Episode 186 with Amanda Suffecool

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 186 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 today. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Amanda Suffecool. I know you’ve been busy. What have you been up to?

Amanda- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working and shooting and… CPAC, EotT, Republican party county chairman stuff including a congressional debate that made Youngstown TV,  2 new Taurus art-deco pistol – the spectrum – very under rated

Rob- We received two more ratings 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.

Amanda- We talk about recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. Were they lucky, or did they have a plan? We give links back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Chicago, Illinois.

Rob- Are you armed at home?

It is cold and dark outside. It is 6:30 in the evening when you walk out of your home. A stranger comes toward you as you get to the sidewalk. The stranger draws a firearm and tells you to give him your purse and your phone. You have your Illinois concealed carry permit. You’re armed. You move, draw your handgun, and shoot at your attacker. He shoots back.

You retreat to your home and call the police.

Amanda-  carry permit, armed, NOTICED and REACTED, moved, presentation from concealment, retreat, called police

Rob- That is a lot to get right. I think our defender practiced. 

Amanda-  There is more. Try doing that while you’re wearing a heavy coat or purse – and what are you carrying.  I leave my house like a pack mule, I need this, and that, and Steve Martins red thermos… 

Rob- If the shooting range where you practice won’t let you draw while you’re wearing a heavy coat, then you’ll have to dry practice while you’re wearing that coat at home.

Amanda- You might want to practice in the basement, or at least draw the curtains.
Also, try that while you’re wearing winter gloves, a scarf, and carrying a purse and other things. But yeah – dryfire practice is GREAT. 

Rob- Amanda keeps it real here on the SDGS podcast.

Amanda- I live in Ohio. It is still too darn real outside.

Rob- What else did you notice?

Amanda- Don’t take your gun off at home. A gun in her dresser drawer would have been useless.

Rob- Anything else our defender did correctly?

Amanda- Our defender got to safety rather than chase the bad guys down the street. She stopped shooting when her attacker ran away. Also, most men are bigger,  stronger and faster than most women, so I’m glad she was armed.

Rob- Anything else you want to cover?

Amanda- The bad guy shot at her, so even though she escaped without a scratch, she could have been killed. Her shots missed, and that let her attacker shoot at her. Practice, practice, practice 

Let’s leave a little for the other stories. Our next story happened in Austin, Texas.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed at home?   

You and your roommate are at home on a Tuesday night. It is late at night when you hear someone banging at your front door. The strangers shout that they work for the city of Austin and to open the door. You come out of your room and see your room mate open the door. A moment later your roommate is pushed back into the room by a man wearing a hard hat, a construction vest, and holding a gun in his hand. The stranger puts his gun to your roommates head. Your attackers shoot at you, and you duck back into your room. You grab your gun and shoot back until the intruders run away.

Your roommate isn’t hurt. You call the police. They find your three wounded attackers outside. One of them is taken to the hospital where he is arrested for two counts of felony murder and held for a quarter million dollars bond. He has a criminal record. The other two attackers died at the scene.

Our defender had a defensive tool, but there is more.

Amanda- Lots more. He wasn’t carrying his gun on-body at 10:30 at night, but his firearm was nearby and loaded. Our defender was familiar with his gun so he could use it quickly. He recognized a threat. He didn’t freeze. He defended himself and his roommate while he was being shot at. He faced multiple armed attackers and convinced them to leave. He stopped shooting when the threat ran away. He called the police and gave a statement.

Rob- What would you like us to do if we were in that situation?

Amanda- I suspect our defender was shooting from cover. He could be at the back of his bedroom in the dark. That means the attackers didn’t have a target to shoot at. The only thing the bad guys could hit was the muzzle of his gun and a thin slice of his face as he looked around the door jam, down the hall, and into the front room. Shooting in the dark and using a wall to keep you from being shot are real skills. Get some low light training and learn to use cover. Then, practice at home.

Rob- I have a mirror I use to practice shooting around cover.

