Episode 273 with Tony Simon
Rob- Welcome to episode 273 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 Tony Simon. I know you’ve been busy, so thank you for making time for us.
Tony- Hi, Rob. I’ve been and am about to have another diversity shoot tomorrow night at Gun For Hire, and 22 more after that.
How about you?
Rob- We received several messages this week.
On Podbean, Cappy Mike said, Because your show is about real events in real places it highlights just how vulnerable we are and how dangerous a false sense of security we have.
Robbie left us a message on the podcast webpage. He liked Robyn’s advice to create a distraction as we look to escape or defend. Quote, Those keys, wallet or phone bouncing on the floor might be the distraction needed to give you a way to escape or present your weapon. Then Robbie says I should make more podcasts rather than go on vacation.
John Randolph also left us a message on the webpage. He is a new firearms instructor and gets new ideas from both the guest instructors AND the scenarios we report.
It is our pleasure, John, but it is a two way street. Please share with us the things you learn as you teach.
We received ratings and a new comment on iTunes (281, 159). MikeW loves the podcast and listens all the time.
Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell us why you listen. Your comments and ratings help new listeners find us.
Tony- 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 Homosassa Springs(HOMO SA SA, Florida.
Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby when you’re asleep in bed?
And more here.
It is a few hours before dawn. You hear your female roommate yell, so you get out of bed to see what is going on. She is physically injured and emotionally upset. While she is explaining what happened a stranger breaks through your back door. You fight with him and try to push him outside. When that doesn’t work, you grab your gun and shoot your attacker. Now he turns and runs back outside. You stay inside and call 911 for help.
Police find your attacker outside. You put your gun away and give them a statement. Emergency medical services declare your attacker dead at the scene. Your roommate also gives a statement to the police.
Your roommate is in the hospital for several days due to the injuries she received from your attacker. Your attacker had served several years in prison for trying to have another woman murdered.
You are not charged with a crime.
Tony- Having a firearm that is immediately able to be used in self defense is very important. This homeowner had his gun available to use during an emergency.I love that the doors were locked and he recognized when deadly force was needed. He was able to shoot the bad guy, call 911 and give a statement to the police.
Rob- What else do you see that isn’t covered in the news article.
Tony- This bad guy put the female roommate into the hospital.
Fighting a bad guy isn’t like in the movies. You can get hurt badly and end up getting hospitalized, like the female roommate.
Also, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to fight your way to your gun. If you can legally carry a firearm please do it.
The female victim was attacked outside, luckily she was able to get into her home and lock the doors. If she would’ve been armed outside she may have been able to defend herself before she was injured. If she couldn’t get to her firearm outside, she could’ve had it indoors when the bad guy broke in.
Stopping him and avoiding the roommate getting involved in hand to hand combat.
It is also very important that you have the ambulance take you to the hospital if you have been involved in a physical altercation. You want to have records that say you were checked out by medical professionals. These incidents can have long lasting repercussions and having pictures, x-rays and medical records will help you.
Speaking of medical attention, when you call 911 tell them you have multiple people suffering from injuries and more than one ambulance is needed. You don’t know how badly you or members of your home may be injured. You want them to get help and be on the way to the hospital quickly not having to wait for a second ambulance because the bad guy was taken first due to his injuries.
Rob- Suppose I’m a new gun owner and I go to you for my first firearms safety class. When would I learn about locking my doors, having a firearm nearby at night?
Tony- In a firearms safety class you probably will talk about firearms storage. Ask questions about securing your home at the same time that firearms storage is being discussed. Use your time in class to learn as much as you can about safety and security. You are paying for this so squeeze as much information as possible from your instructor.
Rob- Anything else?
Tony- I’m ready to move on. Our second story happened in Sylvan Grove, Alabama.
Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm nearby when you’re asleep?
You are at home asleep in your bed. It is a few hours before sunrise when you hear someone trying to open your doors and windows. Fortunately, they are locked. You get your gun and walk into the center of your home to listen. You hear glass breaking in a child’s room at the back of your house. You see an intruder enter through the window and you shoot him one time. He leaves your home. You call 911 and wait for the police.
