Episode 330 with Tony Simon


Rob- Welcome to episode 330 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 Tony Simon. What have you been doing since we talked?

Tony- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working on diversity shoots. I have them every two weeks here in New Jersey. How about you?

Rob- We received new ratings and comments on iTunes.

Jason has been listening for about six months. He was surprised at how often ordinary citizens use a firearm for self defense. He likes that we talk about some of the best practices that aren’t included in the news.

Steve Abella left us a message on Facebook about a bad example of armed defense.

A man and a woman were being carjacked. The robber had her gun out. The robber looked away and the male defender used that opportunity to present his gun. He told the robber to drop her gun. She didn’t. Instead, she shot the male victim. The victim shot back, but he later died of his gunshot wounds, while the robber survived hers. There is a time to talk and a time to shoot. The link to the story is on the episode webpage. https://www.msn.com/…/woman-who-posed-as…/ar-AA1hI4Td…

Roger Temple gave us his talking points again this week. Thank you to Roger, to Steve, and to Jason.

Tony- 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 Midwest City, Oklahoma.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at home?

You’re at home on a weekday morning. You hear a crashing sound from the middle of your house. You move toward the sound and see a man standing in the middle of your home. You shout for him to leave. He moves toward you. You run to get your gun. You turn back to your attacker when he lunges for you. You shoot him in the chest and he stops advancing. You stop shooting.

You back up and shout for your girlfriend to call 911. You put your gun away as the police arrive. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital. You and your girlfriend give statements to the police.

Your attacker is your girlfriend’s ex-husband. You never met him before. Your attacker is charged with first-degree burglary and with stalking. You are not charged with a crime.

Tony- I like that the defender owned a firearm for self-defense. I love that his doors and windows were locked. That forced the intruder to make noise as he broke into the home. It also forced the intruder to leave evidence of the breakin. The defenders reacted to the breakin and the male homeowner went to see what was happening. He grabbed his gun. He gave a verbal warning. He shot the intruder as the intruder advanced, and then stopped shooting when the intruder turned away. The defenders didn’t chase the bad guy as he ran. They stayed inside their home. There was a team effort so the female homeowner called 911 and asked for help.

The male homeowner put his gun away and had empty hands when the police arrived. They identified themselves to the police.

We want to say something like.. We’re the homeowner and we called you. We had to defend ourselves. The bad guy ran away. We’ll give you a complete statement after we talk to our lawyer, but here is the broken door that is evidence of the breakin. I defended us with a firearm. The firearm is inside the house.

That is when you be quiet. Maybe you call your lawyer while your girlfriend was on the phone with 911?

Rob- Are there other things we should do that aren’t mentioned in the news story?

Tony- If the man and woman were the only ones home, when they investigate I want both of them armed. Every loud noise isn’t a criminal breaking into your home. It could be anything, from a car accident, to a tree falling or many random things in between. 

The intruder was the woman’s ex-husband. He was harassing her and stalking her. I want her to take out a restraining order. When you have a crazy and violent ex, then you tell your friends about him, your neighbors and you certainly tell your boyfriend about him. This is one of the reasons to hand self defense insurance. The chances were high that he was going to show up at her home, and he did.

Rob- When do your students learn about armed defense in the home?

Tony- Strange that you ask, but we have a class that is called Home Defense- Handgun. 

Rob- Do you have a class called what to do with your crazy ex?

Tony- No, we take that one on a case by case basis, but from what we’re reading in the news, maybe we should start a group class.

We talk about the legal use of lethal force in each class, but particularly in our concealed carry classes, and in our continuing education classes. You keep training after you have your carry permit.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THESE NOTES.)

  • The defender responded to the crashing sound in the house.
  • The defender tried using verbal commands and told the intruder to leave but that failed.
  • Then the defender retreated and grabbed his gun.
  • The defender shot the intruder with one shot to the chest when the intruder lunged at him. 
  • The defender stopped shooting when the intruder stopped advancing.
  • The defender stepped back from the intruder while the girlfriend called 911.
  • The gun was put away and both the defender and his girlfriend gave the police statements.

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

(Bullet points by Roger T. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THESE NOTES.)

  • Since the defender and his girlfriend were the only occupants of the house, best practices says that they should have retreated to a defensible room, barricaded the door, called 911 and prepared to ambush the intruder if he came in after them. 
  • The defender should have at least taken his gun with him when he decided to investigate the loud crash because he was possibly walking into a very dangerous situation with a number of unknown variables. He didn’t know how many intruders there were, where they were and if they were armed.
  •  Did the girlfriend have a restraining order on her ex-husband? Did she tell her new boyfriend that her ex-husband was violent? Did she tell the neighbors to be on the look out for him?
  • If the defender and the girlfriend were both armed and trained, they would have made a much more effective defensive team. 

