Episode 303 with Candy Petticord

Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 303 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 Candy Petticord. What has been keeping you so busy?

Candy- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been busy with my girl and a gun club. How about you?

Rob- I was traveling for a week. Even though I was out of the country I still received messages from our listeners. We are still looking for volunteers to help run this podcast.

We also received three new ratings and a comment on iTunes (is 179,325). A listener commented on a shooting in Houston, Texas where the defender was sitting at a restaurant. He shot the armed attacker nine times, including when the attacker was face down and motionless.

Candy- I heard about that story. We have to legally justify every shot we fire. When the threat stops then we have to stop. The defender also left the scene before speaking to police.

Rob- It sounds like this defender did not listen to this podcast.

Candy- Let’s see if we can get more listeners. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new gun owners know why you listen.

Rob- 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.

Candy- Our first story took place last week in Ada, Oklahoma.

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

It is about 9 at night when you stop at a convenience store to buy gasoline. You’re filling your car when someone drives by you quickly and then suddenly comes to a stop in the parking lot. The driver gets out of his car and runs at you. You recognize him as a man who has threatened you before. You shout for him to stop as you reach for your handgun. Your attacker closes with you. You shoot him until he stops. You shout for help and stay at the scene.

You put your gun into your car before the police arrive. Police and Emergency Medical Services begin treatment of your attacker for gunshot wounds to his arm, chest, and collar bone.

You give the police a statement. You tell the police that you had a protective order against your attacker last year. You’re arrested and jailed.

The district attorney reviews the security video. He also reviews the several restraining orders that were out against your attacker. The DA says you acted in self-defense and did not commit a crime. You are released from jail.

Candy- Yikes. I’m glad our defender was armed. I’m glad he took out a restraining order on his attacker. I like that he was paying attention rather than having his head buried in his phone. He recognized an immediate and lethal threat and took action. It sounds like he used verbal commands, and then defended himself.

Note that he was arrested, and then released. Please understand that being arrested at the scene of a defensive incident is very common and should be expected. However, please remember this sage advice: Keep your mouth shut until your lawyer arrives to tell your side of the story.

Rob- Why was this attack a lethal threat?


Rob- When do your students learn to recognize a lethal threat that justifies the use of lethal force like using a firearm?


Rob- When do your students learn to present their handgun from a standing position?


Rob- Is there more you’d like us to do in a situation like this one?

Candy- Retreat to cover.
Rob- Most ranges won’t let you move as you shoot. Are there drills where your students learn to step back as they present their firearm?


Rob- Is there more you want to say about this story?

Candy- Let’s save some material for the other news stories. Our second story happened in Des Moines, Iowa.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work?

You are a property manager at a downtown apartment complex. Your office is upstairs and opens onto an elevated walkway that connects the downtown buildings. You are about to leave your office when you notice a strange couple walking back and forth in front of your door. This goes on for several minutes until the woman waves to you. 

You don’t recognize her. Your young son is with you and he wants to go investigate. You hold his hand as you open the door and ask what the strangers want. The woman says to give her back her child and she reaches down and grabs your son. You hold on tight to your son with one hand and present your firearm with the other. You shout to “let go of my kid.” The strangers run away and you pull your son back inside your office.

You call the security guard who patrols that part of the skywalk system. You describe your attackers to the guard. He recognizes them and runs to follow them. You call 911 and ask for help.

The security guard sees your attackers and calls the police. The couple is arrested and charged with felony child stealing. The woman is also charged with violating her probation.

The couple are homeless and there is a homeless shelter nearby. The security guard noticed them when they tried to set up camp in the skyway.

Tag- no shots fired


Candy- This is every mom’s nightmare.

Locked office door.

She held on to her child.


Recognized a lethal threat to her child. Called for help.

Rob- This story could have been frighteningly different if her office door were open and a stranger could reach in and grab her child. Is there more that wasn’t covered in this story?

Candy- Contact with your neighbors. In this case, she knew the local security guard who patrolled the skyways.

