Episode 244 with Ben Branam

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 244 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 Ben Branam. I’m healing after I was bitten by a friend’s dog. Fortunately, I was almost moved back into my home after it flooded. Ben, you’ve been without water in your home.

Firearms Instructor Ben Branam

Ben- Don’t grow up to be Rob or Ben. We’ve been cleaning up a mess. I’ve also been shooting and teaching a lot.

Rob- We received a new rating on iTunes (now 245,139). I was going through old messages and we got one from a listener on Podbean.  He said, “Your podcast gives me hours of entertainment and information while I work on my farm job, where I am ALWAYS armed.” 

Robbie left us a message after he noticed that one of our stories happened down the street from where he grew up.”I used to catch the school bus near the house involved. The neighborhood apparently had several previous incidents. I’m glad the lady took the precaution to protect herself.” We’re glad too, and thank you both for the nice notes.

Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know what you like about our show..

Ben- 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 today to 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 my hometown of San Antonio Texas.

Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby late at night?

You and your roommates are at home on a Wednesday night. It is just before midnight when two strangers kick in your front door. These strangers are armed with a rifle and a handgun. They start robbing the place and threatening your roommates. You own a gun. You grab your gun and come out of your room. You shoot the armed attacker nearest to you. Now, both attackers run from your home.

The story isn’t clear if you called the police or if your roommates did. You put your gun away and talk to the police when they arrive. Police find your attacker at Children’s hospital. From there, he was taken to University hospital in critical condition. He will be charged with burglary and perhaps armed robbery. You are not charged with a crime. 

Ben- Someone in the house locked the doors, so good for them. The broken door is evidence that you didn’t invite the bad guys inside. Our defender recognized the sounds of a lethal encounter. He had the tools he needed at hand. He shot the bad guys and didn’t hit any innocent parties like his roommates. He stopped shooting when the bad guys ran. He stayed at the scene and called 911. He made a brief statement to the police.

Rob- We have millions of new gun owners. How should they store their guns?

Ben- We want our guns safe, loaded, and accessible. That means we want them locked in a quick access safe. You don’t need to keep all our guns that way. When your carry gun is not on your body, then that is how you want to store it.

Rob- When do you talk to your students about defending themselves at home? In my home, if I shoot down the length of the house then I’m shooting towards someone’s bedroom. Yikes.

Ben- One of the news stories said the people in the house recognized the robbers. That usually means the robbers were looking for something specific.  Normally it’s money, drugs, or guns. Be careful of your friends friends, it can effect you. 

Rob- Anything else?

Ben- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Sebring Florida.

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

You pull into a parking lot and turn off your car. It is after 2AM. A group of young men wearing hoodies and masks surround your car. One of the men points his gun at you through the driver’s side window. A second man gets in the passenger seat and demands your keys, your phone and your purse.

You own a gun. You’re carrying concealed. You push the robber in the passenger seat away from you. You present your firearm and shoot the armed robber outside your window. He moves away and you turn to shoot the attacker inside the car. He is gone. All five of the robbers run away. You call 911 and stay at the scene.

Police examine the security video from the nearby stores. They said that several other people had been carjacked in the area in the last few hours. They did not find any blood at the scene and they didn’t see anyone enter the hospital with a gunshot wound. You’re not charged.

Ben- That is so scary. Our good guy, or a gal in this case, continued the fight in the face of overwhelming odds against her. You can win if you get it into your mind that you will and keep going no matter what.  By doing something unexpected our good gal surprised the bad guys and they left.

Rob- What else did you notice?

Ben- It’s 2am, what are you doing out?  Why are you stopping?  Why didn’t you see a group of people before you pulled up?

Rob- What would you like your students to do if they were driving late at night and needed to stop?

Ben-  Find a well lit place in a high end area, with lots of people around.  Do a recon lap of the parking lot to make sure a group of people aren’t hiding waiting for you.  Keep your doors locked and drive away if things look even a little bit off.

Rob- Drawing your firearm inside your car is an advanced skill. When, and how, do your students learn it?

Ben-  You have to have the basics first, then we talk about doing it differently.  Pointing the gun at yourself or at a passenger is very easy as you draw in a car, so having someone watch while you learn is the best way. 

Ben- Our third story happened in Chicago, Illinois.

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


Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you drive?

It is just after midnight when you park your car on the street. You step out of your car and a teenager runs up to you. This teenager has a gun in his hands. He tells you to hand over your wallet, your phone and your keys.

You have your Illinois Firearms Owners Identification Card. You own a gun. You have your Illinois Concealed Carry License in your wallet. You have your concealed firearm in its holster. You agree with the robber and then present your firearm. You shoot your attacker and he runs away. You call 911 and ask for the police.

The police find your attacker nearby. They take him to Children’s Hospital to treat his wounded arm since he is 16 years old. You are not charged with a crime.

Ben- Our defender took the threat seriously even though it was a teenager who was robbing him.  It only takes 4 to 6 pounds of pressure to fire a gun, and teenagers don’t always make the greatest long term decisions. Age doesn’t matter like most people want it to.

Rob- What else would you like us to do in this situation?

Ben- It’s late, maybe a recon drive by is warranted.  Move quickly through what we call transition areas.  And be especially aware in them.

Rob- When do your students learn to present their firearms from under a concealment garment?

Ben-  Day 1, Hour 1 in my class.  It’s the first thing we go over because presenting your firearm is the one skill you have to use to use your gun.

Rob- When do your students learn to shoot at close range and in low light?

Ben-  That’s a second class for my school.  You have to have the basics of presenting the firearm and its use before we do Extreme Close Quarters Battle.  It is too easy to get your body parts in front of the gun.  This is something to work on with an instructor.

Rob- Chicago isn’t friendly to gun owners. What should we say to the police?

Ben- Just the basics.  He had a gun, he tried to rob me and was going to kill me, I defended myself with my gun, I would like to talk to my lawyer. This is what  you say everywhere, not just in an unfriendly state or city, but everywhere. 

Ben- Our fourth story took place in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in public?

You are a 33 year old woman. You have a restraining order against your ex lover after he hit you. It is noon on Friday when he finds you. He threatens you again. He hits you again. This time you’re armed. You shoot your attacker and leave the scene of the attack. You call 911 and return to the scene once the police are there. You give a statement. EMS says your attacker died at the scene. You’re not charged.

Ben- She laid the foundation of her defense a while ago. Restraining order. Becoming a gun owner. And the mindset to use the gun against her ex.  

Rob- Why are domestic abusers so dangerous?

Ben- They are addicted to control and abuse. You put up with it last time, so they think they can get away with it the next time. They won’t stop until you stop them.

Rob- Shouldn’t we stay away from our ex?

Ben- We can’t tell if this was a surprise meeting or a scheduled one. The timing says it could have been exchanging their child for the weekend, but we can’t tell.  If you have to meet with them, get someone else to go with you, or meet in the parking lot of the local police station.

Rob- We’ve talked about the victims of domestic abuse before. You’ve had students who were recovering from an abusive relationship. How should they defend themselves?

Ben-  By telling everyone what is going on and getting help.  I know it’s embarrassing but this is life and death and most people will want to help you. Don’t undermine your own defense by pretending it isn’t a problem.


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

Ben- I live in San Antonio, and most of my classes are in central Texas where I teach armed self-defense and church security. Check my schedule and sign up for my classes at Modern Self Protection.com. You can also subscribe to my weekly podcast called Modern Self-Protection.

Rob- After you look at Ben articles, watch his videos, and subscribe to his podcast, then please leave us a message on the podcast web page or on MeWe.

Ben- 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- Like Ben’s podcast, 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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