Episode 259 with David Cole

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 259 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and also if you’re still learning about armed defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor David Cole. How have you been, Dave?

David Cole

Dave- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been hunting and started Aikido again, and I hurt myself. How about you?

Rob- I was on news programs with Dan Wos, with Tom Gresham, and with Cheryl Todd. That left me too busy to get into much trouble.

We had a few weeks when no one talked to us, and last week the dam broke. Carl commented on social media that he listens to the podcast every week and really appreciates the information. I was on a podcast for the Second Amendment Foundation, and Diane typed in a live comment that she listens to this podcast too. Robbie wrote in after the last episode where we commented on a robbery at a mall. He wants his wife to carry as she goes shopping during the holidays.

We received four new ratings and two new comments on iTunes. (is 262, 147). Joey said he carries all the time and has been listening for the last year. The episodes bring him ideas that seem out of the box compared to the training he’s had so far. A listener called BDE said he likes that we talk about avoiding a fight as the best defense. He listens with his wife and they discuss how they might react if these situations happened to them. He also sends the stories to his friends who think armed defense never happens. Pastor Mel sent a link to a self-defense story.

Christmas came early for me with those wonderful messages. If you would like to leave a rating or comment about the podcast, then please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe. Let other people know why you listen.

Dave- Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We will look at a few recent examples to see what we can learn. The links back to the original news articles are on the podcast webpage.

Our first story took place in Compton, CA.

Rob- First story- Are you armed as you walk to your car? 

You walk to your car on the way to work. It is 6:15 when you open your car door. That is when a middle aged hispanic man runs up and grabs you. He has a knife in his hand and he tells you to step away from your car and give him your keys. You’re armed. You drop your keys, and step to the side. You present your concealed firearm and shoot your attacker several times. Now he stumbles back and drops his knife. You stop shooting. The news story doesn’t say if you called 911 from your driveway or if you went back inside your home to call for help.

Police find your attacker in the driveway. EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene from three gunshot wounds in the upper chest. You give a statement to the police. Police take your gun and your attacker’s knife as evidence. You are not charged with a crime.

Dave- Lots of us recognize Compton as one of the high-crime areas in the Los Angeles area. What we might not know is that California has more gun owners than any other state. Tens of millions of California residents live in counties where they can apply for a carry permit. That permit is valid as they travel all over California.

Though they didn’t mention it, this gun owner must have had a permit or the LA police would have arrested him for carrying a firearm illegally. He might be a businessman who doesn’t want to advertise that he carries. My message is to get your permit if you can, and lots of us can.

Our defender decided he and his family were worth protecting.

Recognized that he was at risk because of where he lived, and probably because of what he did.

He found a gun that fit him and that he could carry concealed. He chewed his way through the California red tape.

He bought the gun and got his permit.

40% of attacks, and of defenses, happen near our home. That is why our defender carried on an ordinary day, in an ordinary week, in an extraordinary time. That saved his life.

Recognized that a knife was a lethal threat.

  • Shot, then stopped shooting
  • Called
  • Stayed
  • Statement
  • Wonder if he had a lawyer to call. I’d want one if I was visiting LA.

Rob- It might come in their first class or it could come later. When do students focus on learning to present their firearm from a concealed holster?

Dave- Step by step. I’m tempted to say layer of clothing at a time. Open carry during presentation training. Concealed comes later.

Rob- What else do you see? 

Dave- Situational awareness in transition zones such as parking lots and driveways. Attacker with a knife needs to close distance, and early awareness can be a lifesaver. It likely was in this case.

Rob- Anything else?

Dave- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm nearby at work?

You are helping your parents at their pizza shop. It is 9:30 on a weeknight when three strangers run into the store. One of them says he has a gun while another reaches over the counter and grabs money from the cash register. Your mom grabs his hands to stop him. That is when the stranger grabs your mom’s throat and starts shaking her and strangling her. She tries to yell for help. You grab the gun under the checkout counter. You raise the gun toward the attacker’s head and press the trigger. The attacker lets go of your mom. Now she can breathe. You stop shooting and all three attackers run away. Your parents call 911 and ask for help for your mom. Police arrive a few minutes later since your attackers robbed a store down the block only a minute earlier. You are 14 years old.

Police follow the trail of blood until they find your attacker inside the local subway station. The police also find some of your family’s money in the robber’s pockets. He is taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Dave- This family had a gun at the cash register. The youngster recognized a threat. He saw an opportunity to save his mom. He stopped shooting when the attackers ran away. The parents gave a statement to the police. I think there was security video of the robbery too.

Fortunate that the young defender was aware of the gun and competent in its use. Kept his head and did what was necessary to stop the threat to his mother.

Rob- Are there other things you’d like your small business owners to do? 

Dave-  Sign that says surveyed by video.

While this situation turned out well for our defenders, it is preferable for adults to carry in a holster at waist level.

