Episode 195 with Robyn Sandoval
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 195 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained and if you’re new to self defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Robyn Sandoval.
Robyn- Hi, Rob. Glad to be here. Last week I hosted A Girl & A Gun’s 8th Annual National Training Conference in a digital format. We had 373 attendees, who watched 79 on-demand and 33 livestreamed training sessions with 46 of the nation’s best firearms educators. And we gave away 49 guns to attendees! So much training and fun!
Rob- We received two new ratings and two new comments on iTunes this week (153×91). The reviews liked that we keep our stories simple, and that we go beyond the gun and talk about avoiding the problem..if we can. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time.
I want to thank our listeners for sharing this podcast. We had almost 18 thousand downloads in April, and that is a record for us.
Robyn- 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 give you the links back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Lake Elsinore, California.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at home?
It is 11:30 at night when you hear a crashing sound and your house rattles. You get up to see what happened. You see someone in your house and he’s moving toward you. You’re armed. You shout and you shoot your handgun at your intruder. Now he runs away. You back up and call 911.
The 911 operator says they have already received calls about shots in the area. Your intruder was arrested in front of your home and taken to the hospital for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds. He was charged with burglarizing two cars in the neighborhood before he entered your home by kicking in the door.
Robyn- It’s so important to have a plan because you’re probably completely off-guard when you’re home at 11:30 at night. You’re going to spring into action.
Fortunately in this case, the victim was armed, and he was able to get to his loaded firearm. After our homeowner defended himself, he didn’t chase the bad guy, and it sounds like he called the police. That is a good start on a safety plan.
Rob- Is this home invasion unusual?
Robyn- About a third of assaults take place in or near our homes. More often than not, such encounters occur in low-light or no-light environments.
Rob- Do most of your students come to you because they want to be armed at home, armed in public, or both?
Robyn- People often have a sense of security at home and may want to let their guard down. Part of being your own first responder is to ensure that you have a home safety plan for a variety of scenarios.
Rob- What would you like us to do if we were in this situation?
Robyn- We don’t know if the homeowner turned on the lights or had a flashlight. Without light, you are only receiving limited information, and it may not be enough to make a decision. To identify a threat, you need to see who is in front of you. Using a handheld light, preferably a bright light, takes control over the environment giving you an advantage over an attacker. It works as a shield of light to gain time and perspective.
Robyn- Our second story happened in Bay City, Michigan.
Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm nearby when you sleep?
It is 1:30 in the morning when something wakes you up. You listen again and hear the sound of breaking glass. You grab your firearm and move to your bedroom door. A stranger walks across the kitchen toward you. You shoot your intruder. Your intruder backs away toward the back door. You call 911 and ask for the police.
EMTs take your intruder to the hospital for treatment of an abdominal wound. Police find the broken back window where the intruder broke into your home.
Robyn- This is similar to our first story, so let’s talk about some additional factors. Do you need to go to the kitchen? If you’re alone, have some options. You may not want to move towards the threat — or threats — or the unknown of what is happening in your kitchen. Instead, you can exit your house through a door or window, or bunker in place behind cover in your room while you call 911. Maybe you can lock your bedroom door and create barriers between you and the intruders.
Rob- The average number of criminals involved in an assault is between two and three.
Robyn- If you aren’t home alone, then maybe you do have to address the situation. If you have kids or loved ones in the house with you, then you might have to go towards the threat. You might have to move to other bedrooms and try to bunker there, or try to exit from those locations.
Rob- That is where practice becomes really important. Can the older children keep the younger children in their bedroom? We think of mom as the person who protects the kids, but for some couples it is the dad who is faster and mom who follows up with the firearm and flashlight.
Robyn- Every family is different and everyone’s home is laid out differently. In my home, my husband and I have a plan to move to the kids’ rooms, and hold from the top of the stairs. We’ve had tons of conversations on “what if” scenarios. This helps us plan, so that we can analyze what we could do, what we should do, and what we must do in a defensive situation, and that’s going to vary for each family. If you’re like me and you have teenagers, you could get to their room and use their phone to call 911. But it’s important that they charge their phones, so you’re not stuck with a dead battery.
Rob- Good point. Is there anything else you notice?
Robyn- The best way to win a gunfight is to avoid it.
