Episode 296 with Tony Simon
Welcome to episode 296 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. I know a little of what you’ve been doing. Please fill us in.
Tony- Hi, Rob. I’ve been speaking at a fundraiser for the New Jersey chapter of the DC Project. I have my diversity shoot events scheduled in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I’m also scheduling my meetings at SHOT show. How about you?
Rob- There are a lot of pieces that come together behind the scenes to put together the podcast. We schedule, research, write, record, edit, publish and promote each episode. I’ve done that for 7 years. I want someone, or several people, to take over some of that. You get paid the same that I do, so this is volunteer work. We’ve had a few people respond, but there is a lot to do. Please leave a message on our episode webpage.
We received three new ratings this week. Thank you.
Tony- It has been over a month since anyone left us a review on iTunes (is 310,172). Our listeners can do something that we can’t. Your reviews increase our ratings, and that makes it easier for new gun owners to find us. 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 Alexandria, Louisiana.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at home?
Home invasion, assault
It is around 6:30 on a Saturday morning. You hear someone banging on your front door and they won’t go away. They are shouting that you have to let them in. You get out of bed, put on clothes, and grab your firearm. You go see what is going on, and you open the door. The stranger rushes you and tries to grab you. You step back and present your concealed firearm. You shoot your attacker. He stops advancing on you so you stop shooting. You call 911 and ask for help.
You put your gun away when the police arrive. You give them a statement. You are not charged with a crime.
Tony- I like that our defender’s doors were locked. I like that our defender decided to bring his gun when he was going to investigate an unknown disturbance at the front of his house. He recognized an immediate and unavoidable threat and defended himself. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He called for help and put his gun away when the police arrived. Well done at 6:30 on a weekend morning.
Rob- What else do you see here?
Tony- I can tell that neither you nor I wrote this original news story. Was the attacker entering your home, or was he chasing the homeowner across the front yard. Was the attacker inside or outside the home when he was shot, and what did the attacker do after he was shot? How many times did the defender shoot, and how many times was the attacker hit? Was the defender wearing his holster? Where was the defender when the police arrived? Was the attacker alive when the police and EMTs arrived?
Rob- Are there other things you’d like us to do on a Saturday morning when we hear someone pounding on our door?
Tony- How about calling the cops first. I live at this address, and I have a crazy man pounding on my door and I’m armed. Also, have a plan so you don’t open the door when there is a crazy man on the other side.
Rob- It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Tony- That is why we want a plan, so we don’t get creative when we’re still asleep.
Rob- When do your students learn what to do and what not to do as they defend their homes?
Tony- NRA defense in the home class.
Rob- Anything else?
Tony- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Hatchechubbee, Alabama. Hatch-eeh-chew-bee
Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
Domestic violence. Expired restraining order.
It is about 1am when you’re woken up by a crashing sound. You get out of bed and grab your gun. You go see what is happening. You see a stranger in the dark. You shoot him. You step back and call 911 to get help.
Police arrest your ex husband. EMTs take him to the hospital for treatment of his gunshot wounds. You had a restraining order against him, but it expired, and the next restraining order wasn’t put in effect by the judge yet.
You are not charged with a crime.
Tony- I like restraining orders. A restraining order says that two people have to stay away from each other. That makes it easier for law enforcement and prosecutors to figure out what happened. This is your home, so the other person doesn’t belong here. Since he is here, he goes to jail.
I like that the defender’s doors were locked. I love that the defender was armed. She stopped shooting when the attacker moved away. She called 911 and asked for help.
Rob- Is there more you’d like us to consider in this story?
Tony- Some homes are set up so that you’re almost in the middle of the house when you come out of your bedroom. That means there can be people in any direction. In this case there was only one bad guy. In most robberies there are more than two.
That is why best practice is to grab your gun. Lock your bedroom door. Turn on your lights. Get behind your bed and call the police. All that changes if you have other people to protect.
Rob- Are we staying in our bedroom so we avoid a fight, or so that we are sure that if there is a fight, it is one we can win?
Tony- Yes, and yes. It is hard to hurt me if I’m behind my bed and I have a gun pointed at the bedroom door. It is extremely hard for the attacker to hurt my family members who are crouched down behind me, or hiding in the master bathroom.
Clearing your house is hard. If I can, I want to use easy solutions rather than hard ones.
Rob- How do your students react when you explain that to them?
Tony- My students tend to be in their late 20s, older and as many women as men. They are mature and know that you win every fight you avoid.
Rob- Where are we going next?
Tony- Our third story happened in Hanover, Maryland.
Rob- First this message from
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed as you go shopping?
Driver stops carjacking. Licensed concealed carry holder..in Maryland!!
It is just after noon when you come out of a Walmart with your groceries. You’re about to put your groceries in your car when you notice two men walking up to you. They have guns in their hands and they tell you to hand over your keys and your phone.
You own a gun. You also have your Maryland concealed carry permit. You are carrying concealed today. You present your firearm and the two men run. They shoot at you as they run. You don’t shoot at them. They drive away and you get a description of the men and of their car.
