Episode 187 with Robyn Sandoval

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 187 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. I’m Rob Morse. I’m glad you found us even if your only curious about self defense. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Robyn Sandoval. This is Robyn’s first podcast with us, so please let our listeners know a little bit about you.

Robyn- Hi, Rob. I’m the Executive Director at a girl and a gun shooting league. We’ve been operating for 9 years, and we have 199 chapters at shooting ranges across the country. I’m busy planning our National Conference that takes place at the end of April. I’m also part of the DC project, and we got back from CPAC last week.

Rob- Welcome to the podcast, and we’ll work around your schedule to have you back. While you were at a conference last week, we received five more ratings and three more reviews on iTunes (143/86). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time.

Robyn- We talk about recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. What can we learn from them, and 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 Arlington, Texas.

Rob- First story-  Are you armed when you visit your girlfriend?  

Your girlfriend asks you to come over. There is a problem between your girlfriend’s sister and her boyfriend. You get to their home and hear them fighting. She said he came into her home and smashed things. He says he didn’t. She asks him to leave. They argue through the door. You hear a gunshot, and your girlfriend’s sister stumbles back from the door. Her boyfriend comes through the door with a gun in his hand and the gun is pointed at you.

You’re armed. You shoot our attacker and he steps back outside. You lock the door and call 911. You also holster your gun. Then you and your girlfriend treat her sister who was shot in the chest. You stay at the scene, and all three of you give statements to the police. EMTs take the wounded woman to the hospital. The wounded man outside was pronounced dead at the scene.

Robyn, what did our defender do correctly?

Robyn- Our defender acted like one of the good guys. He owned a gun. Carried it with him. Was willing to be in an uncomfortable place in order to protect the innocent. Recognized a lethal and unavoidable threat. Stopped shooting when the threat stopped. Didn’t chase the bad guy, but stayed at the scene. Put his gun away. Helped the injured woman. Gave a police report.

Rob- Was the defender obligated to help?

Robyn-  The defender was not obligated, and we don’t know what happened in this situation. Perhaps there would have been better options that may have helped avoid the situation. Perhaps our defender’s girlfriend should have invited her sister to leave if she felt there was an escalation of force.

Rob- Was our defender justified in shooting the attacker?

Robyn-  It appears that there was justification if the situation met the legal requirements for the Rules of Force. Obviously the attacker had a firearm and intended to use it to cause serious harm, so immediate action was justified in being taken. 

Rob- What do you want your students to do if they were in a situation like this one?

Robyn- About a third of the aggravated assaults in the US are in or near our homes. I know our homes feel safe, but they aren’t. So carry in your home as well as in public.

Distance gives you options, so step away from the door. Retreat to a back room if you can. Call the police. Have some medical training and trauma supplies. The best solution is to not be there. Call the police and let them deal with the crazy boyfriend.

Rob- You have medical training at some of your seminars don’t you.

Robyn- Emergency medical response is always a priority at our events. We offer training on field trauma, but also general first aid, heartsaving methods, and addressing medical and environmental emergencies. 

Rob- Some of my students say they will find some rags, shoelaces, and belts if they need to treat a wound. What do you say to that?
Robyn- You’re wasting time improvising when you should be saving lives. Come to class and learn what you should do.

Rob- Did you notice anything else?

Robyn- Yes, but that is enough for now. Our second story happened in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Rob- Second story- Are you armed as you go shopping?

 You’re walking across the Walmart parking lot at 10:30 on a Saturday morning. You hear a man yell. At first you think he was struck by a car in the parking lot, but then the driver gets out of the car and starts beating the pedestrian with a baseball bat. The attacker is wearing a mask over his face, and he continues to hit the victim on the ground with the bat.

You have your Indiana carry permit. You’re armed. You shout for the attacker to stop as you draw your firearm. The attacker stops beating the victim, looks at you, and runs for his car. You let him go. You holster your firearm and call 911. You try and help the victim.

EMTs take the victim to the hospital where he is treated for life threatening injuries. Police chase the attacker across two counties before he is stopped. You give a statement to the police. The police said the attacker didn’t know the victim.

Tag- No shots fired

Robyn- This is the first aid episode isn’t it.

Rob- It is.

Robyn- Sometimes you have to be a defender rather than simply being a good witness.

Escalation of force- He was there. He shouted. He presented his firearm 

The threat stopped, so our defender didn’t shoot. Our defender stayed at the scene, called the police, and rendered aid.

