Episode 220 with Amanda Suffecool

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 220 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, what have you been up to?

Amanda- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been teaching and doing quite a bit of Radio & Guest appearances, and our show has just added Video to the Radio Lineup.  You can find us on the OpsLens app on your smart phone among other places. 

Rob- Last week, we received five ratings and two new comments on iTunes. 207/123 A couple said they listen to the podcast together. They stop after each story and talk about it. That is exactly how I hoped you’d use this podcast. Another listener said we’ve loosened up and are teasing each other a little more. We can thank our co-hosts for that.

I also want to give credit to our listeners for putting us in the top one percent of self-defense podcasts on Listen Notes. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new gun owners know why they should listen.

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 links back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Port Arthur, Texas.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at home?  

You are at home with your two children. Their mother comes back home just before 8:30 at night, and the kids run out to meet her. A second later, you hear screams and shouts from strange voices. Someone is threatening your family. You grab your rifle and look down the hallway. You see three men pointing guns at your family. You shoot one of your attackers until he drops his gun. The other two attackers run from the house. You check on your family and then call 911.

The attackers said they would shoot your kids if their mom didn’t hand over everything. Your five year old is really upset. You give a statement to the police. The police tell you that the robbers pushed their way in behind your kids mom. EMTs say your attacker is dead. Police also said this is probably gang activity.

Amanda, what do you notice about this story?

Amanda- The bad guys threatened to shoot the children.

Our good guy was outnumbered, but he saved his family. He may have defended them from darkness, or from behind the attackers. It would be foolish to walk into the light to join the fight.

Our defender didn’t chase the bad guys down the street when they ran away. He stayed at the scene and checked to see if his family was injured. Then he called 911. 

The police said it was gang activity. That could have been problems in your family, or even some of your inlaws doing drugs.

Rob- What else do you wonder about?

Amanda- You don’t want a shoot out where there are three armed bad guys shooting at you. At the same time, you have to be sure that you’re not shooting toward your family.   Think about the adrenalynn and shooting in the direction of where they are holding your family.  My guess is – that is why he shot one of them.  The one that was not near his loved ones.  

Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to learn from this story?

Amanda- Have outside lights so the bad guys can’t hide near your front door. How many times have you walked up to your door with your hands filled with packages so you couldn’t defend yourself. Once you’re inside, then please lock your doors.

Rob- This has to upset the children.

Amanda- They probably want to talk about it with a counselor.   My friend on the police force recommends to all his officers that they seek counseling if they are involved in a traumatic experience like this one. 

Rob- Anything else?

Amanda- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Stockton, California.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home?   

You are at home preparing Christmas dinner with your family. It is about 3 in the afternoon when your neighbor comes over to complain. You have family with you and you try to send him away. He pushes his way inside and keeps pushing you. You fend him off and your family moves toward you. Your attacker hits you and some of your family.

You’re a gun owner. You’re armed. You shoot your attacker and call 911.

Police take your attacker to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. You give a statement to the police.

What did our defender do correctly?

Amanda- I like it that our defender was armed and it sounds like she was carrying on her body. We have lots of new gun owners and many of them are still learning about holsters. That gun on the bedroom shelf is too far away when you need to protect your family.

Our defender stayed at the scene and called the police.

Rob- Is there anything you’d want us to do that isn’t mentioned in the news story?

Amanda- We know this happened in California, but San Joaquin (Wa-keen) County has a shall issue policy for carry licenses. Our defender was at home so she could have been armed even if she didn’t have her carry permit, but she couldn’t legally step out her front door or into her garage.

Rob- While she was armed.

Amanda- Right, not without a permit. Here is another reason to get your carry permit. In most jurisdictions, police officers see people who have a license as card-carrying good guys. They know this person doesn’t have a criminal record. He isn’t a druggy or a gang member. They know she isn’t a thief. That matters because police have to sort out the good guys  from the bad guys. That carry permit moves you toward the victim category and away from being the perpetrator in the eyes of the officers.

From the story, we don’t know if the bad guy ran away or fell down inside her apartment. I tell my students to shoot until you don’t have a reason to shoot anymore.

Rob- Give me an example. What does that look like in practice?

Amanda- There is a bad guy hitting your family. You tried shouting for him to stop and you tried pushing him away. That didn’t work. Now you shoot him until he stops hitting or threatening to hit innocent people. You shot him because of the bad behavior and you shot him until the bad behavior stopped. Then you stopped shooting. You have to stop shooting.

Rob- And our bad guy stopped doing bad things and went to the hospital.

Amanda- Most people don’t like being shot. It changes their behavior, but they live through it.

Rob- Did she stop the attacker, or did the attacker decide to stop because he didn’t want to be shot any more?

Amandy- Exactly. Our bad guy didn’t want to get shot any more, and that works for us. It really does.  Sometimes – the bad guy gives up and stops being a threat pretty quickly. The one thing I thought of when I read this story was – Imagine the ‘Remember Christmas past” stories that will be told years from now. 

Rob- What should I say to the police, and what should my family say to the police?

Amanda- (What will aunt Ethel say when the police arrive?) Our third story happened Rochester, New York

Wait. First California and now New York? I thought you couldn’t get a gun there?

Rob- There are counties in both states where you can get your carry permits, but first this message from FASTER Colorado.

Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you’re working behind the counter?

It is just before 7:30 at night. Customers are coming and going from your small corner market. One customer is shopping when another man walks inside. The second customer throws a bag on the counter, pulls a gun from his pants, and says, give me the money.

