Episode 184 with Tony Simon
Welcome to episode 184 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Perhaps you’re well trained , or maybe you’ve become curious about self defense. I’m Rob Morse and whatever your reason, I’m glad you found us today. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Tony Simon. Tony and I have been recording together for four years.
Tony- Hi, Rob. My goodness, you’re old. I’ve been at SHOT show, 2A4E.
Rob- We received two more ratings on iTunes this week (134/81). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and leave a comment and give us some stars. That tells new listeners this show is worth their time.
Tony- We’ll talk about recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. Were they lucky, or did they have a plan? We have links back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Raleigh, North Carolina.
It’s about 5 in the evening when two men rush into your coin and jewelry shop. They’re wearing masks and shouting at you. They have guns in their hands and their guns are pointed at you. They tell you to open the cash register, and they move toward you.
You’re armed. You shoot at your attackers. They turn and run, but they also shoot you in the arm.
Another customer walks into your shop and calls 911 for you. You’re 71 years old.
Tony, what did our defender do correctly?
Tony- Our defender’s self defense started months ago, or maybe years ago. He found a gun and a holster that fit him, and he wore them. I say that because lots of my students kept an unloaded gun on the shelf where it was safe, but not useful. Our defender faced two armed attackers, and he did a pretty good job of avoiding a gunfight. Unfortunately, our defender was injured as he defended himself.
Rob- This sort of attack happens very often?
Tony- Retail business with cash and valuables. Street access. Multiple armed attackers against a single older defender. Every day, from a coffee shop to the local church.
Rob- What do you tell your students to do in their small business?
Tony- Have the right gun for you.
A small gun is easier to conceal, and it is usually lighter, so you can move it faster if you have limited upper body strength. That small size firearm is often harder to shoot accurately and harder to shoot quickly because the force of the shot moves the gun around. You also need a comfortable holster that you’ll wear every day.
Rob- not too big, and not too small.
Tony- I want you to have training and practice that goes beyond shooting paper at the range.
Rob- Firearms safety and marksmanship are the first thing we learn. You want us to learn more than that.
Tony- I do. Sometimes the attackers will run when they see you’re armed. Sometimes your attackers will run when you shoot at them or shoot them. Some attackers will keep trying to hurt you until you stop them. Our defender didn’t stop his attackers quickly enough to avoid getting hurt.
Rob- As instructors, we’re teaching our students the wrong thing when we teach them to stand still and shoot. When we teach them that way, we’re also teaching them to stand still and get shot.
Tony- That is a tradeoff. Your first shots will be standing still so we can make sure you’re safe. We start with a plastic gun, then an unloaded gun, then we shoot a few shots and reholster. Square range practice. Move and shoot vs shoot on the move.. But move. I want you to move so you’re harder to hurt. I want you to go to the range and practice so you can hit your target immediately after you moved.
Rob- It is hard to hit a target as I’m moving, but I can present my firearm on the move. What is dry practice?
Rob- Is there more?
Tony- We’ll come back to this in a later story, so let’s go on. Our second story happened in Willow, Alaska.
You’re asleep. It is after midnight when you hear gunshots. Worse than that, you hear the impact as bullets hit your house. You get your rifle, look out the window, and find someone shooting at you and your house. You shoot back and the gunfire stops. Now, you call the police.
The police find your wounded attacker at your neighbors house. Your drunk attacker was taken to jail and held without bond. Both you and your attacker were using rifles. News reports are not clear if the male attacker and the female defender knew each other before the attack. It also isn’t clear how far away the attacker was when he was shooting at you.
I’m glad our defender was armed.
Tony- She was armed, and she did a lot of things right.
She didn’t deny what was happening. Until you’ve been shot at, your brain tells you a story. “That loud noise can’t be gunshots. That can’t be someone shooting at me.”
Our brain wants to think in the ways that worked in the past, but that blinds us when something unusual happens. Our defender recognized the threat and defended herself.
She defended herself against an unknown number of attackers at night. She called the police when it was safe to do so. She made a report and signed the complaint.
Rob- This happened in a small town in Alaska at midnight. It is cold outside and the neighbors where you might run are a distance away.
Tony- This wasn’t Hammonton, New Jersey in the summertime, but I like the way you’re thinking. Is stepping away from the problem your best defense? Sometimes it is. It might be moving to a basement, or moving upstairs.
Rob- Sometimes we are attacked by crazy strangers. Sometimes we’re attacked by crazy people we know.
Tony- It is usually people we know, but not all the time.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. We have tens of millions of people who carry concealed, so there are local training courses where you can learn to defend yourself with a handgun. There are also courses that teach you to defend yourself with a rifle or shotgun because those tools are more effective for home defense. Those tools let us be more accurate at a longer distance. I can put a red-dot sight or a laser on a rifle, so inexperienced shooters can quickly learn to shoot, and shoot accurately, particularly at night.
