Episode 300 with David Cole

Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 300 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 David Cole. What has been keeping you busy?

David Cole

Dave- Hi, Rob. I’ve been out hunting and doing a little dry fire; my pistol qual for work is coming up and USPSA season will be here before you know it.

Episode 300.

How about you?

Rob- I have a small day job consulting again. I’m writing and carrying concealed every day.

We received 2 new ratings and a comment on iTunes (is 316,175). A listener named Rob d said, Listening to the show gives a lot of great insight on how different real world scenarios actually go down, and the right ways and wrong ways to handle them.

Dave- Thank you Rob d. I was hoping you’d hear that.

Jeff W left us a comment on Facebook. He said, “Love the podcast. The stories you cover make you think about how well you’re prepared for a violent encounter. Especially the ones that happen inside the home when your guard is usually down.

Rob- Thank you, Jeff.

Dwayne sent us the story from Warner Robins, Georgia. Thank you, Dwayne.

On the previous episode with Instructor Ben Branam, Kevin said he listens to Ben’s podcast, Modern Self Protection, and he likes that show too.

Kevin, so do I.

Dave- There are a lot of pieces that come together for this podcast. We schedule the instructors, research and write the stories, record and edit the audio, then we publish and promote each episode. We’ve done that for 7 years. Now we’re looking for volunteers who will help. We’ve had a few people respond, but there is a lot to do. Please leave a message on our episode webpage.

Rob- Someone got mad at me on Facebook that I didn’t get back to them soon enough when I was on vacation outside the US. That is going to happen. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new gun owners know why you listen.

Dave- Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm about five 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 Warner Robins, Georgia.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at work?

You’re working behind the counter of a fast food store. It is almost 10 pm on a Monday night when a man walks in. He is wearing a mask and a hoodie. He is also carrying a gun in his hands. The robber tells you to give him the money from the cash register. You don’t move fast enough for him so he jumps over the counter and pushes you out of the way. He hits you with his handgun and you put up your arms to protect yourself from the blows.

You have a gun of your own. You’re carrying concealed tonight. You’re down on one knee when you draw your firearm and shoot upward at your attacker. You shoot him until he stops hitting you. Your attacker turns away and you stop shooting. Your attacker runs from the store.

You stay inside. Your co-workers saw the attack. It isn’t clear from the news stories if they called 911 or if you did. You put your gun back in its holster.

You give a statement to the police when they arrive. So do your co-workers. You have some bad bruises and bumps, but you have ice at the store. You say you don’t need to see Emergency Medical Services. Police notice three shell casings on the floor. They match the size and manufacturer of the cartridges you carry.

Police find your attacker down the street. EMS takes your attacker to a nearby hospital. He is treated for two gunshot wounds. He died at the hospital.

You are not charged with a crime.

Dave- I like that our defender owned a gun and he carried concealed at work. He recognized a threat. He tried to de-escalate the situation. He backed away. He defended himself when he was attacked. He stopped shooting when the attacker stopped hitting him and turned away. Our defender stayed at the scene and didn’t chase his attacker. Someone called 911 and asked for help, and our defender gave a statement to the police when they arrived.

Rob- That is a lot of things to do correctly in a few seconds. Is there anything else you’d like us to do?

Dave- There are some things that were not mentioned in the news report. Although Georgia is a permitless carry state, it is still a good idea to have a carry permit. That immediately sets you apart from the other calls the officer had today. This probably isn’t a fight between two gang members because you have your permit which shows that you have a clean criminal record.

You want to talk through what to do with your co-workers ahead of time so all of you have a plan. You want to make sure that they are out of danger if a robber starts shooting. You want to know that someone will call 911 and what to say first.

When the shooting stops, you want to lock the front door and then take a breath. 

Before you check on your co-workers, you probably want to put your gun away so you are not pointing a gun at them. Definitely make sure that you do not have your gun out when the police arrive. Were there any other customers in the store? You want a brief inventory of any injuries so you know what to ask for when you call 911. You also want to get security video ready for the police.

