Episode 203 with David Cole
Welcome to episode 203 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 self defense instructor David Cole.
David- Hi, Rob. I’ve been working and shooting USPSA practicing with the bow for archery season…maybe beginning to plan for a return to Africa.
Rob- I want to thank the listeners who gave us four ratings and three reviews this week on iTunes (171/103). They liked our play by play analysis of everyday stories. One commenter said it helped him develop a mindset for self defense.
Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new listeners what you like.
David- 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 links back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Houston, Texas
Rob- First story- Are you armed at work late at night?
A customer comes into your convenience store and buys some chips. He throws a $20 dollar bill on the counter. The bill doesn’t look right, so you write on it with your test pen. The ink turns black. You hand the bill back to the customer and tell him you won’t accept that bill.
Now the customer pulls a gun out of his pocket. He walks around the counter and behind the plastic barrier and he shoots at you. You move when you see the robber’s gun come out. You’re armed. You draw your firearm and shoot your attacker until he turns away. Your attacker falls to the ground. You run to the back of the store and call the police.
EMTs transport your attacker to the hospital. The officers look at the security video. The police say your attacker was out on parole for armed robbery. No charges are filed against you.
David- Our defender saved his life with his firearm. He used that defensive tool to stop the threat, and then he ran to safety. He called the police. He gave a statement, and the clerk provided a copy of the security video.
This sounds like a really fast, close-in gunfight.
Rob- What would you ask your students to do in this situation?
David- A really good lesson here is that you CAN miss even at very close range. Shooting a handgun at close quarters is a skill that can and should be practiced.
It can also be dangerous, and professional instruction is highly recommended if you’ve never done it before. Things to remember:
Don’t let your non-gun hand wander. Get in the habit of putting it to your chest every time. Body awareness and feel are critical; practice indexing your elbow against your body and remember how it FEELS when it’s in the right place. If shooting a semi-auto, cant the gun slightly outward to avoid catching your clothing in the slide.
Rob- How did our defender survive the attack of a robber who already had his gun out?
David- The robber missed. The good guy didn’t.
Our second story happened in Dallas, Texas.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed in public?
You are leaning against the side of your car talking to some of your friends. It is after dark when a man comes up to you. He draws a gun and tells you to move away from your car. With his gun still pointed at you, your attacker opens the car door.
You have your Texas license to carry a handgun. Tonight, you’re armed. You move, present your firearm, and shoot your attacker several times. Everyone moves away from the car, and you call the police. You ask your friends to stay at the scene.
Police interview you and your friends. Your attacker had several prior convictions and was out on parole. No charges are filed against you. [Article says referred to grand jury]
David- I read about a similar situation where an armed attacker got into the car with the victim. (Colorado Springs, Colorado off duty police officer stops attempted kidnapping
The two cases are a little bit different. In the Texas situation, it could be argued that the defender might not have needed to shoot. The robber was already in the car, and presumably preparing to leave. If that was the case, it might have been better to let him leave and call the police. On the other hand, it could be that the robber was still threatening the defender with a gun, and the act of him getting in the car was simply the best opportunity for the defender to act.
Rob- What should our students do if they were in this situation?
David- It’s always a judgement call, and completely dependent on the unique circumstances in the situation. But it is almost always going to be preferable to let a robber leave if it is safe to do so, rather than get into a gunfight. At the same time, if there’s a reasonable threat of deadly force, then it may be reasonable to to defend with deadly force.
Rob- How did our defender not get shot by a robber who already had his gun pointed at him?
David- It’s very difficult to say, as there isn’t much detail in the story. It could be that the robber was distracted as he was getting into the car, presenting an opportunity for our defender to act. It could be that the defender moved, making it more difficult for the robber to engage him. Either are noteworthy. Assuming deadly force is justified, diversions or distractions can provide opportunities to a defender, and movement can make it tougher for an attacker to engage effectively.
Our third story happened in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Rob- First this message from FASTER Colorado.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you’re driving?
You drive up to a convenience store. Your buddy in the passenger seat runs inside to buy something. You hear gunshots from the store and get out of your car. You see a stranger run out of the store with a gun in his hand. Then, the stranger shoots you. You’re armed. You draw your firearm and shoot back until your attacker drops his gun.
You shout for help. The store clerk has already called 911. EMTs take you to the hospital to treat your gunshot wound. The police tell you that your attacker shot at the store clerk, and then killed your friend as he walked through the door. Your attacker had shot up two other convenience stores within the last day. Police arrest the robber’s get away driver and charge him with murder.
David- This was a wild one.
Rob- What did our defender do to save his live?
Rob- If you walk up to a convenience store, what do you want to do?
David- Well, we don’t call them “stop n’ robs” for nothing. They are always high risk areas, especially at night, so you want to be aware any time you’re approaching one. You don’t want to end up like the unfortunate victim in this case and walk into an active robbery. Most of them have a lot of glass in the front, so look things over before entering. Though they don’t necessarily indicate a robbery, an idling car can be a sign. Be watchful.
Rob- How did our defender survive when his first warning of an attack was being shot?
David- We don’t have much detail, but it’s probably safe to say that he managed to access his firearm quickly while in the car, and possibly utilized the car as cover. Not all of a car will reliably stop a bullet, so know where those areas are. Also, make sure you can draw your gun effectively while seated in a car or kneeling behind one. . Practice with an unloaded gun, or even better…a blue gun.
David- Our fourth story took place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed when you go out for breakfast?
You went out to eat with a few friends. As you return home, you notice some of your possessions are stacked on the floor. A window screen is missing on your kitchen window and the window is open. You draw your firearm and shout that you’re armed. You hear someone in your bathroom, and you investigate. A stranger lunges for you and tries to grab your gun. You shoot him. You run outside and call 911.
EMTs declare your attacker dead at the scene. Your attacker was in his 20s, and you’re 72 years old. You had a heart attack a few weeks ago, and your robber was searching through your medicine cabinet.
Rob- Do you talk about a situation like this with your students?
David- I don’t recommend entering a home where there has been an obvious break-in, like in this situation. It’s almost always going to be preferable to call police and wait, rather than attempt to clear a structure solo. It is very dangerous, and unless there is some circumstance that presents a threat to life, it’s not worth the risk.
Rob- Did our defender have the right to defend himself?
David- When the attacker attempted to disarm the homeowner, he was justified in defending himself.
Don’t leave your house unsecured when you leave…or when you’re home. This burglar only had to pop out a window screen and he was in, and that’s very easy to do.
Exit- Rob- that wraps up this episode. David, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
David- Look for me at deltabravocharlie.com
Rob- After you read some of David’s articles, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
David- We share this podcast with you for free.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.