Episode 283 with Amanda Suffecool


Rob- Welcome to episode 283 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 Suffecool

Amanda- Hi, Rob. I’ve been advising folks on gun purchases, rehabbing houses and not shooting nearly enough. How about you?

Rob- My came back from vacation a few days ago, and I’ve been on Tom Gresham’s gun talk, on Bill Frady’s Lock-N-Load radio, on the Polite Society Podcast, and on the Second Amendment Foundation’s Daily Bullet podcast. Now I get to record with you. That is why some of the lawn still needs to be mowed.

We received new ratings and comments on iTunes (291 x 165). 

Son of Eli has been listening for about a year. Quote, “The expert commentary is invaluable and shows just how unpredictable life is and how fast bad things develop.” Close Quote.

The Zen Gunfighter is amazed by the knowledge and expertise of our co-hosts. He shares the podcast with his students.

They are talking about you, Amanda, and thank you for those compliments. I notice that our listeners hear our stories and then think about them. We tell the stories but it is our listeners who make themselves and their families safer.

Amanda- Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell us why you listen.

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 Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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

You went to sleep alone in your own bed. It is after midnight when you wake up violently. You are hit in the face. You try to protect yourself and you’re hit again. You fight your way to your firearm and shoot your attacker. Now he stops hitting you. You call 911 and ask for help.

Your ex-boyfriend broke into your home. You have not seen him for a year. You put your gun away when the police arrive. Emergency Medical Services take your attacker to the hospital. You are taken to the hospital also.

Police are investigating how the attacker gained entry into your home. You are not charged with a crime.

Amanda-  Wow – talk about the unexpected.  Locked in your house, safe in your bed and you are attacked. This is why we need to have our gun closely at hand.  And why quick access gun safes are a necessity.   You need to be able to get your firearm in your hand with the minimum of looking, thinking and fiddling. 

Rob- I need to practice. Thank you for reminding me.

Amanda-  Good on her for being willing to use the force necessary to stop her attacker. 

Rob- Everybody says they have a plan, but being punched awake would make me an idiot.  

Amanda-  She was taken to the hospital for review, this means she was hurt in the unexpected attack, and was fighting through the pain and sleep fog. 

Rob- She didn’t pull her arms and her pillows over her head and hope the problem would go away.

Amanda- I want my students to lock their doors at night. If a roommate moves out and they have a key, then you want to change the locks so that you control who can enter your home. If you think you are under a particular threat, like an ex-boyfriend who has a drug or alcohol problem, then add an motion detector and lock your bedroom door. 

Rob- I like that she went to the hospital. Her injuries were examined, documented, and treated. That is evidence that you were defending yourself from an attack.

Anything else?

Amanda- That is enough for now. Our second story happened North West of Houston, Texas.

Rob- Second Story- Are you carrying concealed as you drive home?

You and your family drive up to your home. Your car is still on the street when two young men run up to your car and pull open the back doors. Your two small children are in the back seat. You’re armed. You present your firearm and turn around. You shoot your attackers. They fall out of your car. Your wife is in the driver’s seat and she drives away to safety. Later, she pulls over and you put your gun away. You call 911.

Police arrive at the scene. You go back home to meet them and give them a statement. The police find security video that shows your two attackers picked up by another car and taken to the hospital for the treatment of gunshot wounds.

Police arrest your attackers at the hospital. Both 16 years old. You are not charged with a crime.

Amanda-  Another unexpected ( aren’t they always?) attack, and this one with two carjackers and your two infants in the back seat.

I like that the defenders acted as a team. He got the bad guys out of the car and she drove away to safety. Together they got out of there quicker than they could have if each were acting alone. They got to a safe place, put the gun away, and called for help.

I also noticed that the two cars that dropped the robbers off were still there to pick them up. That means the defenders were facing four attackers, not just the two who opened their car doors.

Rob- We have a theme here. Lock your doors to make it harder for the bad guys to get at your children. Is there more you’d like us to do?

Amanda- What if the robbers tried to take your car as you were in the driveway getting out? That is why I want both of you armed.

Rob- Being armed is great, but you have to present your concealed firearm while you’re sitting in your car, and I assume belted in place by your seatbelt. You want to present your gun without pointing it at your body, at your spouse, or at your children, and then you want to shoot the two attackers who are coming in the rear car doors. That is a lot of things to do, so when would your students learn about defending themselves when they arrive home?

