Episode 270 with David Cole
Welcome to episode 270 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 David Cole. David, I remember that your last article was a survey about firearms training. What did you learn from your readers?
David- About 94% of respondents say they have a permit or license, and about 69% say they carry daily. 50% say they practice live fire with their carry gun at least every other month, and 62% say they dry fire weekly, which is really good. But about 85% say time and money are the main reasons they don’t get more training. Unfortunately the response rate hasn’t been great, and more responses would be really helpful.
How about you?
Rob- My wife took me on vacation.
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David- Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We look at a few 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 last week in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
It is a few hours before sunrise on a Wednesday morning. You are at home with your boyfriend and small children. You hear someone trying to enter your home. Your doors and windows are locked. You grab your gun and are out of bed when a man breaks one of your back windows and enters the home. You shout that you are armed, and the intruder leaves. You call 911. You are on the phone when the stranger breaks another window and enters your home a second time. This time he is armed. He enters your home and points a gun at your boyfriend’s head. You present your firearm and shoot the intruder. He drops his gun and you stop shooting. The attacker is your ex-boyfriend.
You and your family retreat. Police take your attacker’s gun. Emergency medical personnel declare your attacker dead at the scene. Neither your boyrfriend nor your children are injured. You give a brief statement to the police. The sound of your attacker breaking the window and you shouting for him to stay outside were recorded on the 911 tape.
David- This defender recognized that her world wasn’t safe. That could be her experience with her ex boyfriend, or it may have been from crime in her area. She bought a gun to defend herself and her family. You don’t need to take a class in order to own a gun, but she also learned how to use her firearm.
She was on the phone with 911 when the intruder returned. She also recognized a situation that justified the use of lethal force in defense. She shot the attacker until he was no longer a threat.
She called 911 and asked for help. She gave a brief statement to the police.
Rob- When should we use lethal force?
David- There are a number of factors so we’re legally justified in using lethal force. This is a pretty clear cut case for defense of a third party.
AOJ, or immediate, unavoidable, and lethal.
This was also a hostage situation. That means you can easily make things worse if you hesitate or if you hurry and miss.
Rob- Tell me more about that.
David- There is the very serious risk that the attacker may press the trigger when you shoot them, so you may need to wait until his gun is not pointed directly at the hostage; or you may need to attempt a headshot for a central nervous system stop.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like your students to do if they have an intruder at home?
David- Lights during hours of darkness are a must.
Rob- Anything else?
David- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Covington, Washington.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work?
People under 21 years of age are not allowed inside, so your job is to check identification at the door of a marajuana dispensary. It is almost 8 at night when you see a stranger grab one of the dispensary employees in the parking lot. The attacker puts the employee in a choke hold and puts a gun to the employee’s head. The two want to enter the shop.
Are you robbing us, you ask?
This is a robbery, he answers.
You wait your turn and then present your firearm. You shoot the attacker. The employee drops down and then runs away. The attacker falls to the floor. You step back and make sure the attacker isn’t a threat. None of the customers or employees are injured. You and the manager call 911.
Police disarm the attacker. EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene. You show the police the parking lot security video from the dispensary and the video from the gun shop next door. You know they have video next door because you also work at the gunshop.
This is the 77th robbery at a marajuana dispensary in western Washington. 9 out of 10 robberies are by armed criminals. Some store clerks have been murdered during the robberies.
You and the other employee take a few days off work.
David- Dangerous job. Armed. Carry permit. Worked at the gun store next door so he was familiar with firearms and self-defense training. We don’t know if he taught self-defense, but he had some training.
The defender recognized an immediate lethal threat to an innocent third party. He waited until he had an opening and then defended himself and the other employees and customers. Again, a hostage situation.
Rob- Please explain what you mean by an opening or an opportunity for our defense.
David- We don’t want to draw our gun when an attacker has his gun in his hands and is looking at us. We want to wait until he looks away or puts the gun down.
Rob- You mean this attacker could turn away from me as he takes the hostage toward the cash register, and I could still shoot the attacker in the back?
David- You can, if it is legally justified.
