Episode 231 with Lauren Hartnett

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 231 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. How have you been?

Lauren- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been training and teaching .You were gone for a while.

Rob- I went to the Florida Carry Region 5 campout. Since I was in Florida, my family joined me for a vacation. During that week, we received four more ratings but no new comments on iTunes (Total 225 ratings, 129 comments.). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know what you like.

Lauren- Honest gun owners in the US defend themselves tens of thousands of times each week. We look at a few examples and ask what we might do in their place. The links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.

Our first story took place last week in Kennewick, Washington.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at home during the day?  

It is a little after lunchtime on a weekday. You hear banging at your front door. You recognize a voice outside so you don’t unlock the door. You present your firearm and retreat toward the back of the house. You call 911 and say you have an attacker beating on your front door. Police arrive and your attacker runs to the back of the house before the police arrest him.

Your attacker was beating against your front door with a two inch square metal pipe. You have a restraining order against your attacker, so the police took him to jail. The police did not list your name in their public report, but they did mention your restraint in not shooting your attacker.

Tag- no shots fired

Lauren- So we have a crazy stalker trying to break through your front door with a battering ram.

Restraining order


Retreated to a position where she could easily defend herself.

The attacker never became an immediate threat because our defender’s doors and windows were closed, locked, and strong.

Rob- Do you talk to your students about defending their home?

Rob- Do many people need and use a domestic restraining order?

Lauren- It was about two million people a year, so yes, that is a lot.

Rob- What do you tell your students to do in a situation like this?

Lauren- Physical defense. Mental defense. Legal defense. Our second story took place in Columbus, Ohio,

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you drive?

You are driving down the street. It is three in the morning when two men step out in front of your car. You stop the car and roll down the window. One of the men hits you in the face. He reaches for his waistband.

You are a firearms owner. You have your Ohio license to carry a concealed handgun. You’re armed tonight. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. Both men run away. You call 911. Police arrive and arrest your attacker nearby. They also arrest the second attacker who was slightly wounded. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital where he died. You give a statement to the police. You’re taken into custody, but not charged with a crime.

Lauren- You’re sitting in your car and someone punches you. Our defender had his permit to carry in public. Armed. Defended. Called. Made a statement, but not too much of one.

Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do if we were in a similar situation?

Lauren- We win every fight we avoid. Roll up your windows at a stop light. Don’t sit in your car in a strange area at 3 in the morning. Practice presenting an unloaded firearm while you are sitting down. Practice presenting your unloaded firearm when you are belted into your car. Move to safety, then call the police. Our third story happened Daytona Beach, Florida.

Rob- First this message from the Crime Prevention Research Center.


Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you travel?

You’re asleep in your hotel room. You wake up when you hear noises outside. Your room is up on the second floor, so the sound shouldn’t be from a driver parking his car. A moment later, you hear glass breaking. You grab your gun from the nightstand. You shoot your intruder as he comes through the broken hotel room window. Your intruder runs away. You call 911. It is three in the morning.

When they arrive, you give a brief statement to the police. The hotel security video shows a man and a woman trying to break into your room. It also shows them walking around the property earlier in the day. Police post the intruder’s pictures with the local news media.

Lauren- Armed, doors locked, didn’t ignore the problem, had a mental limit where the defender decided it was time to act, defended himself until the threat left, had another mental limit where he decided he was no longer in immediate danger, didn’t chase, called the police, gave a statement.

Rob- That is a lot to get right at three in the morning when you were asleep only a few moments before.

Lauren- You can’t think, but you can repeat actions and thoughts you’ve practiced before.

Rob- I drove past that hotel last week. Is there anything else you’d want us to do if this happened to us?

Lauren- Walk through your plan with your entire family. Get the kids down on the floor away from the doors and windows. Include what to say to the police. Saying “Mommy shot the bad guy just like she wanted to” isn’t great testimony from your 12 year old. Have a lawyer to call.

Rob- Lauren, you live in New York, and they have a duty to retreat laws. How would that apply when you only have one door into a hotel room and you’re in bed in the middle of the night?

Rob- Where is our last story?

Lauren- Our fourth story is from Houston, Texas.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work?

It is about 9:30 in the evening and you’re cleaning up your small market. You carry another load of trash to the dumpster beside your building. A homeless man shouts at you and charges you. You back up and he keeps coming closer. You’re armed. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. You retreat across the parking lot. The news story isn’t clear if you call the police from the parking lot or from back inside your store.

Police arrive and you give them a statement. EMS transports your attacker to the hospital. Investigators review security video of the attack, but the news report isn’t clear if the video is yours or from another store. 

Lauren- Stories like this one are common. They happen behind the scenes so we don’t see them. Robbers often attack store clerks and cooks when they open the back door to carry out the trash at night or when the back door is opened to bring supplies into the store during the day.

Our defender was armed. It sounds like he tried to back up and de-escalate the situation. The attacker closed the gap. The defender had a mental limit where he would not let an attacker get any closer. That is when the defender presented his firearm and then defended himself until he could again create space from his attacker. He got to a safe distance and called 911.

Homeless people are disoriented when you wake them up. They often keep their belongings in trash bags. They think of the side of your building as their home, and many cities won’t move them.

Rob- Are some of your students store clerks or store owners?

Lauren- Yes, but everyone had to deal with homeless people.

Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do in this situation?

Lauren- Legal help. Can you articulate why you shot an unarmed homeless person in the middle of the parking lot? A stranger closed the distance with me even as I backed away from him and shouted for him to stop. I stopped defending myself once I could reestablish that safe distance. That says you used the minimum force for the minimum amount of time necessary to stay safe.

Rob- You’re a self-defense instructor. Should I memorize those words?

Lauren- Get someone else to say them for you. That is why you want to plan for legal help if you carry a firearm.


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

Lauren- Look for my classes at athenadefensetraining.com

 or on facebook and instagram at Athena Defense.

I also host the Staten Island chapter of  A Girl and A Gun.

Rob- After you look at Lauren’s classes and her products, then please leave her a message on the podcast facebook page.

Lauren- Or on MeWe.

Rob- 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.
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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.

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