Episode 320 with Candy Petticord


Rob- Welcome to episode 320 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.

I know you’ve been traveling. What’s new?

Candy- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been traveling, and I went to Virginia to receive my Training Counselor certification.

How about you?

Rob- I was out of state for training, then I went out of the country for vacation. Last weekend I was out of town to get my basic pistol instructor recertification. It is good to be home.

Candy- Welcome back.

The Delran Junior Marksman Club in Delran NJ said they listened. They invite people, particularly families with school children, to a meet and greet event on September 16th. They offer archery, airgun, pistol, rifle and trap shooting for youngsters. They train adults too.

Randy on Facebook said he loves the podcast. Thank you, Randy.

Rob- Dean asked us where we got our statistics on self-defense. I shared the research papers I use. Thanks for asking, Dean.

 Candy- Collin said, I’ve listened to every one of your shows! Your podcast helped me understand how to be prepared defensively and legally. Thank you and please keep them coming.

Ohio Htr said he listens every week. He likes learning about the different situations where we use armed defense.

Rob- Steve Green Bay said we were informative but not aggressive. He discovered that a lot of the practices we recommend are things he already does. We are one of his favorite podcasts.

Candy- Please share this podcast with a friend. If your friends already listen, then go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell us why you listen.

Rob- Mel and Leroy sent us stories this week. If you left us a story or a comment and we didn’t talk about it, then I lost it and please send it again.

Roger Temple gave us his comments again this week.

Candy- We defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We look at some 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 Houston Texas.

Rob- First story- Are you armed in the early evening?

Your husband works at a small grocery convenience store. You are bringing him dinner. You park your car at the store and a stranger gets out of his car when you walk by. That man is carrying a modern rifle. The passenger gets out of the car too, and he asks you if you want to die today. The man with the AR gets into another car and drives away. Your husband comes out of the store. The stranger threatens him and then hits him with a handgun.

You are carrying a concealed firearm. You present your gun and shoot the attacker who is hitting your husband. Your husband is also armed. He presents his gun and shoots the attacker too. You both stop shooting when the attacker falls down and drops his gun. You hold the attacker at gunpoint while your husband calls 911 for help.

You put your gun away as the police arrive. You and your husband give statements to the police. You show them security video from the attack. EMS transports your attacker to the hospital.

Later, you found out that the man who attacked your husband is a criminal and a gang member. He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful carrying of a weapon by a convicted felon. You notice that there are three different mugshot photographs of the attacker in the news story.

Neither you nor your husband are charged by the authorities. You are nine months pregnant and your baby is due in two weeks.

What did our defender do correctly?

Candy- I’m so glad that mom was armed. She recognized that the criminal who was hitting her husband with a handgun was an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat that justified the use of lethal force. Her husband was armed also. She shot the bad guy, and once her husband wasn’t being beaten, he shot the bad guy too. They both stopped shooting when the bad guy moved away, dropped his gun, and fell down. They asked for help. They didn’t have guns in their hands when the police arrived. They gave statements to the police and provided copies of the surveillance videos to the police.


  • Both the defender and her husband were armed that night.
  • The wife recognized that her husband had an immediate, unavoidable and lethal threat and pulled her gun while the suspect was distracted hitting her husband. She saw her opportunity and took it. 
  • The defender didn’t waste precious time and the opportunity by trying to use verbal commands. She fired immediately without warning. 
  • They worked together as a team and “ganged up” on the suspect to overwhelm him. Two armed defenders are four times more effective.
  • They stopped shooting when the threat was over and they did not pursue either of the suspects.
  • One of the defenders held the suspect at gunpoint while the other defender called 911 to get help. 
  • Both of the defenders put their guns away when the police arrived. 
  • They both gave statements to the police and showed them the video evidence. 

Rob- Are there more things you want your students to do that were not mentioned in the news reports.

Candy- I want you to talk to your lawyers and don’t talk to the news reporters.

Rob- Why is that so important?

