Episode 214 with Robyn Sandoval
Welcome to episode 214 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. This week we’re joined by firearms instructor Robin Sandoval. Robin, it has been months since we talked.
Robyn- Hi, Rob. I’ve been teaching and …
Rob- We received two more ratings and two more comments on iTunes (200/118). A listener wants to know more details behind our stories. So do we, but most news stories don’t report the details we want to know. We have to work with a few paragraphs and a police report. Sometimes we know the instructor who trained the defender, and we get more information that way when we can, but that is rare.
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Robyn- We examine 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 McAlum, Texas.
It is Sunday afternoon. You hear someone walk onto your porch. You live in the country and are not expecting visitors. The next thing you know, you have two strange men in dark clothing in the middle of your home. They are wearing masks over their faces. You shout for them to leave. Instead of running away, they advance toward you.
You’re armed. You shoot the man closest to you. Now, both men run away. You hear a car door slam, and you look outside to see the two men drive away. Now you can call the police.
Police find a car matching your description at the nearest hospital. The wounded robber died from his wounds, and the police are looking for his accomplice.
Robyn- If the criminals wanted an empty house to rob they would have entered in the middle of a weekday when most people are at work. Instead, the robbers chose a time when the victim would be home. They entered with the intent to rob him and his house. This is a pattern in Europe where homeowners are legally disarmed, but fortunately not so much here in the US where we can defend ourselves.
Rob- What did our defender do correctly?
Robyn- The homeowner was paying attention to sounds outside his home. He recognized the threat, and gave verbal commands. He used his self-defense tools at hand, didn’t chase the robbers when they left, and then he called the police.
Rob- Many students want to learn how to shoot. When do your students learn about the legal use of lethal force, about when they should shoot?
Robyn- Whenever someone is interested in training to use a firearm for self-defense, he or she must first learn the laws of force.
Rob- What would you like us to do in a situation like this one?
Robyn- Maybe there were steps the homeowner could have taken to prevent the robbery, such as locks on his door, an alarm system, or cameras on his property. However, when the robbers forced entry, and he knew he was in imminent harm, he responded immediately and decisively. In a home it’s important to know where you can seek cover, where your family members are located, and if you can safely exit if possible.
Rob- Anything else?
Robyn- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Greeley, Colorado.
You hear someone pounding on the door. You run a boarding house for people who are physically and mentally disabled. You look through a side window and the person outside isn’t one of your tenants. The stranger shouts that he needs money, and you tell him to go away. One of your tenants arrives a few minutes later, and you open your door and welcome him inside. That is when the stranger charges the door before you can close it. You’re knocked backwards onto the stairs where the stranger tackles you.
You are armed. You shoot your attacker twice before he moves away from you. You stop shooting and shout for your tenants to call the police. You stay in your home. Police arrest your attacker, and EMTs take him to the hospital. You go to the hospital to have your injured elbow examined.
Robyn- Congratulations to him for not opening the door to the stranger. Looking through the side window and identifying the stranger was a good first step. He told him to go away. Too bad he didn’t.
If the defender was able to see that the stranger was still on the property, he could have called the police. Maybe a video doorbell would have helped him have a better view of the doorway.
Rob- We are not used to calling the police and saying Hay, there is a crazy man banging on my front door who won’t go away. Please come and pick him up.
Robyn- It’s a new situation for sure, but calling the police sooner may have resulted in a different outcome. When you read the news report, the defender said he waited as long as he could before he used his firearm. Obviously the stranger had issues, but safety is paramount, and the defender had to protect himself and the other tenants.
Rob- Don’t act too soon or too late. That is easy to say, but harder to do.
Robyn- Our third story happened in Van Buren, Arkansas.
Rob- First this message from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership
It is the middle of the morning on a weekday. You hear sounds coming from the back of your house. You should be home alone, but you’re not. You are armed. You follow the sounds to your bedroom, and from there to your bedroom closet. You open your closet door and see a stranger looking back at you. The man has your wallet in his hand and is going through your clothes. You step back and yell at him to leave. The stranger yells at you, and then lunges for you. You shoot him and he stops advancing. You step back further and call the police.
Police arrive a short while later. They arrest your attacker and charge him with residential burglary. EMTs transport him to the local hospital. He is treated for a gunshot wound to the leg. The police think the robber might have spent the night in your camper.
Robyn- Our defender had a gun and had it with him. He stopped shooting when the attacker stopped advancing. He got to safety and called 911.
Lock your doors. It’s such a simple concept, and yet intruders can often access a home with no resistance. Also get an alarm system that chimes when doors and windows are opened — and a dog! The report doesn’t say what sounds the homeowner heard… was it banging? Talking? Did he know if the sounds were a person or an animal? What if the intruder was armed? It would have been smart for the homeowner to call the police and ask them to clear the house.
Rob- Do you see anything else
Robyn- If the intruder was armed and confronted the homeowner, it’s important to have quality training to move quickly behind cover, and have some first aid training and basic trauma supplies to treat yourself or an injured family member.
Rob- Your students come for a shooting class. When do you tell your students about home security and first aid?
Is shooting someone in the leg easier to justify legally? Is a gunshot wound to the leg lethal or non-lethal force?
Robyn- Our forth story took place in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
You get a call from your roommate. It is a few minutes after midnight and your roommate says someone is trying to break into your home. You walk in and find two strangers standing in your home. These strangers have weapons and they threaten you, but the news article doesn’t say what kind of weapons.
You are armed. You move and present your firearm. You shoot one of your attackers. The second attacker is out the door before you can shoot him. The first attacker stumbles outside. Now you call 911. You stay at the scene until the police arrive.
Police had already received calls about your gunshots. EMTs take one wounded robber to the hospital where he is listed in serious but stable condition. Your attacker is less than 18 years old, so police called him a juvenile.
(a juvenile who protected his accomplice in an armed robbery)
Robyn- Thanks for the heads up, roommate. Perhaps calling the police would have been helpful, too.
Our defender was armed. He defended himself and then he stopped shooting. He called the police and stayed at the scene.
Rob- The news report isn’t clear. Would it make a difference if these two robbers had clubs, knives, or guns?
Robyn- If there was an immediate threat, and the homeowner believed that his life was in danger, then the type of weapon is irrelevant.
Rob- What should we do in this situation?
Robyn- Don’t look for trouble because you might find it. Tell your roommate to lock his bedroom door and call 911. If you do face two armed men unexpectedly, then address one threat at a time. If it’s a low-light environment, be mindful of how you can get more information without giving away your position. Create time and distance so that you can get away or behind cover.
Rob- Do your students get to practice a scenario like this one, or are they always shooting bullseye targets?
Robyn- Force on force training is invaluable for really testing your skills. How are you going to process what you see, while moving your body, and proficiently using your firearm or other self-defense tools. You’re going to have tunnel vision, you’re going to have adrenaline, you’re going to have to manage gross motor and fine motor skills. Scenario-based training is the best way to develop those skills.
Robyn, you put yourself through that training so you could protect your family. That makes you a warrior. 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 website, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
Robyn- We share this podcast with you for free.
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Rob- This show is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more pro-freedom podcasts at sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.