Episode 307 with Robyn Sandoval

Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 307 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 Robyn Sandoval. What has been keeping you so busy, Robyn?

Robyn Sandoval

Robyn- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been planning our 11th Annual A Girl & A Gun National Conference. We’ll have more than 600 students, 100 instructors, a small army of staff, along with vendors, sponsors, and friends. There will be over 1200 people on site and it’s always a fun time. How about you?

Rob- I was sick last week so we missed an episode. I’d like to thank our listeners who sent in stories for us to use. Thank you, Dwayne and Mel. (Is 336,184) We are still looking for volunteers to help on this podcast.

Robyn- We received three new ratings and a new comment on iTunes. A listener named JimV said, Self Defense Gun stories is a great source for mental ammunition. Close quote. He called us a vital part of training.

Rob- Thank you, JimV. Thank you for making us part of your self-defense training. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new gun owners know why you listen.

Robyn- 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 Interlachen Florida?

Rob- First story- Do you keep a firearm nearby at night?

You are a 67 year old woman. You’re woken up by sounds from the front of your house. You get out of bed. You pick up your gun and walk into the center of your home. You hear someone rattle your door knob. It is three in the morning and you wonder if your husband could be home from work early. You open your front door. A strange man pushes his way inside your home.

You shout for the stranger to leave and you point your gun at him. You shout for him to leave again. This time the stranger raises his arms and he has a gun in one hand. You shoot him one time in the chest. He drops his gun so you stop shooting. You step back and call 911 for help.

It is 3 in the morning and the police are already on their way. You meet the officers when they arrive at your home. They disarm your intruder. Emergency Medical Services take him to the hospital.

Earlier that morning, the stranger called the police and said he was hiding from his neighbors and there were people in orange clothes standing outside his home. Later, a woman called and said the stranger had jumped out a window with a gun and run down the street. Deputies were en route to the earlier calls when you shot your intruder.

The police chief said you did the right thing. You find out that your intruder died at the hospital. You are not charged with a crime.

Robyn- This started to read like a horror movie and it could have ended so much worse. I’m relieved that our defender was a gun owner. Her doors and windows were locked, thank goodness. She took her gun with her when she heard something happening in the middle of the night. When her intruder pushed his way past her, she tried verbal commands to defuse the situation. Our defender recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat when the intruder raised his gun. She defended herself until the threat stopped. She retreated and called for help. She gave a statement to the police when they arrived.

A top-notch performance for being asleep a few seconds earlier.

Rob- Robyn, are there other things you would like us to do that weren’t included in this news report?

Robyn- We can’t think when we’re startled awake. Have a plan and to walk through it. When you do, you’ll see parts of your plan that don’t work the way you imagined. Make changes and walk through  your emergency plan with your family once a week for the first few months. After a while,  you can spread out the time between rehearsals.

You may not be able to think but you will know what to do because you practiced. You’ll also know what to avoid, like opening your door when you have someone at your door in the middle of the night.

Don’t open the door. Call the police. You can talk through the door. Better yet, you can shout from a doorway that is away from your door. If you don’t know the stranger who is banging on your door, then retreat to your bedroom and lock the door. Let the police deal with the crazy man.

Another thing that wasn’t mentioned, we want our gun out of our hands when the police arrive. We want to offer to press charges against our intruder and then testify against him in court.

Rob- Wow. you just touched on the highlights from a half-day class on self-defense in the home. Do you cover that or review it in your A Girl & A Gun chapters?

Robyn- Yes, it’s very common for our students to learn not only basic marksmanship so that she could place one, well-intentioned and legally justified shot in the right place on the target, but knowing the laws of what is justified, where, when, and how. It’s not just about surviving the self-defense incident, it’s also about surviving the fight that may happen with the justice system, so that you go home at the end of the day. A lot of these skills, the actions and words, are things responsibly armed citizens need to practice.

Rob- It sounds like defense in the home is like physical fitness or working in the garden. It is something you have to do time after time.

Robyn- We want you to have good habits, so of course that takes practice and review.