You put your gun away and talk to the police. They search the outside of your home and find your intruder near your back steps. EMS takes your intruder to the hospital with a life threatening head wound. You give a brief statement to the police.
You are not charged with a crime.
Tony- Our home owner didn’t dismiss that he heard something and he chose to arm himself, investigate from inside his home and call 911.
I want to stress, He started inside his home. My loved ones are inside, that’s where I’m staying. The police can search the yard when they arrive.
Rob- What else do you notice?
Tony- The news article doesn’t mention if there were other family members present, like a child in the child’s bedroom. That changes everything. Children and other family members being home means you should have and implement your home defense plan.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like your students to do?
Tony- Let’s discuss home defense planning. This isn’t done during an emergency, it’s started while listening to our podcast, reading stories like this online or watching videos from Active Self Protection or similar sources.
Think about what you would do in a similar situation as the people in the story.
Write it down. Review it with your household. Do a practice run. This doesn’t mean you run drills in the middle of the night with burglar alarms going off, flashing lights and you blowing a whistle while screaming like a drill instructor.
It should be in the middle of the day. A calm walk through of what everyone will do.
After the walk through any additional drills can just be a verbal run down.
Here’s an example:
In the middle of the night, glass breaks, the dogs start barking. You awake and you or you significant other call 911.
You grab you gun and turn on the lights.
If you have kids(roommates)get them into one room. Preferably a room with only one door. Get them behind furniture that will keep them out of sight, concealment, or better yet furniture that will stop a projectile, that’s called cover.
Once your family is safe, the police are on the way. You stay on the phone with 911 and watch the one locked door into what’s become your safe room. There’s no reason for you to leave them alone to search your home.
Rob- Why do you say that?
Tony- You don’t know how many attackers there are and you don’t know how they are armed. Our goal isn’t to protect your house, but to protect you and your family.
Rob- So the bad guy could be in my house with a gun by the time I walk into the back room.
Tony- or the bad guy’s partner could see you through the window in the back room and shoot you when you point your gun at the intruder coming through the other window.
Searching a home alone, looking for bad guys is a horrible idea. You don’t know where they are, how many are there or how they’re armed. Professional military and security forces use teams of trained personnel to search. Why would you try it alone?
Rob- How much of an intruder has to be inside my home before I should press the trigger?
Tony- This depends on the self defense and deadly force laws where you live. This is why having a self defense insurance is important. Many will educate their members about their state’s laws as part of being a member.
Our third story happened in Pensacola, Florida.
Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.
Rob- Third story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
You are asleep in your bed. It is a little before 5AM when your house shakes. You sit up and hear someone in your house. You grab your gun and look down the hallway. Several men are entering your home. You shoot at them. They shoot back and you duck into your bedroom. They shout that they are the police. You say don’t shoot and you put your gun down. Your kids are in the bedroom next to you.
Police arrest you, though you are not named on the warrant they used to enter your house. Police take your children. Your 1 year old falls out of the police car, and your child’s mother takes the child to the hospital for treatment.
You show the police your carry permit, so they know you have a clean criminal record.
You are charged and then the charges are dismissed by the state’s attorney.. two months later.
Tony- This is a frightening scenario, to awaken in the middle of multiple armed people knocking down your front door while your infant and toddler children are sleeping in your room.
I like that he was armed and he fired at the armed intruder. According to the police it would’ve been a head shot if the officer’s shield had not stopped the round. It may seem callous but the more accurate you are when firing at bad guys means less rounds coming from them back at you and your family.
Thank goodness no one was shot but as someone famously said “accuracy is final”.
When the father discovered it was the police that forced their way into his home, he dropped his firearm and immediately surrendered.
I usually say keep your confessions to the police at a minimum. In this case, if you get into a shootout with them, apologizing profusely is the best strategy.
This gentleman had a team of lawyers representing him and it still took 2 months to clear him of wrongdoing and he was fired from his job.
Please, get “self defense insurance” it can provide you with many, many benefits including lawyers.
This is why I like the idea of a safe room. A room with a reinforced door, a television that shows your home’s interior, outside phone line, a rifle or shotgun and heavy furniture to hide behind.
