Episode 226 with Michael Woodland
Welcome to episode 226 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 Michael Woodland. How have you been?
Michael- Hi, Rob. I’ve been teaching smaller classes and helping people buy firearms.
Rob- We received three more ratings and two new comments on iTunes (216/127). Listeners said it is great to learn from other people’s experience, and that they enjoyed the variety of different situations we have in our stories. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know what you like.
Michael- We defend ourselves with a firearm more often than everyone thinks. Today, we’ll look at a few recent examples. Were these gun owners lucky, or were they prepared? 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 Frostproof, Florida.
Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
Your wife hears it first and she wakes you up. Now, you hear it too. Someone is hitting your front door and screaming. You get up to see what is happening. You walk into the front area of your house and see that someone has kicked in your front door. You hear a man screaming outside. You go back to your bedroom and get your handgun. Your wife runs to grab your three children. You step onto your porch and ask the crazyman to go home. He charges you. You present your firearm and shoot him. He stops and turns around, so you stop shooting. He walks a few paces away, and then turns and runs at you a second time. You shoot him again. He turns away and again you stop shooting. Your wife has called the police. They arrest your attacker. EMS takes your attacker to a local hospital where he died.
The sheriff talked about your attack on the news. “People have a right to be safe in their home… The evidence indicates that the resident acted in self-defense.” The news mentioned that your attacker had a criminal record includes nine felony convictions and nine misdemeanor convictions including sexual assault and domestic violence battery.
Michael- Our defender locked his doors and windows and has a firearm. The wife got the family to safety as the husband dealt with the situation. They called 911. He discovered that his door was broken. He attempted to de-escalate the situation verbally to solve the problem when he told the crazy man to go away. He defended himself only after the unwelcome visitor posed a threat. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped.
Rob- Is there anything else you want your students to do in this case?
Michael- Can your wife be armed? Can you have an emergency plan and practice it so your children know what to do? Can you stay inside your home and let the crazy man be crazy outside?
Rob- Why is that important?
Michael- Your plan guides you when the adrenaline is flowing. You probably won’t be as cool, calm and collected as you think. Also, depending on your state laws, shooting an unarmed person outside of your home can get you into trouble pretty fast. Now if that intruder had been shot inside the home, then the situation would have been perceived very differently. In this case, when the homeowner took the shot he did fear for his life.
The attacker probably had drug and mental health problems. With his long criminal history, the police probably knew him, but that isn’t always the case.
Rob- Talk to me about winning at defense.
Michael- Let’s hold that for a later story.
Rob- I can wait. Where are we going next?
Michael- Our second story happened in Apple Valley, California.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home?
You are about to start Sunday dinner when you hear someone scream for help. That sound didn’t come from the TV, it is from outside your home. You run outside and see your neighbor moaning on the ground and your neighbor’s wife screaming for help. A number of the neighbors call 911. You’re standing there trying to help when the victim’s adult son runs up. He was the one who attacked your neighbor. Now, in front of everyone, the son stabs his mom. You run back inside your home and grab your gun. When you run back, the attacker is still stabbing his mother. You shout for him to stop. When he doesn’t you shoot the attacker. Now he stops.
Police arrive and you give them a statement. You have to tell them twice that you’re 84 years old. EMS declares the attacker and his mother dead at the scene. They lifeflight your neighbor to the hospital. The attacker was charged with attempted murder 10 years ago, but only served four years in prison.
Michael- Our defender didn’t ignore someone screaming for help. I know that sounds obvious, but with the current state of life today you see more people grabbing their phones and recording a situation rather than rendering help to someone in need.
He stepped up the use of force. First he ran to the scene, then he tried verbal commands that didn’t work, then he stopped a lethal attack. He stopped shooting when the attacker stopped stabbing. He stayed at the scene knowing he had to give a statement of his actions to the police.
Rob- What else do you see?
Michael- Lots of things I wonder about. Where did the defender put his gun while he waited for the police?
Rob- Why is that important?
Michael- We do not know the state of mind of any officer when arriving on the scene. They have reports of an attack, and they can not determine if you are the good guy or the bad guy until after they get control of the situation.
Rob- And San Bernardino County, California issues concealed carry permits to ordinary citizens.
Michael- We will have to look up the requirements to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in California and details in association with the law. That means our defender could have been armed in public. The parents of the attacker knew their son was a problem and had a history of violence. What if they were armed as well. Also, did the defender call his lawyer.
Rob- There were lots of witnesses. Why do I need a lawyer?
