Episode 314 with David Cole
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 314 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 David Cole. I know you’ve been traveling and hunting. Tell us what has been keeping you so busy.
David- I just returned from a hunting safari in South Africa, and I’m in the midst of my 12th season shooting USPSA.
How about you?
Rob- I have been dry-practicing every day to get ready for a class. I also did some live fire practice. I’ll tell you about it in a few weeks.
We received a new rating and comment on iTunes (is 346,190). A listener said the reinforcement of best practice self-defense is priceless.
David- I don’t think I’ve ever been called priceless before. This may take a minute.
Rob- While Dave blushes with pride, please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new gun owners why you listen.
Dave- 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. As usual, the links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at home?
You’re at home on a Saturday night. The news story doesn’t say if you were in bed yet, but you hear someone beating on your front door at 10pm. You are not expecting visitors so you grab your handgun and go to the front door. You open the door to see what the stranger wants. That is when the stranger pushes his way inside your home. The intruder hits you. You shoot your attacker multiple times. Now your attacker stops hitting you so you stop shooting him. You step back and call 911 for help.
You put your gun away when the police arrive. Emergency Medical Services take your attacker to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to the chest. You show the police your identification and give them a brief statement.
You are not charged with a crime.
David- Our defender was given a pop quiz at 10 at night and he did a lot of things well. He prepared for the test by locking his doors and windows. He prepared by having a firearm for personal defense. He kept the gun where he could get a loaded gun into his hands quickly.
Our good guy defended himself when he was attacked. He stopped shooting when the attacker turned away. He called for help. He stayed at the scene. He put his gun away when the police arrived, and he gave a brief statement.
Rob- Would you grade that as a B, as 7 out of 10 right answers?
David- Something like that.
Rob- We have perfect hindsight. What else do you teach your students to do?
David- There are classes for armed defense in the home and we say don’t open the door for strangers. Beside widely available technologies like doorbell cameras or security cameras…which are great…you can talk to them through the door if necessary. Call the police or call Triple A if they say they have a car problem.
We don’t like to be rude, but don’t open the door. Just don’t. You can offer the stranger milk and cookies and apologies when the police arrive. The advantage of taking a class is so we have a model of what to do and what not to do in the middle of the night. Make the robber break down your door or your windows.
Rob- Suppose I didn’t call the police when the robber was still outside. He breaks in and I defend myself. I have a bad guy lying on my carpet. I want to call 911. How do I get my phone and make that call? What do I do with my gun?
David- It’s easy to keep your cell phone with you at all times…it just takes a little thought sometimes to make it a habit. But it will be worthwhile when you need that phone in an emergency. Don’t have a gun in your hand when police arrive. Holster it, put it on the floor, or somewhere else where the police won’t feel that you are a threat when they roll up.
Rob- You talked about a class for home defense. Is that an hour, a day, or is it several days long?
David- One example, the NRA Personal Protection In The Home class, is a one-day, 8 hour class. I’m sure there are others of varying length.
Rob- Is there more you want to cover about this story?
David- I’m good. Let’s go to Kingsland, Georgia for our second story.
You are working at a gas station/convenience store. It is 4:30 in the morning when a customer runs inside and tells you to hand over your car keys. Yours is the only car in front of the store. Also, your car thief has a gun in his hand. You hand over your keys. Your attacker runs out of the store and jumps into your car. You follow him to lock the door. Your attacker crashes your car into the front of the building. As he gets out of your car, he again points his gun at you. You shoot him eight times until he drops his gun. That is when you stop shooting. Police are in the area and they hear your gunshots before you call 911. They are at your store in minutes.
You put your gun away when the police arrive. They disarm your attacker and EMS takes him to the hospital. You give the police a statement and show them the security video of the robbery. The police tell you that your attacker robbed a store and led them on a chase through five counties and two states. He was shooting at the police as he drove down the highway.
You are not charged with a crime.
David- I noticed that our defender had a gun but he didn’t use it when he had a gun pointed at him the first time. He waited his turn. He could do that because he recognized that he had a dangerous job. He was armed at work. He recognized a threat, and he thought it was a better idea to trade his car in order to avoid a gunfight. That is such a smart thing to do that I bet he thought about this earlier.
After the bad guy crashed the car, the defender had his gun out and saw an advantage when the robber returned. He defended himself until the bad guy dropped his gun and moved away. It sounds like our good guy moved to safety, but I want to talk about that later.
Our good guy stayed at the store and gave a statement to the police.
Rob- Facing a robber who has a gun in his hand is hard. I think he did a good job.
David- He did, and there are a few things we want to do that were not mentioned in the news articles. We want to lock the doors so the bad guy can’t come back. We want to retreat away from the threat and get to safety. We want to call 911 and be talking to the dispatcher until the police get there. We want to move away from the attacker so we are safe. In particular, we do not want to be standing over the bad guy with a gun in our hands when the police arrive. Now is a good time to put our gun back into our holster.
We want a carry permit so the police officers know we don’t have a criminal record. We want to make sure the police get the evidence and the videos, but we want to talk to our lawyer to prepare our complete statement.
Rob- Why is that so important?
David- You just shot an attacker eight times so he would drop his gun and move away from you. That makes you look like the bad guy unless you tell your story completely. Lawyers know how to do that and we don’t.
Rob- How do I find a lawyer?
David- You find a lawyer before you need one. I use a self-defense insurance plan that will have a lawyer on call in my area.
Rob- The police are going to take my gun, aren’t they.
