Episode 311 with Amanda Suffecool
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Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 311 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 Amanda Suffecool. What has been keeping you so busy?
Amanda- Hi, Rob. I’ve been setting up next month’s travel schedule. NRA, then a DC Project event at Hillsdale College in Michigan, then off to DC, Illinois and Atlanta. Advocating, Training (both as a student and as the instructor) and setting up a fashion show.
How about you?
Rob- I traveled halfway around the world and am glad to be back home.
A long term listener named Roger sent in this story that happened to him and his daughter. (Is 344,188) We also received several new ratings and a new comment on iTunes. A listener who uses the name CTownz looks forward to every new episode. He says podcasts are the only way to get news and information nowadays.
Amanda- Thank you, C Townz. We have not had a single message in April, so please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new gun owners why you listen.
Rob- About one listener in 4-thousand bothers to leave a comment. Why not be one of the elite listeners who lets us know what you think?
Amanda- 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 a few weeks ago in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
Rob- First Story- Do you have a firearm near your bed?
You’ve asked for stories like this and Roger wrote in with his story of an armed defense that ended early.
You are sound asleep on a cold and dark February morning. That happy moment ends when you hear your adult daughter screaming. She shouts “Dad, get your gun!”
You wake up instantly. You grab the “bag” you keep on your night stand and run to the front of the house. On the way there you hit the switch that turns on several flood lights that light up the front yard and the driveway. You check your “go bag” for your 9mm pistol, extra magazine, flashlight and your cell phone. Your daughter meets you in the center of your home. She says that three men in dark clothes drove their car down the driveway and then turned around to face back toward the street. They ran toward your home. You run to the front window and all you see are a set of tail lights racing down the driveway away from your house. You spend the next few minutes calming yourself and your daughter.
Later, you find out that your daughter was up early. She heard the car in the driveway and yelled to alert you. You’re so grateful for her loud warning which both you and your intruders must have heard. You decide not to call the police since neither of you could describe the car or the men inside it.
Amanda- This is a story after my own heart because I want us to avoid every problem we can.
I love that they had a plan. She shouted to alert the whole household. Dad grabbed his emergency bag. He turns on the flood lights outside the home. The story doesn’t mention it, but I suspect he turned on some lights inside his home as well. The family met and they took stock of the situation. I bet it took them a while to calm down.
Rob- Is there more you want your students to do that wasn’t mentioned in this story?
Amanda- There are a few things we can still do. They were lucky that the daughter was up early and watching TV. Let’s have some motion detectors on the front porch, and if you have a long driveway, then let’s put some motion detectors on the driveway as well. Solar powered wi-fi is wonderful.
Go ahead and call the police. These guys were looking for trouble. It will help the police to know that they tried your place if they then head somewhere else. It will also help the police if it turns out that the intruders are interested in you in particular.
Since you may have been targeted, why not have an alarm company out to see what it would cost to put a system in your house. I also want both of you armed. I don’t know the layout of your home, but can you install a gate at the road? How about video systems?
Rob- Do you have students who want to be armed AFTER they’ve been attacked?
Amanda- Oh yeah. They suddenly take defense at home and on the street very seriously. Again, I want to work on making you and your home uninviting so the bad guys go away without you having to shoot someone.
Rob- I assume the doors and windows were locked, but let’s say that anyway.
Amanda- How about a ring doorbell so you can talk to your intruder while your door is locked and you have recorded video of them. I like that a lot. It also works if you are not home.
Rob- What should happen if the daughter is there alone?
Amanda- She seemed to know the plan, and the location of the gear. So if she was not carrying on body (which is highly recommended) she could get to ‘the bag’ on her own.
Rob- Anything else?
Amanda- That is enough for now. Our second story happened on Main Street in Houston, Texas.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work?
