Episode 288 with Tony Simon
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 288 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. What keeps you so busy?
Tony- Hi, Rob. I’ve been hosting Diversity Shoot evenings at the range. Our last one was in Recoil range in Monroe, New Jersey.
Rob- Have you started teaching New Jersey carry classes yet?
Tony- I have not. The ranger are busy teaching carry classes though.
Rob- We received new ratings and comments on iTunes (is 299×167)).
Beth left us a comment on our web page talking about the last episode where a shopkeeper defended himself late at night. Quote, It was good to hear a story featuring a shotgun. I recently bought my first shotgun. I have taken the NRA basic shotgun class, and am now waiting for the next defensive shotgun class at my training range.
Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Beth. I included a link to a home defense with a shotgun. Check our show notes- https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/crime/police-respond-home-invasion-shooting-malheur-county/277-c9da9831-9988-482e-8e10-b516cec3176b
Tony- Shotguns are interesting because they have so many different cartridges that fire from the same gun.
Rob- From bird shot to slugs.
FireMedicated called us a good resource and he listens to each episode as soon as it is published.
Thank you, FM.
A listener who uses the name KD5HIY left a long comment. He thought he’d done a good job figuring out what he would do to protect himself, but our scenarios gave him more to think about.
Tony- We report the stories. Our listeners are doing the work of imagining how they should react to them. When you get a chance, please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new gun owners know why you listen.
Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. This week we’ll look at a few recent examples to see what we can learn. The links back to the original news articles are on our episode webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Rob- First story- Do you have a gun nearby at home?
You are getting ready for work. You are in the shower when you hear your two teenagers scream. They are afraid so you are afraid. You run to your bedroom and grab your gun. You run into the house and see a stranger in the living room. You shout for him to get out. Your two pitbulls are biting him. He moves toward you in the hallway. You shoot him until he stops. He falls down. You check on your kids. They are upset but uninjured. You call 911 and back up to your bedroom. You set your gun down and then put on some clothes. When they arrive, you give a statement to the police. Your attacker was in his mid-30s and didn’t respond when you shouted for him to stop.
The police detain you and take you downtown to talk to the detectives. EMS removes the body from your home. You’re released to go back home to take care of your 12 year old and your 14 year old. The news story doesn’t say if the police interviewed your teenagers, but they are frightened. A neighbor helps you clean up the mess on your floor. You talk to a reporter, but don’t want your face or your name used because you are afraid of retaliation. The neighbors won’t speak on camera either.
You are not charged with a crime. You bought a gun after someone broke into your home last year. You’re looking for a new place to live.
Tony- Another Alfred Hitchcock moment with a gun owner in the shower and they hear their family scream. Good for this mom for buying a gun and having it accessible. Great that she acted when she heard screams. She defended her family and then stopped shooting. She got her family safe and gave a brief statement to the police. Good for her.
Rob- Is there more that you would like your students to do?
Tony- I want you to have a gun safe so your teenagers, and their teenager’s friends, can’t get to your gun. I want you to have a safety plan and to lock your doors.
Include your children in a safety plan. Train with your family. That helps them do the right thing when crazy things happen, and it also helps them overcome the trauma if you have a breakin. They don’t feel like helpless victims because your family has a plan and you practiced it.
Rob- We get inoculated to stress by training. Our children get inoculated to trauma by training for safety.
Tony- We want our children to know they should stay away from the attacker. If they run up behind the attacker then we can’t defend our children for fear of hitting them with a gunshot that goes through the bad guy.
Slowly walk through your defense with your entire family and see the problems and the opportunities. Here is one opportunity since 14 year olds ALWAYS have their phone with them. Have them write out a script and then have them practice calling 911.
Rob- When do your students learn about home defense?
Tony- We teach about self defense in our basic self defense class. One class may be all a person gets before they may have to defend themselves from a deadly threat and I want them to be as prepared as I can get them.
Rob- How hard is that to learn? (what classes come before home defense?)
