Episode 309 with Candy Petticord

Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 309 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 Petticord

Candy- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been teaching lots of women with our new Girl and a Gun Chapter. I also testified at the state capitol about firearms legislation.

How about you?

Rob- I was traveling and it is good to be back where I can carry every day. I came back and did some dry practice right away.

We received two new ratings and a comment on iTunes (339,186).

-A listener left us a message. Stan said Episode 307 was excellent – but it was disturbing when Robyn said “There are many people in Texas jails because although they were within the law, the jury did not consider their actions reasonable. ”  I have my Texas carry license and I find it appalling that some police and prosecutors won’t investigate or prosecute many crimes but will prosecute people for lawfully defending themselves against those same crimes. As you said, we have become our own first responders.

Candy- Armed defense isn’t simple. You want to survive the physical threat AND stay within the law. That means you need to understand the guidelines of the law. You also need to defend yourself in our legal system. I have an insurance plan to help me spread out the payments for that legal representation.

Rob- Alfredo wrote to us. He is a fan. He said that gun ownership is very limited in Mexico where he lives. You can have a gun in your home, but there are very few places to practice.

Candy- We know people who want to protect their family. That isn’t confined to the USA. That you for doing the hard work of defending the people you love wherever you live.

-GreenDeen left us a comment on iTunes. He thanked our team for spreading the word about responsible firearms ownership. We bring him news that he doesn’t find from other sources. That makes him want to train harder.

Rob- Thank you, Green Deen.

Pastor Mel also sent us some interesting stories. Thanks, Mel.

Candy- 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 Austinville, Virginia.

Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby when you’re asleep at home?

And here.

It is late Sunday night when you hear sounds downstairs. That is unusual. You go downstairs and identify the noise coming from your kitchen. There is a naked woman in your home. You shout for her to leave. He hits you with a cast iron frying pan. You fight back and push her out the back door and then lock the door. She turns off the power to your house and says she is going to kill you. When she is smashing her way through your back door you shoot her in the leg. Now she stops. You stop shooting and call 911.

Police arrest your intruder. EMS treats the wound on her leg and takes her to the hospital. She is charged with felony breaking and entering of an occupied home while armed with a deadly weapon to commit larceny, assault and battery, and intentional damage to property. You are not charged with a crime.

Candy- It was 36 degrees outside that night. That is much too cold to be running around without clothes.

I’m glad our defender thought about his safety at home. He bought a firearm. He didn’t ignore the unusual sounds of someone in his home at night. He armed himself. He defended himself when he faced an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He stayed at the scene and called for help. He put his gun away when the police arrived, and he gave them a statement. 

Rob- There are other things you’d like us to do. Before you talk about that please explain why this was justified to use lethal force to stop this threat.

Candy- The homeowner was hit in the arm by the frying pan. He was hit in the head with the frying pan. The crazy woman was telling him to get out of her home and that she was going to kill him. That is a clue. She told him what she was going to do and she tried to do it.

The fact that it is crazy doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

You have to explain why a crazy lady who is outside your home is an immediate and lethal threat. The downside is that if you wait until she smashes her way inside, then  you have to shoot her multiple times in the chest or head to immediately stop her before she attacks you again.

Rob- You’re telling me that this homeowner might have actually saved the attacker’s life when he chose to shoot early?

Candy- Yes. This is a simple story but self-defense isn’t simple. We have to deal with criminals, with druggies, and with people who are mentally ill.

Rob- What do you teach your students to do when they hear something downstairs at night?

Candy- First, work out a home safety plan so you don’t have to be brilliant in the middle of the night.

Let’s call the police first. Let’s stay in our bedroom behind a locked door. If you have a family to protect, then by all means go downstairs with your gun, your phone, your flashlight, and your partner.

Also, lock your doors and your windows so you don’t wake up with someone inside your home even if they are only armed with a cast iron frying pan.

Rob- When do your students learn that?

Candy- In our defense of the home class.

Rob- Is there more you want to cover before we move on?

Candy- Let’s save some for the other stories. We’re headed to El Paso, Texas.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home in the morning?

You are at home on a Thursday morning. It is about a quarter till 9 when you hear someone break down your door. You hear your dog bark and you hear a gunshot. That is called a clue. You grab your own firearm before you go investigate the problem. A stranger is standing in your home. He has a gun in his hand. You shoot him. The stranger runs away so you stop shooting. You check on your two roommates and then call 911. You ask for help from the police and from animal control for your dog.

Police also get a call about a man lying in the middle of an intersection about two miles away. He matches the description of your attacker. He is taken to the hospital to treat a gunshot wound. He is charged with burglary and held on a half million dollars bond. The news reports don’t mention the condition of the dog.

You are not charged with a crime.

Candy- Again, I’m glad our defender was armed in his home on a weekday morning. Hearing gunshots in your home is a clue that the attacker is willing to use lethal violence against anyone who stands in his way. Our defender stopped the threat and then stopped shooting when the attacker turned and ran away. He called for help and gave a statement to the police when they arrived.

There are two additional comments I want to make. Dogs are good alarms. They are not good defensive tools.

Second, most of us need to work out more. Don’t start your exercise plan after you’ve been shot. Running down the street as you bleed externally and internally is a good way to die.

Rob- We’re talking about a home defense safety plan again. There were two other roommates in the home at that time. How does that change our plans?