Candy- There are so many reasons. There are many legal points that we have to demonstrate we met as we prove we were justified in using lethal force. Your lawyer has to describe how each of those points were met. That isn’t what I do for a living so I want a lawyer to do it for me.

Rob- How do I find a lawyer after my wife and I shot a bad guy who was robbing me at a convenience store where I work?

Candy- Finding a lawyer after your armed defense is like asking for insurance after your car crash. Go to the bank and get 20 thousand dollars in cash to put a lawyer on retainer for this case. If you had 20 thousand dollars in cash then why were you working at a convenience store? Get a prepaid self-defense legal plan before you carry in public.

Rob- Where should I look to find a good plan?

Candy- Look at the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, US law shield, US Concealed Carry Association, and at Second Call Defense.

Rob- Anything else?


  • These defenders worked very well together as a team. 
  • They may have trained together and they probably had a plan.
  • Some places are very dangerous but an attack can come to anyone, anywhere at any time. Be prepared and be aware. 
  •  Since they were both armed they could watch each other’s backs and cover more area than just one defender. 

Candy- Our second story happened in Cudahy, Wisconsin.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you arrive home?

You and your wife get home from work late at night. You notice that there is fiberglass insulation on your kitchen floor and the kitchen ceiling is damaged. The back door is broken. You wonder if an animal broke in. You go up stairs and you hear a man’s voice. You present your concealed firearm and grab the stranger. You drag him down stairs and tell him not to move. Your wife calls the police. The intruder says he’ll pay you 300 dollars if you let him go.

You put your gun away when the police arrive. Your intruder is high on ecstasy and was shooting at police earlier that evening. Police find the intruder’s handgun in your backyard. He was jumping from roof to roof and broke his leg when he fell.

The intruder is charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and with armed burglary. He has a previous conviction for involuntary manslaughter when he shot someone.

Your intruder is held on a $30,000 cash bond. You are not charged with a crime.

Tag- No Shots Fired

Candy- I like that the defender and his wife paid attention. Something is wrong in the kitchen. Let’s look at that before we go to bed. Something is wrong with our back door. I’m hearing sounds from the attic. Let’s see if we should call the cops.

The defender had a gun, but didn’t have to use it. The homeowners worked as a team and got the police there. They had their gun put away when the police arrived.

Rob- That worked in that attic that night, but is this story an example of best practice? What do you want your students to do?

Candy- I can answer that. There is no way the police are going up into that attic. They might send in a dog. This homeowner was lucky. This felon has already killed someone, is high on drugs and was shooting at the police. Now, you want to climb into the attic to get him? That is a bad plan. You don’t know if it is one druggie upstairs with a gun, or if there are four of them. Stand at the bottom of the stairs and let the cops sort that out for you.


  • The defender used all of his senses and noticed that things were not normal when he entered his home.
  • He was armed when he went to investigate the voice upstairs.
  • The defender’s wife called 911 while the defender held the suspect at gunpoint.
  • The defender refrained from shooting the intruder since he did not present an immediate, unavoidable and lethal threat to anyone in the house. 
  • The defender put his gun away when the police arrived.


Rob- What else do you want your students to do?  

Candy- Reinforce your doors and get motion sensitive lights inside and outside. How about an alarm system for extra credit?

Rob-  What would you tell your students to do (that the defender should have done)?


  • The defender should have called 911 and withdrawn from the house as soon as he noticed the broken door, the insulation on the floor and the broken kitchen ceiling. Especially after he heard the man’s voice upstairs. 
  • The defender walked into a potentially dangerous situation. He didn’t know how many intruders there were, where they were in the house and whether or not they were armed. Clearing a house should not be attempted by an untrained defender or alone even if trained. Too many variables and too much risk.
  • The defender got close enough to the suspect to “grab the stranger and drag him down the stairs”. That means the suspect was close enough to the defender to disarm him. A firearm is designed to be a distance weapon. 
  • The defender held the intruder at gunpoint. Did he have the training to do that effectively? Did the defender keep his distance using cover and put objects between himself and the suspect?
  • The suspect was high on drugs, physically injured and had a handgun with him just prior to encountering the defender. That means that the suspect was willing and capable of using deadly force and he had on a previous occasion. Don’t depend on impaired or injured suspects to make rational decisions. Just like a wounded animal, “cornered” suspects will claw, bite and lash out in order to get away. 
  • The defender should look into reinforcing his doors and windows as well as installing motion-detecting lights and alarms. 

