Episode 34 with Jeff Street

Introduction- Rob- Welcome to episode 33 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.  This podcast is part of the Self-Defense Radio Network.  The network includes the polite society podcast, handgun world, and modern self protection, and gun freedom radio.   I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by my friend and self-defense instructor Jeff Street.  What have you been up to, Jeff?Jeff Street

Jeff – Hi, Rob.  It was great to meet you and your wife at the Gun Rights Policy Conference.  I met so many people that I’ve read, listened to trained with.  Now I saw them face to face.  Everyone should go to GRPC if they can.  It is in Dallas next September.

I have to say, hi to our new listeners, and welcome back to our regular listeners. Together, we report and analyze examples of armed civilian defense.  We inform you about the news, and I hope we inspire you to defend the people you care about.

Our first story took place this month in Maine.

Rob- First story-  Can you protect your family in the middle of the night?  A woman and her two children were asleep in their home.  They live in Waterboro, Maine.  The woman’s 6 year old daughter was having trouble sleeping, so the young girl climbed into bed with mom.  Her 5 year old son was asleep on the couch.  Just after midnight, the woman was woken up by a stranger shining a flashlight in her face.  Her first reaction was to say, “I have a gun and I’m not afraid to use it and you need to leave.”

The woman pulled her children into her bedroom and grabbed her gun.  With her gun in her hand, she pushed the man out of her house.  That is when she realized that the man wasn’t a stranger, but was her neighbor.  Her neighbor is mentally disturbed and this night was drunk.

The woman call the sheriff.  While she was on the phone, the neighbor tried to enter the back door and cut himself.  The drunk neighbor then entered the front door that he’d kicked in a few minutes before.  Fortunately, the deputies arrived before the woman had to use lethal force.

The neighbor was arrested and taken into custody and charged with trespass and criminal mischief for breaking into the home.

Jeff-  This woman performed well considering the circumstances.  I’m really glad that she did not shoot her neighbor.  We need to practice our verbal commands short clear and with authority.

Rob- She did more than use words.  She got in a shoving match while she had a gun in her hand.

Jeff-  She got very close to him and may have been overpowered.

Her 1st clue was a flashlight in her face.  She didn’t have a gun or a flashlight at that time.  You need your gun near you at night.  It needs to be ready to be attached to your body.  We stage fire extinguishers we carry our guns and keep them close to us at all times.  You also need to have a quality flashlight to make sure it is not your kids or somebody else who does not need to get shot.

We can learn from this and create better circumstances for ourselves.

1st harden the target.  Low budget hooks and cowbells on the doors and windows.  Bigger budget steel doors, dead bolts, motion sensor lights inside and outside, alarm system, cameras, dog that will bark.

Slow the invader down, cause the invader to make noise.  Lock your bedroom door.  Have your Flashlight, Gun, and phone handy.  Try to get set up such that before you see the intruder you know its an intruder and you can call 911.

She escalated her response in stages.  She tried her words.  She said she had a gun and told the intruder to leave.

Rob- I noticed that she got her gun, but still didn’t shoot.  She pushed the man out of her house.

Jeff- You’re getting ahead of me.  She had a gun.. And a phone.  She did what she could.  She grabbed her children and retreated to her bedroom.

Jeff- She recognized a threat and called police.

Rob- She took care of her physical security first, and then used her phone.

Jeff- Right.  The threat was not lethal, so she didn’t use lethal force.  Good for her.  I wish she had an alarm and a good lock on her solid bedroom door.

Rob- This is a good example because it shows how reluctant most of us are to use lethal force.  She stopped the threat without having to fire her gun.  We only pull the trigger about ten percent of the time, but most of those incidents don’t make the news.

Jeff – Our second story took place in Illinois.

Rob- Second Story–  Can you protect yourself as you walk in the park?  A retired 72 year old man was walking in the park early in the morning.  He walks almost every day.  This was an ordinary day until he left Eckersall Park on Chicago’s South Side.

That is where a robber drew a gun on the 72 year old man.  We don’t know what they said to each other.  We do know that the robber fired first.  The 72 year old man was shot in the arm.  That is when the 72 year old retired police officer drew his gun and fired back.  He hit the robber in the leg, and the robber ran.  Emergency medical services also took the wounded man, a retired deputy police chief, to the hospital.  Doctors are waiting to see if the gunshot may have damaged the nerves in his arm.  The wounded robber was arrested by police a short distance away and taken to the hospital.  The robber had a criminal record and was not a legal gun owner.

Jeff-  This story represents a Gun Fight, as opposed to a shooting where only 1 person discharges a firearm.