Candy- That depends. I might have a relative living in my home. I expect them to risk their life to defend our family. I don’t expect that from the family friend who stays in the back room for a hundred dollars a week when they are visiting town on business. Have those discussions in the daylight when you make your safety plan.

Rob- Is there more you want to cover here? 

Candy- We haven’t talked about giving a statement to the police and then contacting your lawyer. Details matter. Point out evidence, but you want to save your report until after you talk to your lawyer and they fill the report out for you. Here is an important example.

Suppose your dog is shot and then runs outside. That could be interpreted that your dog attacked the stranger outside your home. The stranger then entered the home to explain what happened, and you shot him.

That is very different from the man breaking into your home and discharging a firearm there. Now you’ve already established that the attacker has the means and motive of using lethal force inside your home.

We don’t want to make a mistake on mis-reporting something so important. That is why we have our lawyer fill out our report.

Rob- What do you say to the people who tell us to say nothing to the police?

Candy- Saying nothing means the police can miss evidence. Are you going to give them the description of your intruder? Are you going to say that you saw that your attacker was armed and that he shot his gun inside your home? Are you going to ignore that the attacker broke down your door?

Point out the evidence so it can be documented by the police. Don’t answer questions about why and how much. Where was the intruder standing when you shot him? Somewhere in my living room. I was in my bedroom looking through a crack in the doorway when I shouted for him to leave and he pointed the gun at me. I defended myself, and I’ll have my lawyer fill out the details in our report. Then you stop talking unless you think of more evidence. Like, Oh, yes, my roommate saw what happened from his bedroom door. Please ask him.

Rob- When will your students learn about the legal use of lethal force in self-defense?

Candy- CCW course and in private lessons.

Rob- Where are we headed next?

Candy- Our third story happened in Chicago, Illinois.

Rob- First this message from FASTER Colorado.

FASTER Colorado


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

And here.

It is just after 1 in the morning when you hear a strange sound and then your dog starts barking loudly. You shout out your son’s name wondering if he came over unexpectedly. You get out of bed to see what is happening. You hear a loud noise from your basement and you decide to bring your gun with you. You go down the basement steps when you notice a stranger in your basement. You shout that you’re armed. You tell him not to move. The stranger moves toward you and you shoot him. Now he backs up and you stop shooting. You back up and call 911 for help.

You put your gun away when the police arrive. The police arrest your attacker. EMS transports your attacker to the hospital with a serious wound to his arm. You give a statement to the police. Your attacker was charged with felony burglary.

You’re not charged with a crime. News reporters talk to the neighbors. They didn’t think that sort of thing would happen here.

Candy- Our defender was armed. His doors were locked. He responded to his four footed alarm. He got his gun before he investigated. He tried to determine if it was a family member. He tried verbal commands like stay away from me. He shot before the intruder could reach him. He called for help. He put his gun away and gave a statement to the police.

Rob- What else would you like us to do?

Candy- Call the police. Turn on the lights. Stay behind a door so you are hard to see and hard to shoot. Everyone thinks they want to clear their house until they try it against an intruder in one of our exercises. We arm the intruder with an airsoft gun. That is enough to convince you that your old baseball cards that are stored in the basement are not that important.

It sounds like the defender did a good job but he didn’t have a plan.

Rob- Have a plan so you don’t get creative in the middle of the night. That means we’re going to have to sit there in our room for fifteen minutes while our dog barks at the guy in the basement.

Candy- Yep. Talk to the 911 dispatcher instead of worrying about your dog.

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?

Candy- Our fourth story took place in Marengo, Ohio.

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

It is Tuesday evening. The sun set about a half hour ago. You are about 35 miles north of Columbus, Ohio when you pull your U-haul van into a small town gas station to fuel up. You are at the pumps and you turn when you hear gunshots. A man just shot at a woman who was putting gas in her car. The news reports don’t mention if you said anything, but now the attacker shoots at you too.

You are armed. You present your firearm and shoot back. You hit your attacker and he stops shooting. You stop shooting too. You call 911 and stay at the scene.

You give a statement to the police when they arrive. EMTs treat the wounded woman and your attacker. Both were declared dead at the scene. You show the police your identification.

It takes the police a while, but they connect your attacker to three other carjackings that happened in the last few hours. Your attacker shot at those victims too. In your case, you were armed and stopped the attacks.

You are not charged with a crime.

Candy- I like that our defender was armed. 

Ohio now has constitutional carry so you don’t need a permit to conceal your legally owned firearm in public. I want you to take a class so you know when to use your gun and when not to use it.

I like that our defender recognized an immediate threat to innocent parties. He reacted and then defended himself and others. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped.

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

Candy- Our good guy stopped a violent murderer who’d shot at about a half-dozen people and cars that day and murdered at least one innocent person. I want our defender to have a medical kit so you can save his own life. I want my students to be able to save their family and friends.

I sound like a broken record today, but having a plan is important. You want to make sure the attacker can’t hurt anyone. You can’t walk up and shoot him after he dropped his gun. It is probably better to drag the injured woman to a safe position, maybe into the convenience store, and get her help.

If you don’t know about first aid then you’re not going to know what to do. Maybe there was nothing that we could do to save her life, but it will haunt you if you don’t know what to do so you do nothing.

Rob- When do you talk to your students about that?

Candy- We start to cover that in our self-defense in the home course.

Exit-  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, Stark & Summit, & Northcoast Ohio Chapters of A Girl and a Gun. I also teach at Northpointe Training in Akron, Ohio with offices located at The Parma Armory Shooting Center.

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.
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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.

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