Episode 247 with Robyn Sandoval
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Welcome to episode 247 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re so 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 the very busy firearms instructor Robyn Sandoval.
Robyn- Hi, Rob. I’m glad to be with you today! I just published our August recap for A Girl & A Gun — we hosted 290 events last month and gained 508 new members. I just got back from hosting our 2nd Annual registered shoot for sporting clays in Kansas, and we just opened General Registration for our 2022 National Conference and it sold out in 46 hours with 550 registrations!
Rob- I took my wife to Florida. Then we were delayed several days until Hurricane Ida moved out of the way and let us come home. That didn’t stop our listeners.
Robbie said he particularly liked one of our stories. “Put your gun away after the threat is stopped, because your neighbor might not realize that you are the good guy.”
Pamela said she had a friend who was drying her hair so she didn’t hear the intruder enter her home. When she saw him in the mirror, she reached for her gun and marched him outside. The intruder acted like he was going back to his car, but bolted toward her. She shot into the air to scare him. The intruder ran…to a police station and said a crazed woman was shooting at him.
We also received ratings and a new comment on iTunes (now 248,140). Pavlo said we make it enjoyable as we remind him of things that might happen.
Then we succeeded, at least for Pavlo. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know why you listen.
Robyn- 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 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Rob- First story- Are you armed in public at night?
You’re walking in front of a movie theater with your friend on a weekday evening. A stranger stops you. The stranger tells you to hand everything over. He points his gun at you and your friend.
You own a gun. You’re carrying concealed tonight. You wait for the right time. You present your weapon and shoot your attacker several times. He drops his gun and tries to turn away. You and your friend move back toward the theater and call the police. You stay near the scene of the attack. When they arrive, you identify yourself to the police. Emergency medical services declare your attacker dead at the scene. You and your friend give a statement to the police.
Robyn- Our defender had his firearm with him. He recognized a lethal, immediate, and unavoidable threat. He shot the attacker until the threat stopped. He stopped shooting, retreated to a safe location nearby, and called 911. When it was safe, he returned to the scene and made a brief statement to the police.
Rob- These articles usually say if the defender had his concealed carry permit. This story didn’t.
Robyn- Oklahoma is a constitutional carry state, so the defender didn’t need a permit or license to carry concealed. We don’t know if he had a carry permit. It also didn’t say that he called his attorney, but hopefully he did.
Rob- This wasn’t extremely dark because of the shops nearby, but this certainly wasn’t daylight. What happens when we have to shoot in dim light?
Robyn- The challenge with low light or no light is target identification. In this case, he was able to clearly identify an immediate lethal threat, so he placed shots on target. In the dark, it is much harder to find the sights and to align the sights; however, at close range, you can use kinematic alignment, which is how you can point your finger using a natural point of aim without lining it up with your eye.
Rob- There are no sights on a baseball.
Robyn- But you don’t want to throw a baseball for the first time at night when you need to hit your target. Practice now.
Rob- Is there anything else before we go on?
Robyn- In this story, the defender had a friend with him. If they had trained and practiced together, they would have had even better odds for success. Two people working together are much harder to hurt than one single defender. There are team classes that can teach strategies to work together so that you have a plan, communication techniques, and follow through. It’s excellent training for a husband/wife or work partners so that you don’t spend valuable seconds worrying about the other person; you can both safely and efficiently spring into action.
Rob- I like that idea. You and a few of your armed friends can practice group force-on-force with finger-guns.
Robyn- Preparation is key! Our second story happened in Toledo, Ohio.
Rob- Second Story- Do you have a gun nearby when you’re asleep?
You’re asleep on a weekday morning. It is an hour after midnight when you’re startled awake by a crashing sound at your front door. You get out of bed, grab your gun, and tell your children to stay in their room. You move toward the sound. The intruder breaks down your door and rushes inside. You shoot him several times. Now the intruder turns and runs. You stop shooting. You call 911.
Police find your intruder on the front lawn. EMS takes the intruder to the hospital in critical condition. Reports say that two occupants shot at the intruder, but that yours were the only shots that hit their target. You give a statement to the police when they arrive.
Robyn- Here is another example where team training would have been a benefit. But our defender did a great job. She stored her gun in a condition so she could access it in the middle of the night. She stopped her attacker and then stopped shooting. She called 911. The story doesn’t say so, but I bet she checked on her kids, too.
Rob- It sounds like there was a second armed defender in the home.
Robyn- Clearly she was a better marksman, or maybe she had been to an A Girl & A Gun event!
Rob- What do we do after we call 911.
Robyn- Since there were two adults in the home, one could communicate with 911 while the other one makes the scene safe by locking the door, securing the firearms, and checking on family and roommates.
Rob- Talk to new gun owners about storing the gun they want for defense.
Robyn- It is critical that firearms are always secured from unauthorized persons, which could be a child, another adult in the home, or a criminal who might break in. When storing guns there is a paradox between security and accessibility. Some storage is what we call “cold storage” for guns that are unloaded with no ammunition that are locked away. This might be hunting, competition, or recreational guns that are stored for future use. Some storage is “hot storage” for guns that must be quickly accessed. There are many safes on the market that allow for instant access with a biometric marker or code. Of course, while you’re awake, the safest and most accessible place to keep your firearm is on your body in a holster. POGO.
