Episode 246 with Tony Simon
Rob- Welcome to episode 246 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. You had travel plans all across the US this summer. How have things gone so far?
Tony- Hi, Rob. I’ve been traveling a lot.
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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 Des Moines, Iowa.
Rob- First story- Do you have a gun nearby late at night?
It is just after midnight on a weekday. You’re at home with your roommates. A stranger breaks down the back door. Your roommates come out of their rooms. The intruder threatens and then attacks your roommates. You’re armed. You shoot the attacker. He turns and runs away. You stop shooting. You check on your roommates and call the police. Police arrest your attacker at the local hospital. You’re not charged with a crime.
Tony- The news report doesn’t say how many people were in the home. It doesn’t say if the attacker knew the occupants, or how the attacker was charged after he was arrested. The sad state of journalism these days.
Tony- I like that our defender had his doors locked. That means the intruder had to announce his entry with the loud sounds of breaking through the back door. Our defender and his roommates paid attention to that sound and got up. He grabbed his firearm. He saw his roommates being attacked and defended them. He stopped shooting when the attacker ran away. He stayed at the scene rather than chase the bad guy down the street. He called 911 and stayed at the scene. He then spoke to the police and gave them a brief statement.
Rob- What do we do after an attack? Do I call 911, take care of the injured, or check on everyone to see if they need help?
Tony- Evaluate, call, treat.
Rob- I heard the phrase that if you’re going to carry lethal tools, then you should also carry life saving tools. Do your students get some medical training?
Tony- We have hosted medical classes and had people attend but they weren’t former students of mine but they were firearms owners that had taken classes elsewhere.
Rob- Is there more that you’d like us to do if we were in this situation?
Tony- The story doesn’t say how many roommates there were or how they were attacked. The first rule of a gunfight is have a gun. The 2nd rule is don’t shoot yourself and don’t shoot the other good guys.
The roommates went to investigate someone kicking in their door and they weren’t armed. When confronted with an attacker they had no option other than physically fighting the home invader.
With a firearm you have options because firearms are distance weapons.
Maybe you can defend from your bedroom, and maybe you have to get closer. Your gun works at a distance, so don’t get closer than you have to. If the bad guys are wrestling with your roommates then you might have to be inches away rather than yards away.
Rob- The attackers might never see me?
Tony- At a distance they might never notice you even after you shoot them.
Then again, if your roommate’s door is down the hallway from you and toward the bad guys, then you shouldn’t shoot if your roommate could come out of his door and you’d shoot him in the back by accident.
That is why we want to have a plan. Take the time when you’re awake in the daylight and consider what could happen. That way you know what to do when you don’t have time to think.
Rob- Anything else?
Tony- Home invasions happen a lot. Talk to your roommates about your security plan so all of you are on the same page. They will probably notice some things you’ve missed.
Our second story happened in Norfolk, Virginia.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work?
You’re behind the counter at a convenience store. It is late at night when another customer comes inside. He says he has a screwdriver and will stab you if you don’t hand over the money. Lots of convenience stores in the area have been robbed recently. You’re armed tonight. You shoot your attacker. He turns away, so you stop shooting. You call the police.
Emergency Medical Services takes your attacker to the hospital with life threatening injuries. You give a statement to the police.
Tony- Again, the news article leaves out a lot of information. The implication is that the robber had a weapon, but the police don’t report recovering one. We don’t know how many times the clerk shot his attacker. We don’t know how far the attacker ran until the police found him. I also expect there was security video, and in fact I’d be very surprised if the robbery was not recorded. So where is the video?
Rob- I’ll try harder next time.
Tony- See that you do. But our clerk recognized that he had a dangerous job. He noticed that stores like his had been robbed in the area. He carried his handgun at work, and it sounds like he carried on body. He took the robber’s threats seriously. He defended himself. He did many of the things I already mentioned in the first story.
Rob- What else should a store clerk do?
Tony- Ask the customers to stay down. Ask if any customers are hurt. Ask them to move to safety away from the robber, and please don’t point your gun at the customers. Lock the doors if it is safe to do so. Secure the robber’s gun if you can do it safely. That might mean covering the gun with a jacket or putting an empty trash can over it so someone doesn’t pick it up.
Ask everyone to call 911. Once the scene seems safe, then put your gun away. Treat anyone who is injured. Get the security recording ready for law enforcement. Open the door when the police arrive.
If the robber is still moving around then maybe you can’t put your gun away. You’ll have to make that decision at the time, but it helps to have a plan.
Rob- Should we stay inside or run out the back door?
Tony- You should probably stay inside. The bad guy may have his partner or get-away-driver waiting for him in the parking lot. I want a locked door between me and them until the police arrive.
Rob- Does anything else come to mind?
Tony- Again, gas station- convenience store robberies are common, so please carry at work and as you shop.
Our third story happened in San Antonio, Texas
Rob- First this message from Doctors for responsible gun ownership.
Rob- Third story- Is your gun nearby at night?
