when the attacker broke in? In that case, she would have to fight her way past her attacker to get to her gun in the bedroom. We want a plan that works almost all the time, so we carry our defensive tools with us.
If possible, go to a room you can close down, lock up, so the bad guy has to break a door to get to you. You’re on the far side of the room, with your gun pointed at the door way, and dialing the police. You have a mental line in the sand. If the bad guy enters the room, then you’re going to shoot him until he’s no longer a threat or your run out of ammunition. That means you have to learn to make multiple shots. I assume our defender had her cell phone with her. Your phone is also one of your defensive tools.
Practice holding a gun on someone, and calling on the phone. Not that we want you calling 911 as a practice. But perhaps using your gun, practice holding the trashcan at bay while you order a pizza.
Rob- You gave me a refresher course. Thank you.
Amanda- That is what I do most weekends.
Rob- Is there anything else you want to mention before we go to our second story?
Amanda- That is enough for now. Our next story happened in Macon, Georgia.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work?
It is dark outside and the evening rush has slowed down a bit at your Chinese Restaurant. You’re working behind the counter. You look up to see a man come inside. He is dressed in black and has a gun in his hand. He walks up to you and demands the money from the cash register. You’re armed. You step to the side so the robber can get to the cash register. You draw your gun and shoot your attacker. Now, your attacker runs from the store. He shoots at the front of the store as he runs, and you shoot back at him.
No one in the store is hurt. You call the police. The police find your attacker at a nearby hospital and arrest him.
Amanda- I like that our defender kept his firearm concealed on his body. He recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat. That means he knew he could use lethal force to defend himself and everyone else in the restaurant. He shot the bad guy, and didn’t chase him down the street. He called the police, remained at the scene, and gave a statement.
Rob- This is a more complex situation than our first story.
Amanda- It really is. There are lots of innocent people around. This story could change dramatically if there were a long line of people waiting to pay their bill or to be seated.
Let’s talk about waiting your turn. Ben Branam calls it tactical patience. Practice shooting from concealment so you know how much time you need. When you see an opportunity that gives you the time you need, then move and then shoot until the threat goes away. That might mean that your attacker runs away. It might mean that your attacker drops his gun. It also means you have to practice moving and then putting multiple shots on target.
There is another issue in this story. Your business is now a crime scene. The attacker shot at your restaurant as he ran away. Talk to everyone there and make sure they are uninjured. Ask your staff and your customers to call 911 to report the crime. You need to call 911 and identify yourself as the person who was attacked.
Rob- What should we say when the police arrive?
Amanda- Not so fast. There are some questions you don’t answer from 911.
How long did the attack last? How many shots did the attacker fire? How many shots did you fire? Ignore those questions and leave them for your lawyer.
Rob- For my lawyer?
Amanda- You were involved in a fight where you used lethal force to defend yourself. You need a lawyer to represent you and defend you.
Rob- How do I know who to call?
Amanda- If you have a gun in your holster, then you should have a lawyer in your phone. I use a self-defense insurance plan.
Rob- Tell me about that?
Amanda- There are several plans you can choose. They vary from state to state, so the one that I use might not fit you.
Rob- Why is it important that I have someone to call?
Amanda- That is important because we travel. I might know a lawyer where I live, but I don’t know a lawyer across the state or across the country. Also, I don’t have 20 thousand dollars sitting in my checking account that I can give to a lawyer tonight.
Rob- Most of us don’t.
Amanda- If you were absolutely innocent, it can cost you that much to prove that you were innocent.
Think about this. Presenting your gun can be very expensive. You can learn how to shoot. You can learn when you can defend yourself with lethal force, but let’s also learn when you must shoot to defend yourself, because it is going to be expensive.
Rob- That is worth knowing. Thank you.
Amanda- Most people can be armed in their business even if their state denies them a permit to carry in public. In Georgia, where this happened, you can get your carry permit. You should if you can.
Amanda- Our third story happened Charlotte, South Carolina.
Rob- First this message from FASTER CO
Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you arrive home?
It is about 1:30 in the morning when you and your husband get back to your apartment. As you walk home, three men move toward you through the parked cars. They tell you to stop. One of your attackers points a gun at you and your husband. You ask them what they want, but you don’t wait for an answer. You’re an off duty police officer. You have your firearm on your body. You step away from your husband and shoot the armed attacker. Now, the other attackers run. So do you. You check on your husband and call 911.
Your attackers had robbed an apartment in your complex moments before they tried to rob you. Emergency medical services take your wounded attacker to the hospital. He is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill a law enforcement officer, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Amanda- We have a gun pointed at us, and I have to defend us. That is the worst thing to happen, yet I want to be there to protect the people I love.
Rob- Most of us have someone we love. What did our defender do correctly?
