Episode 290 with Tony Simon
Welcome to episode 290 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.
Tony- Hi, Rob. I’ve been running diversity shoots.
It usually takes six weeks for you to have me back on the show. What happened?
Rob- Other people are busy at the end of the summer, and I’m lucky to get you back so soon.
Speaking of luck, we received several new ratings and new comments on iTunes. (is 304×170).
A listener named Kame-Colo is fascinated by all the different situations that armed defenders have faced. Kame also likes our expert opinion.
Tony- Now that I’m an expert you’ll have to increase my pay.
Rob- Glad to do it.
Heathbar found our podcast a few weeks ago. He listens in the car and at work. He got his carry permit a few months ago and now he carries all the time. He also signed up to take a Stop the Bleed class next month.
Tony- He thanks us, but I thank him for putting in the work.
Rob- Another listener said that these scenarios are a way to mentally rehearse when you can’t physically practice with your firearm.
Tony- This podcast is valuable because our listeners imagine it happening in their home and to their family. Thank you for giving us, and giving them, your attention.
Rob- Dean asked why we don’t include stories where the defender is charged with a crime. We try to use positive models since there are more ways to do something wrong than to do it right. We have included stories where the defender acted correctly and was still charged with a crime.
Dave gave us a lead on an armed defense story. Thank you Dave.
Tony- 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 several thousand 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 Houston, Texas.
Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm at home?
You are at home with your mom, and your two brothers. They are 17 and 12. You are also 17 years old. It is late on a Friday night when you hear men banging on your door. You hear several voices outside. They try to break down your door. You grab your family’s shotgun. You shoot two of the attackers. The remaining two run away and then drive away. The news story says some of the shots went through your door. You and your family stay inside your home. The news story does not say who called 911, if it was you or your mom. You put the shotgun down and give a statement to the police when they arrive. Emergency Medical Services declare the two wounded attackers dead at the scene.
You are not arrested, though your case is forwarded to the grand jury for review.
Tony- I like that the family had a firearm. I love that their doors were locked. It is good that the 17 year olds knew where the family firearm was stored and how to use it. The defenders recognized that four armed intruders were an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat. I like that the family stayed at the scene and didn’t go outside to chase the bad guys down the street. They stayed inside and called 911 for help. Then when the police arrived, they gave them a statement.
Rob- Are there other things you want your students to do?
Tony- There are a lot of things that might have happened but were not stated in the news article. If we want our children to thrive during and after a violent encounter then we want to equip them with a family plan to deal with violence. We have a firearm to protect them. We have a plan to protect them, both physically, and mentally and emotionally. We rehearse that plan so it is subconsciously familiar. That gives everyone in the family a role to play. You go to the back bedroom with your little brother. You call 911. We’ll practice what to say to the dispatcher. You hide here and I’ll grab the firearm and guard the front door from the hallway.
Another thing that a safety plan does is it makes clear that there are violent men and women in the world. A safety plan gets rid of the fantasy that bad guys could hurt the people we love and there is nothing we can do to stop them. Particularly if we live in areas with gangs and drugs that bring violence closer to our family. A plan holds us responsible for all our actions that keep our family safe.
To be practical for a minute. Have a doorbell camera and use it at all times to see who is outside your home.
Also, you want to have a lawyer to call so he can help you fill out your incident report.
Rob- That is a lot to learn. When do your students first learn details like that, and do you have a later class or exercise where your students refine their plans and what to do and to say?
Rob- Is there more you want to cover before we move to our second story?
Tony- One of the comments in the news article made me wonder. The neighbors said they were not worried because this house was targeted on purpose. I wonder if someone in the home had gang or drug problems. Then again, it could be the neighbor wanting to sound relevant on television, has an axe to grind so they used the media to do it or it might be a friend of a friend or other interpersonal drama and that is all it takes to bring the problem to your door. We may never know.
Rob- Anything else?
Tony- Let’s move on. Our second story happened near Charleston, South Carolina.
Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
It is about 3 in the morning when you and your wife hear the sound of breaking glass. You grab your firearm and go investigate. You see someone crawling through the lower pane of your broken front door. You shoot the intruder. He backs out of your home. You stay inside and call 911.
You put your gun away when the police arrive. They find your wounded intruder on your front lawn. Emergency Medical Services takes him to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his arm. You give a statement to the police. Your intruder is charged with first-degree burglary and cocaine possession. You are not charged with a crime. You and your wife are over 60 years old. Your attacker is 37.
Tony- I like that this older couple locked their doors and had a gun. I like that they defended themselves from an intruder and then stayed inside to call for help. They gave a brief statement to the police.
Rob- What else would you like us to do when we hear glass break at night?
Tony- Put together a plan for both of you beforehand. I want both of you to be armed. People don’t call the police due to every sound that occurs in the middle of the night. Be cautious if you go to investigate, have a plan on how you will work together. Two armed and trained defenders have a huge advantage over a single criminal and can handle multiple attackers better than a single defender.
When investigating noises at night use your light switches. They will light up a room much more effectively than your flashlight. They may also make intruders run off avoiding a confrontation. Learn to move through your home using cover and angles. Don’t go outside. Being outside of your home may expose you to multiple attackers coming from different directions, an armed neighbor investigating the noise they heard or the police officer that the neighbors called because they heard someone breaking into your home.
If you choose to stay in your bedroom and call the police I want one of you to lock your bedroom door. I want both of you to have a flashlight and a phone. Both of you move behind the bed and get help on the way right now by calling 911. Turn on the bedroom light so you can see an intruder enter your room.
I want you to have the flashlights even though you turned on the lights in case the bad guy turns off the light and advances into the room. If he is a threat, then shoot him until he stops advancing. Practice it so each of you has a role, and so that you can perform the other person’s role if things change.
I also want you to have a lawyer to call.
Rob- Why is a lawyer so important?
Tony- You used lethal force against another person. Several factors must be present to justify that. Since you are not a lawyer, you might leave one of them out of your report. Leaving out one justification, or not phrasing it in the legal terms used in that jurisdiction, means that you lose all your rights to self defense. It is much better to get your legal report, and that is what this is, get it right the first time.
Rob- Why is it dangerous for me to leave my bedroom to defend my house?
Tony- If you don’t have to leave your bedroom, bunker in place.
When you go to “look around” your home you are taking multiple risks. Look at this particular situation.
A druggie broke into your home. You don’t know how he is armed. You don’t know where he is, and you don’t know how many of them there are, and you don’t know how crazy they are. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to start that fight if I don’t have to because I could lose. If you have family down the hall, then that is a different story.
On the other hand, it is really hard to hurt us if we stay in our room and only have to stop someone who is coming through the door.
Rob- That sounds obvious, but when do your students learn about it?
Tactics is something to be learned in classes or seminars. Go and learn what options you have, how to determine the risk inherent in each option. What you can do, should do and should avoid. Armed self defense is a martial art. No one would consider themselves a martial artist if they only knew how to throw one punch. You don’t need commando training to be an armed self defender but the more you learn the more you increase your options and opportunities.
Our third story happened in Pasadena, (PASS-A-DEEN-A) Texas.
Rob- First this message from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you leave work?
You are leaving work just after midnight. You see one of your female co-workers being attacked. She is sitting at the exit gate of the company parking lot and a strange man is pounding on her windows. She manages to open the gate and drive away. The stranger gets in a car and crashes through the gate. He then crashes into several cars in the employee parking lot. He gets out of his car and runs toward you. You tell him to stop. He attacks you and you present your handgun. You shoot him twice and then he stops attacking you. You stay at the scene and call 911 for help.
You put your gun away when the police arrive. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital for treatment. You give a statement to the police. Your attacker dies at the hospital. You are shaken but uninjured. You are not charged with a crime.
Tony- Here we have two women leaving work in the middle of the night and being attacked by a stranger. One of the women escaped and the second woman was physically attacked.
Rob- Is there more that you’d like us to do in a similar situation?