Rob- Where are we heading for our third story?

Candy- Our next story happened in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation


Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work?

You work at a large apartment complex that is a few minutes off the strip in Las Vegas. These are upscale condominium apartments and you make deliveries and also park cars for the guests. It is the middle of the afternoon when you see a man wearing a motorcycle helmet walk into the apartment lobby. The temperature is almost 100 degrees outside, so no one wears a helmet any longer than they have to. The stranger is carrying a rifle and he shoots at one of the clerks at the front desk. The intruder tries to shoot again, but can’t get his gun to fire.

You have your carry permit. You are carrying concealed. You present your handgun and shoot the attacker until he falls down. You stop shooting. You check to see if any of the employees, residents, or any of the guests were hurt. One of the clerks at the front desk calls 911.

You put your firearm away before the police arrive. You give a statement to the police and show them your ID. Police get copies of the security video. The management says that they don’t pay you to carry a gun. You tell the police you carry for your own protection.

Later, you find out that the attacker used to stay with his uncle who lived at the complex, but the uncle may have moved away.

You are not charged with a crime.

What did our defender do correctly?


  • The defender had good situational awareness. He noticed that the situation was not normal. The suspect was wearing a motorcycle helmet in hot weather and that he was carrying a rifle into the apartment building. 
  • The defender didn’t freeze and his awareness gave him time to react.
  • The defender was armed at work even though he was not paid to be.
  • After the suspect opened fire the defender pulled his gun and fired at the suspect until the threat was over. Then he stopped shooting. 
  • The defender checked to see if anyone was injured.
  • The defender put his gun down before the police arrived.

Candy-  It isn’t a crime to wear a motorcycle helmet inside a building, but it draws our attention. So does carrying a rifle at the ready rather than having it in a bag or slung over our shoulder. Our defender paid attention to a number of strange things so he was ready when the attacker started shooting. It is easier to be aware of problems and react to them if you’re looking for them rather than being surprised by them.

The defender had his carry permit and was armed in public. He recognized a lethal threat when the bad guy pointed his gun at people and started shooting. The defender stopped shooting when the threat ran back out the door. Our good guy checked on the innocent people inside. He put his gun away and gave a statement to the police.

Rob- Is there more that you want to have happen in this story?

Candy- I want employers to have a plan for the safety of their employees as well as the safety of their owners and guests. In this case, the manager said the company was not involved and that demonstrates failed leadership. Become part of your HOA or your apartment management. If you are a manager or a business owner, then ask if your employees will form a safety team.

Rob- Tell me about that. 

Candy- Learn to secure your home and work. Learn how to stop a threat and treat the injured. They should have first aid volunteers in each of the condo towers.

Also, our good guy needs a lawyer.

Rob- When should we put our gun away?

What would you tell your students to do (that the defender should have done)?


  • Was the defender trained in trauma first aid to help the injured? He cared enough about others to carry a gun but did he know how to stop the bleeding if someone got shot? Did he have a trauma kit handy?
  • Did the defender have a plan or was he lucky? Did he think about this situation before it happened?
  • Would the defender have been able to stop the suspect by using verbal commands at the same time he drew and presented his handgun? That depends. Sometimes “yes” but sometimes you lose a valuable tactical advantage. 
  • The story says that the defender put his gun away before the police arrived. It’s better to be slow to holster your gun. Make sure you don’t present a threat to the arriving police but keep your gun at “low ready” position and pointed away from the police in case the suspect moves to attack or in case he has friends. Move your head to scan for the police and others without moving your gun. This helps to break the tunnel vision caused by the adrenaline rush. It’s also important since your hearing may also be impaired.  
  • The defender should have called a lawyer before telling the police that he carried for his own protection. Only give the police basic information. Let your lawyer write and present your detailed statement. NEVER TALK TO THE MEDIA. First you have to survive the physical event. Then you have to survive the legal aftermath including a possible civil trial. 
  • Did the defender have a self-defense insurance plan? Even if you do everything right, you can still be caught up in the legal system. 

