Episode 185 with Ben Branam

Shoot, or Don’t Shoot?

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 185 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Perhaps you’re well trained. I’m Rob Morse, and even if your only curious about self defense, I’m glad you found us. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Ben Branam.

Ben- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working and shooting and looking for a job in the gun industry. Besides working for a firearms distributor, I want to compete with the pistol caliber carbine. It is a lot of fun, and it turns out I’m good at it.

Rob- There is good, and there is good enough to be ranked against the best in the nation. Do you know how your scores compare yet?

Ben- Not yet, but look out.

Rob- Ben, I went back and looked, and you and I have recorded this podcast together for four years and our fifth season starts next week. Thank you.

Ben- It’s been a pleasure.

Rob- We received four more ratings and two more comments on iTunes this week (138/83). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time.

Ben- We 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 Allouez, Wisconsin.

Rob- First story-  Are you armed at work during the day?  

You live near Green Bay, Wisconsin. You’re plowing the snow off streets and driveways at about noon on Saturday. A man walks up to your truck and asks you for money. You say you don’t have any. That is when the stranger pulls a large knife and tells you to give him your wallet. You have your Wisconsin concealed carry license and you’re armed. You draw your firearm and your attacker runs away. You call the police. The police tried to find your attacker by tracking him with a dog, but your attacker got away.

Tag- no shots fired.

Ben- got his permit, armed, didn’t shoot, called, stayed

Rob- I knew guys who would sit at a bad corner with their truck and a tow strap and pull people out of the icy dip time after time..and be paid in cash.

Rob- What should our defender have done? 

Ben- Lock your doors. Windows up. Drive away.

It sounds like our defender was still in his truck, so he might have been able to slide away from the attacker. Maybe he could have rolled up the window. This could be more difficult than it sounds since you’re also in traffic on icy roads, so it might not have been easy to simply drive away without crashing into someone with that big plow hanging on the front of your truck.

Rob- Was our defender justified in drawing a gun when he only faced a knife?  Tell me why.

Rob- When do you talk to your students about the legal use of lethal force?

Rob- Anything else?

Ben- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Ada, Oklahoma.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed first thing in the morning?   

Intruder kick-in and shot.

You and your roommates are starting the work week. It is 6:30 in the morning when you hear someone kicking the front door of your house. You make sure it isn’t one of your roommates and you grab your gun. A stranger wants in, and you shout for him to go away. The stranger kicks in the door and enters your house. The intruder has a gun in his hand and you shoot him. He stumbles back outside and you call 911.

EMTs take your attacker to the hospital. The police said your attacker’s gun was stolen.

Rob- Our defender had a gun. What else did he do correctly?

 Ben- Owning a gun and being armed are entirely different. Our defender had his defensive tool where he could use it in seconds. That means it was loaded and preferably on his body.


Constitutional carry in Oklahoma.

Rob- Do you have any duty to defend your roommates, or should you walk out the back door?

Rob- You want to avoid a gunfight where you and an attacker are standing in a room shooting at each other. What would you want your students to do in a situation like this?

Ben- Talk to your roommates and have a plan.

Shoot from cover. (furniture, wall)

Shoot from concealment (hallway, angle behind the door)

Rob- This is more than basic marksmanship. This is more than concealed carry and the legal use of lethal force. When do you talk about staying alive in a fight? 

Ben- Our third story happened in Chunchula, Alabama.

Rob- First this message from SAF- SAF.org.

Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home late at night?

You’re arguing with your boyfriend. He threatens you. A moment later, he hits you in the face with a rifle. You’re armed. You shoot him and he stops hitting you. You call the police and remain on the scene.

Ben- Glad she was armed. She recognized a lethal threat, and getting hit in the head by the butt of a rifle can kill you.

Glad she was not red flagged and disarmed by the cops.

Rob- What would you tell your students to do if they were in a similar situation.

Let me make some guesses.


History of abuse and battery.

Go armed. Alabama is NOT a constitutional carry state, but it is one of the easiest states to get a carry permit. Get your permit and carry all the time and everywhere. I know some people who take their firearms off when they get home. ⅓ of assaults are in and near our homes.

Domestic abuse- leave. Move out. Get a new apartment. Tell everyone. 

The police, neighbors, friends, employer, landlord, family.

Ben- Our fourth story took place in Louisville, Kentucky.

Off duty cops at Cains during robbery.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed when you and your husband go out to eat?

You’ve been married for six months. You used to eat at this restaurant before you were married. Today, you sat down to eat your meal when the clerk puts both hands up in the air. The fast food restaurant is being robbed. You and your husband are armed. He says to call 911, but both of you slide out of your seats and draw your firearms. The attacker sees you and runs for the door.

You are an off duty policeman and your husband is a detective. You arrest the robber, and he is charged with robbery, and possession of a stolen gun by a felon. You met your husband when you were a dispatcher and he was a cop on patrol.

Rob- You and I know armed couples, and it is great that they were both armed. What should we do if we’re armed and a crime lands in our lap like this?

Ben- You are sitting ducks when you’re in the booth. I like that they moved, and I really liked that they were both armed. I like that they stayed together. If they trained together even a little bit, then they were a formidable team.

Ben- you are not the police.

Rob- They were in line-of-sight to an armed robbery and the video did not show any position of cover where they could go to hide.

Rob- Would you change your recommendation if the person behind the counter is a teenager, and therefore unable to be armed and defend themselves?

Rob- What are our options?

Rob- What do you recommend?


Rob- that wraps up this episode. Ben, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?

Ben- Look for me at Modern Self Protection.com.  I live in San Antonio, and most of my classes are in central Texas. I teach armed self-defense and church security. Listeners can see my class schedule at my website, and they can also listen to my weekly podcast Modern Self-Protection.

Rob- After you look at Ben articles, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.

Ben- 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.

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