Episode 340 with Tony Simon


Rob- Welcome to episode 340 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 has been keeping you so busy?

Tony- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been at shot show and then conducting Diversity Shoots here in New Jersey. I have five more planned already this year.

How about you?

Rob- We did not receive a comment on iTunes this week. Oh Facebook, Ray asked if we’d make an hour long podcast that came out once a month. I’m not sure if he wanted a best of show, or a deep dive into one or two stories. What do you think?

Dwayne sent in a news story where a 70 year old man used a muzzle loading rifle to fight off three intruders. Unfortunately, his son might have deliberately given the robbers access to the home. The link is in our show notes.

I also want to thank Roger for his help again this week.

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 Bartlesville, Oklahoma. 

Rob- First story- Are you armed at home in the morning?

It is early morning and you’re already at work on your laptop. You hear someone banging on the front door of your apartment. You hear them shout for you to open the door. You are not expecting visitors. You grab your gun and shout for the stranger to go away. You grab your phone and call 911.

The stranger keeps hitting your door. They break the door hinges out of the door and doorframe. They tear the security chain off the wall. The door flies across the room. Your intruder enters your home and you shoot him one time. He stops. News reports aren’t clear if your attacker fell inside your home or if he ran outside. You ask the police dispatcher for help.

You put your gun away when officers arrive. EMTs transport your attacker to the hospital. You give the police a statement. You don’t know the intruder. You are not charged with a crime.

Later you find out that your 23-year-old intruder had been scammed and thought he was meeting someone for sex.

Tony-  You are the fastest responder to your emergency. The defender was prepared to defend herself with deadly force if necessary. 

I’m relieved that she owned a gun. I like that her doors were locked during the day. I love it that she didn’t open the door for a stranger.

It sounds like she was armed at home or at least had her firearm nearby. She got her gun and called the police as the problem developed. She stayed on the call with the dispatcher, but she put the phone down and stopped talking when it was time to defend herself.

She stopped shooting when the attack stopped. She made herself available for the police when they arrived. All that sounds like a plan to me. Good job.

Rob- When did this become a gun problem?

Tony- When a stranger displays enough force and violence to break down your front door, then you face a lethal threat or serious bodily harm. That threat is immediate and it is unavoidable. That justifies both the lethal use of force and the moral use of force to stop the threat.

Rob- There is a time to talk and there is a time to shoot. When do you help your students build that line in their decision making?

Tony-  Your immediate need is to make yourself safe. De-escalation is good but recognize when it isn’t working or when it’s employment is useless. I use this podcast as teachable moments for students and when I discuss armed civilian self defense. 

The attacker kicking her door in wasn’t stopped by her telling him that she was armed or that she called police. Once the door was kicked open it was time for the immediate application of force. 

This is a good example of that decision making since home invasions are common.

Rob- What else do you see in this story that wasn’t mentioned by the police or the reporters? 

Tony- I’m glad she wasn’t next to the door when it was shoved into the house. Also, we can use a doorway to make defense easier. The bad guy is going to come through the door. That means we can aim our gun at the floor immediately inside the door ahead of time. We can pay attention to the door. We want to be far away from the door, preferably in another room looking at the door from behind something to conceal our location. I’m imagining being behind a couch or a doorframe. That makes it easier to aim because we don’t have to track the attacker with our eyes and our gun.

 Rob- Our attacker shot one time. What do you recommend?

Tony- Shoot multiple times then assess if the threat stops. Firing and hitting an attacker with one round, especially with a handgun, may not stop the threat immediately. They may not have suffered a “fight stopping” hit that immobilizes them. They may not know they are even hit. They could still attack you even though you have shot them.

Don’t make a habit of shooting a particular number of times when you train. Practice firing a string of accurate shots. If you have an instructor training with you, they should tell you that the threat is down, and then you access the target and if the target is down or stops attacking  you stop shooting. Some ranges have turning targets.

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

Tony- Our second story happened in Jackson, Mississippi.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The defender had a plan: Her doors were locked. She had a gun. She did not open the door. She shouted through the closed door for the intruder to leave. She called 911 immediately. 
    • Once the door broke, she was in an immediate, lethal and unavoidable situation. She fired only after the door was breached and she stopped shooting when the intruder stopped.
  • She stayed on the line with 911 and 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.)