Rob- Home invaders often go to the bathrooms looking for drugs. Avoid a fight over a bottle of pills. The doctor’s bill to stitch up a cut will cost you more than replacing the drugs. Your attacker might be armed with a knife of a gun. Don’t get in a knife fight or a gun fight over the TV. The druggie might be a terrible gunfighter, but he might get a lucky shot that hurts you or kills you.
Robyn- Exactly. Protect yourself and your family. Our third story happened in Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- First this message from SAF- SAF.org.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed in front of your home?
You are mowing your lawn after work. You stop to talk to one of your neighbors when a stranger runs by on the street. The next thing you know, someone is shooting at you and your friends. You’re hit in the ankle and leg. You have your Illinois concealed carry permit and you’re armed. You return fire and your attacker runs away. You and your neighbors call 911. You’re a firefighter, so you know the first responders.
Your attacker is uninjured, but arrested by the police a few blocks away. They find his gun and coat in a trashcan nearby.
Robyn- In this case, I most notice the mindset of the defender. He is a first responder, and he was able to capably respond in the moment. Think of all the things that happened before the gunfight, and all the hoops that this Illinois resident had to jump through to have a concealed firearm legally in public. He had gotten his firearms owner’s ID card, so he could touch a gun in a gun store. He had taken a training class and applied for his handgun owner’s permit. He had bought his gun and then registered it. He had taken a concealed carry class and applied for his Illinois carry permit. He found a holster that worked for him and his gun. And then he practiced his fundamentals and draw stroke, and most importantly he carried it when he was in his front yard.
The bad guy fired 13 shots at this group of people, so our good guy might have saved lives even though he was hit.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do if this happened to us?
Robyn- I’m surprised that the firefighter didn’t have a tourniquet. Maybe he had one and the news didn’t mention it. Maybe his wounds didn’t need one, but I encourage everyone to carry one.
Rob- Why is that?
Robyn- You have a gun to save your life and the life of the people you love, and you need to have a tourniquet for the same reason. A “stop the bleed” class is only about an hour long and is offered for free at many community hospitals.
Rob- Didn’t your daughter take that class with you?
Robyn- Yes, my kids have been certified in Bleeding Control Basics and they carry Stop the Bleed kits in their backpacks. It’s simple to learn direct pressure application, wound packing, and use of a tourniquet to control life-threatening bleeding. There are so many stories where lives have been saved because someone nearby had the knowledge and tools to stop arterial bleeding until help arrived. Everyone should take a class on it.
Our forth story took place in Maple Valley, Washington.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you work outside?
You’re feeding the animals before dark at your rural property. Two cars pull up and you’re not expecting strangers.You walk up and ask the men if they are lost? You take a picture of their car. You see one of the men with a shotgun in his lap, and then the armed man gets out of his car with his gun in his hands.
You’re armed. You run away from your house. You draw your concealed firearm as you move through the trees. Your attackers shoot at you, and you shoot back. Both cars drive away. You check on your family while your wife calls the police.
When the police arrive, you show them your security video and your cell phone picture of your attackers.
Robyn- In this case, it was good that the defender was able to stop the attackers in his driveway before they threatened his family. He had his firearm on-body and he made the split-second decision to move away from the house so he didn’t draw gunfire towards his wife and kids. He had a video security system, and was really smart to take a picture of the bad guys.
Rob- I don’t know that I’d be that smart when people are shooting at me.
Robyn- Yes! He obviously had trained for this scenario. Perhaps now he’ll go a step further and put a gate on his driveway or motion lights or alarms to alert him when someone is coming up the driveway. And hopefully the family inside the home had acted on their plan, also.
Rob- It would be great if the children had a walkthrough of their emergency plan so we don’t scare the kids to death.
Robyn- Each family has to decide what is right for their individual children based on their age, level of development, and personality. If a child has a plan, it can be less scary in the moment — and just like gun safety — an emergency plan is not a one-and-done conversation. As a parent, you will need to remind your children about the safety rules on a regular basis. Address your family emergency plan like any other safety plan, including fire drill or severe weather drill. By knowing the rules and having a plan, your children can have age-appropriate guidance to keep them safe.
Rob- that wraps up this episode. Robyn, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Robyn- Look for me at https://www.agirlandagun.org/ and A Girl & A Gun on all of the social media pages. We have events coming up soon.
Rob- After you look at Robyn’s articles, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.