Episode 193 with Amanda Suffecool
Welcome to episode 193 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained and also if you’re new to self defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Amanda Suffecool.
Amanda- Hi, Rob. I’ve been working from home, and recording videos for new firearms owners.
Rob- We received more ratings on iTunes this week (149/89). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time.
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 link leading back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Columbus, Indiana.
It is 9 at night. You’re home with your family. A strange man rushes into your house through the front door. You ask him if he’s lost, but the man doesn’t make any sense. You tell him to leave, and he attacks you. You try to push him back out the door, but the stranger throws you to the ground. Your family runs away and your wife calls the police. You run to your bedroom, grab your gun, and then move back into the middle of your home. Now, you order the stranger to leave or you’ll shoot him. Your attacker sees your gun and turns around. The police arrest him in front of your home.
After he was released by the hospital, your attacker was charged with residential entry, resisting law enforcement and public intoxication.
Amanda- People on drugs will hurt you and your family, so I’m glad our defenders had a firearm. I like that the female homeowner got the children to a safe place and called the police. The male defender decided this wasn’t an immediate, unavoidable, and lethal threat, so he didn’t shoot. That shows particularly good judgement after you’ve been thrown to the ground. Also, our defenders didn’t chase the bad guy down the street. They closed the door and kept their family safe.
Rob- Please talk to me about the decision not to shoot?
Amanda- You escaped from the bad guy as you went to your bedroom. He didn’t follow you. Your family was safe. The intruder was guilty of the first attack, but that threat is over. If you go back to the center of your house, then you are closing the distance to your attacker.
Rob- What do you say to your students about a situation like this one?
Amanda- This is why we lock our doors and windows. We want to protect our family by keeping criminals and addicts outside our home. Have a security plan with your family. They’ll know where to go to stay safe. They know what to do once they reach their safe room. They know how to call 911 and what to say to the police. Know the difference between being the defender or the aggressor and know that it flips in a minute. Also, I want you to wear your defensive tools. I don’t want you to have to leave your family so you can go and get your gun. That is a bad plan. I want both mom and dad to be armed. What would mom do if the dad was knocked out when being knocked down, or kicked in the head while he was getting up off the floor?
Rob- When do you talk about these issues of self-defense and defense at home with your students?
Amanda- Typically with the second class.
Rob- Anything else?
Amanda- A third of all attacks happen in or near our homes. We have this fantasy that my town is safe, my neighborhood is safe, and my house is safe. We pretend it couldn’t happen to us. Violence happens everywhere, so please, be prepared.
Rob- And that starts with a plan.
Amanda- It starts with a plan. My plan is to move on to our second story in Columbia, Missouri.
It is after 11 at night when your boyfriend comes over. Your three children are in bed and your boyfriend is angry. He shouts through the locked door, but you tell him you’re armed and to go away. He walks away and then shoots at your house from the street. You unlock the door and shoot back. Now your attacker drives away. You check on your children and then call the police. You give a statement when the police arrive, and the police find bullet holes in your house.
Your attacker is charged with first-degree domestic assault, armed criminal action, three counts of felony child endangerment and resisting arrest.
Amanda- It sounds like our defender was armed when her EX boyfriend came to the door. I don’t know if she carried all the time, or if the ex-boyfriend threatened her by phone before he came over. I’m glad she was armed when she needed to be. Again, I like that she stopped shooting when the threat stopped. She didn’t chase her boyfriend after the attack ended. She checked on her kids and called 911. I also like that she pressed charges against her attacker.
Rob- Did she do the right thing by opening the door and shooting at her attacker?
Amanda- We think of attacks being a few feet away. She had a crazy man shooting at her family for the street. She took action to end the attack and protect her family. This is kind of touchy in what were the specifics, how far away was he, etc…
Rob- What would you like us to do if this happened to us?
Amanda- Get a restraining order. Report the forbidden phone calls, texts and threats you get to the police. That builds your case in court. The defense lawyer will say that this was an act in the moment of passion. You created a record of evidence that shows a long pattern of abuse that ended in a premeditated attack. Also, having a gun means having it when you need it – so carry your firearm on your body. If her boyfriend kicked down her door and her children were there, then she’d have to leave her children to go to her bedroom and get her gun. Now you are torn between defending your family and getting the tools you need to defend your family. Bring the tools you need so they are ready when you need them.