Rob- Tell me how the presence of a hostage changes our defense.
David- This is another example of defense of a third person, where the law allows you to use the same level of force to defend that person that they themselves would be legally allowed to use.
Rob- Why was it important that the defender had his permit to carry concealed?
David- Police deal with criminals every day, and it appears that pot shop robberies are becoming common in this area. Your permit shows the arriving officers that you have a clean criminal record. Most officers pick up on that clue and recognize you as the victim rather than the perpetrator.
Rob- Why was that video so important?
David- Criminals lie about what they did. They could say the store employee attacked them and they were only defending themselves and then brought the store employee back to face his manager.
Rob- That is some story. Where are we going for our next story?
David- Our third story happened in Orlando, Florida.
Rob- First this message from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership
Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you drive for a ride sharing company?
You are a female uber driver. You pull up to the downtown address to pick up your passengers. It is after midnight and you see a man push a woman to the ground. You hope that isn’t your customers, but they walk up and identify themselves. The man is extremely intoxicated and soon falls asleep as you drive.
You tell the female passenger that you saw what happened and that you are sorry. The man wakes up and slaps the female passenger. You tell him to stop and he hits you. You stop the car and tell him to get out of your car. He complies at first, but then he runs back at you.
You have your Florida concealed weapons license. You’re armed tonight. You shoot your attacker before he reaches you. Now he stops. You back up and call 911.
Police and EMTs arrive. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital with serious gunshot injuries. You tell the police what happened. The attacker is charged with assault and battery.
David- I notice a theme in our stories. In part, this was a defense of a third party, but it was also self-defense. The attacker hit the driver and also ran toward her in a belligerent manner.
We can assume a disparity of size and strength in that the driver was female and the attacker was male.
Rob- You mean I might not have been justified in using lethal force if I was the driver and a smaller drunk woman attacked me with her bare hands?
David- Explain disparity of force.
It was night time. She’d seen a pattern of unprovoked attacks. She had been attacked. She did not have to wait until a larger and more powerful aggressor hit her again in order to defend herself. She shot her attacker and stopped shooting when the attack stopped.
She called 911 and asked for help.
Rob- Why is that important?
David- It is important that she stopped shooting when the attacker stopped attacking. Let’s say our attacker turns and runs away. We’re no longer justified in using lethal force because we are not being threatened. The attacker may be an abuser with an addiction problem, but that doesn’t justify us shooting him.
We want to be the person who reports the crime so that our story is the first one to be recorded. We were attacked. We defended ourselves and others. We called and asked for help.
Rob- Talk about that word again. The police are not there to help us.
David- They are there to take a report and make an arrest. That is why we have to be careful about what we say in front of the police.
Rob- Can you give me an example of what the driver should say to the police?
Rob- Can we count on the female passenger to be a good witness in our defense?
David- Not necessarily. It is not uncommon for the victim in a domestic violence situation to side with their abuser.
Our fourth story took place in Houston, Texas.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home late at night?
You arrive home after dark. You get out of your car and walk to the side door of your house. The door is locked. You don’t remember locking it, so you walk to the front of the house to go in the front door. That is when you see a man come out of your house and move toward you. He has a knife in his hands and is threatens you
You back away from your attacker, but he can move forward faster than you can back away. You own a gun. You’re carrying concealed tonight. You present your gun and shoot your attacker one time. You back up and your attacker stops chasing you. Now he stops. He falls and you call 911.
Police disarm your attacker and EMS takes him to the hospital. You tell the police what happened. You go inside your home with the police. You notice that some money is missing. The police don’t tell you if the robber had your money on him.
Later, you find out your attacker died in the hospital.
David- Good job by our defender. It looks as if he did what he could to avoid shooting his attacker, but was forced to fire when the burglar advanced on him with a knife.
Rob- that wraps up this episode. David, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
David- Look for my written articles at deltabravocharlie.com Please take a moment to complete the survey at the end of my most recent post regarding training and carry habits. Your responses are completely anonymous.
Rob- After you look at David articles, then leave him a message on the episode webpage.
David- 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.
Dave- unless your wife takes you on vacation again.