Our third story took place in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rob- First this message from the second amendment foundation.
Rob- Third story- Can you get to your gun when the alarm goes off?
It is three in the morning when your house alarm wakes you up. You have a video camera and motion alarm at your front door. You see the pictures of four men wearing masks and carrying guns. You get your gun and get behind a corner with a view of your front door. A second later, four men kick in your door and run inside with their guns out. You shoot them, and the four men turn around and run.
You have video pictures of them running away and driving away. You call the police and give them the video.
Robyn- This is preparedness! His doors were locked, his alarms were set, his firearm was accessible, he had visibility of the door. He obviously had a plan!
He got his gun and then got into a defensible position. He waited until the intruders were inside his home and then he defended himself. He did NOT chase the bad guys. He stayed in his home and called the police, and probably later a carpenter and a locksmith.
Rob- later. Is there anything else you would want your students to do in a case like this?
Robyn- If he had turned on a light, I wonder if the intruders would have run away before breaking in. If the alarm had a siren, would it have been another deterrent?
Rob- When do you talk to your students about defense at home?
Robyn- A lot of women come to A Girl & A Gun for home defense strategies, so if they have questions, we have answers. In your home it’s important to know locations that are cover vs locations that are concealment. Make sure that you position furniture and mirrors to give yourself visibility. Every home is different, but fortifying access to your home is something we can all do. Make sure your doors are locked. Cameras and alarms can help you create time and distance from the attackers to keep your family safe.
Rob- From the video, it looks like our good guy missed. Are there any tricks to hitting your target in dim light?
Robyn- When you have adrenaline going, you’re going to be shaky. The only thing that can help you through that terrifying moment is preparedness for the right mindset and the right physical skills that you can do with subconscious competence. Do a lot of training… Dry practice. Night sights. Red dot sights. Laser sights. Dry practice in low light. See if your range offers low light opportunities or find a class. With ammo shortages a lot of ranges have been offering simulators or shoot houses with airsoft so you can practice accuracy while moving around barricades. Seek out training in your area. If you practice enough, your sights will be where you expect them.
Rob- So the fancy sights are a poor substitute for putting in the time.
Robyn- Our last story this week is from Melbourne, Florida.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work?
The barbershop opened 7 hours ago. It is mid-afternoon on Saturday when a customer comes back to your shop. This customer is angry. The news article doesn’t say if the customer is mad at one of the other customers, or at the staff. Whatever the reason, this customer takes a gun from his pocket and points it at the customers, at the employees, and he threatens them.
You own a gun. You’re carrying concealed. You wait your turn and then present your firearm. You shoot the attacker. He falls down and drops his gun. The customers and staff dive on the attacker to hold him down and keep him from picking up the gun again. You call 911.
EMS takes your attacker to the hospital with a non-life threatening wound to his hip. You give a brief statement to the police.
Robyn- Crowded locations always pose additional challenges. Fortunately, our defender was armed and could stop the attacker. Our good guy stopped shooting when the threat stopped.
Rob- What else do you see?
Robyn- The bad guy already had his gun out, so you don’t want to get into a speed contest because he is ahead of you and you might lose. Wait for him to turn away. You can’t afford to miss because your bullet might hit other people, and the bad guy might turn toward you and kill you or someone else.
I like that the other employees and customers jumped in and held the attacker. Hopefully our defender designated someone to call 911, someone to lock the doors so the bad guy’s friends can’t come inside, holstered the firearm, and asked if everyone was ok. Call 911 yourself so you know when to open the doors for the police.
Rob- I can’t see a haircut being a gun problem.
Robyn- Obviously the attacker didn’t have emotional control, or perhaps had mental problems or he was intoxicated on alcohol or drugs. He seemed unpredictable and extremely dangerous, choosing to draw a firearm in confined space with other people around.
Rob- What else should we say before we end this episode?
Robyn- Talk to the police and provide general information that he is the bad guy, he threatened us, and I defended myself and others. Let the police know that you’ll be a witness and file a complaint, but first you want to talk to your attorney and give yourself a couple of sleep cycles before giving a complete report. Even if you did everything right, give yourself some time to talk to your attorney.
Rob- Do you have self-defense insurance, and do they give you a lawyer to call?
Robyn- Yes, and there are a lot of great programs out there. Our listeners should look into USCCA (the United States Concealed Carry Association), U.S. Law Shield, and the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. Compare the programs and find the ones that work for your family. But definitely have a membership to a reputable legal program that specializes in self-defense law.
Rob- that wraps up this episode. Robyn, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Robyn- Look for me at https://www.agirlandagun.org/ and A Girl & A Gun on all of the social media pages. If you’re one of the millions of new gun owners, or if you’ve been shooting for decades, we welcome all women to join us at the range or login to our virtual training sessions.
Rob- After you look at Robyn website, then please leave her a message on the podcast webpage or on iTunes.
Robyn- We share this podcast with you for free. We want more listeners like you, so 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.