Episode 21 with Tatiana Whitlock

Introduction- Rob- Welcome to episode 21 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.  I’m Rob Morse and I’m helped this week by instructor Tatiana Whitlock.

Tatiana Whitlock 2Tatiana-  Hi, Rob.  Hello new listeners, and our regular listeners. Each week we report and analyze examples of civilian defense.  Our first example took place last week in Atlanta, Georgia.

First story-  Rob- A father and son were working together in their jewelry store at about 2 pm..  A man walked into Cachet Fine Jewelry and said he wanted to make a 70 thousand dollars purchase.  The store owners were suspicious since the man didn’t look like the usual person who might buy jewelry of that price.  The store owners also recognized the man since he’d walked past the shop and looked inside several times earlier in the day.  No other customers were in the store when this customer pulled out a firearm, pointed it at the older store owner, and demanded the two store owners “Put all the jewelry in the bag.”  The son saw the robber’s gun pointed at his father.  The young man presented his own handgun and fired three times.  He struck the robber in the neck.  The robber ran outside the store before he collapsed on the street.  Witnesses said a woman was waiting in a getaway car.  EMTs transported the robber to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Tatiana, how many of your students say they’ll get their firearm if they are threatened?

Tatiana-  The vast majority of students I work with are motivated to learn about firearms for personal protection. About 50% are in the beginning phases of learning what it would take technically, physically, and emotionally use a gun when threatened. The other 50% are actively carrying concealed every day and I am VERY encouraged to see that percentage growing with each new class.

Rob- What do you say to them to convince them to carry all the time?

Tatiana-  So many people have their permit, have invested in a firearm, but have yet to incorporate it into their daily lives. They are just not “COMFORTABLE” with the logistics and lifestyle changes that are necessary to make carrying a firearm as natural a part of your day-to-day routine as carrying your cell phone. Alternately, many people have a common “I don’t think I could do it. I would freeze!” attitude. But when asked if they would defend their child the answer is a resounding, “YES! WITHOUT HESITATION!” The key thing I tell students that is a mindset game changer for making carrying a gun ALL THE TIME a reality is: That YOU BELONG TO SOMEONE. You are a parent, a child, a friend, a spouse. You BELONG to them 100% of the time whether they are with you are not.  You are NOT expendable. You are NOT replaceable. For me? I am a mother of two beautiful children that are 6 and 7 years old. I belong to them.  NO ONE  has the right to take me from them, to take me from this world, but GOD.  Accept that fact and the value of your life, of your role in a much bigger picture, your will and drive to protect it is no longer in question. Suddenly the nuisance of holstering up every morning becomes a non-issue.

Rob- Which of your classes show a firearms owner how to present their pistol?

Tatiana-  While I love teaching the fundamentals, my passion is firearms use for self and home defense thus the majority of the classes I teach incorporate pistol presentation. Basic Handgun for Self Defense, Concealed Carry Essentials, Home Defense Handgun all work from the holster as well as real world “ready” positions. HOWEVER, presenting the pistol is NOT the first and MOST CRITICAL step. Learning Situational Awareness and threat assessment come first. WHAT IS HAPPENING? WHO IS MY PROBLEM?(Bad guy/good guy can you tell the difference) WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?(avoid/evade/engage) WHERE IS THE SOLUTION (locate a way out/away, de-escalate if possible, engage IMMEDIATE LIFE THREATENING ATTACKER where and how). Training in REAL WORLD context means we MUST incorporate these elements into our pistol fundamentals training or these vital, life saving skills, will NOT be there when things go bad. And to hiccup when the moment presents itself, to fumble the draw when fractions of seconds count, could cost you or your loved one their life.

Rob- About how practice do these new gun owners need at home until their presentation starts to look smooth?

Tatiana-  Dry fire is the best way to keep your skills from getting “foggy”, slow, and to keep your movements from feeling clumsy.  The reps needed depend on how well the individual is training/practicing. Making your dryfire a weekly routine for about 10-15 minutes 2 to 3 times a week is idea. Otherwise, draw the blinds so you don’t panic the neighbors and in an ammo free living room, practice during the commercial breaks of your favorite show. The more GOOD, clean, and technically correct reps you can get in the better!

