Episode 239 with Tony Simon
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 239 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and also if you are new to self defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Tony Simon. How have you been, Tony?
Tony- Hi, Rob. I’ve been busy. A couple weeks ago I was in St. Louis with Kevin Dixie at his Train and Learn industry training event. We had rifle, pistol, hand to hand training. We had classes on marketing, podcasting, business, website management and I gave 3 classes on the multiple parts of 2a advocacy.
I had a great 2A4E diversity shoot at The Heritage Guild in Easton Pennsylvania last week. That was a warmup for July when I will have events every week at locations in PA, 2 in NJ and one in Omaha Nebraska with the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association
Rob- You have been busy.
Pastor Mel is a friend and listener to the podcast. He wrote in with a story that happened to him. He begins,
“Are you armed when you walk through your neighborhood?”
Tony- I see what he did there.
Rob- You and your 26 year-old son walk through your quiet neighborhood at around 6:30 in the evening. As you approach an intersection, you notice three pit bull dogs barking at the front door of a local home. The owner didn’t let them inside. All of a sudden, two of the dogs spot you and your son and take off toward you at full speed. You’re armed, and you know what to do. When the dogs are about fifteen feet away, you present your weapon and shoot between the two dogs. They skid to a stop and then run back towards their house.
You call 911 and tell them what happend. The dispatcher says a deputy will be out in a few minutes. You go home and call U. S. Lawshield. Your lawyer gives you three succinct statements for the deputy.
When the deputy arrives at your home, you leave your weapon in your house and provide the statements from your lawyer. The deputy calls his sergeant and he says they will take no action against you. The deputy leaves your home and three deputies meet with the family who owns the dogs.. for three hours.
Tony- Well done, Pastor Mel, and thank you for sharing your story.
Rob- Pastor Mel called me and said he was surprised and a bit frightened, but he was not confused about what he should do.
Tony- Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm tens of thousands of times each week. We’ll look at a few recent examples and see what we can learn. We give you the links back to the original news articles on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Atlanta, Georgia
Rob- First story- Are you armed as you drive?
It is 11 at night when you’re driving down the street. A man pulls up beside you and yells threats at you. You don’t know the stranger or know why he is upset. You pull into a nearby hotel and ask the doorman to call the police. The stranger pulls into the hotel parking area in front of you and he blocks you in. He opens your car door and pulls you out of your car. When the stranger reaches for his back pocket, you defend yourself.
You’re armed. You have your carry permit. You carry concealed. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker three times. Now your attacker runs away. You call 911, and then lock your gun in your car.
You give a statement to the police when they arrive. Police find your attacker and take him to the hospital. He is booked into jail on charges of simple battery and kidnapping.
Tony- Lets start out by saying what the victim did correctly- he was armed. He tried to escape. He asked for help from outsiders. When that didn’t work, he defended himself until the attacker ran away. Our defender stayed at the scene and made a statement to the police.
Rob- I’d be a mess if someone pulled me from my car and was hitting me. Is there anything else you’d like us to do in this situation?
Tony- Always lock your doors, call 911, drive to a police station, keep the windows closed and stay in the vehicle
Rob- When do your students learn about carrying a firearm in their car?
Tony- That happens in a later class, after they learn and are competent in the fundamentals of firearms handling. (What is the name of that class)
Rob- When do you talk to your students about fighting when someone has their hands on you?
Tony- contact distance gun fighting is a later class much like fighting inside of a vehicle
Rob- How easy is that to learn?
Tony- once the fundamentals of firearms handling is learned it is much easier than you might think. We need to have enough basic skills so you can stay aware of where your barrel is pointed and keep you finger off the trigger until you have the muzzle covering the bad guy
Rob- Anything else?
Tony- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Birmingham, Alabama.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you arrive at work?
It is just before 8 in the morning and you’re unlocking the transmission repair shop where you work. A man comes in with a gun. At gunpoint, he demands the money from the cash register.
You own a gun. You’re carrying concealed. The news article doesn’t say precisely when and how you present your firearm and shoot your attacker. The attacker also fired his gun, but you are not wounded and the attacker is. He died at the scene. Your attacker had a criminal record for first degree robbery. Four years ago he was sentenced to twenty years in prison, but he was back on the street when he attacked you.
Tony- These news articles are short on details. We have the overall impression that the store clerk did a good job of defending himself from a lethal threat, but I have a lot of questions.
Rob- I agree. What do you tell your students to do?
Tony- If you are going to carry, carry all of the time. You don’t usually choose the time and place you are attacked. I like that he was armed and that his gun was concealed.
You want to avoid a quick draw contest against a person who already has their gun pointed at you. You can open the cash register and stand back and wait your turn to defend yourself.