    • Good thing she wasn’t in front of the door when the intruder broke it down. Never stand in front of a door because you will be hit by the falling door if the hinges and the lock give out. Also you don’t want to be in the line of fire if the attacker starts shooting through a closed door. Stand to the side at a distance.
  • Doors are “fatal funnels”. You can cover a door from a defensive position behind cover or concealment away from the door. The intruder can’t move out of the way once the door breaks. Your gun is a distance tool. Use that to your advantage. “Distance and cover are your best friends.”
  • The defender only fired one shot. In this particular case that was enough to stop the intrusion. How many shots should you fire? Zero, a full magazine or anything in-between. Fire as many shots as it takes to stop the threat. The threat isn’t over until the bad guy retreats (without shooting back at you), he surrenders or he’s down and not moving. As long as the bad guy is still moving, he can continue his attack. And always remember “Don’t turn your back on anything but a corpse.” Also make sure to scan the area and make sure the bad guy didn’t bring friends with him. 
  • The 10 Self-Defense Commands (by Roger Temple):

Scan the hands. Shoot upper chest.

Move to cover. Find the rest.

Carry a gun, phone, ammo and light.

Know the law so you do it right.

When the threat’s over the shooting stops. 

Call 011. Don’t talk to cops.

Most important of all- Have a Plan!

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at work?

You are a contractor doing a job for the city water department. You and your co-workers are on site when a car drives up. A man gets out of the car and starts yelling. He draws a gun and starts shooting at you. You and your co-worker shoot back. Your attacker drives away. You stay at the scene and call 911 for help. You put your guns away when the police arrive.

You and your partner give statements to the police. Your attacker crashes his car nearby. EMS takes him to the hospital for treatment of three gunshot wounds. He will be charged with aggravated assault when he is released. One of the news reports said the attacker knew one of the contractors. You are not charged with a crime.

Tony- I have spent time in Jackson MS. Depending where in Jackson, it can be a dangerous place.

I’m glad these men were gun owners and that they were armed at work. We can’t tell if they were marking pavement on the street or if they were in someone’s yard and chest deep in a construction hole. 

They recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat when someone drove up and shot at them. They defended themselves. They stopped shooting when the attacker drove away. They called for help and gave a statement to the police.

Rob- Some states allow government contractors to carry. Some states encourage EMTs and firemen to carry. How do we find out what is legal and expected?

Tony- Start with your lawyer. Second best is to ask your boss and your local firearms instructor. If this is a union job, then they are involved too. You have to know the law if your routinely travel onto government property. You also need to understand that regardless of the law you are responsible for your safety and security.

Rob- What else would you like your students to think about at work.

Tony- We don’t all work in an office wearing office clothes. We might have on a work shirt and boots. We might carry a tool bag with us. That brings its own issues with concealed carry, and those issues change more with the seasons than if you’re working in an airconditioned office.

I want you to carry on your body because you might be dead by the time you run back to your truck to grab your gun that is hidden under the seat in a rapid access gun safe.

Rob- What else do you see here?

Tony- The story doesn’t mention it, but I want you to shout if you can. We want ear witnesses who heard you shout ‘stop’ before you shot back. Shouting stop doesn’t mean you have to stop moving. You can shout as you present your gun and move toward cover.

Afterward, I want you to be sure and shout for others to call 911. That means all the ear witnesses are listed at the 911 response center.

Shouting, moving, and presenting under some stress are all parts of advanced training. As ordinary as it sounds, this defense was hard work.

Rob- Where are we going next?

Tony- Our third story happened in Chicago, Illinois.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • Anyone! Anywhere! Anytime!: These contractors were armed as they did their normal jobs. The attacker always has the advantage of knowing when, where and how the attack will take place. These defenders were prepared. 
    • Firearm Availability: It sounds like they had their guns on them when they were attacked. If your gun is out of reach, it’s useless. You could be dead by the time you go to your truck to get your gun. Reaction time is critical. 
  • Accuracy Under Stress: The two contractors hit the attacker three times while under attack. That takes training and practice. Fortunately, the defenders moved and the attacker was not a good shot. 
  • The defenders stayed on the scene, called 911. Met the police with empty hands and gave brief statements. 