Tony- The defender needed to be armed(pants on/gun on). The ex husband had called/ texted his ex-wife over 170 times. The police needed to be called and a restraining order made against this person, the neighbors needed to know also. It’s very, very important to warn the neighbors that a threat is near and tell them who to look out for in case he shows up while you’re not home. Tell them to call the police immediately. 

Rob- What else do you see in this story? 

Tony- The defender fired one shot and his attacker ran off. I want you to train in good marksmanship fundamentals so you hit the target quickly and accurately. Also, learn to evaluate your results through your sights by keeping the gun pointed at the bad guy. You may have to fire at your attacker again due to you missing or the threat not immediately changing their behavior. 

Rob- How do I learn that?

Tony- Taking firearms classes that are self defense oriented helps you learn skills like controlled, aimed multiple shots on target. 

Rob- Is there more you want to say about this story, or should we go on?

Tony- Lets go to our second story in Chicago, Illinois.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you drive?

Accidents happen. You drive a tow truck to untangle the mess that drivers make out of afternoon traffic. The good news is that the cars and a large city bus are already on the side of the highway. No one was injured during the accidents. You park your truck and start talking to the drivers to see if they need a tow. You look up when you hear gunshots. You see one of the passengers cry out and fall down. You duck behind an SUV and hear bullets hit the car.

You have your Illinois firearms owners identification card. You have your concealed carry permit. You’re armed today. You shoot back at the passenger in the white dodge SUV who is shooting at bystanders. The attacker drives away. You stop shooting. With an accident this size, police are already on their way. It isn’t clear if you or another passenger called 911 to ask for EMTs.

You reholster you firearm. You identify yourself to the officers and show them your paperwork. They ask you to stay at the scene. Now you wish you had a full video system on your truck.

The wounded bystander worked for the Chicago Transit Authority and was sorting out the damaged vehicles when you arrived. He is taken to the hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening leg wound. The next day, you saw that two other tow truck drivers were shot, and one was killed. You’re not charged with a crime.

Tony- The defender knew that he had a dangerous job in a dangerous city. He had taken the time, the money and the effort to get his concealed carry license in Chicago which is neither easy nor cheap. The defender ducked behind an SUV for cover when bullets started flying. Our first job is to not get shot. The defender decided to shoot back. The defender stopped shooting when the shooter’s car left the scene. The defender didn’t chase the bad guys down the road. He stayed at the scene, holstered his gun and talked to the police.

Rob- What else do you see in this story?

Tony- It isn’t clear if the defender was protecting other people or protecting himself until the bad guys drove away. I want you to call 911 even if the police are already on their way. Situations change, and now we need EMTs and ambulances on the scene.

Particularly if you’re around people and equipment, take a stop the bleed class and have a medical kit. I’d like you to be able to treat the CTA supervisor who was wounded. Also, call your lawyer and don’t talk to the news.

Rob- Remind me why I need a lawyer?

Tony- Oh, Rob, there are teams of lawyers who will descend on the passengers and ask if they were hurt in the bus crash. They will file lots of lawsuits that blame CTA for all kinds of injuries, pain, and suffering. They will claim that your armed defense traumatized the passengers. You want to have lawyers to sue them right back. This is considered a financial opportunity for many people. I’m sure there will be more people claiming to be on that bus than there were seats on the bus. I’ve heard of it happening before, the police actually charged the people that made false reports.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THESE NOTES.)

  • The defender knew that he had a dangerous job in a dangerous city. He had taken the time, the money and the effort to get his concealed carry license in Chicago which is neither easy nor cheap.
  • The defender ducked behind an SUV for cover when bullets started flying.
  • The defender stopped shooting when the shooter’s car left the scene.
  • The defender stayed at the scene, holstered his gun and talked to the police.

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

(Bullet points by Roger T. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THESE NOTES.)

  • It sounds like the defender used a great deal of restraint and didn’t just spray the area with a lot of unaimed bullets. He only fired two shots when he saw the shooter take aim at him before he fired his own gun.
  • It would be a good idea for the defender to take a “Stop the Bleed” class and carry a first aid trauma kit with him since he probably works a lot of traffic accidents with injuries.
  • According to the news website, the defender made a statement to the news reporter off camera without a lawyer. Best practices say you should only discuss a critical incident with your lawyer and let him or her make any comments to the news media and any detailed statements to the police. “Lawyer up and shut up!” 

Tony-  I tell students to allow your lawyers to make most of your statements to the police and all of your statements to the press. 