Our victim is a retired police officer.   He is tough and did not give up because he was shot.  As we get older we look more like prey.  Police are used to getting close to suspects and people in general.  If you are a retired police officer, you need to learn how to be a regular citizen.  You need to get some new training.  As a regular citizen you are not an investigator.  You do not need to get close to people.  Distance is your friend and your firearm works best at protecting you with appropriate distance.  You need to be aware of your environment (who is around me and what are they doing).  There is always the possibility that you will be injured.  Get some medical training and carry at least a tourniquet.  I recommend a SOFTT SOF Tourniquet as it is easier to carry.  Why improvise a tourniquet when manufactured tourniquets are not expensive and work so much better?  Win the race to 911.

Rob- Interesting that the chief was never shot in the line of duty, but was shot as a civilian.

Jeff-  Criminals aren’t stupid.  They target ordinary citizens, preferably the old and defenseless.  Thugs are going to have dozens of victims before the meet the police.  We are their usual victims, not the cops.  

Rob- That’s why we should be armed.

Jeff- Our third story took place in Pennsylvania.


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Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you go to a concert at church?  Pastor Robert Cook and his family were leaving a concert at church.  It wasn’t his church, but  a church in Philadelphia.  The family was approached by an armed robber near the parking lot of Saint James Lutheran Church.  The robber carried a rifle and demanded the minister’s wallet.  The minister reached for his pocket, but the robber wasn’t satisfied.  The robber hit the minister in the head with rifle butt.  The minister staggered back a step.

Stephanie Cook said, “Once he backed off from my husband and my son, it might have been a foot, two feet or something like that, but he still had the gun in his hand, he wouldn’t drop it.  As long as he had that gun in his hand, I knew he was a threat.”  Before the robber could advance again, the minister’s wife drew her firearm and shot the robber.  The robber dropped his gun and ran.  Police found him seeking treatment at a local hospital.

The minister was bruised, but his wife and son were unharmed.

Jeff- Even though our victim is cooperating our victim is physically assaulted.  To be physically assaulted in this manner the distance must be close.  Work to put objects between you and the potential criminal.  Keep your distance it is your friend. The Violent Criminal Actor had a rifle.  Perhaps it looked like an umbrella from a distance.  Even if it looks like an umbrella avoid it as it costs you nothing to do so.  We teach a team family concept.  When something happens everyone has a role.  Remember the Brady bunch fire drill?  Family gets out of harm’s way. Mom with a gun moves to the criminal’s 7 or 8 o’clock position.  If things get too life threatening mom shoots criminal in the back or head to stop the attack.  Don’t touch the rifle when it falls on the ground as it is evidence.

We have a theme today.  Armed civilians usually don’t shoot.  When they do, the shots are not immediately fatal.  That was true for the retired police chief in the first story.  It is true for the robber in that story and also true for the robber in this story.

Rob- I noticed that Stephanie Cook was armed, but not the minister.

Jeff-  Let’s give them credit that one of them was armed.  Robbers prefer to attack women walking alone, so it makes sense that the woman had a gun.  It would have been best if both the man and women were armed, but since they were traveling together, it is better for the woman to be armed.  When a man and woman are walking together, criminals will attack the man first since the man is considered a greater physical threat.  That means the criminal focuses on the man, in this case the minister.  That let his wife and son step to the side.  She probably presented her firearm before the thief even knew what was happening.

Rob- So criminals suffer from tunnel vision the same way we do?  It doesn’t say who called police.  The report does say that the minister chased the thief.

Jeff- Let the police chase the bad guy.  Your job is to protect yourself and your family. Stephanie Cook did that.

Rob- Your next job is to call for help?

Jeff- That is the hard part.  We want to fight or run when we’re attacked.  We have to train ourselves to use the phone.  It isn’t easy to do when your adrenaline is flowing after a fight.

Rob- How do you train your students to call for help after they defend themselves?

Jeff- We try and incorporate after action motions and calls for help into every exercise.  You can always take a class.

Rob- The Self-Defense Radio Network includes Armed Lutheran Radio.  I hope the minister and the entire congregation is listening now.

Jeff-  Me too.

Rob- Exit-  That wraps up episode 34. Thank you for helping me today.  Jeff Street, where can our listeners learn more about you?

Jeff- I teach in Naples, Florida, and our listeners can find me at Step by Step Gun Training.com  We give customized self-defense training as well as standard group classes.  You can also reach us by leaving a message on the my step by step gun training facebook page

Rob- Our listeners can share their thoughts with us by leaving a message on the podcast facebook page.  

Jeff – If these examples inspired you, then please share them with a friend and give us a rating on ITunes.

Rob- I’m Rob Morse.  Please join us next week for more Self-Defense Gun Stories.

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