Episode 230 with David Cole
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 230 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 David Cole. David and I have been recording together for over 5 years now. How have you been?
David- Hi, Rob. I’ve been doing dry fire practice and getting ready for USPSA, spring turkey seasons.
Rob- We heard from our listeners on iTunes this week. (Total 221 ratings, 129 comments.) They liked that our stories were from everyday events, and they could imagine this happening to them. Another listener shared the podcast with his brother in law. Both commenters gave us a 5 star rating. A listener welcomed Heather Reeves as one of our new instructors. Thank you to all of you.
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David- We defend ourselves with a firearm tens of thousands of times each week. We’ll look at a few recent examples. Were these gun owners lucky, or were they prepared? We post the links to news articles on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Houston, Texas.
Rob- First story- Are you armed as you drive?
You’re sitting in your car, in your driveway. It is after two in the afternoon and you missed lunch. You stop to eat lunch in your car when two strangers walk up behind you. They have a gun and order you out of your car.
You own a handgun. You’re armed. The story isn’t clear if you shoot your attackers from inside your car or if you opened the door and started to get out when you defend yourself. Your attackers drop their gun and turn away. You back out of your driveway, but run into the ditch across the road. Your attacker’s car is running. You jump in their car, drive a few blocks, and then stop to call the police.
Neighbors reported gunshots. You meet the police back at your home and give them a statement. They recover your attacker’s gun and take your firearm as evidence.
David- Carjackings way up during Covid lockdown.
Rob- done right?
David- It would seem so. One thing I found interesting, which you won’t see unless you watch the news video, is that it appears that the defender was parked in a driveway and then attempted to escape in his car, but instead backed into a ditch. It appears that he definitely did not sit still for his attackers, and that’s good.
David- Parking lots and driveways are “transition areas,” where we are often preoccupied and therefore vulnerable to attack. I’m not sure why he chose the driveway of his home to eat lunch, but better to not linger in such areas. Better to park, get out, and move to a more secure location. If that isn’t possible, consider locations where visibility is better, and consider “combat parking,” or backing into the parking space so that if rapid escape becomes necessary, you don’t have to reverse under pressure. Then keep your head up and eyes and ears open.
Also, it is better to not leave the scene unless it is unsafe to remain. Leaving the scene can create the appearance of guilt; stay there and wait for police if it is safe to do so.
Rob- Safe storage in your car?
David- Defender was 19 years old. Texas says you can carry in your car as an extension of your home, but you can’t carry concealed until you’re 21 years old. This is a problem, as most “car carry” solutions are a pretty poor substitute for a proper holster on your person. This is because those which are rapid access are not always very secure, which can lead to the gun becoming dislodged and inaccessible in an emergency. If you look at the news video, you see that our defender crashed his car attempting to escape…this could easily cause a gun to end up in a floorboard or between seats or some other spot where you can’t reach it. This is exactly what happened to one FBI agent in the notorious Miami shootout in 1986, where 2 agents were killed and 5 wounded in a gunfight with two armed robbers.
There is also the question of having to leave a gun in your vehicle when you leave it. Better to have the gun on your person, as long as it’s legal. But if you have to leave it behind, choose a quality, purpose-designed car safe or lock box to secure the weapon from thieves…and keep it out of sight.
David- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Dora, Missouri.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home?
It is seven in the evening when you call the police. Your drunk neighbor has a gun and is standing in front of your house threatening you. You stay inside and arm yourself. You are still waiting for the police when your neighbor shoots through your front window. You grab your 22 rifle and shoot back through another window. Your attacker drops his gun and grabs his hand. You call the police to report the shooting. You also ask for EMS for your wounded neighbor. Three Missouri state police and a helicopter arrive in minutes. You give a brief statement to the police.
Your attacker was wounded in the hand so he rode the ambulance to the local emergency care center. He was booked and jailed. He is held without bond for the felony of shooting at a building with people inside. He has a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. The troopers said he was intoxicated again.
David- This one looks fairly simple, and our defender did well.
Rob- Tell your students to do in a situation like this one?
David- He called police before the shooting started. It is always going to be better to try to avoid shooting and get the police enroute as early as possible, and it lays the groundwork that you are the good guy. It also appears he did exercise restraint and did not shoot until attack was imminent. While I would prefer that he had simply sheltered in his home until police arrived, we don’t have a clear picture of how things unfolded, and that may not have been possible.
