Episode 254 with Tony Simon
Welcome to episode 254 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. What have you been doing, Tony?
Tony- Hi, Rob. I’ve been teaching and having diversity shoots.
Rob- We received a new rating and a new comment on iTunes (is 257,143). TexTopCat said the reports and comments are very valuable, and we should release podcasts more often and have more stories in each one.
Thank you, TopCat. Would new listeners please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let us know how you found us, and why you listen.
Tony- Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We look at a few recent examples and see what we can learn. The links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Tonopah, Arizona.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at home in the evening?
You’re at home on a Saturday evening. It is a few minutes after sunset when you hear someone banging against your door. You go see what is happening. You see a man outside your home. He shoots at you. You’re armed, so you present your firearm and shoot back. You step away from the door and call 911.
You put your gun away and give a statement to the police when they arrive. You show them the bullet holes in your house. The police arrest your wounded attacker in front of your home. EMS transports him to the hospital. Your attacker beat a deputy unconscious earlier today. You know the attacker. He did prison time for molesting children. Later, you learned that your attacker recovered and was taken to jail. The injured deputy died at the hospital.
Tony- This story is insane. The attacker had attempted to carjack the homeowner the day before in the front of his home. Today, the homeowner recognized an immediate and lethal threat from a violent criminal. He defended himself. He stopped shooting and attempted to give medical care to the armed wounded attacker and was shot at by the felon. He moved to safety and called 911. He put his gun away and gave a statement to the police.
Rob- What else do you see here?
Tony- Don’t attempt to render aid to an armed man that you just shot! He will probably attempt to shoot you back! Your duty to protect yourself and your family includes keeping yourself safe. Go back in the house and wait for the police while keeping an eye on the wounded murderer.
I’m wondering if the defender had a carry permit, but the article doesn’t say so. Arizona is a constitutional carry state, so he didn’t need a permit to go armed in public. Even though this happened at his home, it is easier to carry with a permit because we’re often near our home, but off the property if we take out the trash or go get our mail at the curb. It is easier to get a permit and to stay armed all the time than to obey the law and disarm each time we move out of our home or our property.
Rob- So in some states you need a permit to walk out your front door even if you’re still on your property?
Tony- Yes, we do.
I noticed that this attacker had a long criminal history. He had attempted to carjack the homeowner with a shiv the previous day. He beat a deputy to death. He was a very dangerous man. Our defender was armed at home because he had been attacked only a short time ago.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like your students to do if they were in a similar situation?
Tony- I’m glad this armed and dangerous attacker was kept outside. Purchase extended strike plates and long screws for deadbolts on your outside doors. Also, one of the new security cameras would let you see who is outside while someone outside can’t see you through a side window next to your door. I want outside lights that are connected to a motion detector and a chime so I know if someone is moving around near my house.
Rob- That used to be cutting edge.
Tony- They used to be, but now you buy them at home depot.
Rob- Is this an unusual attack that we can ignore, or is it something common so we should pay attention?
Tony- Criminals have families too. This criminal’s mother lived nearby. He was looking for victims near her home because criminals will commit crimes wherever they choose.
This may be an unusual case but half of all assaults are at or near our home or property. Half are at night, so this happens a lot. I’d say several hundred thousand times a year.
Rob- When do your students learn about patterns of criminal activity like that?
Tony- We go into subjects like this during our home hardening class. We discuss things like layering your home security, having a home defense plan.
Rob- We didn’t make it past our first story and we have homework. Where are we going next?
Tony- Our second story happened in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home at night?
You’re in your bedroom on a weekday night. You hear your roommate shout from down the hallway. Your roommate is confined to a wheelchair, and is shouting for someone to go away and leave him alone. You grab your gun and go investigate. An adult man with a knife in each hand is threatening your roommate. You shoot the attacker until he runs away. You stay inside and check on your roommate. Then, you call 911.
You and your roommate talk to the police when they arrive. You show them the broken window where the criminal invaded your home. The police find your attacker outside. EMS takes him to the hospital. Your attacker is facing charges of burglary and aggravated assault when he is released from the hospital. You and your roommate are not hurt. You’re not charged with a crime.
Tony- I like that our defender had his doors and windows locked. He had a gun, and he took the gun with him when he went to investigate a disturbance in his home. Either he and his roommate together had a plan to go armed, or he could tell by the sound of his roommate’s cries that he needed to bring his gun. Either the lights were on or the defender brought a flashlight. He saw what was happening and recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat to his roommate and to himself. He used his firearm to stop the threat, and he stopped shooting when the threat was over.
I also like that he didn’t chase the bad guy down the street. The defender checked to see if his roommate was injured, and then they called 911 to ask for the help they needed.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do if we were in this situation?
Tony- You want to check if anyone is injured before you call 911. If your family is bleeding then they may want to send several units to treat and transport you.
I’d like both the homeowner AND the man in the wheelchair to be armed. We don’t know that the man in the wheelchair was unarmed, but we do know he couldn’t get to his gun before he was attacked.
Criminals look for people who are older or disabled because they are easier targets for violent crime. If you’re in a wheelchair or move with a limp then you’re many times more likely to be attacked. Please don’t ignore those risks. I know of people having a holster on the side of their wheelchair, and people who have a leg injury who carry concealed.
Rob- Lots of people have difficulty moving. All of us will if we live long enough, and that puts us at risk. How can we defend ourselves?
Tony- You can defend yourself with the correct mindset. By being aware of your surroundings, aware that you’re now seen as vulnerable by criminals, arming yourself and getting trained.