Rob- What else comes to mind?

Robyn- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Chicago, Illinois.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home?

It is 8:30 in the evening when your security system alerts you. You check your phone and see a stranger standing on your back porch. No one rings the doorbell. You have your Illinois Concealed Carry License and you’re carrying concealed at home. You go out the back door and don’t see anyone. You hear someone in your garage. You go to the garage door and see a stranger inside. You tell him you’re armed and to put his hands up. He does. Your wife asks what is happening and you ask her to call 911. It seems as if the police are there in a minute, but it probably took longer.

You put your gun away as the police arrive. They arrest your intruder. You show the officers your ID and your carry license. The police leave with your intruder and you are not charged with a crime.

You see in the news that your intruder has a college degree and is unemployed and homeless. He is out on probation from trying to burn down a building. He also has outstanding warrants for his arrest on charges of aggravated battery of a peace officer. The judge did not let him out on bail this time.

Robyn- Let’s look at what this defender did right. He had his carry permit in Chicago. He had a security camera on his back door. He was carrying concealed at home. His security system was turned on, and he paid attention to it when the alarm went off. Someone was in his backyard so he went to see what was going on. Our defender stayed in the doorway or outside of his garage rather than enter an enclosed space with an intruder. He used verbal commands. He called for help, and then he and his wife worked as a team. They followed instructions as the police arrived, and they gave statements to the officers.

Rob- Is there more that you’d like your students to do if they hear someone on their back porch?

Robyn- Again, have a plan. And in this case, have a team plan! You both have your carry permits and you’re both armed at home. One of you calls the police. The other one turns on the light in the garage and waits out of the line of fire to see if someone is in there. It is not our job to identify, close with, and capture criminals. Get to a safe location and leave that job for professional law enforcement.

Work together with your partner so that if your partner says, ‘Honey, I think you should move back to a safer position.’ you can take a hint and not argue in the dark. It is not worth getting punched, cut, or shot as you’re protecting your lawn mower.

Rob- This is sort of an inbetween problem. Yes, it is our property but it is outside our home at night. When do your students learn about what to do in that situation?

Robyn-  Yes this is a really personal decision. Do you even go outside to investigate? Perhaps you just stand vigilant watch from inside your home, perhaps you call the police. Or you could go see who or what is making the noise, if something is wrong or if someone needs help. It’s not always a criminal. However, whatever you do, don’t go passively. Have a plan, have self-defense tools, have a partner watching your back with phone in hand.

Rob- This is complicated. We’re meeting a stranger in the dark. When does it justify the use of lethal force?

Robyn-  Knowing the laws of your state is critical. Here in Texas it is legal for the defense of that lawn mower or any property to use lethal force. However, that being said, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s the right call. Can you live with yourself morally, ethically, and would a jury of your peers consider your actions reasonable? There are many people in Texas jails because although they were within the law, the jury did not consider their actions reasonable. So plan for the totality of the circumstances and always follow the reasonable person theory. 

In this case in Illinois, defending the lawn mower would not have been worth it for the same if not greater reasons. The laws there are structured entirely differently. A good rule of thumb is to quickly analyze: am I in immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury? Am I trapped an unable to escape or avoid? Does this person have the ability and intent to kill me? If so, act out your plan.

Rob- Where are we going for our third story?

Robyn- We are heading to Denver, Colorado.

Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation


Rob- Third story- Are you armed in public after you go shopping?

News1, News2, News3

You called the police when your car was stolen from a nearby shopping center. Car theft is a low priority with the police so you are tracing your car on your phone. You see your car ahead of you and start to walk up to it. The young men inside shoot at you. You are legally armed and you shoot back. The driver speeds away. You call 911 and again submit a report with the police.

Officers find your car a few blocks from where you were attacked. The thieves ran away and left the wounded driver in the car. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital. He has been a gang member since he was 10 years old. He is now 12. He died in the hospital.  You are not charged with a crime.