You and your brother have been serving a few customers for the last few hours. The two of you work together and run your food truck. It is about 1:30 in the afternoon when your next customer arrives. Your brother talks to him. The stranger pushes a gun through the order window and your brother closes the window on him. The robber lifts the window and tries to shoot inside the food truck. The armed robber enters the side door of the food truck and presses the trigger. His gun jams after the first shot.
You have your Texas license to carry. You’re armed today. You shoot your attacker and he runs away. You and your brother call 911 and ask for help. You both stay at the scene.
The police find your attacker about 40 yards away. EMS takes him to the hospital. You go to the hospital as well because you can’t calm down. It is hard to catch your breath. You are a grandmother and your family gives you lots of support. Police said this was a case of self-defense. You take a day off and then re-open the food truck.
Amanda- Yikes. There isn’t a place to hide in a food truck so this is really scary.
I like that she was armed. She said she had her carry permit for years and she never thought she’d have to use it. That is a little strange since I found six other stories of food trucks that were robbed in Houston.
She carried that day and she recognized when it was time to use her gun. She shot until the robber ran. She stopped shooting and didn’t chase the bad guy. She and her brother called 911 and asked for help. She gave a statement and then asked for medical help for herself.
Rob- What else would you want your small business owner to do?
Amanda- I want you to lock the doors and windows of your food truck the same way you secure your home or office. Let’s keep the bad guys outside. Particularly since you work with family, I want you to have a safety plan.
Part of that plan is noticing criminal acts in your area that might affect you. The more you realize that you might be the next victim, the faster you react and the faster you recover. Before it happens, you’re accepting that violence might happen to you. This woman was religious. God gave her the means to protect herself and she is supposed to use it.
I want both of you armed. I want you to train together. I want you to install cameras and an alarm so your bad guy runs away before he presents a gun.
Rob- There isn’t any place to hide in a food truck.
Amanda- There is and there isn’t. Can you drop to the floor because that gets you out of sight? Can you shoot through the aluminum skin of the truck to hit your attacker outside?
We normally say that the robber outside isn’t a threat, but almost every firearm can shoot through the side of some catering trucks. That means you have to think ahead and study what works in your particular case.
Rob- When do your students learn about things like that?
Amanda- We talk alot about cover vs concealment. In this case – the robber worked to stick the gun through the window. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that food truck glass is glass, and thus not bulletproof. This worked in our hero’s favor.
Rob- Where are we going for our third story?
Our third story happened in Carroll county, Mississippi.
Rob- First this message from the Second Amendment Foundation
Rob- Third story- Are you armed in public?
You are at a local bar. A man keeps bothering you so you decide to leave. You ask a friend to walk you the short distance to your home. Your stalker follows you and you tell him to stay away from you. You are in front of your home when your stalker grabs you. You fight to get free, but he won’t let go. You’re armed. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. He finally lets go of you and you stop shooting. You ask the two witnesses to call 911. You put your gun away and you also call 911.
Emergency Medical Services take your attacker to the hospital. You give a statement to the police. They arrest you on an investigative hold. The police get statements from the witnesses at the scene and other witnesses at the bar. You are released since this appears to be a justified case of self-defense.
Amanda- I am so happy that this woman was armed. Lots of us make excuses. I’m just going down the street. I’m just going to see friends. What could happen?
Well, someone could attack you and you might have to fight to get free, that is what might happen!
She walked away and left when the guy in the bar bothered her. She asked some friends to walk her home. That added both protection and witnesses. She tried verbal commands to tell him to go away. She tried physical force when he grabbed her, and then she escalated the use of force by using her firearm. She stopped shooting when the threat stopped. She called the police and asked for help.
Rob- This story is important because it is so ordinary. She was attacked right outside her home.
Amanda- That is where most defensive uses of a gun happen. The bad guys try to get us when we’re coming and going.
Rob- If the bad guy grabs my arm, do I have a spare hand to get my gun if I purse carry?