David- They probably will. You might be arrested or detained while the police and detectives get all the information sorted out. That is where those security videos help a lot. You might have to go with the police to the station and talk to the detectives, and that is where a lawyer helps a lot.
Rob- Where are we going for our third story?
David- Our third story happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Rob- First this message from the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work at night when you sleep?
You bought a small retail business. Before you open the store you notice that someone has tried to break into your store by breaking a hole through one of the walls. You have the wall repaired and you start sleeping in your store at night.
It is 4:30 in the morning when you wake up and hear a strange sound. Someone is breaking into your building again. A man climbs through a hole in the wall and he is carrying a heavy hammer and chisel. You shout for him to leave. He walks toward you.
You’re armed tonight. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. Now he drops his hammer and chisel. He turns away so you stop shooting. You back up and call 911.
You put your gun away when the police arrive. You unlock the front door and let the officers inside. They disarm your attacker.They declare your attacker dead at the scene. You show them the hole the intruder made in your wall.
You have to get the wall repaired again, and you want a video security system before you open your store.
You are not charged with a crime.
David- This exam happened at four in the morning. Our defender recognized a lethal threat of a man who broke into his store. The attacker had a hammer in his hands, and was moving toward him. The store owner defended himself until the threat stopped. He then called for help.
Rob- What else do you see here?
David- The obvious question is why didn’t our defender call the police, but this wasn’t the first time someone broke into his store, and he may have had his hands full dealing with the burglar. That’s OK, but you obviously want to call the police as soon as possible. He probably called the police after the first break-in, and the police were not able to identify the criminal, locate him, arrest him, bring him to trial, convict him and incarcerate him. If any one of those moving pieces doesn’t work, then honest citizens remain at risk.
Rob- We imagine that the police are like our parents, that they will protect us and make us safe.
David- The police are not able to do that, and they aren’t legally required to. You can call the police, but there is no guarantee that the bad guy won’t be back tunneling through your wall as soon as the police drive away. More importantly, there is no guarantee that the police will arrive in time to protect you from an attack, which is precisely why we carry.
Rob- That is particularly true where the district attornies won’t prosecute. What do we want our students to do?
David- I like that the defender wanted cameras. They show your defense attorney what happened. We want the police to have the videos quickly so we preserve the chain of evidence.
Also, a gun is a distance tool. I don’t want you anywhere near your attacker. What if he is armed? I want you across the room behind a wall as you shout for him to leave. I don’t want him to be able to see you. If the attacker moves toward you, then you can shoot him while you remain behind cover so he never gets a good look at you. Things like distance and cover equate to time, and you want as much time on your side as possible.
Rob- When do your students learn about using cover and concealment as they defend themselves?
David- Most defensive pistol courses will at least discuss the use of cover and concealment, if not provide some practical exercises, but it’s usually beyond the scope of basic concealed carry training. This is where more advanced training becomes useful.
Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
David- We’re going back to Louisiana, but this time to New Orleans.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you walk in public?
You are walking down the street at four in the afternoon. A red SUV stops suddenly on the street next to you. Four teenagers get out of the car and run up to you. One of them has a gun in his hands and he points his gun at you. He tells you to hand everything over. You say sure and reach into your pocket. You have your concealed carry permit in your wallet. You have your firearm on your hip. It seems like a bad idea to give a loaded gun to four teenage robbers.
You shoot the robbers and they run. They drive away in the SUV and crash into a tree and a utility pole. They get out of the SUV and run. You stay at the scene and re-holster your pistol. You call 911. You tell the dispatcher what happened.
Police find the crashed car nearby. They arrest your four attackers. Two of your attackers are wounded.
Your attackers are 17, 15, 13, and 11 years old. They are taken to the hospital and then to the juvenile detention center. They have been on a crime spree and are charged with attempted carjacking, armed carjacking, attempted robbery, attempted robbery with a firearm, first degree robbery, armed robbery, illegal possession of stolen property, and illegal possession and carrying of a weapon.
You are not charged with a crime.
David- I like that our defender had his carry permit. I like that he was armed as he was out in public. He recognized a threat. He waited his turn and then defended himself. He stopped shooting when the attackers ran away. Our defender called 911 and got the police on the way.
Rob- We’re seeing many more stories like this. What should we do?
David- Go armed. Protect yourself and your family. Drop your wallet and back up. Drop your cell phone and take a step back. Move to cover as you present your firearm. If necessary and legally justified, shoot your attackers until the threat stops. If you haven’t practiced dropping something and then presenting your firearm, then include that in your dry-practice routine. Put a small pillow into a grocery bag and drop it as you move and present.
Rob- We’re talking about cover again.
David- We are not the police. Our goal is to go home and avoid getting shot. If we can step behind a car and not get shot then that is a great plan. We may have to shoot the bad guys so they don’t chase us behind the car, but I want you to be hard to shoot.
I also want you to call your lawyer even if you don’t hit your attackers.
Rob- Why is that?
David- Because criminals lie, and you don’t want them to be the only ones telling the police what happened. Also, if you use a firearm, you have used deadly force in the eyes of the law whether you hit your attacker or not. Besides, every bullet you fire hits something, and you are responsible for that.
Rob- The good news is that more home video systems will show that to be a lie.
David- Only if your lawyer makes sure that those videos are collected and entered into evidence.
Exit- Rob- That wraps up this episode. David, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
David- Look for my written articles at deltabravocharlie.com My latest article is about my recent trip to Africa…warthogs and all.
Rob- After you look at Dave articles and his videos, then please leave us a message on the podcast webpage.
David- 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.