Rob- My average handgun student who is shooting quickly can hit a paper plate at 10 yards. The average rifle student with a red dot or a laser can hit a paper plate at 30 to 40 yards when they are shooting quickly. Is that what you’ve seen?
Tony- A long gun is usually easier to shoot for most people. This is due to the amount of contact between the shooter and the gun. Both hands, your shoulder and your cheek. As opposed by just one or two hands with a handgun.
If you retreat to a safe place, have a phone and a flashlight waiting for you there. Also have a piece of paper where you’ve written your address so you can read it to the police.
Rob- I’ll forget my address?
Tony- If you are frightened enough, yes you will. You also want your lawyer’s phone number, and the numbers of emergency contacts, so put that on your information card too.
Our third story happened in Santa Clarita, California.
Rob- First this message from DRGO
Rob- First this message from Doctors for responsible gun ownership, DRGO.us
You’re behind the counter at your liquor store. It is after dark when another customer comes in. This customer tells you to give him the money in the cash register, and he points his gun at you.
You’re armed. You shoot your attacker several times until he drops his gun. Unfortunately, your attacker shoots you in the leg before he falls. You crawl out of the store where a police officer treats you. EMTs arrive and take you to the hospital. It takes a while to get the security videos to the police.
Again, our defender was armed when there was no time to call for help or time to run and get a gun.
Tony- If you had enough time to run to a safe and get a gun, then why didn’t you keep on going?
My students ask me how many times they should fire their gun. This defender did the right thing. He shot because he faced a lethal, immediate, and unavoidable threat. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped. That could mean the attacker dropped his gun, it could mean that the defender stepped behind a solid wall, or that the defender retreated into another room and locked the door. Those are good reasons to stop shooting. I also noticed that our defender had a video system. That’s good.
Rob- This attack happened in Los Angeles County, California. Our defender probably couldn’t get a carry permit. He was able to buy a gun and to carry it in his store.. And he was able to have a video system.
Tony- Even anti-rights states like California, Maryland and New Jersey will let you carry in your home and your place of business. You might have to register your gun, but you can carry on some parts of your property.
I like that he had a video system, but I want a little more from him.
Rob- What are you thinking?
Tony- Suppose you’re wounded and leave your business. Is there someone you can call who will give a copy of the security video to the police, someone who will lock the place until you return?
It is the same thing you’d have to do if you were suddenly ill and had to leave. Have that emergency contact information written down so someone can make that call for you if you have to take a ride in an ambulance. Put the number of your legal insurance carrier on that same piece of paper.
Rob- Talk to me about legal insurance.
Tony- $20k to $50k
Tony- Our forth story took place in Reno, Nevada.
Your home was robbed a few days ago. You weren’t home then, but two young robbers beat up your 14 year old son. Tonight you hear someone breaking into the small house you have in your backyard. You get your gun and go outside to investigate. You see two strangers in your yard. They point a gun at you. You shoot them, and they run away. You put out the fire they started in the small house you have in your backyard, and then you call the police, the fire department, and EMTs.
Police arrest one of your attackers at the scene, and arrest the other attacker when he went to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. Your attackers were 14 years old.
Tony- Someone beat up a teenager in your home, and then tried to burn down part of your house, and this time they were armed with guns.
Rob- That is what happened.
Tony- These attackers already showed us that they would hurt people. This time they brought a firearm. Maybe they were going to shoot the kid as he ran out of his burning house. I’m glad our defender was armed. He protected himself and his family. He stayed on the scene and called the police. He controlled the fire until help arrived.
Rob- Our defender faced two attackers.
Tony- The average number is over two attackers in an aggravated assault because criminals don’t want a fair fight.
Rob- What would you like us to do in a situation like this?
Tony- To an outsider, this situation might look different if we didn’t know that the attackers had robbed and attacked this family before. That is why you call the police for every incident so that you’re leaving a trail of official complaints.
I also want you to have outdoor lighting, and preferably motion sensitive outdoor lighting. Now conned that outdoor light to a chime in your house. Call the police when the chime goes off.
I want you to have smoke detectors in your house, your garage, your shop or shed, and in the granny flat, or mobile home in the back of your property. I want you to have fire extinguishers too.
Rob- You’re giving me homework.
Tony- If you have to go outside, then you should bring your defensive tools. You should also call the police and wake up the rest of your home. Have a defensive plan about what they should do in case of fire or robbers.
Rob- You want us armed. What other defensive tools should we bring?
Tony- A flashlight, a holster, and a phone.
Rob- Tell me about shooting at night?
Tony- It is different than shooting during the day. You tend to shoot high. Practice by turning off the lights in your lane at the indoor range. Practice at home by turning off the lights in a room where your dry practice.
Rob- that wraps up this episode. Tony Simon, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you subscribe and listen to a couple episodes of Tony’s podcast, then please come back and leave us a message on the Self Defense Gun Stories 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,Tunein, Spotify, Podbean and iHeart Radio.
Rob- This podcast is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more great shows at
S D R N dot U S sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.