Amanda- We cover bits of that at a time because there are several skills involved. We talk about the legal requirements to use lethal force in our concealed carry class. We have a class where you learn to present your firearm from a concealed holster. We’ll move on to presentations from a seated position, but we only offer presentations from inside a car as a specialty class.

Rob- And then you get to practice with your armed spouse. Where are we heading next?

Amanda- Our third story happened in Pensacola, Florida.

Rob- First this message from the Second Amendment Foundation.

Second Amendment Foundation


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

You are at home asleep. You feel your house shake and hear the sound of breaking glass. You get out of bed and walk into the center of your home. That is where you find three strangers. One of the strangers is armed with a handgun and the handgun is pointed at you. They start pushing you. You grab at the gun and knock it out of your attacker’s hand. You run back to your bedroom and grab your firearm. Your attackers chase you. You’re armed with an AK and shoot your attackers. Now they run. You stay inside and call 911 for help.

Police arrest one person at the scene and have identified the other two attackers. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital with a head wound. Your attackers were already wanted for outstanding charges of battery, robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a weapon and weapon possession.

You are not charged with a crime.

Amanda- I noticed that the news photographs of the attackers were old mugshots, so it sounds like these were professional criminals. I like that our defender owned a gun and locked his doors. He stayed inside and called 911.

Rob- Wasn’t it you who said that the closest gun to grab might be the attacker’s gun?

Amanda- That was me, but I like that the defender ran once the attacker’s handgun hit the floor.

Rob- We don’t read as many reports about armed defense with long guns. 

Amanda- They take practice, and people practice more with the firearm they carry with them every day like a handgun.

Rob- Do we have to store a long gun for self-defense differently than a handgun? (not drop safe so not loaded)

Amanda-  (Loaded but not chambered? Chambered but not cocked?)

Rob- What should we do when we hear a crash in the night?

Amanda- What fits me might not fit you, so you need to make a plan that fits your family.
Rob- Everything takes practice.

Amanda- It does because it has to feel both comfortable and familiar in the middle of the night.

Our fourth story took place in Safford, Arizona.

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

You and your roommate are asleep. You hear someone break into your home. You go see what is happening. Your neighbor is standing in your house with a knife and is threatening you. You and your roommate retreat to your bedroom. Your attacker follows you. You grab your handgun and shout for him to stop. Now you and your roommate retreat to the bathroom. Your attacker pursues you and you shoot him. He stops and steps back.

The news reports don’t say if you stayed in the bathroom or if you ran to safety before you called 911. You put your gun away when the police arrive. You give them a brief statement. EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene.

Police go next door to contact your attackers next of kin. Your attacker killed his father next door before he attacked you and your roommate. You are not charged with a crime.

Amanda- Look at the good decisions our defenders made.  The doors and windows were locked. They were armed with a firearm. Retreating is always a good idea, if the path is open to you.   But you can only retreat so far. 

Rob- And you’re fighting a crazy man who has already killed someone you know, and the murderer won’t stop until you stop him.

Amanda-  You are, but you don’t yet know that, you just know you are fighting for your life against a crazy man who initiated an unprovoked attack. 

Rob- Are there other things you’d like your students to do?

Amanda- I want you to have a gun and stay in your room. If you have to leave your bedroom, then I want you to get your gun first. If you are both in your bedroom, then I want you both to be armed, and I want you to call 911 before you open your bedroom door. I understand that plan changes if you have to protect your children or visitors in your home, but “gun, light, feet, phone” is a good place to start.

Rob- When do your students form a plan for armed defense in their home?

Amanda- We have a class on that, but we also touch on it in most of our other classes because students ask questions. Some of those questions might apply to your situation, but some won’t.  Remember though, if you think you (and whomever you are responsible for) are safe, stay put and call the police.  

Rob- One person renting a room has a different safety plan than a couple living with infants, or later living with teenagers in their home. This show would be a lot shorter if there were one simple solution that worked all the time.

Amanda- But then you and I wouldn’t talk about who can carry and who can’t, and where and when was the breakin. Yes we want to protect our family, but having young adult family members in the home can be an asset in our home defense, and we should use them. There comes a day when our children are not children any more.


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

Amanda- My eye on the target radio show 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  I’m now on TV on the OpsLens channel with both Eye on the Target  on Sundays and  Women for Gun Rights on Fridays at 7 pm eastern.

Rob- After you listen to Amanda podcasts and watch her TV shows, then please leave her a message on our podcast episode webpage.

Amanda- 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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