Episode 293 with Ben Branam

Rob- Introduction- 

Welcome to episode 293 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 Ben Branam. What has been keeping you so busy?

Firearms Instructor Ben Branam

Ben- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been.. Shooting competitions, training, and working.  I’m also teaching a church security team firearms next week. 

How about you?

Rob- I was vacationing in the Florida Keys. I got to visit some friends on the way back. I’m looking for an assistant to help produce this podcast. If you want to contribute then contact our podcast webpage.

While I was away, we did not receive a single new rating or comment on iTunes (was 306,172).

Robbie wrote in and gave us a news story, https://news.yahoo.com/woman-had-never-fired-gun-194601375.html

Leroy left us a facebook post and gave us a story too, https://www.mydailyrecord.com/stories/woman-shoots-suspect-in-home-invasion,117049?newsletter=67422

Ben- It’s interesting that they found the same defensive gun use written up in two entirely different news accounts. Well done, gentlemen. Thank you.

Rob- Also, Pastor Mel found a report on Youtube. It talked about prosecutors trying to hold gun owners to a higher standard of conduct if they have firearms training. The link is in our show notes.

Ben- Anti-rights prosecutors will use every trick they can. That is why you want to have a lawyer who routinely defends armed good-guys like you.

Please go to the iTunes page where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new gun owners 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 Dunn, North Carolina.


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

And here.

You are home alone. It is just before sunrise when your dog starts barking. You hear banging sounds coming from the front of your home. You get out of bed to find someone inside your front door. You shout at the stranger to get out. He ignores you and grabs your stuff and he grabs your dog. You turn around and grab your gun. You take off the safety and shoot your attacker. Quote, “Wherever he moved I shot at him. I shot him right out of my house.” Close quote.

You check on your dog and call the police. You put your gun away when the police arrive. You give a statement to the officers. Someone broke into your home three weeks ago. That is why you bought your gun last week. You never fired your gun before this morning. 

The police find your attacker down the block. He is lying on the ground next to his car. EMS takes him to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his leg and a superficial wound on his side. The police then arrest him and take him to the county jail. He is charged with first-degree burglary and possessing stolen property. Bond is set at $75,000. Your attacker’s vehicle is seized, and investigators are applying for a search warrant to search your attacker’s home.

You are not charged with a crime.

Ben- Had a breakin before.

News article implied she was not at home during that burglary.

Learned a lesson and realized she would have to defend herself if she was home during a burglary. 

Bought a gun.

Recognized something unusual

Confronted the intruder.

Tried verbal commands

Got her gun and used it

Put her gun away when the police arrived.

Gave a statement to the police.

Rob- That is a long list of things this defender did correctly when she had been in bed asleep only moments before. Why do you think she did such a good job, and is there more you want your students to do?

Ben- Her house was burglarized only a few weeks ago, so she had thought about what to do and that was still fresh in her mind.

The story doesn’t mention a forced entry, and I want our doors and windows locked. I want a doorbell camera that sets off a chime when someone walks onto your porch.

Gun practice.

Legal training.  She could have given a better statement to police. 

Don’t talk to reporters.

Have a lawyer to call

Rob- Why do I need a lawyer when I’m the victim of a crime?

Ben-  Police don’t know who the good guy is.  Law Enforcement is trained to arrest everyone if there is probable cause to do so, and they aren’t sure what happened or what to do.  Cops can then take their time and investigate to find out.  During that time you are stuck in the system.  If you normally don’t deal with the legal system you are going to need help. Someone who knows what is going on.

Rob- When do you first tell your students about the legal use of lethal force?

Ben- I talk to them constantly about it on the range and in my podcast.  You are much better off if you know the law and how it is applied. 

Rob- How would they learn more about that? 

Ben- Besides taking a class, there are lots of firearms legal protection companies out there.  Pick one that sends you monthly training.
Rob- Anything else?

Ben- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Orlando, Florida.

Rob, weren’t you near there?

Rob- This happened just after I left. I have travel receipts and witnesses.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work?

You’re at work. It is a few minutes before noon. You own a jewelry store in a shopping mall. Some of your employees are getting ready to go for lunch. That is when four men approach your store. They are all wearing masks and hoodies. One of them has a gun. They smash your display cases and grab your jewelry. One of the robbers waves his gun at you, at customers, and at your employees. You’re carrying concealed today. You present your firearm and shoot your attackers. They turn and run away so you stop shooting.