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

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • Carrying At Work. Is it legal to carry a gun at work? That depends on your state and whether you work for a private company or the government. Every state has a list of places where you can/can not carry a concealed gun. A good place to start is www.handgunlaw.us. In some states, a “no guns allowed” sign carries the weight of law and you can be prosecuted if your gun is discovered. In other states, a “no guns allowed” sign merely means that you have to leave the property if your gun is discovered and you are asked to leave. If you refuse to leave you can be charged with criminal trespassing. If you work for a private company and they have a “no guns” policy, you can be terminated for carrying on the job or sometimes in the company’s parking lot. If you work for the government (especially federal), you may be prosecuted.  It also makes a difference if you are the owner of a business or just a worker (Castle Doctrine usually covers your home, your car and your business.) Check with a lawyer, take some classes or some pre-paid self-defense insurance plans let you call and ask them. KNOW THE LAWS FOR EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO CARRY. You also have to know the magazine capacity restrictions and the type of ammo allowed. Even whether you can carry a back-up gun or not. Every state is different. 

Rob- First this message from Faster Colorado.



Rob- Third story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?

You’re at home and asleep in your bed. You’re startled awake by a crashing sound. You hear someone in your apartment. You grab your gun and go investigate what is happening. You see someone in your apartment and they rush at you. You shoot them before they reach you. You step back and turn on the lights. You grab your phone and call 911 for help. You stay at the scene.

You stay on the call with the police dispatcher. You put your gun away when the police are nearby. Police arrest your intruder. EMTs take him to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. You give the police a statement. You show them your identification and your concealed carry permit.

Since you knew the intruder, this is being called a domestic incident. You are not charged with a crime.

Tony- Some crimes are random, but a lot of them involve someone who knows us. It might have been a friend of a friend of a roommate, but they somehow think that you have something they want.

I’m glad our defender went through the trouble of legally getting a gun and a carry permit in Chicago. You don’t need a carry permit to be armed at home, but it helps. Suppose you are armed at home, but you want to go to the laundry room, or the trash chute, or the mailbox, and that way you can leave the gun on you rather than having to take it off all the time as you do chores.

Again, our defender recognized that an intruder in the middle of the night is a threat. This is different than our first story since the defender didn’t recognize a problem until the intruder was already inside his home.

They defended themselves and then asked for help.

Rob- How do we store a firearm so we can get it in a hurry, but it is also secure when it isn’t in a holster on our body?

Tony-  Concealment furniture is a great option that allows you quick access to your firearm while it’s hidden in plain sight. NJ Concealment Furniture was making handmade furniture and the owner started producing furniture with hidden secured compartments to hold your firearms. To open the compartments you would have to know where the secret release was located or use various  access control methods that they in install in his shop. He’s no longer making furniture but that’s how I learned about keeping firearms close but out of sight. There are other companies that produce this type of furniture . 

Rob- Lots of people think they are safe in an upstairs apartment. The building is solid concrete. There is a security gate outside. Do they need a motion detector in their home?

Tony- I think they do. They need it for the same reason they have a carbon monoxide detector in their home, for the same reason they have a smoke detector in their home. They might have a problem in their home and not know it until it’s too late.

Rob- How much do those cost?

Tony-  From 20 to 100 dollars. Do you want the detector to text your phone when you’re not at home?

Rob- Do you see anything else?

Tony- Consider putting your flashlight in your bedside gun safe. You have to identify your attacker. Identity is a big consideration in a home invasion. On the street, the flashlight might encourage the attacker to go after someone else.

I’d normally ask you to retreat to your bedroom, but this guy just kicked in your front door, so he is going to easily kick through a bedroom door. That said, shooting him when he crosses your bedroom doorway is an easier shot and it is easier to defend legally. Those legal issues are real, particularly in Chicago.

Also, where do you keep your cell phone at night?

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Tony- Our fourth story took place in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The defender had a plan. He took the time, the effort and the money to get a carry license in Chicago- that’s not easy nor cheap.
  • The defender recognized that he was in an immediate, lethal and unavoidable situation when the intruder broke in and rushed him. It doesn’t matter whether the defender knew the intruder or not. The defender was still under attack. 
  • The defender stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He called 911 and 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.)