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?

Candy- Our fourth story took place in Long Beach, California.

Rob- Fourth story- Do you have a gun nearby at night?

It is after midnight when you hear screams from the front yard of your house. You get out of bed and grab your gun. You look outside and see your female neighbor being beaten next to her car. You run outside and shout for the attacker to stop. Now the female attacker runs at you with a heavy stick or a bat in her hand. You shoot her one time until she stops.

You put your gun away and call 911 for help. You identify yourself to the police. EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene.

The strange woman was going from door to door demanding money at midnight. Some of the neighbors had already called the police. Your neighbor was pulled from her car and beaten to the ground when she drove up to her home. You are not charged. It isn’t clear from the news stories if your neighbor had to go to the hospital for treatment.

The attacker was a stranger to the area and her family says she had mental health problems. Her family says they will sue you.

What did our defender do correctly?


  • The defender heard screams and reacted. He didn’t ignore the neighbor’s situation. 
  • The defender grabbed his gun when he went to help his neighbor.
  • The defender first tried using verbal commands to stop the attack.
  • The defender recognized an immediate, unavoidable and lethal threat from the attacker on himself. He shot the attacker.
  • The defender stopped shooting after the attack stopped. 
  • The defender put his gun away and called 911.
  • The defender stayed at the scene and identified himself to the police. 


  • Did the defender have a powerful flashlight next to his bed? Maybe the attacker would have stopped the attack on the neighbor if the defender shined the flashlight on the attacker and yelled that he was calling the police from the safety of his house.- This is what I would have recommended. Jumping into a situation when you don’t know all of the details is always risky. Especially for this event because, even though the defender may have done everything correctly, there is now the civil defense that is going to cause all sorts of problems. Don’t forget, even though we have a legally owned firearm, we are not law enforcement. Before involving yourself in any situation, it is critical that you ask yourself are you willing to go to jail over this?? Are you willing to die over this??
  • Was the neighbor’s threat immediate, unavoidable and lethal? Did the suspect have the heavy stick or bat when attacking the neighbor? The story isn’t clear on this point. However, the attack on the defender was since the suspect was armed with a heavy stick or bat. Sticks and bats are force multipliers and their use is  considered lethal force. – All the above can be lethal, but I think it’s important to acknowledge the difference in biology between the attacker and defender. Many will look down on the man for resorting to the firearm when he could disarmed her.
  • Could the defender have stopped the attack on the neighbor with pepper spray or a Tazer? Are pepper sprays and Tazers legal in that part of California?
  • A gun is not always the appropriate tool to use for defense. You can’t use lethal force to defend against non-lethal force. 
  • Only give the police basic information. Let your lawyer write and present your detailed statement. NEVER TALK TO THE MEDIA. First you have to survive the physical event. Then you have to survive the legal aftermath including a possible civil trial.
  • Did the defender have a self-defense insurance plan? Even if you do everything right, you can still be caught up in the legal system. 


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 & Northcoast Ohio Chapters of A Girl and a Gun. I also teach at Northpointe Training, (and here> Northpointe Trainingin Parma, Ohio.

Rob- After you look at Candy’s articles, then leave us 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.
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.



2 Replies to “Episode 320 with Candy Petticord”

  1. Dan

    Another great podcast. Your show is one of my favorites. I listen to everyone. I post the links on my social media. Keep up to good work. You are helping save lives.


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