Episode 256 with Amanda Suffecool
Welcome to episode 256 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. We’re joined this week by my friend and firearms instructor Amanda Suffecool. You’ve been doing some amazing things, Amanda.
Amanda- Hi, Rob. I’ve been speaking, training, teaching and rolled out my new Tommy Gun at the range. The most exciting since we last talked here on this show is I have a new on demand TV show called Women for Gun Rights.
How about you?
Rob- I carried every day and dry practiced. I’m glad to be back in the USA where I can do that.
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Amanda- 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 San Antonio, Texas.
Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
You’re at home asleep on a weekday night. It is after midnight when you feel your house shudder and hear someone kick in your back door. You go down stairs and see an intruder. The intruder pulls a gun out of his pants and points the gun at you. You run back upstairs to your bedroom. You grab your gun. The intruder chases you into your bedroom and shoots at you. You shoot your attacker. Now your attacker turns and runs back outside. You stop shooting. You stay inside and call 911.
You hear a car drive away. Police also get reports of someone who matches the description of your attacker who was dumped at the side of the road. Emergency medical services take him to a local hospital where he is pronounced dead. Police find your attacker’s gun. You are not charged with a crime.
Amanda- I like what our defender did, but I read a few different stories covering the event, and they are not clear. In one article it sounded like the defender locked his bedroom door as he ran upstairs so the attacker had to break through two doors to get to him. That is what we want.
Our defender locked his doors and windows. That is why the bad guy had to break in. The breaking door alerted the homeowner. He had a firearm staged for his defense. He used it to stop the attacker and then stopped shooting. He stayed in the home rather than chase the bad guy down the street. He called 911. He put his gun away and gave a statement to the police.
We hope our defender pointed out the evidence to the police, like the bullet hole in his house where the bad guy shot at him. Like the ejected cartridge casing from the attacker’s gun. Like the spent cartridge case that is in the back corner of your bedroom where you were hiding as you tried to get away from your attacker. Like the fact that the attacker had a getaway car and driver. All that evidence shows that you were an innocent person who used a firearm as a last resort when you faced a lethal and unavoidable threat.
The defender did a lot of things correctly, and then we hope he called his lawyer.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like your students to do if they were in this situation?
Amanda- More than anything else, I want them to take their safety seriously and plan for their defense. If you’ve built a safety and self-defense plan for your home and your family, then you don’t go downstairs, and you certainly don’t go downstairs unarmed. Fortunately, this defender survived that mistake.
Rob- So it is more than knowing what to do. You want us to practice our plan?
Amanda- Exactly. Your feet and hands have to know what to do when your mind is half asleep. Did you lock your bedroom door? If not, then grab your gun and lock your door. Is your phone next to your bed, away from your bedroom door, and on charge so you can call 911? Things like that.
Rob- What do new gun owners need to learn as they get to that safety plan?
Amanda- You need to learn how to live with a gun in your house. That means how to store the gun and ammunition, and how to shoot your gun. That means a beginners firearm safety class and a class on marksmanship so you know how to hold your gun. Then you can go to the range and practice with your firearm confidently and safely.
Now we’re ready to take a class on defense in the home.
Rob- That changes if we have roommates or children in the home.
Amanda- Oh, yes it does.
Rob- Anything else you want to cover, or should we go on?
Amanda- Let’s go to our second story that happened in Saginaw, Texas.
Rob- Second Story- Do you bring a gun with you when you answer the door at midnight? and here.
It is a few minutes before midnight when you hear someone banging on your front door. You grab your firearm and go see who it is. The stranger says he needs to come in. You open the door and the stranger tries to push his way into your home. You push back, and then shoot your attacker. Your attacker stops pushing so you stop shooting. You hear a car race out of your driveway. You backup and call 911.
You put your gun away. When the police arrive you give them a brief statement. Police find your attacker in the doorway. EMTs declare him dead at the scene. You’re not charged with a crime. Police are looking for your attacker’s accomplice.
Amanda- I like that our defender was armed. He stopped shooting when the attacker stopped. He moved to safety and called 911. I like that he gave a description to the police. That way the police know to look for another bad guy.
Rob- What do you want us to do when we hear someone knocking at our door late at night.
Amanda- Get your gun. Turn on all the lights. Do not go near the door. Do not open the door. Call 911 and let the police take care of the guy outside. If he needed a jump to start his car, then you AND the police can take care of that or call a tow truck.
Rob- At least this homeowner had his gun when he met the bad guy.
Amanda- Yes, and he needed that because they were hand to hand immediately.
Rob- So how do I defend myself when the bad guy is grabbing me? That isn’t what I was taught in the marksmanship class?
Amanda- Right. We want you to stay in your room and turn on the lights. If the bad guy breaks through your bedroom door, that is where you use your marksmanship skills to stop the bad guy when he is still several yards away from you.
Defending yourself when you and the attacker are hand-to-hand is called Close Quarters Combat. We teach you to cover your head, push the attacker away, draw your firearm, and shoot while your gun is still down near your hip.