David- Shooting through barriers is problematic. In this case it was a window, which is good, because he could see and identify his target…but there is still the problem of the barrier affecting the trajectory of the bullet. Barriers will usually cause bullets to deflect and change course to some degree, and can cause them to fragment or stop entirely.
Rob- What do you tell the police when they arrive?
David- Keep it simple and factual, and brief. Tell them you were attacked, and that you fired in self defense. If there is any pertinent evidence such as the attacker’s weapon, or possible witnesses who could give statements, point them out to the police. Then contact your attorney before giving a detailed statement.
Rob- When do your students learn about defense in the home?
David- As a Kentucky concealed carry instructor, I can tell you that self defense law, both inside and outside the home, is covered pretty thoroughly. We don’t really have much time to get into specific considerations regarding tactics and so on, although there is a lot of good training available in more advanced classes, such as the NRA’s Personal Protection In The Home course.
Our third story happened in Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- First this message from BFF.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed in public?
You live in a borough of Chicago, Illinois. You’re walking back home at 11 at night when three teenagers stop their car next to you. They run in front of you and demand your valuables. You own a gun. You have your Illinois Firearms Owners Identification card. You have your carry permit. Your gun is loaded and on your hip. You present your concealed firearm and shoot your attackers. The three teenagers run away after the first shot. You stay where you are and call 911.
When they arrive, you give a brief statement to the police. Police pick up your attackers after they crashed their stolen car a few blocks away. All three of them are in their mid-teens. The injured robber is taken to the hospital to treat his wounded knee.
David- The defender was 69 years old. I’m glad he was carrying a firearm so he could defend himself. He did it legally, and that is important too. Until recently, this wasn’t possible in Chicago.
Rob- What other things did our defender do?
David- From the tone of the news story, it appears that he didn’t hesitate when confronted with three younger and stronger attackers. He recognized a disparity of force and acted.
Rob- Talk to me about carrying concealed.
David- Wow…that’s like a whole class. But here’s a few things to consider. Every concealed carry pistol is a compromise. The lighter and easier to carry, the more difficult to shoot well and the less ammo they hold. The larger and easier to shoot the pistol becomes, the more difficult to carry all days and to conceal properly. I personally prefer to carry in a fairly conventional inside or outside the waistband holster, slightly behind the hip on my strong side. We could literally spend hours discussing other options, but I’d simply say do your homework, and *usually* it is best to stick with a relatively conventional on-body carry method. If it’s a less common carry method, it’s less common for a reason. Quality gear…holster and belt…are essential. These days, I’d say some variety of Kydex holster is best, though other materials such as leather can work as long as they’re secure and allow reholstering with one hand. If you have to hold the holster open to get your gun back in, it’s too soft.
David- Our fourth story took place in Victoria, Texas.
Rob- Fourth story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
It is after midnight when you hear the sound of breaking glass in your apartment. You’re a 34 year old woman. You grab your firearm and look into the hallway. You see several intruders coming into your home. You shoot the robber in front. She shoots back at you, and then all four of the intruders run away. You call the police and give them a brief statement when they arrive.
Police arrest your 31 year old female robber at the hospital. Her three teenage accomplices are also arrested. One of the teenage attackers was waiting trial for an earlier burglary. They admitted they were there to rob you and beat you up.
David- Good on our defender for fighting off four home invaders. The news story indicates that this may have been an extension of an earlier dispute, but it does not say what the argument involved. Apparently the attackers were holding a grudge and had come for some theft and revenge.
Rob- Talk to me about how we can have a loaded firearm accessible, but also have it safely stored when we’re asleep.
David- This may vary a bit depending on your living arrangements…whether there are children, roommates, etc…but it is always a good idea to keep your defensive firearm in a secure location. Even if you live alone, it is a good idea to keep it stored in a way that requires you to complete another action to access the gun. Coming out of a full sleep and grabbing a gun, you may need a few seconds to clear your head, and you definitely want a clear head when handling a loaded firearm.
Rob- Are we attacked in our home very often?
David- (over a million home invasion robberies, not all are attacks) We use a gun to stop a home invasion robbery a little over a half million times each year. I will be interested to see the data from 2020, as more people were at home…I’d imagine it will show an increase in home invasions and robberies.
Exit- Rob- that wraps up this episode. David, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
David- Look for my written articles at deltabravocharlie.com
Rob- After you look at David articles, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back in a few weeks with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.