Rob- When do your students learn what to do in a situation like this one?
Tony- We talk about defensive mindsets and defensive plans in our defensive handgun class.
We also need enough light to identify our bad guy and to aim our firearm without hitting innocent people. Plan to turn on the lights, in fact practice that during a walk through, and plan to bring a flashlight.
Rob- What is a home security plan?
Tony- Home security plans are preplanned scenarios that are laid out before an incident occurs. Much like the fire drills we did as school children, the home defense plan can be as simple as everyone gathering in mom and dad’s room.
Our third story happened in Valley Springs, California.
Rob- First this message from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.
Rob- Third story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
It is a little after midnight when you and your roommate hear a crashing sound. You grab your gun and meet your roommate in the hallway. There is a stranger inside your house. The intruder attacks you and your roommate. You shoot until the intruder stops attacking you. You and your roommate back up and call 911.
EMS declared your attacker dead at the scene. EMS transportes you and your roommate to the hospital to treat your injuries. Deputies identify your attacker as a meth addict who used to live at this address before you bought the home. You’d called deputies after the addict walked into your home the day before. The police arrested him, but a judge released him this morning. You’re not charged with a crime.
Tony- I noticed that the news article called this a gunshot fatality. It wasn’t. It was a death due to drugs. Like our earlier stories, our defenders locked their doors and were armed for their defense. They stopped the attacker, called for help, gave a statement, and then sought medical treatment.
They had an earlier problem with this addict, and they had called the police and filed a complaint. That is important because that paper trail later identified them as the defenders and the addict as the aggressor in what turned into a lethal encounter.
Rob- What else do you see here?
Tony- Work on a safety plan. One option is for both of you to be armed, to stay in your rooms, lock your bedroom doors and both of you call the police. Another option is to meet in a common area like a hallway and defend yourselves there. That has a potential benefit because you know where the attacker is coming from the center of the home. That also has a weakness if the attacker is in the hallway between the two of you. A gun lets us defend ourselves at a distance and we want to keep bad guys away from us so we don’t have to go to the hospital for treatment.
Rob- This was an attack at night, so maybe the lights are off or the light is dim. We usually have multiple attackers, and in this case we have multiple defenders.
Tony- Walk through your plan and explore the options. It is great if one of you has taken a class on defense in your home. It is fantastic if all of you have, because you’ll both be thinking of more possibilities. Many of us live with our spouses. We might have young children or elderly relatives in the home as well. Include them as you make and as you practice your plans.
Rob- Do you teach shooting in low light and how to use a gun when you and the bad guy are grabbing each other?
Tony- I’ve hosted low light classes with very good instructors. It’s important to take a class to learn the most effective, efficient and safe ways to use a flashlight along with a firearm. It’s not intuitive. There’s tactics developed by decades of law enforcement and military personnel. Assuming you will use a flashlight in a defensive encounter the same way you look for a lost puppy is a bad idea.
Tony- Our fourth story took place in Warner Robins, Georgia.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed late at night in public?
You’re out partying with your buddy. You meet two women at a club. They want to go somewhere else, and your buddy agrees to drive them. The women are in the back when they ask to pull over and stop. One of the women pulls a gun and points it at your buddy’s head. You’re being robbed. You grab the gun and turn it away from your buddy. You twist the gun out of your attacker’s hands. You fight for the gun and the gun goes off inside the car. Your attacker is wounded. You and your buddy call 911. You hold the other woman at the scene until the police arrive.
You and your buddy tell the police what happened. EMS takes the wounded robber to the hospital. Police arrest her accomplice. She is charged with attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault. Your attacker died at the hospital and her partner is charged with felony murder.
Tony- We don’t know if our defender was armed or not. We know that an attacker put a gun in his face and the defender grabbed that gun and pointed it away. He disarmed the attacker and the gun went off during the struggle. The defenders stayed at the scene and called for help. They gave a statement to the police when they arrived.
Rob- What else do you see here?
Tony- We don’t know if they were driving to another club, if they were offering a ride to take the women to their home, or if they were going someplace for sex or drugs. Don’t do stupid things at stupid times in stupid places with stupid people.
We said that a firearm is a tool to defend us at a distance. Sometimes the best defense is to grab the attacker’s firearm and to turn it away from us. There are no guarantees that will work, but it is a better option than to be shot in the head.
We teach and practice disarm techniques in our close-quarters-combat class. We also teach how to retain your firearm if someone else tries to take it from you. Those are advanced classes that usually follow some time after your concealed carry class.
Rob- Would it have been an advantage to have my carry permit in this example?
Tony- Police like to see a carry permit because it indicates a clean criminal record. When the police show up, they don’t know if they are looking at a drug deal gone wrong, or at someone who defended themselves during a robbery. Your carry permit helps them understand the scene and what happened.
Rob- You teach permit classes. How hard is it for your students to get a permit?
Tony- Well, for the Utah and Florida permits…
Rob- What else do you see here?
Tony- Once you grab the gun, then don’t let go. You must fight like the third monkey getting on the Arc and its starting to rain. There’s no giving up. Once committed you must go 100%.Also, it isn’t our job to hold the other suspect.
Rob- What should we do?
Tony- Holding suspects within arm distance is dangerous. They could both attack you.
Rob- that wraps up this episode. Tony, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you subscribe to Tony’s podcasts, then leave him a message on the self defense gun stories webpage.
Tony- We share this podcast with you for free.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.