Amanda- Our defender faced three or four attackers and was outnumbered. One of them had a gun, so she faced a lethal threat. She defended her family, and then she got out of there. She didn’t chase the bad guys. She left that for the police who were on duty. She called the police, she made a simple declaration, and then she waited until she could talk to her lawyer.
Rob- A policemen needs a lawyer?
Amanda- They do.
Rob- That is important to know. What would you tell your students to do if they were in a situation like this?
Amanda- This happened in South Carolina. I want both of you to be armed, and in South Carolina you can both get your carry permits.
Look around as you park your car. If there are a bunch of guys in the parking lot, then go somewhere else. Take another path, don’t put yourself in identified danger. Call the apartment manager.
Two people are ten times harder to attack if they have trained together. Isn’t the person you love worth that? There are defensive techniques that two people can do that give them a giant advantage over their attackers. Maybe you hide behind each other so the person in back can draw a gun. Maybe you move apart so that the bad guy can only threaten one of you. Ladies, if you’re out with a man, then the bad guy sees the man as a greater threat, so you can control the defense. That is one advantage we have, besides being better students and better shots.
I also want you to have some medical training, and a medical kit on you or in your car.
Rob- Why a medical kit?
Amanda- Because I want you to save your loved ones life.
Rob- That is a pretty good reason.
Amanda- You don’t have to do all of this at once. Learn a little more every year.
Our fourth story took place near Fort Worth, Texas.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at church?
This is the first church service of the day. A stranger is sitting on the side of the congregation, and he is obviously wearing a fake beard and wig. Everyone is welcome here, but this man sits off by himself. The stranger stands up during the service, and one of the deacons asks if he needs anything. The stranger pulls a shotgun from under his coat and points it at the deacon.
You’re part of the church security team. You’re armed. The attacker shoots the deacon. You draw your firearm and shoot the attacker, but not before the attacker shoots another member of the security team who was closer to him. The attacker drops his weapon and falls to the floor.
Four other members of the security team close in around the attacker. They remove the attacker’s gun.
Now you start your security plan and begin treatment of the injured. Lots of people call the police.
Amanda- That was a self-defense gun story, wasn’t it.
Rob- Right out of our old episodes.
Amanda- We had multiple defenders. They had their permits and they trained together.
Rob- The way you mentioned in the previous story.
Amanda- They faced a lethal threat. The first defender to fire hit the attacker in the head from 50 feet away and the threat was over in seconds. The event was also captured on video. The defenders stayed at the scene and gave a statement to the police. They had a security plan in place so they knew what to do.
Rob- I never thought about it, but I guess a church security team needs a lawyer too.
Amanda- Oh, Yes, it does.
Rob- What else did you notice?
Amanda- There were at least six, and possibly seven, armed parishioners in the congregation who moved toward the attacker. A crazy murderer wanted to kill lots of people. The security team stopped him and saved hundreds of people. We learned a few things from this attack. Movement is always a good idea, and don’t stand there and draw your gun when your attacker is already pointing a gun at you.
We saw that the defenders didn’t shoot each other. They didn’t shoot innocent parishioners, and the defenders were not shot by the police when the police arrived.
Have that medical kit handy. Ask your supervisor where you work if they have an emergency plan, and ask your pastor if they have an emergency response plan at church. If they don’t, then talk to your family if you should continue going there. In this case, a defense plan made the difference between two killed and mass murder. It is that important. If your employer or your pastor care about you, then they will have that plan.
You have to treat the injured. You have to get the uninjured people to safety. Your staff has to manage the police and the media. Don’t make this stuff up on the fly. You want to have a procedure written down.
Rob- Can you give me an example?
Amanda- The front receptionist doesn’t comment to the press about who is injured and what happened to them. Those answers come later. There are great organizations like the Faith Based Security Network that can help you make plans and set up a team. There are often local organizations where religious institutions share resources. I know Ben Branam helps churches too.
Rob- Have you trained or talked to church groups?
Amanda- Yeah – many of them are fearful. Some are willing to take up arms, while others want to train in a less than lethal manner. I don’t judge, but instead offer assistance to get them the training they are willing to absorb and practice.
Rob- Amanda, that wraps up this episode. Thank you for helping me again. Where can we learn more about you?
Amanda- I have a nationally syndicated radio show eye on the target radio. Call in and talk with us Sunday nights from 5 to 7 eastern time. I also instruct on the weekends in central Ohio. I’m also part of the DCProject. That is 50 pro-gun women from 50 states and we advocate for 2A issues to congress. Check out our website at DCProject.info
Rob- After you look at Amanda websites, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page or on our website.
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, Podbean and iHeart Radio.
Rob- This podcast is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more great shows, like Amanda’s Eye on the Target Radio, at S D R N dot U S sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. Thank you for listening. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.