Tony- Wow. Are you going to help your co-worker, or are you going to run back inside and call for help. Once your co-worker drives away then I want you to retreat. Unfortunately, an attacker can run at you faster than you can back away. That is easy for us to say, but it is hard to do when you’re surprised in the middle of the night as you leave work.
If you have not thought about this happening to you, then it is easy to either make some bad decisions, or to freeze in place. This podcast works because it introduces us to new situations and gives us an outline of what to do.
Rob- What did our defender do correctly?
Tony- I’m glad she was armed. She recognized an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat when a larger male physically grabbed her. She defended herself with her firearm.
The story said she “got her gun” so I don’t know if it was on her body, in a purse, or in her car in the parking lot. I want you to carry your gun on you so you have it when you need it. The story didn’t mention a concealed carry license, and Texas allows constitutional carry, but I want you to have your license.
Rob- How do new firearms owners learn when they can defend themselves?
Tony- We talk about it a little in each class. We cover it again in their concealed carry class, and a class on the legal use of lethal force covers it in depth. Those classes run from a few hours to a couple of days.
Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Tony- Our fourth story took place in Detroit, Michigan.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home on a Sunday morning?
You are awake early. It is around 7 in the morning when you hear gunshots. You look outside your home to see a young man shoot at your elderly neighbor who is lying on the ground. The attacker is also shooting at your neighbor’s dog. You own a gun. You’re armed. You step outside and shoot at the attacker. The attacker looks surprised and sprints away. You stop shooting and stay at the scene. You put your gun away and try to help your neighbor. You call 911. You give a statement to the police when they arrive.
The police identify the attacker and arrest him at his home. He murdered three other innocent victims that morning. Your neighbor and his dog are going to survive. The officer says you ended a string of mass murders by scaring away the attacker.
Tony- Our good guy had a firearm and he reacted to the sounds of gunfire. Let me emphasize that by saying it another way. Our defender didn’t pretend that the unusual sound he heard was actually something normal so he could ignore it. He looked outside and saw his neighbor being attacked. He took immediate action to stop the attack.
Rob- Is there more you’d like to do if you were there?
Tony- I wish the defender hit his target, but I don’t know the distances involved or the firearm he used. Also, I practice shooting at all kinds of targets from different distances. Practice using cover and using the cover to brace your shooting hand. Use your environment to increase your chance of hitting your target. Leaning your support hand against a door jam or a guard rail helps you steady your hands and makes you much more accurate. You might be able to try that in dry practice at home. Does your dry practice room have a closet so you can lean your hand against the edge of the closet door jam as you line up the sights?
Rob- How did an ordinary citizen stop a mass murderer?
Tony- He surprised the murderer. You can aim a gun or you can look around to
see what is happening around you, but you can’t do both at the same time. The murderer was focused on his victim and didn’t see the defender. Also the defender does not have to stand out in the open. He might not have been visible to the murderer at all.
The same way we don’t want to get into a gunfight in the middle of our home, we want to avoid a gunfight with bullets going both ways when we’re on our front porch. Use cover and concealment so we’re not a target. In a gunfight, being behind cover means there is less of us to see so the attacker has a hard time recognizing us. It also means we’re harder to hit if we are recognized.
Rob- What do you say to the people who say they couldn’t be a defender because they don’t shoot fast enough?
Tony- Look at this defender. He probably spent more time trying to figure out what was going on and more time figuring out what to do than he spent with his finger on the trigger. For most of us, it is our brain that is too slow, not our hands. If you dry practice twice a week for a month then your hands are plenty fast. Accuracy, hitting the bad guy with your first shot, is more important than missing quickly with a lot of shots. Effective hits stop gunfights.
Rob- What else do you see here?
Tony- I noticed that the defender talked to the press. I wouldn’t do that. I’d have my lawyer make the decision as to what he wants to say to the press, if anything.
Rob- As a locksmith, you see people who were just in an upsetting situation. How do they behave?
Tony- They want to talk and share their experience, explain themselves. They want me to reassure them that they did the right thing. The problem is that reporters have taken isolated statements so they have an outrageous story that gets them more clicks at your expense.
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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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.