Rob- Let’s say I open the cash register and step behind one one of the storage racks. Am I legally and morally justified in shooting my attacker from the side or from behind as he grabs the money?
Tony- Maybe. Firearms are a distance weapon. Running for the door doesn’t mean you won’t be shot. The attacker didn’t throw his gun away, so he remained a lethal threat. Maybe the front door was the only door you’d opened so far, so the robber was between you and a path of escape. The precise details depend on the laws in your state.
Rob- When do you talk to your students about that, and what questions do they have?
Tony- I teach that in the first defensive class they take. I have been asked about the legalities of shooting in defensive encounters. That’s when I suggest classes from US Law Shield, our only option of self defense “insurance” in New Jersey or similar programs which inform students about their state’s deadly force laws
Rob- Where was our third story?
Tony- Our third story happened in New Carlisle, Ohio.
Rob- First this message from FASTER Colorado.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work late at night?
You are a pizza delivery driver. It is late Sunday night and you are waiting in the pizza shop for your last order to be cut and boxed. Two men race into the store wearing masks, and waving a tire iron and a large knife. They demand the money in the till and threaten the clerks behind the counter.
You own a gun. You have your Ohio concealed carry license. You’re armed tonight and carrying a concealed handgun.
You present your firearm and shoot the attacker closest to the clerks. Both attackers run. You stop shooting. One attacker makes it out the door, but the wounded attacker falls to the ground inside the store. One of the store clerks calls 911.
You put your gun on the counter and wait for the police. Emergency medical services say your attacker died at the scene. You are not charged.
Tony- Our defender was armed. He recognized a lethal threat to other innocent parties. He used lethal force to stop that threat. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He and his co-workers called for help and stayed at the scene. They gave a report to the police.
Rob- If I can move to the corner of the store, why is a man with a knife a threat to me?
Tony- The man and his accomplice is a deadly threat to anyone that is within their reach. Armed with a crowbar and a knife they can go over or around the counter before employees can get out of the area. If you can get out that’s great but what about your coworkers? They wouldn’t have time to retreat or to sound an alarm. You might escape, but are you willing to let your unarmed co-workers face a man with a tire iron and a knife by themselves while you are armed with a firearm?
Rob- I bet your students have a lot of questions about this. What do they want to know?
Tony- I have been asked about defending others with a firearm. One, regardless of your state’s deadly force laws, could you live with yourself for not defending your coworkers against a deadly threat in this situation? I am not a lawyer but I can’t imagine there’s a state in America where you can’t defend others in a scenario like this one.
Rob- What else do you notice?
Tony- I think the defendant did a good job placing his firearm on the counter when the police arrived. The police may or may not be aware of who the good guys are immediately upon their arrival. Not having a gun in your hand when they show up is a great idea.
Rob- Would it be acceptable to put the gun back in my holster?
Tony- Our fourth story took place in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you drive?
You are driving at about 5 in the afternoon on a Sunday. You stop at a traffic light and a stranger opens your passenger side door and jumps in. He says he has a gun, but you don’t see one.
You’re armed. You draw your firearm and order your carjacker from your vehicle. Your attacker runs away. You call 911 and give the police a description of your attacker. Police arrest him nearby. You are not charged.
It might be mere coincidence, but your attacker’s mug shot was already on file, and someone with the same name tried to carjack an off-duty detective a few years ago.
Tag- No shots fired
Tony- Weren’t you listening to the earlier story? I said to lock your doors! Locked doors on your car or home give you warning that someone is attempting to enter. That buys you time. In this case, our defender made the bet that his attacker was unarmed. That is a risky decision. Luckily it paid off and the defender doesn’t have to replace the window and upholstery in his car after he shot someone.
Rob- What would you like your students to do?
Tony- Have insurance to replace a broken window and pay for the damages to your car, and then defend your life as if it were irreplaceable.
Rob- I don’t know how to make great decisions in a split second. When do you talk to your students about those choices?
Tony- You’re not making a choice. You’re recognizing a situation in which you’ve already decided how to act.
Rob- How do your students learn to recognize those situations ahead of time?
Tony- When we teach classes on self defense we talk about situational awareness and how paying attention to what’s around you can let you avoid conflicts or even being selected for assault. Paying attention to the news in your area. In New Orleans, where this victim lives, carjackings are up 120%. If you carry a firearm or not, you should be aware of crimes that are trending this shockingly. Take precautions to prevent being a victim.
Rob- 5pm on a Sunday sounds like a safe time to travel.
Tony- It is a safer time, but we are never completely safe. We are safer if we lock our doors.
Exit- Rob- that wraps up this episode. Tony, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you look at Tony schedule, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
Tony- Or on the podcast webpage.
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I’m Rob Morse. I hope we’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.