Episode 268 with Amada Suffecool
Welcome to episode 268 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and if you’re still learning about armed defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Amanda Suffecool. How have you been, Amanda?
Amanda- Hi, Rob. I’m busy at my day job, my night jobs, and my weekend jobs.. The latest and greatest is that I am headed to Ambassadors Academy to teach media in 2 weeks, and producing the concealed carry fashion show at NRA in Houston. so I’m busy. How about you?
Rob- By the time our listeners hear this podcast I’ll be back home after traveling for a week, but I’m not as busy as you are.
We didn’t have new comments since our last episode, but we had a webpage repost our show notes and the stories we post at Ammoland. That’s nice.
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Amanda- Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We look at recent examples to see what we can learn. The links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place in the Fuller Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- First story- This is Chicago, so of course you’re armed at work!
You’re a security guard at a gas station on the south side of Chicago. You are not a cop, so you don’t arrest people. You’re there so people won’t hurt the store clerks or steal too much at one time. It is after midnight when a customer starts yelling at the clerk. You move so you can see both the store clerk and the customer. You see the customer draw a firearm from his waistband. That is when you present your firearm and shoot the attacker. Now the attacker runs away.
You stay at the store. You holster your firearm and call 911. The police ask to see your driver’s license, your firearms owners identification card, and your carry permit. You give them a brief statement. The clerk gives the police the surveillance video of the attack.
The police arrest the armed attacker at the hospital. You are not charged with a crime.
Amanda- Do you see what is going on here? The companies who own the gas stations won’t allow their employees to go armed, so they hire security guards to protect the employees and the alcohol. Our defender took his concealed carry courses. He got his ID card so he could buy a gun. He got his permit so he could carry a firearm in public. He probably had to take another class so he could be an armed guard.
His firearm was accessible even though we wear heavy coats in Chicago this time of year. He recognized a potential problem so he moved to a good position. He recognized a lethal threat when the attacker presented his gun. That is when the armed defender presented his own firearm and shot the attacker. He stopped shooting when the attacker turned and left the store. The defender stayed inside and didn’t chase the bad guy down the street. He put his gun away and called for help. I like it that the store had video cameras because that makes the prosecutor’s job so much easier. It makes it easier for your lawyer too.
Rob- What else can we learn from this?
Amanda- I want you to lock the doors after the robber leaves. Then put your gun away. Check on the staff and the customers to see if anyone is hurt. Now that you know what you need, then call 911 and get help on the way. Ask everyone in the store to call 911 for you. Start treatment of anyone who is injured. At some point, you want to call your lawyer too.
Rob- I stopped an armed robber who threatened to murder a store clerk, and I’m the one who needs a lawyer?
Amanda- You need a lawyer, and self-defense insurance, because you have something to lose. The robber’s momma will claim he was turning his life around and was off his meds and going crazy because you wouldn’t give him the booze and cigarettes he needed.
Rob- Suppose I was in that store and there is no security guard. I’m simply a customer. Now I see someone point a gun at the store clerk. Give me the arguments for getting involved and the arguments for sneaking into the back room and walking out the back door.
Amanda- There are arguments for both situations. It is your decision, and no one else can make it for you. But remember that your CCW does not make you a police officer OR a security guard. But your heart does make you human. You decide, and prepare for the repercussions of your decision.
So Training, insurance and practice is what you need to have in your pocket to help you make the decisions in a split second.
Rob- Is there more, or should we move on?
Amanda- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Bowie (Boo-ee), Maryland.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you drive?
You’re walking to your car in the parking garage at the university medical center. It is about 5 pm when you reach your car and another car pulls up next to you. Four teenagers get out and quickly move toward you. All of them are armed. They tell you to step away from your car and hand over everything. You have your concealed carry permit from another state. You also have a gun on your hip. You hand over some of your property. Then, you move and present your handgun. You shoot the attacker who is closest to you. All of the attackers run. Two of them run out of the parking garage and two of them drive away.
The story isn’t clear if you stayed at the scene and called 911 with your cell phone, or if the armed robbers took your phone and you had to go get help. You holster your firearm. The story isn’t clear if you still had your wallet, your identification, and your carry permit when the police arrive. You give the police a brief statement.
Police find the wounded robber after he walked into the medical center for treatment. They find the second robber on the street nearby. The getaway car was stolen from Virginia, and the police locate the robbers and arrest them after they crashed the stolen car. They also recover two more guns from the robbers.
Your robbers were two 17 year olds, a 16 year old, and a 15 year old. They are charged with theft of a vehicle, attempted carjacking, and armed robbery. The 17 and 16 year olds are charged as adults.
You’re not charged with a crime.
Amanda- This is so scary. You’re about to get into your car in a parking garage and a few seconds later you have four guns pointed at you. The good news is that our defender was armed. The attackers had their guns out, so our defender didn’t draw immediately. He gave them some of his property, because the report says the thieves had some of the defender’s property when they were arrested. Then he saw an opening, he then moved and shot one of his attackers before the others ran.
Rob- I want to stop you right there. I just had four guns pointed at me. Now they run and I see their backs. What should I do?
Amanda- Run the other way and get behind a car or a concrete column. Then, breathe. Then reholster your gun. Call for help. Dont shoot at someone retreating. I repeat, don’t follow, don’t engage and don’t shoot once they turn to run.
Rob- I noticed that our defender only shot one of his attackers. You and I can shoot four targets in about 3 seconds, but probably longer if we’re on the move.
Amanda- Move, because you’re not doing this for score. You’re doing this so you don’t get shot.