    • Flashlights: Either a handheld or weapon-mounted flashlight should be part of everyone’s home defense system. Your gun, an extra magazine or ammo, a flashlight and your cell phone are the essential items for your “go bag”. Using a flashlight to identify your intruder and assist in aiming your gun is critical. Don’t shoot at shapes, shadows and sounds. Know what your target is and what’s beyond it. 
  • Best Practice for a Home Invasion: If you hear a strange noise- don’t investigate! Trying to clear a house by yourself is very dangerous. Call 911 and stay on the line with them. Retreat to a defensible room. Turn the lights off in that room. Put some furniture in front of the locked door. Take a defensive position off to the side of the door. Get behind some cover or concealment and cover the door with your gun/flashlight with your finger OFF the trigger. Do not shoot until the door is breached. 

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you drive?

You are sitting in your car. It is after midnight and a white car drives by. That car knocks  the side mirror off your car. You drive after them to get a license plate number. The white car stops and a man gets out of the back seat. He has a gun in his hand and walks toward you yelling for you to get out of your car. You are being carjacked.

You have your concealed carry permit in your wallet. You have your personal handgun in a holster on your hip. The news isn’t clear if you get out of the car or remain inside. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. He shoots back and runs to the white car. They drive away. It isn’t clear when you put your gun away and if you called 911.

A police officer nearby hears the shots. He asks you what happened. You tell him about the car, the mirror, and the carjacking. The officer puts out a description of the white car and the robbers. You show the officer your identification and your carry permit.

Police follow the white car and catch two of the three robbers. One of the robbers is taken to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. The white car was stolen yesterday. You are not charged with a crime.

Tony- I like that our defender had a gun because that might have saved his life. I like that he shot when he saw the lethal, immediate and unavoidable threat. I particularly like that he hit a moving target in dim light.

 Rob- What would you like your students to do in this case? 

Tony- Don’t cause a twenty-thousand dollar legal problem to solve a 200-dollar auto parts problem. Don’t chase strange cars after midnight. Call the cops. For the price of the mirror, you could buy a video camera for your car.

I know it is tempting to sit in the car as it warms up, but you’re not safe there. Dress warm enough that you can get started even when the car is cold. I don’t know what to do about a frozen windshield.  I don’t have a perfect solution, but I want you to keep your head up and look around.

If you can, make the 911 call. That puts you in the police register as someone who was a victim. That and your carry permit change the way the officers react to you.

Rob- What you said is more than what we learn in a concealed carry class. When would you cover getting out of your car and then shooting on the move in low light?

Tony- I don’t teach low light classes but I hosted low light classes taught by qualified instructors. It is very important to get training in facing deadly threats during the hours of darkness. That’s when a significant percentage of attacks occur. 

Rob- Definitely more than beginning firearms safety.

Tony- Usually after concealed carry and holster presentation. Those advanced classes are there if you look for them.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • Fortunately, the defender was armed and had a carry permit. 
  • However, he did not have a plan and he used poor judgment. .

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

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

  • Don’t Look Like Sheep: Sitting alone in a car at night, in the dark is an invitation to criminals to take your car, your wallet and maybe even your life. If you have to sit in a parked car for whatever reason, go to a place that has lights, cameras and witnesses. Keep your head up, on a swivel and be aware of your surroundings. If you don’t, you look like “sheep” to the “wolves” they won’t eat you. Learn to look at yourself and your actions through the eyes of a criminal. Are you easy prey or are you too much trouble?
  • Emotional Control: Strong emotions cloud your judgment. Chasing someone who hits your car and takes off is only asking for trouble. If you chase someone, you may become the aggressor in a self-defense case. The defender should have stayed in his car where he was hit and called 911 with a description of the other car and passengers. Insurance covers hit and run accidents. Let the police do their job. Carrying a gun does not make you invincible. 
  • The Soft Skills: The end of the news article states that the district attorney is still deciding whether to charge the driver whose car was hit. The only time you are allowed to use deadly force is if trouble comes looking for you. De-escalate, evade, escape, avoid and only when all of those fail are you permitted to defend yourself. 


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 and his schedule, 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 in a few weeks with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.


One Reply to “Episode 340 with Tony Simon”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.