Rob- So there are ways to defend myself if the bad guy breaks through my door and grabs me.
Amanda- Yes, and that takes practice so you don’t shoot yourself. We first go through it first with an empty gun. Generally you are fighting them off with one hand, and then shooting with the other. Where is your non-gun hand and is it in the way?
Rob- There is so much to learn.
Amanda- And to practice. Going to the range and making holes in paper is the easy part.
Let’s go to our third story in Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- First this message from the crime prevention research center.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home in the afternoon?
It is just after lunch when you walk to your car. Your car is parked in a covered garage behind your house. You’re standing in your garage when a car rolls up the alley and stops behind your car so you can’t get out. A stranger gets out of the car and asks you a question. The stranger also has a gun in his hand and the gun is pointed at you. Now the stranger tells you to give him everything you have.
One of the things you have is an Illinois Firearms Owners Identification card in your wallet. You also have a concealed firearm on your hip. You stall for time and then present your handgun. You shoot your attacker in the chest and the head. Your attacker drops his gun so you stop shooting. You stay at the scene and call 911. You holster your firearm before the police arrive.
You tell the police what happened. Police take your attacker’s gun as evidence. Emergency Medical Services declare your attacker dead at the scene.
You’re a 77 year old retired fire captain. You are not charged.
Amanda- This defender had a plan. He knew that he was not safe even on his property in the middle of the day. He got his Illinois FOID card. He bought his gun. He took classes. He got his carry permit and learned armed defense. He was carrying at home, though he might have been going somewhere in his car, the story isn’t clear.
I want you to put your gun on when you get dressed in the morning.
Rob- I can’t think of much more we want a defender to do.
Amanda- I can. We want you to move and move towards cover as you draw so you don’t get shot. We usually talk about that in the class that comes AFTER the concealed carry class.
Rob- Are attacks like this common, or is this a one in a million event?
Amanda- Half of attacks happen in or near our home, so that means several hundred thousand times a year.
This defender was an older retired gentleman, so the robber chose him in particular because he thought he had an easy victim. There are lots of things that make us more vulnerable to attacks. Are we carrying bags in our hands as we walk across the parking lot, or maybe we pushing a stroller. I was more vulnerable when I hurt my ankle and was walking with a limp.
Rob- The bad guys do not look for the college wrestling team.
Amanda- They look for victims who have a hard time defending themselves. They look for old drunks who are wearing nice clothes.
Dwayne saw this story on our facebook page and said that since this happened in the early afternoon, the robber was probably cruising neighborhoods looking for targets of opportunity. Who knows how many other crimes he would have committed that day if the defender had not stopped him.
Rob- Good point, Dwayne.
Amanda- Our fourth story took place in Orlando, Florida.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in public late at night?
You are done with your late night snack. You leave the Wafflehouse restaurant and walk to your car. A couple are arguing in the parking lot nearby. You don’t say anything and open your car door to drive away. The man who was arguing hits you and tries to enter your car. You push him away, but he continues to fight. You’re carrying concealed. You shoot your attacker one time in the leg. Now he stops fighting. You shout for help, holster your firearm, and then call 911.
You give a statement to the police when they arrive. Emergency medical services transports your attacker to the hospital. The woman who was part of the argument makes a statement to the police, as do people from inside the restaurant. You’re not charged with a crime.
Amanda- I wish we’d written this story. I can’t tell if the defender was attacked in his car or was he still next to it. Did the attacker open the driver’s door, or was it the passenger’s door. Was the defender carrying his firearm on his body, or was the gun in his car somewhere? I do like that the defender shouted for help so that other people called 911. Our defender stayed at the scene and gave the police a brief statement.
Rob- Is this sort of incident common, or unusual?
Amanda- Half of attacks happen after dark. I mentioned drunk people in our earlier story, and lots of violent attacks are by or on people who are intoxicated.
Also, I was surprised that the news story didn’t mention if the defender had his concealed carry permit. That is important because we can’t drink if we carry. Having your carry permit, carrying in a holster on your body, being sober in public all identify you as a card-carrying-good-guy when the police arrive.
Rob- What should we tell the police when they arrive?
Amanda- We tell them a very short version of what we saw, why we acted and WHY we were in fear for our lives. AND then we ask for our atty.
Rob- How do I get a self-defense attorney?
Amanda- (insurance) I personally carry Firearms Legal Protection coverage for myself, for Rob and for both our families. There are several out there, do your research and select one. Firearms Legal provides the atty for me.
Rob- that wraps up this episode. Amanda, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Amanda- My nationally syndicated radio show, eye on the target radio, is on Sunday nights from 5 to 7 eastern time. I instruct on the weekends in Northeastern Ohio. I’m part of the DCProject that you can find at DCProject.info and now am on TV on the OpsLens channel with Women for Gun Rights on fridays at 7 pm eastern.
(Add new video show of women firearms owners on Opslens)
Rob- After you look at Amanda articles and subscribe to podcasts of her radio show, then please leave her a message on the Self Defense Gun Stories facebook page.
Amanda- 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.