Rob- When do your students get to present and shoot multiple targets?
Amanda- When they all remain a threat. Should they have doubled down and still thought the math of 4 unprepared bad guys was superior to 1 armed and trained defender
Amanda- Maryland does not recognize carry permits from other states, so I wonder why they let this gentleman go. He might have been a drug salesman visiting the hospital. Or had some other ‘good enough’ reason. Don’t depend on the legal system’s goodwill as part of your defensive plan.
Our third story happened in Bakersfield, California.
Rob- First this message from the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Rob- Third story- Are you carrying concealed as you drive?
You’re driving down a local street. It is about an hour after dark on a weekday. You notice a brush fire next to the road. You pull over and get out of your car. You call 911 and ask them to send the fire department. You’re talking to the dispatcher when you notice a stranger yelling at you. He throws a bottle at you, and you step away. He does it again. Now you ask the dispatcher to send the police. The stranger comes closer and draws a handgun from his waistband.
You are a gun owner too. You have your California concealed weapons permit. You are carrying tonight. You back away and your attacker moves toward you. You shoot your attacker as he closes with you. Now your attacker runs away. You see him drop his gun. You stay at the scene and tell the police and firefighters what happened.
Police find your attacker nearby. They arrest him and EMS takes your attacker to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to the leg. Police recover your attacker’s gun.
They ask to see your firearm and your licenses.
When he gets out of the hospital, your attacker faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing an imitation firearm. You’re not charged with a crime.
Amanda- In more than half of the counties in California you can go get your permit and carry concealed. Our defender did that. He called in an emergency. He ran into a crazy person who was throwing full beer bottles at him, and the crazy man drew a gun on him.
Rob- I want some training where I can present my firearm as I’m backing up and then shoot as I’m backing away. Would I need that skill, and where would I have to go to get that kind of training?
Amanda- Easy to say, but it is hard to instruct with students on the move. Smaller, or even one-on-one training. The biggest threat is tripping. Think about it. Focused on one thing and trying to move, and in the dark yet.
Rob- When should we use non-lethal tools like pepper spray?
Amanda- I am not an instructor of those non-lethal tools, and just like your gun, you need instruction. I suggest to my students that they reach out to others and give them some local names. We host a yearly event where we invite other instructors to give a short version of their training – a sample – and invite our students to take part.
Rob- When do your students learn about that, and do they get to practice it? If I run up to you and shout, “I want a hug” do you have a legal justification for shooting me? (That is the kind of mind-judo I expect from John Murphy.)
Amanda- Sigh… Rob, you cannot shoot unless your life is in jeopardy. So tell me how you will explain that to the police.
Rob- Is there anything else you want to say about this story?
Amanda- Use your car as an obstacle and keep it between you and strangers.. Even strangers who say they want a hug.
Rob- I see what you did there.
Amanda- We’re heading back to Chicago for our last story.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in public?
You are at home. It is about a quarter ‘till 11 when you hear your neighbor scream for help. You go next door to see if you can help her. You are armed. You hear more yelling and you knock on her door. She opens the door and you see that her hand is cut and her son is yelling at her and at you. Her son has a knife in his hands. She says he is off his meds. You ask if there is anything you can do, and she says no. You walk back toward your home.
You hear her son yell at you and you turn to look at him. He is following you, and he still has a knife in his hands. You shout for him to stay back. You back away, but he comes closer. You present your firearm and shoot him one time. Now he runs away. You stay where you are and call the police. You holster your handgun.
You tell the police what happened. They find your wounded attacker walking down the street. He threatens the police with a knife. They tase him and take his knife. They handcuff him and call EMS. EMS takes him to the hospital to treat the bullet wound in his leg and to get him back on his meds.
You show the police your ID and your permits. You’re not charged. The news story doesn’t say if the police took your firearm.
Amanda- Our defender heard a scream and stopped to get his firearm, and probably his holster since you don’t want to knock on your neighbor’s door with your gun in your hands. I like that he was walking away when he had to defend himself. He recognized a lethal threat and defended himself. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped, and then he asked for help.
Rob- If I hear my neighbor yell I don’t expect a crazy son with a knife in his hands.
Amanda- I looked up the statistics, and the USA is not in the top ten countries for either the number of knife attacks or the fractions of attackers that used a knife. But that still means we’re threatened or killed with a knife about a hundred thousand times a year.
Rob- So it happens. What else do you see?
Amanda- It sounds like the mom was cut, so I wish the defender had called 911 as soon as he left his neighbor’s door. Also, remember this happened at night so it was hard to see what the attacker had in his hands when you’re outside. You could be in the terrible position that your attacker is so close that he can stab you by the time you see the weapon in his hand.
Rob- It takes us time to see, to recognize, to plan, and time to react. When do you talk to your students about the safe distance from an attacker and the reactionary gap?
Amanda- I tell them space is your friend, farther is better, but as a rule the length of a 2 car garage is the minimum.
Rob- So what should we do in this case?
Amanda- The good news is that you can react a bit at a time. You cut your draw time in half if you start with your hand on your gun. You save time when you shout “Stop! Stop or I’ll shoot!” because everyone who heard you knows your plan, then you shoot your attacker when he is about 7 yards away. Again, it would be great to get a vehicle between you and your attacker.
Rob- That wraps up this episode. Amanda, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Amanda- My radio show, eye on the target radio, is syndicated coast to coast 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 both EOTT and Women for Gun Rights on Fridays at 7 pm eastern.
Rob- Those links are in our show notes. After you watch, listen, and subscribe, then please leave Amanda a message on the podcast webpage.
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 next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.