Episode 257 with Ben Branam
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Welcome to episode 257 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and also if you’re one of the millions of new gun owners who are hearing about armed defense for the first time. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by my friend and firearms instructor Ben Branam. How have you been, Ben?
Ben- Hi, Rob. I’m good. I’ve been traveling and shooting having a good time for work and holidays. Training Church teams. How about you?
Rob- Like millions of other people, I was traveling over Thanksgiving. I’m glad to be home where I can carry again. I was on two radio shows, a podcast, and I wrote an article about how common, or rare, it is to find citizens carrying concealed.
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Ben- 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 on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Rob- First story- Are you armed as you leave home and drive at night?
It is after midnight when you drop some food off at your home. It is all part of the job since you deliver food for an online food delivery service. You are getting back in your car when three young men run up to you. Two of them have guns in their hands. Your attackers tell you to hand over your money. You say the money is in the car. So they start to search your car.
You have your Pennsylvania license to carry. You’re carrying concealed tonight. You present your concealed firearm from under your coat and shoot your two armed attackers. They drop their guns. The third robber runs away. You call 911.
You holster your firearm and give a statement to the police. Emergency Medical Service transports your two attackers to the hospital. One died and the second remains in critical condition. Police are searching for their accomplice.
Many of the residents in your neighborhood are Chinese immigrants. You are one of the few who carries a gun.You give the police the video from your home’s doorbell camera. You are not charged with a crime.
Ben, what did our defender do to save his life?
Ben- Tactical patience. Watch movies and want to draw against a drawn gun.
Rob- How common is an attack like this one?
Ben- About 40 percent of attacks happen near our home. We feel safe there and most people let down their guard and their awareness when they get close to home.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like our students to do if they were in a similar situation?
Ben- Try to see it coming. These three guys didn’t just drop out of the sky, they came from somewhere. If you can see it coming, maybe he could have just opened the door to his house and went inside.
Rob- Walk me through all the steps I have to go through before I can present a firearm from under a heavy winter coat.
Ben- Gloves or no Gloves? Clear all the coats and sweaters so that you can get to your firearm, and then make sure it doesn’t get tangled up when you push it out towards the bad guys. Sounds easy, until you get stuck. And then you have the rest of your life to figure it out. Practice with an empty gun is the way you learn all that.
Rob- Anything else?
Ben- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Spanaway, Washington.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work in the evening?
You’re working behind the counter at a cannabis store. It is 9:30 at night when four or five men rush through the door. They have masks on their face and their heads are concealed by the hood of their sweatshirts. Several of them are also armed with guns. They tell everyone to step back as they grab weed from the cases and cash from the cash register. You step back and grab the gun kept in the store. You shoot at the two attackers who have guns. Now, the attackers run from your store. You and the other store employees call 911. You put the gun away.
Police find your attackers at the hospital. Two of them are arrested and charged with first-degree robbery. Police are searching for the other four robbers.
Ben- Tactical Patience again here. Waited until the attention was on something else. Only shot those that needed to be shot, and then put the gun away before police got there. Had everyone call 911.
Rob- As you once asked me, was our defender good, or was he lucky?
Ben- Tactical Patience and see it coming is beginning to be a theme this week. I hope the good guy saw five or six guys ready to attack before they rushed through the door.
Rob- What does a security plan look like for a small “at risk” business?
Ben- Have a safe word so when someone sees something everyone can look and listen. When one person goes to guns, everyone else needs a plan.
Rob- Why is it an advantage to have your concealed carry card if you are only “at risk” at work?
Ben- It gives you credentials in court and with the responding police officers. And it generally gives you some training in your local laws.
Ben- Our third story happened Oceanside, California.
Rob- First this message from my friends at FASTER Colorado.
Rob- Third story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
You hear a crashing sound and the sound of people in your home. You roll out of bed and grab your gun. You look into your home and see several intruders. At least one of them has a gun. You shoot at them, and they shoot back. Now, they run from your home. You stay inside your home and call 911. The police were already headed to the area because your neighbors reported gunshots.
You put your gun away when the police arrive. They find one of your attackers at the scene. Emergency Medical Services declares him dead. Police arrest the other five robbers as they drive from the neighborhood. One of them is taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound. This attacker was recently convicted of armed assault and was out on bond awaiting sentencing. Your attackers are held on charges of first degree robbery and felony murder.
You’re not charged.
Ben- Well that turned out better than expected. I’m glad to see the aggression here towards the bad guys. Sometimes patience is the key, other times flat out go for it. Especially when you are outnumbered, the element of surprise can win the fight.
Rob- Does an attack like this happen very often?
Ben- Yes, a lot more than anyone wants to think about. About a quarter of attacks are in our home. About half are at night. Most involve more than one attacker.
Rob- How do new gun owners find out about how to store the firearm they want for armed defense?
Ben- This is one you can ask your local gun shop and get pretty good advice on a quick access safe. They all work. The safe keeps you from having an accidental discharge before you are fully awake and keeps someone from sneaking into your room and just taking it before you have a chance.
Rob- Our defender could have taken a few steps out his bedroom door and been shot dead. How should new gun owners learn to defend themselves at home?
Ben- Lots of classes out there. The simple part is learn about cover and concealment and how to use it and then learn to shoot from it. Last, reprogram yourself, you don’t have to be close. I tell my students more distance is better.
Ben- Our fourth story took place in Ferndale, California.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you arrive home late at night?
You are driving up to your home at about 9:15 at night. You notice that your door is open and that things are out of place. You see a stranger in your home. You draw your firearm and tell the young man to put his hands up. You call 911.
Police arrive and convince you to holster your gun. The officers arrest your intruder. He is charged with first degree burglary. Officers said you did a very good job..for a 74 year old woman.
Tag- No shots fired
Ben- I’m glad she had her gun on her and she didn’t have to fire it! That is a win win. These are the best outcomes; no one got hurt, the good guy or the bad guy, and the criminal was arrested.
Rob- What should we do if we come home late at night and find someone inside our home?
Ben- Alarm systems are great. They can alert you before you get home and most have cameras now, you could look inside your house without going in.
Rob- What do you do if you spot someone?
Ben- If at all possible, call the police and park your car down the street, leave it running and locked. Then wait for the police and be a good witness.
Rob- How hard is it to hold someone at gunpoint?
Ben- It can get really tiring really fast. And what are you going to do if that person doesn’t want to obey you anymore?
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do if this happened to us?
Ben- Try not to enter the house. When this homeowner went through the front door she cornered our criminal in the house. This guy decided not to fight, but when you corner an animal they tend to fight. If you can, then give the bad guy the chance to leave.
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.
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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.