Amanda- You need a plan. Talk to your roommate about what you’re both going to do if you hear a knock at your door late at night. Don’t let uninvited strangers into your house, particularly late at night. Get and use a camera doorbell so you can see the people stacked up outside the door. 

Rob- Amanda, I think that drugs were involved. The news reports said the two roommates had recently bought some marajuana. The police aren’t prosecuting that as a drug crime, but it comes with some risks.

Amanda-  Even if you are not dealing drugs, simply buying drugs makes you a target for the bad guys. You bought drugs with money, so they want your money. You might have drugs, so they want to steal your drugs. You’re at risk.

Rob- What else did you notice?

Amanda-  Hostage situation. Multiple attackers. Rapid shots. Transition from one threat to the next.

Rob- Not the usual slow fire at a bulls eye target. Where can i go to learn to shoot like that, and to practice shooting like that.

Amanda-  Look up instructors in your area.  Interview them. See who has a shoot house,  who has a move and shoot range. If they are renting and training at a range with a single lane they have for the hour- that is not your training.

Our third story happened Greensboro, North Carolina

Rob- First this message from BFF.


Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you buy cigarettes?

It is before noon. You’re a customer in a tobacco shop/convenience store when you look up. The two clerks behind the counter have their hands up in the air. A guy with a mask over his face is shouting for all the customers to move behind the counter, and the robber is pointing his gun at you. You’re armed. You move behind the counter with the three other customers. An older lady walks into the store and the robber turns away from you. You grab your gun while the robber grabs the lady by her hair and drags her behind the counter. You shoot your attacker five times before he drops his firearm.

Everyone is screaming, but they are not injured. You call 911 and stay at the scene. EMTs transport your attacker to the hospital.

Rob- Our defender was armed. What else did our defender do correctly?

Amanda- Our defender avoided a reciprocal gunfight. Suppose you are in a store with your family and a robber points a gun at you. Even if you move and shoot, you invite the robber to shoot near you and maybe hit your loved ones. Our defender had tactical patience and waited his turn until he had an unfair advantage over his attacker.

Rob- I think I know what you mean, but please explain what you mean by an unfair advantage a little more.

Amanda- The attacker was distracted. His hands were busy grabbing another victim. The attackers eyes were not looking at the defender. The defender already had his hand on his gun before he started to present his firearm. Hopefully, the attacker’s gun was also pointed somewhere else when the defender brought his gun on target and started firing.

Rob- I see.

Amanda- Our defender kept firing until the threat stopped. The threat was a man pointing a lethal weapon at innocent people. The defender shot the attacker until the gun wasn’t being pointed at innocent people any more. That could mean the attacker dropped the gun, or the attacker ran away.

Rob- So if the attacker falls down but still has his gun in his hand, then I should keep shooting, but if he drops his gun then I should stop shooting? That isn’t easy to recognize and probably takes some practice.

Amanda- Our defender did it. He stopped shooting when the threat went away.

Rob- What else would you like us to do in a situation like this.  

Amanda- We usually read about stories where the store clerk is the defender. You’re not the owner or an employee, but you want to take care of the crime scene until the police get there. You want to ask if everyone is ok. Ask them to look around and see if anyone else is hurt. Ask the other victims to stay put and to stay down. Don’t point your gun at the innocent victims. You might have to secure the gun that the bad guy dropped so no one else grabs it.

There is often a lookout and a get-away driver, so you want to lock the doors. You then ask everyone to call 911, but it might not be safe to stand up yet. Ask the store clerk to lock the back door so you can put your gun back in its holster.

Again, ask if anyone is hurt, and treat the injured. If the scene is safe, then you can ask the clerk to start getting the surveillance video copied for the police.

Rob- That is a lot to remember.

Amanda- It is, and I’m not done. That is why you need a plan ahead of time.

You want to be on the phone with 911 so you know when the police are about to come through the door. Your gun should be in its holster, but maybe you’re not sure the scene is safe, so you still have your gun out. Now is the time to put your gun away. You want your empty hands high in the air when the police come in.