Michael- After any violent attack your adrenaline is going to spike up. Your reactions after that are all instinctive, meaning you are in survival mode and sometimes those actions are not as you imagined or planned. Remember that there were witnesses, and each witness may have seen something different. What if they were friends with the attacker. At this point you are probably a mess , so get help describing what took place with someone who understands the law and can guide you.
Rob- Hard to argue with that.
Michael. Good. Our third story happened in La Grande, Oregon.
Rob- Third story- Do you have a firearm accessible early in the morning?
You hear a gunshot. You get up and move toward the sound. Your dad is in the garage struggling with a stranger. The stranger is hitting your dad with a rifle. You fight with the intruder and take the rifle away from him. Now you hold the attacker at gunpoint. Your dad calls 911. Your attacker was shot in the arm after your dad found him breaking into the car in your garage.
It is about 5 in the morning. Police take your dad, his attacker, and you to the hospital for treatment. You give a statement to the police. Your attacker is charged with Attempted Murder, Assault, Attempted Assault, Robbery, two counts of Menacing, Pointing a Firearm at Another Person, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Burglary, Trespass and Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle. Your attacker was also charged with driving under the influence of drugs three days earlier.
Michael- There is a lot going on right here… The son was alerted when he heard the discharge of the firearm and the alarm on the vehicle. The Defender didn’t ignore his dad screaming for help. He assisted his father to stop the threat and decided he did not have to shoot the attacker. That is a lot of restraint.
Rob- What else do you see?
Michael- The news story doesn’t say if the defender was with his dad and witnessed the first attack, or if he came out later after his dad shot the robber. I want my students to call the police and stay inside..if they can. We already know strength is in numbers and if there is a family member being attacked, then you should move to defend them, and going to that situation armed will probably be best when you do.
Rob- You wanted both the dad and the son to be armed.
Michael- That outcome could have turned out different where nobody had to get hurt and the intruder would get his day in court, so yes I would perfer both the father and son to be armed.
Rob- Is there anything else you want us to do if we’re in a robbery like this one?
Michael- Our defender might have done this, but the news article doesn’t say so. Depending on your state laws in a situation like this, it might be in your better interest to call your lawyer.
Rob- You said that before. I’m noticing a pattern.
Michael- I know it sounds obvious, but criminals will lie about what you did. You not only have to get your story straight, you want it to be represented by a legal profession for possible future court reasons.
Rob- Are home invasion robberies common?
Michael- They happen more times than we think on a daily basis, so we want to be prepared for them. Our fourth story took place in Gwinnett, Georgia.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?
You’re started awake by the sound of breaking glass. You get out of bed, grab your gun, and walk into the center of your home. You see an intruder and raise your firearm. You shout for him to get out of your home. He turns and runs. You lower your firearm and call 911. You give police a description or your intruder and they arrest him a few blocks away.
Your intruder has been busy this morning. He is charged with two counts of carjacking along with home invasion, and it is only 5 in the morning.
Michael- All our stories started at home, but each one was different.
In this story, our good guy’s doors were locked and that made a huge difference. It was the difference between hearing a robber break into your home, or waking up with someone standing over you.
Our good guy was armed. He recognized a threat, and decided he had time not to shoot. That shows good judgement, and it is what happens in most cases of self-defense. Usually, the bad guy decides he doesn’t want to get shot and runs away.
Our good guy called the police even though he didn’t discharge his firearm. His description assisted with the apprehension of the bad guy.
Rob- What else do you see?
Michael- There is a saying that You win every gunfight that you avoid. Our first story had a family in the home, another story had a son helping his dad.
Defending your family and property are matters that are important, getting trained might be the better resource to defend family members and yourself.
Rob- What does that mean?
Michael- Most aggravated robberies involve more than one attacker. There could be more than one attacker outside or in your home, They could be armed. And if you are outnumbered in this situation That is the bad news.
The good news is we often get to choose when, where, and how we defend the people we love. In this case, our defender went to see what made the noise. He could have walked into the center of his home and gotten shot by a stranger he never saw. Having a plan in a situation when you hear someone who is unwelcomed in your home so you are better prepared.
Rob- You talked about legal tactics earlier, and now your talking about combat tactics. When do your students learn about that?
Michael- Tactics are actions that give us an advantage. By getting trained and applying what is taught in that training will give me more of an advantage if I’m protecting my family.
Rob- Great. Now tell me when your students will learn about tactics.
Rob- that wraps up this episode. Michael, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Michael- Look for me at M-W Tactical.com
Rob- After you look at Michael’s training classes and videos, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page, on MeWe, or at Self Defense Gun Stories.com
Michael- We share this podcast with you for free.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back in a few weeks with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.