You’ve been robbed before. You’re armed. You walk to the cash register. You wait until the robber turns to look at another customer, and then you grab the gun that sits above the cash register. You shoot your attacker, and he runs from the store. You call 911.

You give a statement to the police and them the security video. Police find your wounded attacker nearby and disarm him. They call EMTs to take him to the hospital.

The robber is suspected of robbing four stores in four hours.. until he came to your store.

Amanda- Our defender had a gun, but he didn’t try to present his firearm while the attacker’s gun was pointed at him. Our defender waited until the attacker turned away and then our defender grabbed his gun and shot the attacker. He stayed in his store and called 911. He had a security video system so the video showed the police what happened.

Rob- Is there anything else you noticed?

Amanda- I wish he had his gun on his body. The gun was at the cash register, so he was disarmed when he stepped into the store or went into the back room. Also, the gun was sitting there for any stranger to grab if they came around behind the counter.

Our defender didn’t use the sights on his gun. I want you to practice enough that you use the sights when you’re stressed, or really work on your instinctive shooting skills.  This is not an area where you “hope” that you hit your target. 

Also, own a backup gun so you are armed AFTER the police take your gun as evidence.  Guns are like potato chips, no one has just one. 

Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do if this happened to us? 

Amanda- Lock the door so the bad guy can’t come back inside. Check on any customers or staff who were inside the store. Ask if they are OK, and have them dial 911. Here is another reason to wear your gun on your body in a holster so you can put it away. Don’t point your gun at the witnesses. You call 911, stay on the line, inform them you are armed and plan to put your gun away before the police arrive. Keep the original security video for your lawyer and give the police a copy.

Rob- Anything else? What should we say to the police?

Amanda- Tell the police you were the victim of an armed robbery. You defended yourself and the other customers. You’ll cooperate with their investigation and give a full statement after you’ve talked with your attorney. Now you call your lawyer.

Rob- It sounds like you practiced saying that.

Amanda- In every class. Absolutely every class. Our fourth story took place in Wentzville, Missouri.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you drive?

It is 7:30 on a Saturday morning. You parked your car in a supermarket parking lot. You’re about to get out of your car when a teenager comes up to your door and presses a gun against the window. He shouts, “Get out of your car.”

You are a legal gun owner and you’re armed. You draw your firearm and point it at your attacker. You scream for him to leave or you’ll shoot him. Your four attackers run away. You call 911 and wait for the police.

You give a description of your attackers and the police arrest them nearby. They were four teenagers, ages 17, two fifteen year olds, and an 11 year old. They had been drinking and robbing other women at gunpoint. They were charged with aggravated robbery, possession of stolen property, and conspiracy to commit robbery. They had been robbing other women in the area all morning.

Amanda- I am so glad she was armed. Missouri is a constitutional carry state so we don’t know if she had her permit or not. Our defender had her car doors locked. She stayed at the scene, contacted police, and gave a report.

Rob- The article called them “children”. Should I shoot, and perhaps kill, a child?

Amanda- These robbers threatened to kill an innocent woman. They presented a lethal tool to commit murder at a distance. You can not see them as children or you will be killed.  And at 15 and 17 they are “man sized Children”. 

Let me ask you this question. If a quote “child” unquote, produced a handgun and threatened to murder your child, would you take action to remove the threat, or would you hope that your words would protect your child?

Rob- That makes it clear. For some reason, it feels easier to shoot a teenager who was threatening my children than if the attacker was threatening me.

Is there anything else you want your students to do in a situation like this one?

Amanda- When you get out of your car, I want you to rehearse pressing the emergency alarm button on your keychain. That noise will cause people to turn in your direction. When you get out of your car, shout for people to call 911.

Think about this. Can you articulate why a 15 year old needed to be shot. Officer, he had a gun pointed at me and he and several other attackers were threatening to kill me. I defended my life. I stopped shooting when he dropped the gun.

The great news is that she defended herself without firing a shot.

Rob- Tell me more about that.

Amanda- Most of the time, criminals will run away when they have a gun pointed at them. Really. It is about 9 out of 10 times. Getting shot wasn’t the robbery they had planned.

That means we have to practice drawing our firearm and not shooting. We have to practice it when we do dry practice, that is when we practice with an empty gun.

Rob- So I can be in a situation where I face a lethal threat, I draw my gun, but I don’t have to shoot?

Amanda- It happens thousands of times every day. Us good guys don’t like to shoot people. That is what makes us the good guys. It’s just not reported in the news nearly as often. As Kathy Jackson puts it – its the day that nothing happened.   On the other hand – You need to call the police, even if nothing happened.  YOU must report it so that the bad guys don’t get a chance to tell lies to the police.   It is also a very technical situation to describe to the police. Let your lawyer describe it in precise legal terms as you give your written statement to the police. Getting that statement wrong can land you in jail.

Rob- How so?

Amanda- You saw a big enough threat that you needed your gun, but you had enough time that the bag guy ran away and you didn’t shoot him. With your adrenaline pumping, you won’t get that right the first time. Your lawyer will.

Exit-  Rob- That wraps up this episode. Amanda, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?

Amanda- My nationally syndicated radio show is eye on the target radio. You can call in and talk with us Sunday nights from 5 to 7 eastern time. I instruct on the weekends in Northeastern Ohio. I’m also part of the DCProject. Check out our website at DCProject.info

Rob- After you look at Amanda’s nationally syndicated radio and TV show, and at her classes at her web page, then please leave us a message on our tiny podcast facebook page.

Amanda- We share this podcast with you for free.
Please share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher.
We’re also available on
Google Podcasts, Tunein, Spotify, Podbean and iHeart Radio.

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.


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