You want to give a very brief statement and then shut up. Call your attorney.

Rob- What would that brief statement sound like?

Rob- Why is it important to stop talking?

Amanda- The police will ask you questions that you’re not prepared to answer. What did the attacker say? How many shots did he fire, and how many did you fire? You don’t know the answers, and anything you say can be used against you. Your lawyer will answer those questions later.

Rob- So I need my lawyer to come to the crime scene?

Amanda- Nope. You need to go home and get two nights sleep before you are interviewed by your lawyer. The interview will take hours.It will be hard to sleep, but don’t take alcohol and don’t take sleeping pills if you can avoid them.

Rob- The drugs may knock you out, but they keep you from getting the kind of sleep you need. Who knew.

Amanda- We know because we study this stuff, and now our listeners know too.

Rob- Was our defender obligated to protect the other customers?

You ready to go on?

Rob- I am now.

Amanda- Good. Our forth story took place in Tacoma, Washington.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home in your apartment?

You are in your apartment after dark. You hear a woman in the courtyard scream. You look up and see a man strangling her. You’re armed. You run outside, draw your firearm and tell the man to stop. He puts his hands up and you tell him not to move. You call the police.

When they arrive, the man rushes the police officers saying he is god.

Tag- No shots fired.

Rob- I notice that our good guy was armed and he had his cell phone with him.

Amanda- Our good guy didn’t have to, but he decided to get involved. Unless you’ve made the decision ahead of time, then you are either going to freeze or act impulsively. You don’t want to put your life and your families future at risk by a feeling, so we want to think about what we should do.

Rob- Isn’t this a simple story?

Amanda- Not at all. We don’t know what happened before the woman screamed. We don’t know who the attacker and the defender are.

Rob- But she’s screaming for help.

Amanda- She is now, but maybe she attacked him and he is defending himself. Our good guy did the right thing. Since he didn’t know the victim, the good guy got close and then used verbal commands to take control of the situation.

Rob- So you want me to stand there and watch a woman being strangled?

Amanda- I want you to get into a position where you can see if a woman is being strangled before you use lethal force. So far, all we know for certain is that she made a noise. You might need a flashlight so you can see what is going on. Maybe she attacked him, and he defended himself and is holding her.

Rob- This isn’t simple at all.

Amanda- Defending strangers is always complex. The good news is that we have options. Running up to the combattants will stop some crimes. Then we observe, we shout, push, fight, pepper spray, maybe we face a lethal problem that requires the use of a tool that can kill in self-defense or the defense of another innocent person, but we have to get involved and find out.

Rob- What else did you notice?

Amanda- How do you call the police? You have a gun in your hand, and upset victim, and you are pointing your gun down the courtyard of your apartment complex. Maybe the victim should call the police, but if your gun is out then you look a lot like an attacker when the police arrive. Maybe you coach the victim to call the police on her cell phone. You ask the dispatcher if you should put your gun away.

It sounds like the attacker was on drugs, so maybe this was easier than the news story leads us to believe.
Rob- And then we’re back to the earlier problem of what do you say to the police.

Amanda- I asked the victim to call. I live right there. I heard her scream. I saw her being attacked. I held the attacker until you arrived. I’ll give a complete statement after I’ve spoken to my lawyer.


Rob- My lawyer reminds me to stop talking and wrap up this episode. Amanda, 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 articles, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.

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 at sdrn.us

I’m Rob Morse.  We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.





Promotion- More Self-Defense Gun Stories



Responsible gun owners defended themselves, but you didn’t hear it in the news.  Instructor Amanda Suffecool joins host Rob Morse to talk about four recent examples.


Are you armed in your office in the afternoon?

Are you armed as you sit down for lunch with your spouse?

Are you armed as you drive your car?

Are you armed when you’re working outside?


These gun owners survived a lethal threat. What would you do in these situations? Text and podcast available at the link. (23 minutes) 


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