You and your employees call the police. You put your gun away and check on your customers and your staff. You give a statement to the police when they arrive. The news story doesn’t mention security video, but it would be unusual if it wasn’t available at a mall jewelry store.

One of your attackers is lying on the floor near your store. Emergency Medical Services declare him dead at the scene. Police find another of your attackers in an abandoned car nearby. EMS transports him to the hospital. Later, he died of his injuries. The police are still looking for your two other attackers. You’re not charged with a crime.

Ben- (What did our defender do correctly?) Speed, surprise and violence of action.  Knew when to use it, and then stopped when the time had passed.  And put his gun away before police got there. 

Rob- Did our defender have to shoot? Did he have to do anything?

Ben- That depends on the plan he had ahead of time. He had every legal right to shoot all of the attackers as long as any of them posed a lethal threat to anyone. This defender chose to attack, but you can always just wait and be a good witness.  I tell my students to do the plan that gives them the most likelihood of completing their mission.

Rob- So it is good that he had a plan. Is there more you’d like your students to do that wasn’t mentioned in the news article?

Ben- Yes, with multiple bad guys, move, take cover, get them in line if possible, and go for the greatest threat first.

Rob- Where would a small business owner learn to defend his store and his staff?

Ben-  At a firearms class.  We are in the golden age of firearms training and there are lots of great instructors out there teaching everywhere.

Ben- Our third story happened in Chicago, Illinois.

Rob- First this message from FASTER Colorado.


FASTER Colorado

Rob- Third story- Do you have a firearm available after you get up in the morning?

You are at home getting ready for work. You hear strange noises and assume they are from the condominium next to you. You open your bathroom door and come face to face with a stranger. He punches you in the face. You push him away and shout for your boyfriend. Your boyfriend comes around the corner, pushes your attacker off of you, and tackles your attacker to the ground. You run to the bedroom and get your boyfriend’s gun. You hold your attacker at gunpoint. Your boyfriend calls the police and then lets them into your condo.

You put your gun away when the police arrive. Both of you give a statement. Officers find a crowbar in your attacker’s waistband and two large screwdrivers in his backpack. Your attacker has your watch, your keys, two packs of your cigarettes, an antique coin your keep on display, and a small box of marajuana in his pant’s pockets.

Your condominium is being repaired. You live on the seventh floor and your attacker used the construction scaffolding to climb the seven stories onto your balcony. Your attacker was out on bond for felony charges number six and number seven, and he is now facing more felony charges after invading your home and attacking you.

Your attacker was convicted of burglary in 2008, 2009, 2015 and twice in 2017. He is on parole for the 2017 convictions. He also had two non-burglary felony convictions. This time he is being held without bail.

Ben- Those aren’t my pants, officer. I don’t know how that stuff got there. Honest. 

Criminals lie.

(What the defender did well, but we don’t need to repeat the entire list)

Rob- What do you think we can learn from this story?

Ben- Lock your balcony door even if you live on the 7th floor.

Rob- When do you talk to your students about a defensive plan for their home? That isn’t written into the NRA’s basic firearms class, or into a hunter safety class.


Rob- This seems harder than it sounds since the defenders and the attacker were right against each other. 


Rob- Where are we going for our last story?


Ben- Our fourth story took place in Wichita, Kansas.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you drive?

You’re driving down the street. It is after dark and the traffic is slow. You see two cars parked and a young man holding a knife and threatening an older man. You get out of your car. The teenager continues to threaten the older man. You present your concealed firearm and tell the young man to step back. You hold the attacker until police arrive.

You put your gun away and then tell the police what you saw. They have calls from other drivers as well. The young man backed his car into the older man’s car in a fit of road rage. He is arrested and held on suspicion of aggravated assault and criminal damage to property.

You are not charged.

Tag- No Shots Fired

Ben- I like that…

Rob- What is best practice if we’re in a collision?


Rob- When do you talk about that with your students?


Rob- We have to know a lot about the law before we step in to help a third person who is being attacked. When would we learn that?



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

Ben- I teach armed self-defense and church security. I live in San Antonio, and most of my classes are in central Texas. Sign up for my classes at Modern Self Protection.com, and subscribe to my weekly podcast called Modern Self-Protection.

Rob- After you read Ben’s articles and subscribe to his podcast, after you look at his videos and sign up for his classes. When all that is done and you’re giving your credit card a rest, then please leave us a message on the podcast episode webpage. It doesn’t cost you a thing.

Ben- 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.
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Rob- Like Ben’s podcast, 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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