Rob- What else did you notice?
Amanda- There might not be time to execute all of it, but I want this family to have a safety plan. Kids, if you hear something strange, then we’re going to run to my room, or hide under your beds. You’ll have to make the plan fit with your situation. The important thing is that you want to be able to find your kids and not have one kid who ran out the back door because he was scared. The nightmare situation is that your injured kid ran away, and now you can’t find him and get him to treatment.
Rob- That could be true in a house fire, or a storm. A plan lets you make better choices.
Rob- I noticed that there was evidence of the attack. The police might not look for bullet holes unless you tell them that the attacker shot at you. How does that fit with the suggestion not to talk with the police?
Amanda- Say little is different than say nothing. Tell them the facts as you know them – just the facts and then if needed you get a lawyer.
Rob- Let’s go on.
Amanda- Our third story happened Dolan Springs, Arizona
You and your friend are checking on a neighbor during the quarantine. You see a stranger come out of your neighbor’s house carrying equipment. You shout hello. The stranger drops the equipment, raises a gun, and shoots at you. Your friend is hit by the bullet. You shoot back, and now your attacker runs away.
You help your friend and call 911. EMTs treat your friend and life-flight him to the nearest hospital. You live in a rural and sparsely populated desert town. The police found your attacker dead in the desert with a gunshot wound.
Amanda- Wow. All you were doing is checking to see if a neighbor needed anything, and you walk in on a burglary that turns into attempted murder. Our defender was armed, and that saves his life and the life of his friend. Our defender stopped the threat, treated his friend, and called for help. That is exactly the right thing to do.
Rob- Tell me why we work in that order.
Amanda- Stop other people, including you, from getting hurt.
Find out the nature of the injuries, and provide trauma care if indicated. That does two things. That keeps people alive until EMTs arrive, and it tells the responders the nature of the injury. Then, get help on the way. In this case, the injured party was taken by helicopter to a hospital because he had a chest wound.
Rob- Again, we usually expect an attack to happen at close range. This sounds like the attacker shot from many yards away, and the defender was effective in shooting back.
Amanda- The story doesn’t say if the wounded friend was also armed. This story could have been a double murder if the armed defender was shot first and he was the only person who had a defensive tool with him. Being armed is great. Having armed friends with you is much better AND this is why its so important to have your gun where ever you are… POGO
Amanda- Our forth story took place in Neptune Beach, Florida.
It is early in the evening. You’re home due to the quarantine. You hear a bang at your front door. You hear it again and you draw your firearm. At the third bang, your front door lock gives way and three young men wearing sweatshirts rush into your home. They are armed. You shoot at them several times. That turns them around and they run back out the front door. You move to the door and close it. Then you call the police.
When the police arrive you show them the video from your security camera. The police arrest one of your attackers at a hospital where he was seeking treatment for his gunshot wounds.
Amanda- Three armed attackers against one homeowner. I’m glad our good guy had a gun. He didn’t make excuses, that the sound he heard was coming from the street, or from the neighbors. He thought that this could be something serious, and he was ready for it. Again, he didn’t run down the street after these robbers, and he had a video file that he was able to give to the police when they arrived.
Rob- Is there anything else you think we should know?
Amanda- The door broke after only three hits, so buy a better door and door locks if you can. But other than that, I think our defender did very well. I’d ask him to get more practice at the range so he hits his targets.
Rob- How hard is it for you to take your students somewhere where they get a chance to shoot quickly at multiple targets?
Amanda- I shoot at a range designed for USPSA, so we have room to move and shoot. If you only have access to an indoor range with lanes, thats not an option for you.
Rob- Three on one is a tough problem. When do you talk to your students about cover and concealment?
Amanda- First I tell them to know the difference – those westerns that they watched may not reflect real life. You know – hiding behind the red checkered table cloth or a wagon wheel. Seriously – know what is bullet proof in your home. Not much actually is.
Rob– Do they get to practice that in their defensive shooting drills?
Amanda- Yeah – we have a drill where we move with a loaded gun – that intimidates a lot of people. And we shoot from behind a barricade. This too takes some practice so that you don’t bounce brass off the wall and then back into & jamming your gun.
Rob- that wraps up this episode. Amanda, thank you for helping us 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 articles, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
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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.