Tony- The hardest part about teaching armed self defense is getting people to dismiss the assumptions, misinformation, urban myths & outright lies they believe are facts. People are raised “hearing things” from friends, family, television, movies, the guy at the gun shop and even that friend that’s a cop that isn’t correct. As a firearms instructor it is my job to clarify, demystify, explain or correct what they “know” to be true.
Rob- Do you see anything else you’d like to cover?
Tony- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Lagrange, Georgia.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home?
Your husband is arguing with you. It is almost 10 at night. Now your husband hits you. You retreat to your bedroom and grab your gun. Your husband chases you. He threatens you. You tell him to stop. You shoot him when he gets close to you. Now he stops. You run from your home and 911 and for help. Police arrive and you meet them back at your house.
EMS takes your husband to a trauma care center with a gunshot wound to the chest. Police arrest him for False Imprisonment, Battery, Criminal Damage to Property, Theft by Taking, and Interference with a 911 Call. These offenses are charged as enhancements under the Family Violence Act. He also is arrested for outstanding warrants for Failure to Appear and Probation Violations in two other counties.
Firearm in the home of a felon?
Tony- I like that our defender tried to run and escape the situation. It is good that she defended herself when her attacker closed the distance with her. She stopped shooting when he stopped advancing. She called 911 and asked for help. She stayed at the scene and gave a statement to the police.
Rob- You’ve had students who were in an abusive relationship. Is there anything else you’d like them to do?
Tony- Hindsight is perfectly clear. I want you to leave a domestic abuser. I want you to get a restraining order and I want you to learn to protect yourself and your family. You need to tell your friends, family and neighbors that you have a restraining order. Tell them to call the police immediately if they see this person near your home and then call you to let you know. If you’re at work that means the police can make contact and handle the situation without you being there. If you’re at home, the police will already be on their way, hopefully, and you can arm yourself & secure yourself and family in your safe room and call the police and wait for them to arrive.
Rob- That sounds simple enough.
Tony- But it isn’t. Armed defense is only a very small part of putting your life back together. The police can usually refer you to counseling and to a women’s shelter.
Rob- What does a restraining order, or order of protection do?
Tony- A restraining order is legal notice from the court that this person is not supposed to be around you. In my experience this is mostly because of violence, the threat of violence, and to avoid confrontations. It’s also a record that builds your case of self defense if you are forced to defend yourself with deadly force. What it isn’t is a magical force field. A restraining order is only a piece of paper if your abuser chooses to violate the order. That’s why we discuss what you must do to prepare for your self defense.
Rob- Where are we headed for our third story?
Tony- This is self-defense gun stories, so we have to visit Chicago.
Rob- First this message from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you drive?
You are a 45 year old man. It is about 1:30 in the morning. You’re sitting in your car. The story doesn’t say whether you just parked, or if you were getting in your care to leave. A stranger runs up to the door of your car. He has a gun in his hand. You own a gun. You have your Illinois concealed carry permit. You’re armed and carrying concealed this morning. You get out of your car and your attacker shoots at you. You shoot back and hit your attacker one time in the upper center chest. Your attacker drops his gun so you stop shooting.
You call 911. Police reports don’t mention if your attacker stayed at the scene or if he ran away. Emergency Medical Services transport your attacker to a local hospital in critical condition. You give a statement to the police. They recover your attacker’s firearm at the scene of the crime. Police investigate your attack as an attempted carjacking.
There have been over 2300 shootings in Chicago so far this year. You are not charged with a crime.
Tony- It takes a year of work to get your carry permit in Chicago, but our defender put in the work and he carried legally. He recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat. He defended himself. Unlike the attacker, our defender’s shots were on target so he didn’t send bullets flying through the neighborhood. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He stayed at the scene and called the police.
Rob- What isn’t covered in the news story?
Tony- We practice scenarios like this one. There is a habit to stand there and admire your work when you’re done shooting, but there is still lots of work left to do. If you defend yourself, then look around and move to safety. Shout for help. Call 911 and get the police on the way. Holster your gun when you can. Give a brief statement to the police and then call your lawyer.
Rob- Why do I need a lawyer? I was sitting in MY car and the bad guy threatened ME. He shot first. This is clearly self-defense.
