Episode 224 with Lauren Hartnett
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Welcome to episode 224 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 Lauren Hartnett. Welcome to the show. Please introduce yourself.
Lauren- Hi, Rob. Thank you for having me! I am a paramedic in NYC as well as owner and lead instructor of Athena Defense Training. I teach firearms, self defense and situational awareness, as well as first aid and CPR. I am also the NYS delegate for the DC Project and chapter facilitator for A Girl and a Gun here in Staten Island.
Rob- Thank you for making time for us.
We received a comment and two ratings on iTunes (213/124). A listener asked where to find the show notes we talk about. They are at the podcast website which is self defense gun stories.com. He also wants more details about the stories. I write an extended review called Armed Citizen Stories. Those are at Ammoland.com and you can find all my articles listed under my name.
Lauren- And where do I find that again?
Rob- I put a link to Ammoland in our show notes.
Lauren- Right. Show notes.
Rob- Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and leave us a question or a comment.
Lauren- We defend ourselves with a firearm tens of thousands of times each week. Today, we’ll look at a few recent examples and ask what we should do if we were in their place. We give you the links back to the original news article on the podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Daytona Beach, Florida
Rob- First story- Are you armed at home in the evening?
It is late friday evening. You’re instantly alert when you hear your daughter scream. You and your wife run outside to see your daughter being hit by her boyfriend. You shout for them to stop. He hits her again, and you see that she is cut and bleeding from her face and her mouth. You’re armed. You fire a warning shot into the ground. Your wife runs up to the boyfriend, and the boyfriend hits your wife.
You present your firearm and shoot the attacker in the chest one time. Now, he stops, so you stop shooting. You, your daughter and your wife back away. You call 911.
EMTs take your attacker to the hospital in critical condition. News reports had an earlier mugshot of your daughter’s attacker. Police said your attacker would be charged if he is released from the hospital.
Lauren- Our defender reacted when he heard a scream. He was armed to protect the people he loved. They tried to stop the attacks with verbal commands, with physical presence, and then with a shot to the center of the chest. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He called 911 and gave a statement to the police.
Rob- That is so much to get right when your heart is in your throat.
Lauren- It is. Be brief with the police, and then call your lawyer.
Rob- I need a lawyer when I defended my daughter and she’s still bleeding?
Lauren- You need a lawyer because you shot an unarmed man. You have to show that an innocent person faced death or great bodily harm unless you acted, that an innocent person was going to the hospital unless you took action right now. Your lawyer is the person who can tell that story clearly the first time.
Here is something else to think about. We plan to use a firearm as a distance tool. Now imagine the people you love wrestling with their attacker. They are moving at night, and you can’t miss or you put your loved one at risk. Consider getting closer to be sure you hit your attacker and not your loved one.
Rob- That sounds like the advanced class. What else would you like your students to do if they were attacked?
Lauren- As usual, there are so many things we don’t know. The boyfriend had a criminal record because his mugshot was on file. Was there a history of drugs? Was your daughter a drug user? Could she have broken up with him and gotten a restraining order? Could she have been armed? Could both parents have been armed. We use our firearms as a form of self defense, but are there other forms of defense we can utilize and use escalated force if that may be a better option. Especially if they are being wrestled to the ground or in close proximity.
I want our listeners to know that some states require a concealed carry permit to have a gun outside your house even if you remain on your own property.
Florida issues concealed carry licenses, so we want mom, dad, and daughter to get one.
Rob- Was this a gun problem at all? Didn’t dad shoot an unarmed man?
Lauren- (Third party defense of an innocent person. Disparity of force justified the use of a defensive tool.)
Rob- Anything else?
Lauren- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Des Moines, Washington.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you drive?
Your car was stolen a few days ago. Fortunately, the police found it in a nearby city. They said you had a few hours to get it towed before they would impound it. You drive your motorcycle to the address and check on your car. You call a tow truck. As you wait, two strangers come up and ask you about your motorcycle. You’re talking about your bike when one of the strangers pulls a gun and tells you to hand over your backpack. You’re being robbed.
You have your Washington state concealed pistol license. You’re armed. You hand the robber your backpack. The robber puts his gun in his pocket to take your bag. That gives you the opportunity you need. You draw your firearm and shoot your attacker several times. The robber draws his gun and fires, and then falls down. You call the police, as do the neighbors. You give a brief statement.
The news never said what happened to your car.
Lauren- Our good guy planned to defend himself. He had gotten his permit and his firearm in the event he’d ever need to defend himself. After having a firearm pulled on you, my initial reaction would have been to draw my own gun in an attempt to protect myself, if the gun was drawn on me. Always be prepared.
Rob- It sounds like he listened to this show. Is there anything else you’d want your students to do if this happened to them?
Lauren- Since you have your phone in your hand, get a picture of the witness and his car. The witness said he wasn’t part of the crime, but don’t take his word for it. Contact your lawyer so you can file your statement with the police.
Rob- What do I tell the police?
Lauren- You tell police you want your lawyer. Being cooperative and compliant and giving a brief, to the point statement is key. But stop there until you have your attorney.
Rob- How do I find a self-defense lawyer?
Lauren- There are many organizations that provide representation in the event you use your guns for self-defense. I would check with companies like USCCA and Law Shield to see if they provide coverage in your state. The 2A community has many resources for self-defense attorneys that specialize in self-defense with a firearm.
