Episode 304 with Ben Branam
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 304 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 keeps you so busy?
Ben- Hi, Rob. I’ve been shooting and training.
How about you?
Rob- We received a new ratings and comment on iTunes (is 180,326). Vfretty said we provide great information. Also, thank you to Mel for sending us some stories.
Ben- Please go to the iTunes store 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 Montville, Ohio.
Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby in the afternoon?
You’re a sixteen year old male. You arrive home from school. You’re home alone. You walk past the living room windows when you notice a car parked sideways across your driveway. That seems odd, so you walk into the kitchen where you have a better view. There is a stranger coming up the driveway and you don’t recognize him.
You know your mom has a firearm. You run and grab it. You stand in the doorway to the living room away from the front door. You hear someone open the outside door. You put the magazine in the gun. You wonder if they are delivering a package. The intruder opens the inside door and you rack the slide to chamber a cartridge. You point the handgun at the intruder. He sees you and swears. He turns and runs. You lower the gun.
You lock the door and call your mom. Were you expecting visitors? Did you have a delivery scheduled, you ask?
Your mom calls the police. You see the burglar’s car drive by again. Your mom posts the incident on social media. The police get security videos from the neighbors. Police identify the car and arrest your intruder. You identify the intruder in a police lineup. He is charged with burglary.
You are not charged with a crime. The only connection between you and your intruder is that he is a facebook friend with your mom. Your mom says we shouldn’t post our schedule on social media. She installed a security camera.
Ben- I love that the mom and the son talked about armed defense. She decided that he was old enough to defend himself. He’d been hunting before.
I would like the gun to be staged better, it should be ready to go. But the Young man acted as soon as something seemed wrong. That gave him time to get the gun and think about what to do.
Listen to his interview. Great presence of mind. Didn’t shoot.
Called for help.
Good that mom asked for help too.
Rob- Is there more that you’d like us to do?
Ben- Please lock your doors. Let’s make your attackers work to get to you. And don’t open the door to strangers no matter what.
Formal firearms training for everyone who has access to your guns.
Rob- We train young adults based on their maturity rather than their age. How do we judge when they are old enough?
Ben- I leave that up to the parents to judge when they can make those decisions. If you are struggling as a parent use the car as a guide. If you would trust him to take the car and make good decisions, remember he is making the same life decisions with the car as they would with a gun.
Rob- Are there special classes for youngsters?
Ben- Lots of young people classes for handling a firearm to get the basics but not many self defense classes. I teach them along side the adults and it works well.
Rob- I remember competing with youngsters who were shooting 22s while we were shooting 9mm and 45s. They learned safe firearms handling and had fun with their parents.
Ben- Some of them shoot really well.
Rob- Anything else?
Ben- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Avondale, Arizona.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work?
You’re working the graveyard shift at a convenience store. It is an hour before sunrise when one of your customers walks up to the counter. He is wearing a mask. You see that he has a gun in his hand. He mumbles something about money from the register. You’re being robbed.
You’re armed and carrying concealed this morning. The robber points his gun at the other customer in line at the checkout counter. Then, the robber turns and points his gun at a customer at the front of the store. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker until he drops his gun. You call 911 and ask for help.
Emergency Medical Services take your attacker to the hospital in critical condition. Police look at the store security videos. You are not charged.
Ben- We always think of cops only having to deal with dangerous people but the truth is they are always with us. Whenever you go out you could run into a bad guy.
In this story I love that our good guy was armed, saw the threat and waited for his point of advantage and then acted decisively. Like our first story our defender just acted. It’s not the movies you are not required to give a “Drop the gun” command before using force and in a lot of cases you probably shouldn’t. After the action the good guy did the right things by giving a short statement and getting the video to police.
Rob- Are there other things you’d like us to do that were not mentioned in the story?
Ben- the story said our good guy thought about this and trained, remember you can always play the what if game sitting at home and listening to these stories. What would you do if you were there?
And when you do that, don’t forget the aftermath. Make sure other people are okay, you call the police and give just the very basics of what happened and think about what you will do while you are waiting for the police to get there and what you will do once the police arrive.