Tony- No, it isn’t clear at all. There are a number of legal points that you must establish for this to be self-defense. If you leave even one of those points out of your report then you have no case at all. Since you’re not a self-defense lawyer licensed to practice in Illinois, you need help filling out your report.
Rob- When do your students learn about presenting from a concealed holster and then the legal use of lethal force?
Tony- Students must build confidence in weapons handling to start drawing from a holster. Depending on the class, we will teach them how to draw from a holster. New Jersey recently got rid of the “justifiable need” obstacle that the state used to say no to nearly 100% of concealed carry permits. Most of our previous classes were based on using a firearm for home defense. We taught a minimum of carry classes. After the recent SCOTUS ruling hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents are applying for carry permits. We’ll be teaching drawing from a holster a lot more in classes dedicated to concealed carry.
Rob- Are you ready for our last story?
Tony- Our fourth story took place near Cecil, Ohio.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?
You and your friend see someone walking around on your property. You ask the stranger if he’s lost. He doesn’t make sense, so you ask him to leave. You call 911 to get the sheriff involved. Your friend tries to talk to the man, but the stranger attacks your friend. You’re armed. You present your firearm and tell the attacker to stop. He moves toward you and you back away. He moves closer and you shoot him one time. Now he stops. You call 911 again and ask for Emergency Medical Services.
You put your gun away when the police arrive. EMS takes your attacker to the local big city hospital with a gunshot wound to the pelvis. You and your friend give statements to the police. EMS says your attacker was on illegal drugs. He is charged with assault and trespassing.
The Sheriff said, quote, The property owner and his friend were presented with a stranger acting erratically and the man eventually became violent by physically assaulting someone. ..I wholeheartedly believe people have a right to protect themselves.. and in this case, it appears to be a justified self defense situation. Close quote.
Tony- I like that our defender was armed and carrying on body. He called 911 early and got help on the way. He recognized a threat when his friend was attacked. He defended himself when the attacker moved forward and wouldn’t stop. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He gave a brief statement to the police.
Rob- Is there anything else you want your students to do if they see a stranger on their property?
Tony- Take a picture of the intruder and let the police deal with the crazy druggie who is outside. Do what you can to avoid confrontations that could turn violent. Even if the druggie steals your lawnmower, that is probably cheaper than shooting someone and having to call your lawyer. Yes, you have the right to confront someone on your property. It is also your right to pay tens of thousands of dollars of legal bills. Me, I’m going to do what I can so my firearm stays in its holster.
Rob- When do your students learn about avoiding a problem as a means of self-defense?
Tony- We discuss avoiding confrontation in every class that’s about defending ourselves with lethal tools. It’s incumbent upon us to be good people that avoid conflict in general, but when you carry lethal weapons it is paramount that we avoid conflict because we have the ability to turn any interaction into a deadly interaction.
Rob- If I get in a fight then there will be a gun there because I brought one.
The attacker was shot in the hip. Is that a good idea?
Tony- A gun is a lethal tool. We only use it when we face a lethal threat. We should use other tools like pepper spray when we face a non-lethal threat. If you’re aiming for the pelvis or legs then you’re probably using the wrong tool for the job. If you’re practicing pelvic shots with a handgun you’re definitely using the wrong tool. The most common defensive handgun rounds don’t have enough energy to shatter the pelvis. The tactic of aiming for the pelvic girdle was one intended for shotgun and rifle calibers that delivers much higher energy and will shatter the pelvis resulting in an immediate physical stop.
Rob- But I was taught that every gunshot is lethal.
Tony- Every gunshot is potentially lethal, and probably will kill you if you don’t receive medical treatment. Some will kill you faster than others but a majority of people shot with handguns survive because we get them to the doctor pretty quickly.
Rob- When do your students hear that?
Tony- We talk about that in every class. If you didn’t remember that firearms are lethal tools, then please take a class to remind you.
Rob- That wraps up this episode. Tony, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
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- Look at Tony podcasts and at his classes. Then, please leave Tony a message on the self defense gun stories 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.