Also it is important for all people, armed defenders or not, to take a trauma care medical class. Some kind of Stop the Bleed class or first aid class. Watching a person pass away in your presence because you have no skills to help them is avoidable. Get training. 

Rob- Where are we going for our third story? 

Tony- Our next story happened in Arlington, Texas.

Rob- First this message from the second amendment foundation.

Second Amendment Foundation


Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work?

The surge is done for the day and you get a chance to breathe. You’re lining up the work for tomorrow. It is Thursday evening and you work in the service department of a car dealership. You hear a crashing sound from the front of the building and you wonder if someone drove a car into the showroom. You hear people scream. You get up to see if you can help. You see a man with a rifle standing in the showroom. He is pointing the rifle at customers and employees. You shoot at him. He shoots back and retreats to the parking lot. You stop shooting. Police arrive a few minutes later. Again, the attacker points a gun at the police and is shot. EMS takes the attacker to the hospital.

You put your gun away. You give a statement to the police. The attacker was a former employee. The only person wounded was the attacker. You’re not charged.

Tony- I’m glad that our defender was armed. He responded when he heard unexpected noises like the gunshots that shattered the front windows and people screaming and running. He got his gun because this could be a gun problem. He recognized an immediate and lethal threat to innocent people. He shot at the attacker until the attacker ran back into the parking lot. He didn’t chase the bad guy. He put his gun away when the police arrived. He identified himself and gave a brief statement to the police.

Rob- Is there more that you’d like us to do if we hear shots at work or in public?

Tony- There is. Please get your permit, take a defensive firearms class and learn your state’s deadly force laws, so you understand when you can and can’t use your gun. Even if you live in a Constitutional Carry state. Have legal insurance so you have a lawyer to help you fill out the police report. You have to explain that you took the safest actions you could. It was safer to shoot at the bad guy than to leave running through the dealership him pointing his gun at innocent customers and employees. Since you don’t do that for a living, then you want your lawyer to help you.

Until the police arrive, you want to have your gun in your holster with your hand on the gun and be behind cover. You don’t want to be standing and visible to the public with a gun in your hand because the police might shoot you. Dealerships have a lot of windows, you never know if the police will see a “man with a gun” through one of those windows and that “man” is you. 

By becoming the defender, you probably shouldn’t be running around checking on people. Let other people do that. You’re going to watch and make sure the bad guy doesn’t come back. Don’t stand up and become a target until you’re sure the threat is gone.  In a perfect world, you know who is armed at work, and who has medical training. Does your business have a medical kit.

Also, I’d like you to carry your firearm on your body. It isn’t safe if you leave it in your desk drawer. Your holster is also a place to put your firearm after you’re done using it. In a public place like a dealer showroom, you don’t want to put your gun down on the ground and then walk away from it.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THESE NOTES.)

  • Texas is a permitless carry state and the defender was carrying his gun at work that day.
  • The defender responded when he heard the loud crash and people screaming
  • The defender saw the suspect pointing a rifle at the customers and employees and he fired at the suspect.
  • The defender stopped shooting when the suspect retreated to the parking lot. 
  • The defender doesn’t put his gun away until after the police fired and stopped the suspect. 
  • The defender gave a statement to the police.

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

(Bullet points by Roger T. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THESE NOTES.)

  • The defender provided some resistance to the suspect’s plan. The defender provided cover fire and kept the suspect away from the customers and the employees until the police arrived. How much ammo did he have?
  • Once the police arrived the defender backed off and let them do their job.
  • It would have been better if there were more than one defender to keep the suspect at bay or even to stop the suspect sooner.
  • Every commercial company/store should have the equipment and a few trained people to provide trauma first aid. 
  • Is having a gun at work in Texas a violation of law or just a violation of company policy? Is the defender’s employer going to thank him for helping to save many lives or are they going to fire him for having a gun at work? 

Tony-  The defender had his firearm at work with him. He heard screaming and went to investigate, prepared with an armed response if necessary. He immediately fired upon the armed attacker. He didn’t chase the attacker out of the dealership. He waited on the police and answered their questions. 

Tony-  I would talk to my students about setting up a first aid trauma kit at work and talk to their management about hosting voluntary classes. I would also discuss marksmanship fundamentals, dry firing, taking defensive shooting classes and shooting in competition. Our defender succeeded in driving the attacker out of the building. Missing the attacker left him as a threat to others in the building. Hitting the bad guy and incapacitating them removes them as a threat. Hits end gunfights significantly faster than missing. The better and more confident we are in our skills the better we are at stopping threats immediately. 

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Tony- Our fourth story took place in Haymarket, Virginia.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in public?