Our next story took place in Florida.

Second Story-  Rob- A Boynton Beach grandmother heard someone knock on her door just after noon.  She didn’t open the door.  She looked through the peephole but didn’t recognize the man.  He kept ringing the bell and baning on the door.  He came back a few minutes later wearing rubber gloves and with his shirt pulled over his head to hide his face.  Grandma ran to her bedroom and grabbed the gun she and her husband keep in a dresser beside their bed.  She stood near the door when three robbers broke down her front door and then walked into her bedroom.  Grandma had her gun pointed at the robber’s face as he came through the doorway.  She yelled.  He ran and his two partners followed him.

She does not know if the robbers were armed.  The two homeowners also intend to get a bigger gun and go to a shooting range to practice.

Tatiana, was grandma lucky?

Tatiana-  Yes, she is and she did exactly what she should have. She felt threatened, was clearly in a vulnerable state (age, physical fitness, etc.) and armed herself, took a position in a room she could control, announced herself and stood her ground. That being said a gun isn’t’ a magic charm. You need to know how to use it. These kinds of experiences are NOT the time to familiarize yourself with how your gun works. Those skills need to be there BEFORE the worst happens.

Rob- Was grandma’s life in danger and was she justified in shooting these three robbers?

Tatiana-  She only knew of one threatening person when she ran to her room. She was faced with THREE. Disparity of force would certainly apply here. She was hugely outnumbered. She felt threatened, acted appropriately, and her fears were confirmed. YES, she was absolutely in the right to fear for her life. Would they have covered their face if they thought no one was home? NO. They didn’t want to be recognizable upon entry so they had to know she was there. Not only did they enter masked, but they pursued her to her bedroom. Granny got her gun and I applaud her for her courage!

Our third story took place in South Carolina.

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Third story-  Rob- Most of us have heard about the mass murder at a Florida nightclub.  You might not have heard what happened last week at the Playoffz nightclub in Lyman, South Carolina.  Two men got into an argument at 3:30 in the morning.  The two men went outside, and one of them started shooting into the crowd standing outside the club.  The attacker hit three people.  He missed the fourth person, and this person standing in the crowd was armed.  He presented his handgun and shot back back.  His shots struck the attacker in the leg.  The attacker fell down and stopped shooting.

The scene was chaotic.  The police interviewed witnesses and had to look at surveillance video to sort the attacker from the defender.  The attacker was treated and booked into jail.  The three wounded victims are expected to recover, though some will require surgery.  The armed defender had a concealed carry permit and will not be charged.  The attacker was a convicted felon and had his gun illegally.

Tatiana, that is some shooting.

Tatiana- The response of the defending concealed carrier was absolutely appropriate. However, if we are making leg shots then we are falling victim to poor training and practice. Low left, anyone? A committed or inebriated/altered attacker WILL NOT STOP SHOOTING just because they have been hit once in the leg. Round placement to neutralize the attacking party does not happen in the extremities. He was lucky that  the leg shot was all it took and that there was not a continued exchange of gunfire. Next up: how many folks have trained to shoot their gun in low light or no light conditions? It’s a whole new world! How many folks have trained in a multi-day stress inducing program designed to push you to the point of what it would feel like to have to defend your life at 3am when you are physically tired in addition to being in the dark? Experiential training is a VITAL part of preparing yourself technically and mentally for this kind of VERY real and relevant type of attack.

Rob- How do we go out and keep ourselves safe at the same time?

Lastly, this is a GREAT example of how important it is especially given stories just like these to have a “Designated Carrier”. We have “Designated Drivers” to ensure those having a good time get home safely. Well folks, it’s time to seriously consider having that person also be a responsibly trained and legally armed Designated Carrier.
Exit- Rob- That wraps up this episode. Thank you for helping me today, Tatiana.  Where can our listeners learn more about you?

Tatiana- They can contact me at http://tatianawhitlock.com/, find availble courses at Ann Arbor Arms Academy, and at On Target Magazine and GunCulture.com

Rob- Our listeners can leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.

I’m Rob Morse.  Please join us next week for more Self-Defense Gun Stories.

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