It is late Sunday night or early Monday morning. You’re at home asleep. You’re startled awake by a crashing sound. You grab your gun and leave your bedroom. Someone is trying to break into your house through the back door. You shoot him as he enters your house. Your dog rushes out the door and then bites the intruder’s ankle. Now the intruder turns around and tries to leave. You call your dog and then call 911.
Police find your intruder outside your home. He is taken to the hospital. One story says he was bitten by the dog. Another story says he was both shot and bitten. You give a statement to the police. Your intruder is charged with burglary.
Tony- I like that our homeowner had his doors locked and a gun nearby. He responded to the intrusion. He didn’t chase the bad guy and he called the police.
Rob- Do we want dogs for their bark or for their bite?
Tony- Use your dog as a smart alarm. You know their habits. Get out of bed once they sound an alarm. It is our job to protect them. They might chase the bad guys, but we shouldn’t.
Rob- One report said the homeowner missed. Talk to me about warning shots.
Tony- Warning shots are illegal in some jurisdictions. They are a horrible idea. Moral gun owners only fire their gun if they are in fear for their lives or severe bodily harm. Shoot the threat, a warning shot can strike innocent people or things you don’t want to shoot. Like your pet, neighbors or propane tank in the backyard. You are responsible for every round that you fire.
Rob- Is there anything else you notice about this story?
Tony- Put your gun away before the police arrive, and say little when you talk to the police.
Rob- What does that mean?
Tony- You just woke up to face an intruder. You just had a gunfight. At that moment you’re an idiot. Don’t say things that will get you into trouble later.
Be polite. Be respectful. Say you called, you defended yourself when the intruder entered your home, you’ll press charges, and your attorney will answer all their questions in his report.
Rob- I’m the good guy. Why do I need an attorney?
Tony- Because everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. We don’t practice speaking that way. Our lawyer does. Let him file the report. Like I said, identify yourself as the homeowner who called, and point out any evidence. That broken door is called a clue. The bullet hole in the wall is evidence that the intruder was inside your home when you shot at him.
Rob- When do your students learn about talking to the police?
Tony- defensive shooting and defense in the home.
Our fourth story took place in San Antonio, Texas.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?
You hear a crashing sound outside at night. A moment later, you hear shouts and gunshots. You go out on your front porch. You see a stranger standing next to a car wreck and the stranger is shooting at your neighbors. You’re armed. You present your handgun and shoot the attacker. She stops shooting so you stop shooting. You go to your neighbors and see how you can help. They are hurt, so you call 911. You holster your gun and give the police a statement when they arrive.
The stranger was driving much too fast for the neighborhood and crashed into your neighbor’s car that was parked on the street. She shot your neighbors when they came out to give her some help. One of your neighbors is dead. You are not charged.
Tony- Our defender stopped mass murder. He had his gun with him. He recognized an attack and stopped it. He stopped shooting when the attack stopped. He called 911 and did the things I mentioned that good guys do.
Rob- How should we store our guns
Tony- POGO. On body. In a safe that you can access quickly or in concealment furniture that is secure.
Rob- What else do you notice?
Tony- He shot accurately at night. That is so important when you’re shooting in your neighborhood. Go look for yourself. There are very few directions that you can shoot from your front door where the bullets won’t keep going and hit someone’s home. That is why accuracy and firing as few shots as necessary was so important in this story. Innocent people down the street don’t deserve to have bullets bounce off the street and go through their windows and walls.
Rob- Anything else?
Tony- Know how far you can shoot and still hit your target. Practice at distances that are further than bad breath distances, ie further than 3 to 5 yards. How far is it to your neighbors’ home? How long is the aisle at the big box store? What’s the longest distance at your job? Knowing your limitations can help you form a plan and teaches you what skills you need to improve.
Do some dry fire practice in dim light and if your indoor range has lights in their firing lanes ask if you can turn them off and practice low light shooting.
Also, put your gun away when no one else needs to be shot. Your neighbors are looking out their window by this time. Don’t wave your gun at innocent people. Put it in a holster. Render first aid. Say little to the police when they arrive, and again call your lawyer.
Rob- Say little, but do say something.
Tony- Yes. Weren’t you listening when I said that? Are you going to make me repeat myself? Stay after class.
Rob- Yes, sir. Now tell me more about calling my lawyer.
Tony- You have to defend yourself against criminal charges, but also against civil charges from the murderer’s next of kin. They will say that the fact she was out of her mind on drugs had nothing to do with her behavior. They will claim she was confused by the crash and was trying to surrender when you murdered her. Start your defense the second the shooting stops. Call your lawyer.
Rob- When do your students learn about self-defense encounters, and do you have self-defense insurance?
Tony- US law shield works with us.
Rob- Both the Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network, and United States Concealed Carry Association.
Rob- Tony, that wraps up this episode. Thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you look at Tony’s podcasts and his schedule, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
Tony- We share this podcast with you for free.
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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 in a few weeks with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.