Church services are in progress. You’re part of the security team standing watch in the back hallway. You see a man walk into the church through the back entryway wearing a black trench coat and sunglasses. That doesn’t make sense given the weather outside. You contact the security center and ask for backup. They see the suspect on video. You approach the suspect and start talking to him. You welcome him to the church. The security center says the intruder fits a profile of a known threat. Your partner arrives, and you keep talking to the suspect. He doesn’t take off his glasses inside or meet your eyes or shake your hand. You ask him how you can help him, if he is interested in hearing a particular service or attending a particular ministry. He acts as if he doesn’t know about your church and the regular church services. You tell him about the church as you stall for time.

A police officer working at the church verifies that a known suspect’s car is in the parking lot. Your partner moves behind the suspect. The police officer enters the building and arrests the suspect.

The suspect made online threats against the church that morning. Someone called the police to report the threats. The suspect is charged with making threats of bodily harm and carrying dangerous weapons to a place of religious worship. You file a report and go back to work.

Tag- No Shots Fired

Tony-  Wow. This is an unusual story because the defender was more than an ordinary citizen and he was not sworn law enforcement who can make an arrest in public. This story tells us a lot. Things do not come together like that by luck.

It is amazing that the church put together a security team, educated the team members, and then rehearsed what to do in different scenarios. It sounds like they rehearsed both with each other, and with local law enforcement.

It is wonderful that a neighbor saw something on social media and said that the threats against the church don’t seem right. It was more than complaining that the sermon was too long or too short. She called the police. The police contacted the church and the police investigated the attacker’s home.

The church staff worked together as a team and that saved lives. Someone verified that the report was from the police, and then took the report from the police and put the information to work. They shared it with the off-duty officer who was patrolling the church. It was shared with the person monitoring the video monitors. We don’t know if the suspect description was given to all the staff.

I like that the staff member at the back door was paying attention at what could be a boring post. Not many people come in the back door, but he recognized how unusual it was for someone to enter the church wearing a black trenchcoat and dark glasses at that time of year and in that weather. He paid attention to the body language. The defender asked for help, and engaged the suspect to get more information.

The off-duty police officer took the situation seriously and responded quickly. Together, they disarmed an armed attacker without having to fire a shot. Maybe they didn’t have to present their firearm. They also acted in a way that preserves evidence for the attacker’s prosecution. Very well done.

Rob- Lots of churches have some sort of security team. How do they operate?

Tony- Like the rest of the church, a governing board appoints a head of security and that person sets up the team. They often work closely with the person who manages facilities and the operating staff. The person who watches video monitors might be on the facilities staff. The greeters who meet every person outside the church doors are often on the welcoming committee. All of them can also be a member of the security team. Someone has to schedule that team so that staff or parishioners are protected whenever they are on the property. That is a lot of work.

There are dedicated organizations that focus on church security. The faith based security network is one of them, but there are also regional groups. Grant Cunningham wrote Praying Safe. Contact Ben Branam at Modern Self-Protection.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THESE NOTES.)

  • It sounds like the defender and the other members of the church security team were skilled in situational awareness. They were already suspicious of the suspect before they got the warning from the police. 
  • The team communicated well and they obviously had a plan when they got the warning about a possible attack. 
  • Two security members and one police officer approached the suspect, calmly delayed him and then arrested him without incident.
  • Kudos to the person who saw the online posts and informed the police. And kudos to the multiple police departments for working together so well. 

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

(Bullet points by Roger T. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THESE NOTES.)

  • Unfortunately, churches, mosques and synagogues are frequent targets for active shooters just like our schools. The mentally ill people who attack these institutions are all looking for the same thing- they want to be famous. The higher the body count, the more notoriety, the better they like it. They are even willing to die for it. 
  • If you want to help keep your family and friends safe in these situations, get the training and join a security team so you can work together for the best results. Two armed carriers are seven times more effective than a single carrier working alone.  
  • One of the guest instructors for this podcast, Ben Branam, specializes in teaching church security. He can help you and your church set up a security team. Make sure that you check the laws in your jurisdiction. 


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

Tony- Find me at Diversityshoot.com 

I’m also on Instagram and facebook at Simon Says Train, and at The 2nd is For Everyone podcast.

Rob- After you look at Tony articles, then leave us a message on the podcast episode webpage.

Tony- We share this podcast with you for free.
Please share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Listen Notes.
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 330 with Tony Simon”

  1. Chris B Thayer

    I saw a video clip of the third event, “Are You Armed at Work” … and it heralded the tactics of the police in apprehending this guy, but NO MENTION of the armed employee taking the shot that made the perpetrator retreat to outside.

    Yeah, what a surprise. groan!

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