You stay at the scene and put your gun away. You call 911.
Police match your robber’s description with several other robberies in the last few days. You are not charged with a crime.
Tony- A grocery store parking lot at noon turns into an armed robbery. I like that our defender worked to get his Maryland carry permit. He obviously lived in a county that issued them, and he decided to carry that day. He recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat. He presented his firearm, and he didn’t shoot when the threat stopped. He called 911 and asked for help.
Rob- This story has two attackers with guns. That is a hard problem. Are there any ways to solve it?
Tony- Maybe. Drop your keys on the ground and your cell phone in the trunk, and then back away. Get behind the car next to you and crouch down so that your body is covered. Present your firearm and go to work.
That said, maybe there were other shoppers behind the bad guys. That could have been why the good guy didn’t shoot. We care about injuring innocent people, and the bad guys only care about themselves.
Rob- That sounds simple and it sounds obvious when you say it. How am I going to be that smart and prepared when I’m attacked in a store parking lot?
Tony- Pay attention when you’re outside your home. Carjackings have increased the last 2 years. One happened days before in this person’s town. When you’re in transitional spaces (parking lots, driveways, parking garages) you are vulnerable. Look around as you place your items in your vehicle.
People just standing around in a parking lot or just sitting in their cars near you could be an indicator that they are waiting for a victim. They could be waiting for someone to come out of a store also but you should know they’re in the area and the direction they are in. No attacker “comes out of nowhere” they aren’t magic they walk up to people that aren’t paying attention.
Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Tony- Our fourth story took place in Conroe, Texas.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in your front yard?
You and your neighbor are setting off fireworks at night. An SUV drives down the street at high speed and brakes to a stop in front of your neighbors driveway. The driver and your neighbor argue. The SUV drives away and your neighbor runs away from the scene. He shouts, “They just pointed a gun at me.” You and your neighbor call the police and give them statements about what happened. You think that is done, but it is only starting.
Later that evening, you’re walking your dogs and your kids in your yard. You look up to see the SUV again, and a stranger is pointing a gun at one of your neighbor’s guests. You tell your kids to get behind a large tree. You present your firearm, but you are 35 yards away and you’re not sure about the backstop behind the attacker. You wait.
Your neighbor runs out of his house, sees the attacker, draws his gun and fires. The attacker fires back. You grab your kids and put them inside your home and on the kitchen floor. Your wife calls 911.
The shooting stops and you go outside to see if anyone is injured and needs help. Your neighbor shouts “that’s the guy, shoot him”, but you don’t see a weapon in the attackers hands. You are the only person with a loaded weapon as both your neighbor and the attacker have empty revolvers. No one is wounded by gunfire, but the 2 parties, 5 people in total, are now in a fist fight in the street.
You issue verbal commands for the parties to separate and wait for police. The attacker and his girlfriend step back onto your lawn. Your neighbor’s wife gets in the attackers SUV and manages to get it out of a nearby ditch. She drives toward the former attackers in a fit of rage. You present your firearm and order her to stop. She complies and then backs the SUV off of your lawn.
You give instructions for the attackers to sit on a nearby bench and for the neighbors to go to their property as the attackers are now in your custody until police arrive. The attacker’s girlfriend has a bleeding head wound. You apply first aid. You confirm with your wife that the police have your description.
The police arrive in force. You surrender your firearm and the police are trying to understand what happened. The police take the attackers from your yard. You work to be polite and to follow instructions. You have to wait many hours to give your full statement. Your family stays inside. You also give the police security video. At one point you’re given conflicting instructions by officers. A sergeant straightens out the problem.
You are not charged with a crime. You are listed as a witness.
Later, you find out that the woman recovered from her head injuries. You find bullet impacts on the outside of your garage. One of the attackers is facing serious charges. Your neighbors move away.
The incident left you nervous. You also train harder and work on a safety plan with your family, including purchasing self-defense insurance.
Tony- This story was sent in by a listener. I like that our defender was armed in his front yard. I really like that he recognized that he might do more harm than good, so he didn’t shoot across the street in the dark.
In legal terms, this was a series of events. I love that he recognized that an earlier attack presented a threat then, but it didn’t present an immediate threat now. I like that his family worked as a team, to get his children safe, to call 911, to stop further injuries, and to treat the wounded.
Rob- What else do you see?
Tony- I wonder what happened to the defender’s firearm when he was treating the injured woman. One of the problems we have is that a stranger can grab our gun and take it from us. If my wife ran out to see what was happening and I asked for medical supplies, could she have taken my gun inside with her. That is just speculation on my part. Also, the defender didn’t tell us if he had a carry permit.
Rob- The defender was on his own property, so why would a carry permit matter in this case?
Tony- People who pull guns on strangers often have a history of other violent and illegal actions. They have a police record. Your carry permit tells the officers that you are not one of their usual contacts, but a card carrying good guy with a clean record.
Rob- When can your students review shoot-no shoot decisions?
Tony- In our defense in the home class.
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.