Amanda- That is one of the biggest arguments against purse carry. But, sometimes it’s the only option. Women are built differently than men, many times and many outfits take a whole lot more thinking to have a firearm on body. Sometimes it’s just easier to carry in your concealed carry designed purse.
Rob- What else do you notice about this story?
Amanda- In this case, our defender had advance warning. Even if she was purse carrying, she could keep her hand on her gun so that her gun was ready instantly. Her ‘spidey senses’ already let her know this creep was an issue. The way she handled it was text-book perfect.
Rob- When do you talk to woman about having their hand inside their purse and on their gun?
Amanda- That comes up in our concealed carry class.
Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Amanda- Our fourth story took place in Calumet Heights, Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work?
You manage an auto parts store on the south side of Chicago. It is about 2:30 in the afternoon on Saturday when you look up to serve the next customer. The middle aged man lifts his shirt and shows you the gun in his waistband. He tells you to hand over the money in the cash register.
You own a gun. You have your Illinois Firearms Owners ID card. You are carrying concealed at work. You grab some cash and then grab your gun. You shoot your attacker several times. He reaches for his gun and you keep shooting. You stop shooting when he runs out the door. You stay inside and call the police. You check on your employees and customers.
Police find your attacker on the sidewalk in front of your store. His gun is on the ground next to him. Police disarm your attacker and Emergency Medical Services take your attacker to the University of Chicago Hospital. You find out that he later died of his injuries.
You are not charged. You saw on the news that this was the 45th time that someone with their carry permit has stopped an attack in Chicago in the last three years.
Amanda- I’m glad our defender was armed because I can find lots of stories where unarmed store clerks were shot by bad guys. The store manager recognized a robbery and he waited his turn. We want to put something in the robber’s hands. You can have this bag and this box and this sack. I see that your hands are full. Can I open the door for you after I shoot you several times.
That is important because we want to avoid a gunfight where the bad guy gets to shoot at us and our customers.
Our good guy stopped shooting when the attacker was out the door. He called for help and checked to see what happened to other innocent victims.
Rob- Is there more you want us to do when our business is robbed.
Amanda- There is a ton that wasn’t mentioned in the news article. As a store manager you have to be all over the store. That means your employees will be at the register without you. That means they should be armed too. Do you have a safety plan with all of your employees? Do you have a company policy against guns or advocating for concealed carry?
Ask all the employees and the customers if they are injured, and if they are able bodied enough, then ask them to call 911 for you. Ask each person to do that face to face. Lock the front door so the bad guys buddies don’t step inside. You want to be on the phone so you know when the police arrive and you can unlock your front door.
You have a store on the south side of Chicago. I expect you to have security cameras everywhere. Give copies of those security videos to the police as soon as possible. The sooner they have them, the harder it is for a defense lawyer to say you changed the videos.
Rob- Wow. Lots of small business owners need to up their security. We’re talking about a security system they can buy at the local big-box hardware store.
Are small business owners going to have to lose lawsuits when they don’t have security alarms on their back doors before they step up?
Amanda- With the creation of RING and other internet security systems, the cost barrier is now a curb instead and easily stepped over. Companies need to have security as part of their business plan, as part of their overall utilities.
Rob- When do you teach small business owners how to make a security plan?
Amanda- I send them to other experts. I can give them rudimentary pointers, but it is not my area of expertise. We each need to know our wheelhouse and use the experts in the industry that are available to us.
Exit- Rob- That wraps up this episode. Amanda, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Amanda- My eye on the target radio show is syndicated coast to coast on Sunday nights from 5 to 7 eastern time. I instruct on the weekends in Northeastern Ohio. I’m part of the DCProject that you can find at DCProject.info, and I’m on TV at the OpsLens channel with both Eye on the Target on Sundays and Women for Gun Rights on Fridays at 7 pm eastern.
Rob- After you listen to Amanda podcasts and watch her TV shows, then please leave her a message on our podcast episode webpage.
Amanda- We share this podcast with you for free.
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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.