If one of you was at the far end of the counter then you’re almost invisible to the robbers. You can shoot them from the side but they are standing in front of each other so it is hard for them to shoot you.

Rob- When do you tell your students about tactics like that?

Dave- Tactics typically come in later training, but it is certainly never too early to discuss such situations. What I do like to do with students is discuss the process of visualization as training, or “wargaming” defensive scenarios. Playing the “what if” game…unlike in grade school…is actually beneficial mental training.

Rob- Where are we headed next.

Dave- Our third story happened in South Fulton, Georgia.

Rob- First this message from the Second Amendment Foundation

Second Amendment Foundation


Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home?

If you knew then what you know now then you would have chosen a different roommate. You had to press charges for disorderly conduct and violence against your roommate. You worked through eviction proceedings and the judge ordered him to return your keys. The judge also granted you a protective order.

Your ex-roommate doesn’t use the keys when he kicks in your door the next day. You’re armed. You shoot him. Now he turns and leaves. You call the police. You show them the judges protective order. You show them security video. They arrest you for aggravated assault anyway.

It takes you more than a year to get before a judge and have the charges dropped. You almost lose your home because of your legal fees and being out of work.

Dave- We don’t know if it was before he had problems with his roommate or after, but by the time of the break in our defender owned a gun. He filed charges against his former room mate. He took out a protective order, also called a restraining order. He had a video system installed. His doors were locked. He defended himself when the former roommate broke in. He called 911 for help. He did the right things, but he was chewed up by the legal system.

Rob- Talk to me about storing a firearm in my home for defense.

Dave-  Of course, it is always preferable to have your defensive firearm on your person, even at home. That said, there are times when you need to take it off and secure it, while still having quick access in case it is needed. There are any number of quick access safes, lock boxes, and other security devices available.

Rob- Anything else you want us to do? 

Dave- Let’s talk about his legal fight. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he didn’t have good legal representation initially, because this sure seems like something that could have been cleared up quickly and easily by a lawyer familiar with self defense law. There are several companies offering self-defense insurance these days who can help you get a lawyer on your side of the case right away.

Rob- I heard a phrase that there are four fights to survive. The physical one, the legal one, the financial one, and then the moral or the psychological battle. Talk to me about getting counseling after you have to shoot someone. 

Dave- I’m going to save that for our next story that took place in Spanaway, Washington.

Rob- Fourth story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?

You hear someone trying to break in through the back of your home. That wakes you up. You grab your gun and look toward the back door. You see someone kick in your back door and enter your home. You shoot the first intruder and try to shoot the second one. Both of them run from your home. You stop shooting and stay inside. You call 911 and ask for the police.

Officers find one of your attackers on your front lawn. EMS declares him dead at the scene. Police are looking for his accomplice. It is 4:30 in the morning.

Your family is shaken but not injured. Your family carries firearms, but you never thought it would be like this when you had to use them. 

Dave- His doors were locked. He recognized a threat. He got his firearm and defended his family. He stopped shooting when the bad guys turned and ran away. He stayed inside and didn’t chase the bad guys. The story is unclear, but he might have been on the phone with the police before the intruders broke in. We know he called and asked for the police after the break in. He also gave a statement to the police.

Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do? 

Dave-  safety plan that includes everyone in the home.

Rob-  What does best practice look like for a safety plan?

Dave- Of course, be armed. Then have plans to either escape or shelter/barricade with family members.

Rob- Why should everyone be involved?

Dave- Everyone needs to know what to do, and when.

Rob- Tell me about counseling if you have to use your firearm in self-defense.

Dave- Let’s go back to our first story of the 14 year old who saved his mom while she was being strangled. While he and his parents might have included him in the defensive plan…he knew where the gun was and how to use it…it’s unlikely they planned for the emotional aftermath. While he saved his mother’s life, he had to take another life to do that. These emotions can be pushed off, but they have insidious ways of coming back. We see a lot of alcoholism and insomnia from survivors. That takes its toll, and counseling can make it better.

This is something I do talk about with students, especially the involuntary physiological response we may experience after a critical incident. Hormones like adrenaline, endorphins, and others can have some pretty significant effects, and understanding these things can help us manage the emotional impact after an incident.


Rob- that wraps up this episode. Dave, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?

David- Look for my written articles at deltabravocharlie.com

Rob- I noticed you wrote an article about “shooting to wound”. Thank you.

After you’ve gone to his website and read Dave’s articles, then leave him a message on the podcast webpage, or on social media.

Dave- We share this podcast with you for free.
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, and Merry Christmas to all.


One Reply to “Episode 259 with David Cole”

  1. Robbie

    For the first story, I thought a pertinent action our defender took was to drop his car keys then moved away. This is a good distraction technique in a car jacking. It can cause your attacker to change or split focus and provide you an opportunity to move away from him. If you are armed, it can provide you the opportunity to present your weapon, like it did in this case.

    Merry Christmas!

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