Rob- An attack where you don’t shoot could demand more judgement than an attack where you have to shoot. When would your students learn about that kind of response to a threat?

Robyn- Concealed carry. Use of force. 

Rob- Was our defender justified in using lethal force? He drew his firearm. Was he justified in pressing the trigger?

Robyn- Immediate and unavoidable threat to life. Someone was going to the hospital or the morgue. Fortunately, our defender yelled and the attacker saved his own life by stopping the attack.

Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do if you and I were there and saw this attack?

Robyn- We are going to use each other. One of us will call for help. Use the other people in the parking lot as your emergency response team. Send people to the end of the parking lane to guide police and EMT to the scene. Have someone contact the store management. If you have emergency trauma training, then monitor the victim, or find someone who has trauma training to help you.

Rob- Is there more, or should we go on?

Robyn- Our third story happened In Akron, Ohio.

Rob- First this message from the Crime Prevention Research Center..

Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you travel?

You’re done eating and you walk across the parking lot to get on your motorcycle and leave. Four men walk up to you, an adult and three teenagers. They tell you to hand over the keys to your bike, your wallet, and your phone. You’re armed. You move your jacket out of the way and put your hand on your gun. Your attackers run away.

You take out your phone, dial 911, and stay at the scene. You give a report to the police when they arrive. Later, the police ask you to look at four suspects, where you identify your four robbers.

Tag- No Shots fired.

Robyn- Think how long ago this person started defending themselves. They found a gun that fit them. They learned how to shoot. They found a holster that fit them. They learned how to carry and present from concealment. They took a class and got their carry permit. They put the gun on this morning so they were ready to defend themselves and other people. You might have started years ago, or you might have started last month.

I also noticed that it is cold in Akron, Ohio this time of year. Our defender was trained in how to present his firearm from under a heavy coat.

Rob- Not the shorts and T-shirt we wear down south.

Robyn- He probably had to consider which coat was easy to ride in, but fit over his firearm, and yet he could get to his firearm quickly. Some coats make it hard to present your gun. 

Rob- Is there anything else you’d like your students to do if they are getting in their car or on their motorcycle?

Robyn- Look around. Create distance as quickly as possible. Your voice is an often overlooked self-defense tool… draw attention to your situation. Your car is a good barrier between you and an attacker. If you can’t get in, keep moving… stay off the X so that you have the upper hand. if you can get into your car… immediately lock your doors… and leave the area. 

I like that we have several stories where the attackers run away and the defenders don’t have to shoot. That happens most of the time, but it isn’t reported in the news very often. That means we have to train ourselves not to shoot until we have to.

Rob- So there is apoint when we’re allowed to shoot and we present our gun. But we’re not at the point where we have to shoot, so we don’t press the trigger yet. That takes judgement.

Robyn- It takes practice. Think about the situation over and over. 

Our last story is from Auburn, Maine.

Rob- Forth story- Are you armed after work?

It is after midnight, early on a Monday morning. You’re with a co-worker after work. You sit in her car talking as the car warms up. Two young men come up to her window and point a gun at both of you. They say to hand over your money and phones.

You say your wallet is in your car. You open the door, step to your car, and grab your firearm. You shoot your armed attacker until he drops his gun. Both of your attackers run from the parking lot. You stay there with your friend and call the police. You both give a report.

The police find your wounded attacker nearby and EMTs take him to the hospital. Your attackers are charged with felony robbery and each one is held on a 25 thousand dollar cash bail.

Robyn, our defender had a gun. What else did he do correctly?

Robyn- As you’re reading the story, I’m shouting for them to drive away. Didn’t they listen to the third story? 

Rob- Evidently not.

Robyn- Our defender protected himself and other innocent parties from a lethal threat. He didn’t chase the bad guys, and he talked to the police.

Rob- What else comes to mind?

Robyn- A moving car is very hard to rob. A cold car with the windows iced up is easy to approach. Cary on body. POGO. Pants on, gun on. Move as you shoot.

Rob- Some of your friends know you carry. Are you the designated defender?


Rob- What should we do when the police arrive?

Robyn- The report doesn’t say if the defender had a holster. 

Be brief with the police, and then call your lawyer. Get “insurance” for self defense. We call it insurance, but it isn’t really. It is a pre-paid legal plan.

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

Robyn- Look for me at https://www.agirlandagun.org/ and at https://www.dcproject.info/. We have events coming up soon.

Rob- After you look at a girl and a gun, and at the DC project, then leave Robyn a message on the Self Defense Gun Stories facebook page.

Robyn- 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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