Go to the hospital.

Rob- Why is security video worthwhile?

Dave- The attacker’s family can tell a story and sue your employer and sue you. The video documents that you were the innocent party that didn’t start the confrontation. You moved away from the attacker. He closed the distance and threatened you. He attacked you. You were in an inferior position below him and he continued the attack. You defended yourself. You stopped shooting when the threat ended. After the attack, you did not close the distance with the attacker, but let him leave.

Rob- Would you explain for me. There is a moment when the attacker stops hitting you. There is an instant in time when the threat is over. That isn’t necessarily the same moment. When should we stop shooting?

Dave- Your attacker still has a gun in his hand and he is standing over you having threatened and hit you.

Rob- Do you get a chance to talk about those important details in your average concealed carry class?

Dave- This type of situation would be part of the discussion of concepts of self defense such as ability/opportunity/jeopardy.

Our second story happened in Liberty Township, Pennsylvania.

Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm nearby when you sleep?

And here.

You are a 72 year old man. You are asleep in your bed Saturday morning. Well, you were asleep until you heard a strange sound at about 3 am. You get up and grab your firearm. Someone is breaking the door of your mobile home. You get your phone and call 911 to ask for help.

The intruder breaks through your door. You put the phone down as the intruder attacks you. You push him away but he hits you again. You present your firearm and shoot the attacker. He stops hitting you and you back away.

You pick up the phone and call 911 again. You say you had to shoot your attacker. You put your gun away when the police arrive. You tell them what happened. EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene from a single bullet wound. He was 22 years old. EMS also takes you to the hospital to treat your injuries.

You are not charged with a crime.

Dave- I love that this man’s doors and windows were locked. I like that he had a gun and that he went to get it before he moved into the house. He called 911 as soon as he could so the police could start moving to help him. He defended himself when he was attacked. He stopped shooting when the attacker wasn’t a threat. He called for help and updated 911 about what he needed. Since shots were fired they needed EMS.

He put his gun down before the police arrived. He gave them a brief statement. He took their advice when the medical technicians said that he needed treatment and should go to the hospital.

Those are a lot of decisions to make when you were asleep a few seconds ago.

Rob- Tell me again about a self defense plan.

Dave- It’s always going to be difficult to make good decisions in a critical situation. It’s even more difficult when we just woke up. In order to make good choices in bad circumstances, it is important to “pre-game” some of those choices in advance, and have a plan. Although we can’t foresee every eventuality, we can do some advance planning. Is there a better side of the bed to get out of? Is there a better way to open the drawer or gun safe and get your gun? What is the best way to get the lights on and the door locked? The news reports don’t mention turning on the lights, but we want to do that. Where is your phone?

This man was hospitalized even though he was armed. If we asked him today, I bet he would recommend grabbing his gun and staying behind his locked door while he waited for the police. I know it makes us mad that someone broke into our house, but becoming involved in a shooting creates a whole new set of problems.

Rob- So 3AM is the wrong time to start listening to self-defense gun stories? What else do you see here?

Dave- There is never a wrong time to start listening and making plans for your defense! We’re always there for you if you can’t sleep.

We talk about plans in our home defense classes. The best choices for a 72 year old who lives alone won’t be the same for a couple in their late 20s who have two kids to protect.

Rob- Is there more or should we move on?

Dave- Our third story happened in Elk Creek, Virginia.

Rob- First this message from Amanda Suffecool.

Amanda Suffecool


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

It is Tuesday night and you are asleep in bed. You hear glass breaking and you hear pieces of glass hit your bedroom floor. Someone is breaking into your home. You roll out of bed and run to get your gun. The intruder grabs you from behind. You grab your gun and try to turn around to face your attacker. Both of you fall to the floor.

You shoot your attacker twice. Now you’re able to get away from your attacker. You grab your phone and call 911.

You put your gun away before the police arrive. EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene. Police say it appears you acted within the law. You are not charged.

