Episode 277 with David Cole


Rob- Welcome to episode 277of 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. How have you been, Dave?

Self defense instructor David Cole

David- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been shooting USPSA, just wrapped up spring turkey season, and getting ready to shoot some steel and clay targets.

How about you?


-Robbie left us a message on the podcast webpage- He recently moved from Georgia to Texas. Quote, Ben is spot on regarding the carjacking story. Don’t leave your keys in the car. Lock the doors. Be ready to wave goodbye. Then again, my truck just turned over 300k miles, so I might start leaving it running with flashers on while I gas up. Close quote.

Steve sent us a self defense story that we’ll use in this episode.

911 Caller told “no officers available..”


Robert finished all of the episodes that are on iTunes and wanted to hear the earlier episodes. “At least there were no stories from Philly this week!”

Thank you for pointing that out, Robert. It looks like Libsyn only keeps the last 200 episodes available. I resaved the earlier podcasts and now they are on Libsyn and on iTunes again, but I don’t know for how long. 

RVArmored said we’re talking over each other sometimes so he wants more space between comments.

RV, I try to let us laugh over each other, but I’ll work to keep important coments separate. Thank you.

Firemedicated said he’s been listening for a few weeks and likes the stories. Welcome, FM.

Dwayne sent in a story from Los Angeles, California. Thank you, Dwayne


Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new gun owners know why they should listen.

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 Takoma, Washington.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at work?

You work nights as one of the desk clerks at a motel. One of the guests was asked to leave a few days ago because he was always intoxicated. He comes back a few minutes before midnight and asks to speak to another guest in the hotel. The news reports don’t explain why, but the former guest gets angry and starts throwing the furniture around and breaking things. He grabs a female clerk and everyone shouts for him to stop. The attacker pulls a knife and threatens everyone. You’re armed. You are carrying concealed tonight. You present your firearm and shoot the attacker. He lets go of your co-worker and backs away. You call 911 and ask for help.

Police arrest your attacker and take him to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He faces three charges of aggravated assault. Some news reports say the police dispatcher told you that no officers were available to respond to your 911 call.

You are not charged with a crime.

David- I like that she was armed, and I really like that the armed clerk recognized that a knife was a lethal threat to both herself and to her coworkers. More people are killed with knives each year than are killed with rifles. I like that she stayed at the scene and gave a report to the police.

Rob- Are there other things you want your students to do that were not mentioned in the news report.

David- Call 911 as soon as possible. This shot wasn’t an immediate stop, so a retreat to a safe location would be in order in case he decides to continue his attack. Make sure that everyone there calls 911 so you have a list of witnesses. Put your gun away before the police arrive. I hope our defender had a lawyer to call. Her lawyer can assist with her statement while ensuring that her rights are protected and that the police report is accurate.

Rob- Our defender could have walked away and left her co-workers to take care of themselves.

David- That is the difference between a legal and a moral obligation. We want to think about that now. We’re not going to use lethal force to protect the furniture, but I might use a gun so my co-workers don’t get stabbed.

Rob- When do your students learn about defending a third party?

David-  I always cover that topic in a basic concealed carry class. There are additional risks to defending a third party that students need to understand.

Rob- Anything else?

David- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Walnut, California.

Rob- Second Story- Do you have a gun nearby at night?

You are at home with your girlfriend. It is 4 in the morning when you hear sounds from inside your house. You get out of bed, grab your gun, and go see what is happening. You see a stranger in your house. He is armed. You shoot at each other. Your attacker is hit in the chest by several of your gunshots. He stops shooting so you stop shooting. He falls down. The second robber runs away. The news report says that deputies responded to a call of a burglary in progress, so you or your girlfriend may have called the police before the gunfight.

You stay at the scene and tell the police what happened. The police pick up the attacker’s firearm. Your attacker is declared dead at the scene. Police interview both you and your girlfriend. You are not charged with a crime. The police are looking for the second robber.

David- I like that they didn’t ignore the noise in the middle of the night. They might have called 911 early, and that is good. They stayed at the scene and didn’t chase the second suspect when he ran away. I like that, and they gave a statement to the police.

Rob- What do you think best practice would look like as we defend ourselves?

David- Let’s back up a few minutes. The news article didn’t mention the bad guys breaking a window or kicking down a door. We want to make sure our doors or windows are locked. If you think someone is in your home then grab your gun, lock the bedroom door, turn on the lights, call 911, and set off your car alarm.

We don’t want to clear our home. For one thing, we don’t know how many bad guys are in our house. You don’t know where they are or how they are armed. 