Having the ability to see who is outside without exposure is as close to having a bunker as it gets for civilians.
Rob- Is there anything else you see here?
Tony- We know that our good guy wasn’t charged but we see the dangers of police busting through doors without waiting for acknowledgement that the homeowner knows they are indeed police. This was dangerous to the dad, the children and the police.
The police had no badge cameras and it was their word versus the homeowner’s.
We don’t know the details here, but let’s imagine.
Rob- And ex partners lie.
Tony- Yes, they do. Maybe this isn’t about you at all, and it is your renter who lies and has a drug or a child porn problem and the cops raid your house. That is the world we live in.
Also, the Pensacola police don’t wear body cameras and that is poor practice. Elect better mayors and sheriffs until they do the right thing and put cameras on the police.
Rob- When do you talk with your students about what to do when the police arrive and what to say to the police?
Tony- I noticed that the officer’s notes included the defender’s statement that he never heard their warning and that he was sorry he shot at them. In general, you want your lawyer to do the talking. You won’t try the case with the cops when you’re handcuffed and sitting on the curb. Treat everyone with respect and say little. You want them to photograph your broken door and the bullet impact points inside your home. If you can, you want those photos on your camera as well.
Tony- Our fourth story took place in Houston, Texas.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work?
You work in a small used car dealership. A customer walks up to you in the lot and asks if he can see a car. You say to come inside to get the keys and a copy of his identification. As you sit down, you see the customer flash a gun that is tucked into his sweatpants, not into a holster.
You’re armed too. You put your hand on your firearm and present it to the low ready. The robber says, nope, and runs outside where his getaway driver is waiting.
You stay inside and call the police. You show them the many security video shots of the robber.
You are not charged with a crime.
No shots fired
Tony- Car dealerships have been getting robbed and this defender prepared for that contingency. He carried his firearm on his person, his workplace had lots of video surveillance and he was mentally prepared for a confrontation. He had a plan. He drew his pistol, the bad guy ran off, the good guy didn’t chase the robber but he did call the police and gave a statement.
Rob- Help me through this. We just had a story of the police who shot at a man who was justified in his defense. Here we have a defender who presented his firearm at the sight of a gun that was not yet pointed at him. We can make mistakes by doing too much too early, or too little too late.
Tony- This is very important when it comes to self defense, especially armed self defense. Can you articulate why you faced a lethal, immediate, and unavoidable threat?
A man came into my office with a firearm stuffed into his pants. He flashed the gun at me the way a robber would, so I reacted the way I would if he were a robber. I did face a threat so I presented my firearm and did not point it at the robber. I did not yet face a lethal threat so I didn’t shoot.
If this were a concealed carrier like you or me then we’d say, nice gun, why do you have it out? And the salesman would say that our gun was exposed.
We’d tuck in our shirt, have a laugh, and go about buying a car.
Rob- We are going to have more encounters like that. When do your students learn what to do if they see a gun, or if their gun is exposed?
Tony- I tell them to take precautions when carrying because most of my students are in New Jersey and there are less than 1500 licensed concealed carry holders in the state. More than likely it’s a bad guy or an off duty cop. Proceed with caution but protect yourself and be able to articulate why you had your gun out and are prepared to shoot them.
Rob- Is there more you want to cover?
Tony- Yes, you want to call the police if you touched your gun even if you didn’t shoot and everyone laughed off the mistake. That way you have evidence if the customer later charges you with assault and brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner.
Rob- Again I have to ask, when will your students learn that?
Tony- we discuss talking to the police in our self defense classes. The advice stays the same even when scenarios change. Be able to articulate your thoughts clearly. Allow your lawyer to do most of your talking.
Rob- Tony, we have so much more to talk about but we’ll have to leave that for a later episode. Where can we learn more about what you’re doing?
Tony- Find me at Diversityshoot.com
I’m also on Instagram and facebook at Simon Says Train
and at The 2nd is For Everyone podcast.
Rob- After you subscribe to Tony’s podcast, then leave us a message on our podcast episode webpage.
Tony- We share this podcast with you for free.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.