Dave- Again, I like that the defender had his doors and windows locked. That bought him a few seconds to hear glass breaking, to wake up, and to move toward his firearm. I checked Google Maps and this was a rural area. Although it is common for people in such areas to leave doors unlocked, it is never a good idea. While many rural areas do have lower crime rates, consider that they often also have fewer police and those police may be farther away. Locked doors buy you time!

I like that the defender didn’t give up, but kept fighting to stop the threat. He stopped shooting when the attacker let go of him, and then he called 911.

Rob- In the US, we have many new gun owners in the last few years. Some of them are still figuring out how to have a gun for protection in their home. What should they consider?

Dave- The gun that protects your family is “in use”, which can be an important legal consideration in some localities. That means it isn’t put away in a gun safe unloaded. It is in use the same way a fire extinguisher is “in use” as it hangs on the wall ready for you to grab it. We have ways to keep a firearm accessible and yet keep it out of the hands of children and intruders. 

A gun that is kept in your gun safe and with ammunition stored separately isn’t quickly accessible to be used. A loaded gun that is kept in your nightstand isn’t safe. 

For most people, a small bedside safe or lock box will work well. I have one that unlocks with a programmed sequence of push buttons. It doesn’t rely on biometrics and is very quick and easy to use.

Rob- You have relatives who have guns. When did you talk to them about safe storage?

Dave- That conversation was an integral part of the gun shopping process.

I’d also like to mention that this is the second example we’ve looked at today which included a physical assault. Listeners might want to consider some empty hand self defense training, as well as a close quarters pistol class if they can.

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Dave- Our fourth story took place in Chicago, Illinois.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you go out at night?

You step out of the downtown building after three in the morning. You’re about to cross the street when you hear gunshots and see someone shooting at you from a car on the street. You are carrying concealed this morning. You present your firearm and shoot back. The car drives away. You see someone climb out of your car across the street and run. He doesn’t shoot at you and you don’t shoot him.

News reports are not clear if you called 911 from the street or if you went back inside your hotel first. You give a statement to the police when they arrive. You show them your Illinois firearms owners ID card. You show them your carry permit. You give the police a brief statement.

Police take your description of the vehicle your attackers were driving. A man is dropped off at a hospital by a car matching that description. Another man walks into another hospital a few minutes later. Both have gunshot wounds. Both are attested. Police are looking for the damaged vehicle and its driver.

You are not charged.

Dave- Wow. Welcome to Chicago. I’m glad our defender was armed. I’m very glad that he was carrying legally. He went through all the hoops to become a concealed carrier in Illinois and then he carried. He recognized that people were shooting at him. He reacted to stop the threat. He stopped shooting and stayed at the scene when he called 911 for help. As a bonus, the police made two arrests. They probably have security video from the stores nearby. Well done.

Rob- Is there more you’d like us to do?

Dave- The neighbors said that shootings are becoming more common downtown. Situational awareness is critical. Take a look outside your door before you step out onto the street. Don’t have your head down in your phone.

I’d also like our listeners to consider that although this situation turned out well, might there have been better options than opening fire on a city street? Maybe there weren’t, but was there cover available? Could our defender have escaped into a building? We don’t know, but it is worth considering.

Since Chicago is so dangerous, that means your chance of needing to defend yourself is higher. Look for self-defense insurance so you can afford a lawyer to represent you.

Rob- When would your students learn about that?

Dave- Concealed carry class.

Rob- I noticed that this defender had to engage multiple bad guys in the car, and then he didn’t shoot at the guy who got out of his car and ran. Talk about that?

Dave- I remember doing a scan. If their hands are empty then they are not an immediate threat.

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

David- Become an instructor! Look for my written articles at deltabravocharlie.com

Rob- After you look at Dave articles and his videos, then please leave us a message on the podcast episode webpage.

Dave- 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
Amazon, 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.  Merry Christmas, and we’ll be back in a few weeks with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.


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