Rob- We talk about that in marksmanship, but it has been a while since I practiced that. When would your students develop those habits?
Ben- all of the skills are taught at any good training class. The habits have to be learned by you thinking about this stuff and practicing at home in dry practice.
Our third story happened in Sanford, Florida.
Rob- First this message from Amanda Suffecool.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you drive at night?
Boyfriend stops carjacking.
You’re a bartender and manager at a neighborhood tavern. It is 2 in the morning. You’re closing up for the day. You call your boyfriend. He waits outside for you. You turn off the lights and lock the doors.
You walk to your car when a stranger jumps out of a porta-potty that is sitting in the parking lot. The stranger hits you from behind. He grabs you by the throat and knocks you down. Your attacker gets on top of you and bangs your head against the asphalt. Your attacker rips open your blouse.
Your boyfriend sees you being attacked. He gets out of his car and runs across the parking lot. He presents his firearm and shoots your attacker several times. Your attacker gets up and runs. Your boyfriend runs up to you and asks how you are? He calls 911 and asks for help.
You and your boyfriend stay at the scene. You thought the attacker was going to kill you. Police find your dead attacker at the back of the parking lot. Security video shows your attacker hiding in the toilet for the last few hours while he waited for you to leave and walk to your car. Some reports say he was a customer inside the bar earlier that day.
Your boyfriend is not charged with a crime.
Ben- This was a team effort. The bartender recognized that she had a dangerous job leaving the bar at 2AM. Her boyfriend offered to escort her to her car. She called him and he came. He was armed. He recognized an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat when she was attacked. He stopped the attack and then stopped shooting.
He stayed at the scene rather than chase the attacker. He focused on the safety of his girlfriend. They called for help and gave a statement to the police. I like that they had security videos of inside and outside the bar.
Rob- What would you like your students to do?
Ben- It looks like she left by the back door. Cameras at the back door where they take deliveries.
Can they alarm the front door that has streetlights and traffic going by rather than the back of the bar that is isolated at 2am. Can we have more than one employee lock up at night? Can you be armed at work?
Rob- That is way beyond your concealed carry course. When do small business owners learn about best practice for the safety of their employees?
Ben- They don’t. Unless they hire a security expert to help them. The problem is always, that when nothing bad is happening no one thinks about it. This bar owner will redo his security effort now that something happened. A couple years from now, if nothing else happens they will forget about it and go to whatever is easiest again. Until something else happens. It is the most frustrating thing as a security expert.
Ben- Lets go to our fourth story which took place in Bridgeton, Missouri.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you stop your car for gasoline?
You are filling your car with gas after work. It is already dark. You’re putting the gas cap back on the tank when you hear your car door open. You see the inside light come on. Someone has climbed into your car. You jump into the back seat. You hit the robber. You reach into your purse and you draw your handgun. Now the robber opens the driver’s side door and dives out of your car. You have to climb over the seat to put on the brakes. You shut off your car and call the police.
Police look at the security video of your attack. The car that the thieves were driving didn’t have license plates. The police post video of your attacker on the news and on social media. You are not charged.
Ben- I like that the defender was armed. The news video said that she’d had her car stolen before. I like that her gun was on her body and she took her purse with her when she got out of the car to pump gas.
Rob- Is there more you’d want your students to do when they fill up?
Ben- Lock the doors and turn off the car. This type of “slider” crime is becoming very popular. Lock your doors while you pump gas. And learn how your door locks work on your car so that you can use them effectively.
Rob- When do you talk about that with your students?
Ben- Constantly. Be aware of your surroundings and what type of crime is happening in your area and what is on the rise. All of this stuff comes in waves and if one person thought it was a good way to victimize someone, another dirtbag will think the same thing and try it.
Rob- Have you had a chance to practice defense around your car?
Ben- I have. I’ve taken classes in the military, law enforcement, and from other self defense instructors. If you can find someone teaching self defense around your vehicle, take the course.
Rob- That wraps up this episode. Ben Branam, 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- Please leave Ben a message on the podcast episode webpage.
Ben- We share this podcast with you for free.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.