This bad guy shot at our defenders, and that means one of the good guys could have been wounded or killed. 

Even if we stop all the bad guys but our girlfriend gets shot then we’ve lost the gunfight. We want to plan ahead so we can’t lose.

Stay in a secure location. One of you should call 911, and I’d like both of you to be armed and hidden behind the bed away from the door.

Again, we want to put the gun away before the police arrive.

Rob- Shooting someone in the middle of your house takes marksmanship. Less so if they are coming through your bedroom door. Why is one situation hard and the other is easy?

David- Our next story happened in Brownsboro, Texas.

Rob- First this message from the Second Amendment Foundation.

Second Amendment Foundation


Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home?

It is mid-morning when you hear the sounds of breaking glass. You grab your AR rifle and go see what is happening. There is a stranger in the middle of your house. You tell him not to move. His female accomplice runs away. You let her go. You call 911.

Police arrest your intruder. You point out the broken glass near your front door. Police take your intruder to jail and search the neighborhood for the second robber.

You are not charged with a crime.

David- This is a lot like the earlier stories. This time the good guy had his door locked so the bad guy had to break in. One difference is that a rifle is more accurate so it is easier for us to get good hits, and each hit is more effective in stopping the attacker.

I noticed that the defender didn’t fire a shot, and stories like that are usually not covered in the news, but that is the most likely outcome when we defend ourselves.

Rob- Is there anything else you want us to do?

David- An important consideration if a rifle like an AR is part of your defensive plan is to include some hearing protection. If you fire one indoors without it, you WILL damage your hearing. Electronic earmuffs would be best in this situation, and they’re not terribly expensive. Co-locate a pair with your defensive rifle.

I also want us to plan ahead so our emotions don’t make our decisions for us. We’re driven by a sense of indignation that someone would break into our home. Yes, you’re armed with an AR and you might be an excellent shot. You walk into the center of your house and point your gun at the bad guy who is at the other end of the room. Now you get shot by a 95 pound woman who stands 5 feet tall who was crouched behind a piece of furniture where you didn’t see her.

Rob- Our defender succeeded but he might have been lucky.

David- There is a saying that “fortuitous outcomes reinforce poor tactics,” meaning that just because we got lucky doesn’t mean that we really came up with the best solution. Critical debriefs…just like we do here…are invaluable in learning how to reduce the role of luck.

Rob- Where would I learn to plan my defense?

David-  The best place is right in the 8 inches between your ears.

Rob- Where are we headed for our last story?

David- Our fourth story took place in Atlanta, Georgia.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work?

You are a woman and you drive for a rideshare company. It is a half-hour before midnight when you drop a ride at a motel. The passenger gets in his car and tries to block you in the motel parking lot. You drive around him and he follows you. You pull into a shopping center parking lot. Your pursuer gets out of his car and moves toward you. You present your firearm and shoot him. Now he stops.

Your attacker claimed to be an off duty policeman. In fact, he is a 21 year old male with drugs in his car. He is taken to the hospital for treatment of his gunshot wounds. He is arrested for aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, impersonating a police officer, possession of cocaine, marajuana, and drug paraphernalia. He is held in jail awaiting bond.

David- I like that she was armed and had her permit. I like that our defender recognized a threat when a stranger got out of his car and closed the distance. She had run into a curb and could not drive her car away. She stopped shooting when the threat stopped. She stayed at the scene, called 911, and gave a brief statement to the police.

This is scary in so many ways. You’re being chased at night. As a professional driver I want you to plan ahead. Have safe places you can get to in an emergency. It reminds me of patrolling tactics in the military where we are continually scanning for…among other things…cover we can get to if we are ambushed or attacked. So think about places you can get to quickly, like businesses which have video cameras or that you can run into quickly and call for help. Top-end hotels will have staff at the front door all the time. Know where your local police stations are. Do you have a voice assistant on your phone so you can say police near me, and call 911?

Rob- Are those plans common knowledge amongst drivers?

David-  I don’t know, but it should be, whether you are driving or not. We talk about awareness all the time, and that usually means being aware of threats. But another important type of awareness is location awareness. What are your exits, your escape routes?

Can you give police an accurate location on the phone?

Rob- Is there anything else you want your students to do if they were in a situation like this one?


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

Rob- I noticed that you wrote about the mass murder in Buffalo, New York. So did I. After you look at David articles, then please leave him a message on the podcast episode webpage.

David- 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.
We’re also available on
Google Podcasts, Tunein, Spotify, Podbean and iHeart Radio.

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.

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