Rob- Was this armed mom justified in shooting the kidnappers?


Rob- We don’t talk about kidnapping very often. When would your students learn the legal principles involved in armed defense?


Rob- Is there more you want to cover?

Candy- We have a certain amount of risk everywhere. At home, at a park, at our office. I’m glad our defender was armed even though she was at work. She probably lived in the building too, but she wanted to protect her family all the time.

Rob- Where are we headed for our third story?
Candy- Our third story happened in Hammond, Louisiana.

Rob- First this message from Amanda Suffecool.

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

You hear a crashing sound and feel your house shake. You sit up in bed. It is about 5 o’clock on a Sunday morning and it is still dark outside. A stranger pulls open your bedroom door and moves toward you. He has a shovel in one hand and a tire iron in the other hand.

You roll over and grab your handgun from the side table. You shoot your attacker one time. Now he backs up. You scramble out of bed and check on your two children. When he entered your home, your attacker walked past your child who was asleep on the couch. Your children are uninjured and you call 911 asking for help.

You stay at the scene. You put your gun away when the police arrive. You give the police a brief statement. You don’t know your attacker.

Police identify your attacker as a parolee recently released from prison. He was convicted of drug crimes and armed robbery. Your attacker tried to carjack a driver this morning. The police speculate that your attacker wanted to steal your car and was looking for your keys.

The coroner’s office declare your attacker dead at the scene. You and your children move out of your rented mobile home.

Candy- This is the second story with an armed mom defending her children. Are you out to frighten me this week? 

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

Candy- motion detectors? Have a plan with your family.

Rob- How did a single mom wake up and stop a grown man who had two clubs in his hands?

Candy- Defense vs offense

Rob- How will your students find out about safety in their homes?


Rob- It sounds like these were young children in the home. Tell me about storing your firearms, and about how old our children should be when they start to learn to defend themselves.


Rob- Where are we going for our last story?

Candy- Our fourth story took place in Ellijay, Georgia.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you stop for gas?

The sun is setting when you pull into a convenience store in this very small Georgia town. You’re walking through the store when you hear a customer shout and the clerk cry out. You look up to see a robber holding a gun to the clerk’s head. The robber is wearing a pair of panty hose over his head and face. You present your firearm and shout for him to stop. He starts to turn and you tell him not to move. Another customer in the store runs outside and grabs a gun from his truck. Now both of you hold the robber at gunpoint.

The robber inches toward the door. Neither of you shoot. Another customer runs in with a gun in his hand and tells the robber not to move. Now the robber drops his gun and gets down on the floor. You tell the other defenders to raise their firearms and not to shoot. 

The news stories are not clear who called 911. Police arrive and have to tase the robber to get cuffs on him. They secure the attacker’s gun. The police also arrest the robber’s wife who was waiting in their car behind the convenience store.

The attacker is charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The getaway driver was charged with armed robbery. Both are held without bond.

Candy- This robber thought he was in Atlanta. There are lots of us who live far enough out of town that the deputy will need many minutes to respond after we call. These citizens recognize that they have to defend themselves for those minutes until the police arrive.



Verbal commands

Not a lethal threat if the attacker was trying to leave.

Not a lethal threat once the attacker was on the ground and disarmed.

Stayed at the scene and gave a statement.

Rob- I’ve read several stories where the defender was justified in shooting but didn’t press the trigger. Did the defender leave the store clerk at risk by not pressing the trigger? Was this defender justified in shooting the attacker without warning?


Rob- I had an emotional reaction to this story. Would I shoot if the robber was pointing a gun at a close relative, but I wouldn’t shoot if he were threatening a stranger?


Rob- What is best practice, or is there one answer to that?


Rob- When do you talk to your students about defending a stranger?



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

Candy- Look for me at the Akron, Ohio & Northcoast Chapters of A Girl and a Gun. I also teach at Northpointe Training in Akron, Ohio.

Rob- After you look at Candy’s schedule, then please leave her a message on the podcast episode webpage.

Candy- 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.  Thank you for listening, and we’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.


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