Robyn-  There are several things I want to say here, but we’ll start with what our defender did correctly. He recognized that he is his own first defender. He went through the process so he could legally carry concealed in public. He defended himself when he was being shot at, and he stopped shooting when his attackers drove away. He called 911 and asked for help. He stayed at the scene and gave a statement to the police.

Rob- All that is true but the story is more complicated.

Robyn- It is. Some city governments have said they will not prosecute car theft and carjacking. That means that we are on our own. This honest citizen followed his car because the police wouldn’t.

The defunding of police and laws that limit the actions of citizens and law enforcement embolden criminals. Often gangs recruit young kids to do these crimes because they are highly profitable and younger kids will not be prosecuted because of their age. They learn it pays to be violent criminals. That breaks my heart.

Rob- That breaks everyone’s heart. It sounds like we have to plan for that as part of our defense. When do you talk to your students about armed defense in public?

Robyn- We have several training opportunities for members to learn about being in public. The greatest task is to be accurate – every round is a hit. It’s either hitting your target or hitting something you may not want to injury or damage. Always be mindful of what is behind your target, who can help you, who can hurt you, and what witness are watching and/or recording.

We don’t know what our attacker is going to look like. In this episode the attackers have ranged from 12 years old to 64 years old.

Rob- In some ways we are safer than ever since we now have electronic car keys that should never leave our pocket. We also have the ability to track our cars on our phone. 

Robyn- We are safer at some places and at some times. Unfortunately, criminals go wherever we are to rob us so we are never completely secure.

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?

Robyn- Our fourth story took place in El Paso, Texas.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in public?

And here.

It is about 5pm and you are in a large shopping mall with your friends. You are standing near the food court on the second floor when you see two groups of teenagers start to fight. You hear shouts and then you hear gunshots. One of the young men shoots into the crowd. People are running everywhere. You see the attacker as he runs toward your friends, and he has his gun pointed at you.

You have your Texas license to carry. You’re armed tonight. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker until he drops his gun. You stop shooting. You shout for people to call the police. The news reports don’t mention if you called 911 too.

You stay at the scene. News reports aren’t clear when you lower your firearm and reholster it. An off-duty police officer working at the mall arrives on the scene. You identify yourself. You help the officer apply trauma care to the injured. Your attacker was sixteen years old and the victims he shot were two 17-year-olds and a 20-year-old.

One of the injured 17 year olds ran into a nearby store and died. The rest of the injured teenagers are taken to the hospital. The 16-year-old murderer is expected to survive. The gun he used was stolen.

You give a complete report to the police. Later, you find out that there were two other individuals in the food court who were legally armed and did not respond to the shooting. You’re not charged.

Robyn- We go to the mall to go shopping, and I always have a few different self-defense tools with me.

In this case, our defender also recognized that armed defense could be necessary in a shopping mall while he was traveling with his friends. He was a gun owner and he went through the process to get his concealed carry license. He recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat to himself and other innocent parties. He defended himself, and then he stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He stayed at the scene and followed instructions. He later gave a complete report to the police.

Rob- Are there other things you want your students to do that were not covered in this news story?

Robyn- I noticed that the defender worked with the policeman to treat the injured. The reason we have a firearm is to save lives. I know first aid. I have a knife and a tourniquet in my pocket or my purse. I can help save lives when the threat stops. You want to be able to save your friend’s lives if they were injured.

Rob- We’re told not to treat our attacker, but there are other injured victims in this case. When do you talk to your students about that? They come to you to learn firearms safety and basic marksmanship. Now you’re talking about concealed carry and trauma kits.

Robyn- I am a lifesaver. I need to treat my own injuries and those of my family. Once I have those skills, I’m there to help other innocent people.

Rob- I dry practice once a week. It has been months since I even looked at my medical kit. What should I do?  

Robyn- Practice on your own. Practice with your family. If you’re a woman, then come out with A Girl & A Gun chapters around the country and practice with your friends.

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

Robyn- Look for me at A Girl and a Gun dot org, and at and A Girl & A Gun on all of the social media pages. We have chapters all across the country.

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

Robyn- 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.  We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.



Apple categories- news commentary, self-improvement


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