Rob- We have another story where the defender had to move so he wouldn’t get shot. There are millions of new gun owners this year. What are the steps they take so they can present a firearm from concealment, shoot on the move, and hit their target?
Lauren- NRA has great beginner level courses that will not only get you comfortable on the range such as basic pistol, but also drawing such as PPITH and PPOTH. The USCCA also has dozens of courses and classes both in-person and online to help train and become comfortable drawing from concealment. Reach out on 2A FB groups to help find instructors in your area for some instructor-led training. And DRY FIRE!
Our third story happened in Macomb County, Michigan.
Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home in the afternoon?
You are at home with your girlfriend. You hear someone at the front door. It is your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. You don’t open the door. Your girlfriend has called the cops on this guy before, and she calls 911 again. You both retreat upstairs. Before the police arrive, the ex-boyfriend breaks through the front door. You shout for him to stop. You have your Michigan concealed pistol license. You’re armed. You shout again and you shoot the intruder as he reaches the top of the stairs leading to your bedrooms.
Now your attacker stops. Your girlfriend is on the phone with 911. You wait for the police and put your gun back in your holster.
The EMs declare your intruder dead at the scene. You show the police your ID, your carry permit, and the registration for your firearm. The police take your gun as evidence. You and your girlfriend go to the police station to give statements. Then, you go back home.
Lauren- Our defenders did a lot of things the right way. They had their door locked so it was harder to surprise them. I want you to notice that they retreated. The armed defender was at the top of the stairs. From there, he could stop a dozen bad guys. She was on the phone to 911. That means your shouts where you told the bad guy to stop were recorded as evidence. The recording has you asking for police and EMs. On top of that, police know that good guys have permits and holsters. Now you have to stay calm as the police work through their investigation.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do?
Lauren- You will be a mess. Say little and have a lawyer to call. Ask if friends can drive you to the police station because you’ll be a terrible driver at this point. The crazy thing is, you can’t talk to your girlfriend either until you both make brief statements. Then both of you talk to the lawyer. Your lawyer should ask for a recording of the 911 call.
Rob- Do attacks like this happen very often?
Lauren- Unfortunately, domestic violence happens everyday. About 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. Assaults in the home are common and happen thousands of times a day. Assault in the daytime is common too. We’re armed because it is devastating to be a victim, not because it is going to happen to us tomorrow. It is the cost, not the frequency.
Rob- So a firearm is like an insurance policy that we might never need?
Lauren- I’d rather have a firearm and never need it, then need it and not have it.
Our forth story took place in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Rob- Fourth story- Do you have a defensive tool nearby at night?
You’re sleeping in your bed on a weekday night. You wake up when you hear glass breaking at the back of your house. It is midnight. Your family stays in their beds, but you grab your gun and move toward the noise. You see two men at the back window. One of the intruders opens the window and climbs inside your home. You shoot him. You tell him not to move or you’ll shoot him again. He stays in place. Your family calls the police.
Police arrest your intruder and his accomplice. EMTs treat the intruder’s wounded hip. The intruders are 18 and 21 years old. They are charged with home invasion. The neighbors noticed an increase in break ins during the Covid lockdowns.
Lauren- He locked his doors so the bad guys had to break in rather than walk in. He had a gun nearby. He called the police and gave a statement.
Rob- A night time home invasion robbery is pretty common. Is there anything else you’d like us to do?
Lauren- It all depends. Are you protecting your family, or can you retreat to your bedroom and let the police get there to arrest the robbers? Have a plan that fits your situation. Also know your state laws. My home state of NY requires you to retreat prior to using your firearm in self-defense. It may take some study, but knowing your laws and making a plan for your situation can help a lot.
Rob- Would you give me an example of two different plans.
Lauren- They start the same. Get your gun, your flashlight, and your phone. Turn on the lights. From there the plans go in different directions.
If you’re alone, then you can lock your door, get behind the bed, and call 911. Shout that the police are on their way.
If you have a family, then you get all of them into your safe room and lock that door. Get them on the floor behind the bed, and again we call 911.
Rob- When do your students learn about self-defense plans like that?
Lauren- Situational awareness is not just while your outside in the world. It starts in your home. The NRA Refuse-to-be-a-Victim course is HEAVY on plan making. And giving students the tools necessary to create their own plans that work for them and their families. A family living in a one family home is different than a family in an apartment building. My mom used to run fire drills with us when we were kids. We had it down to muscle memory, but if we stayed at my dads for the weekend or at a friends, the plans were different. So It really is the first step in self defense.
Rob- This homeowner didn’t turn on the lights. Sometimes you have to shoot in low light, like our first story. Where could we learn to do that?
Lauren- Look for classes in your area. Major training organizations like the NRA and USCCA have lists of instructors by zip codes to get you started. If there aren’t any, TRAVEL! Your safety is paramount and you can’t put a cost on protecting yourself and your family.
Rob- Our local outdoor ranges are open after dark, and instructors can teach night classes. Those classes put extra demands on the instructors, don’t they.
Exit- Rob- that wraps up this episode. Thank you for helping us. Where can we learn more about you?
Lauren- Look for my classes at athenadefensetraining.com or on facebook and instagram at Athena Defense.
Rob- Please look at Lauren classes, then leave her a welcome message on the podcast facebook page or on MeWe.
Lauren- 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.