Episode 341 with Amanda Suffecool


Rob- Welcome to episode 341 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 Amanda Suffecool. I know you’ve been traveling a lot.

Amanda Suffecool

Amanda- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been in Florida at the Ambassadors’ Academy.  And then Kevin & Sarah Sona’s 2A Freedom Fest 

How about you?

Rob- I was overseas for a week. When I got back, I dry practiced and went to the range. I noticed my inconsistent shooting from lack of practice.

We received a new rating and review on iTunes (367,201) Buzz loves the way we tell the stories and then explain what we might do in their place.

Nathan gave us a thank you and said the stories were eye-opening. He wants us to keep up the good work.

Dwayne sent in one of the stories we used.

Thank you Dwayne, Buzz, and Nathan. I also want to thank Roger for his help again this week. We’re still looking for listeners who volunteer to write or edit this podcast. Someday soon, all this can be yours.

Amanda- 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 several thousand times a day. We’ll look at a few recent examples. The links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.

Our first story took place last week in Fresno, California.

Rob- First story-Are you armed at home? 

It is just after 10 on a weekday morning. You are at home with your two small children. Your wife calls your cell phone. She says a neighbor saw three strangers run onto your property. The neighbor called her thinking she was at home. You check your ring doorbell and see three men who ran into your garage. News stories aren’t clear if you called the police or if your wife did.

You grab your shotgun. You open your garage door and shout get out, get out, get out. One of the intruders dives for the ground. The other freezes. The third one runs away. Police arrive a minute later. You lower your shotgun when the police arrive.

The robber who is standing up runs out the garage door. The robber on the floor is arrested by police.

You give the police a statement. They tell you that the three robbers were driving a stolen Mercedes and being chased by police after an armed robbery. The police were searching for them after they abandoned the Mercedes nearby. The police found the robber who was standing in your garage. They arrest him. The robber who ran when you entered your garage was found next door. He wouldn’t come out so they sent a dog in to get him.

You are not charged with a crime. You are glad your small children aren’t hurt. Your neighbor calls to see how you’re doing.

Tag- No Shots Fired

Amanda- This family and their neighbors worked together to protect their children. They met their neighbors and had a good relationship with them. They installed a few security cameras. When a neighbor saw something unusual, they called the mom and the mom got the needed information to her husband who was at home. The news report isn’t explicit, but I assume the robbers were in the garage because the garage door to the house was locked. 

I also like that the homeowner had a firearm and was comfortable using it.

All in all – the family had a well rounded and solid plan for defending their home and more importantly, their loved ones. 

I like that the homeowner used verbal commands. He told the robbers what he wanted them to do. Shouting get out, get out, is pretty clear. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Our good guy didn’t chase or shoot at the robbers who ran away. The defender called 911 and asked for help. He also put his firearm away when the police arrived.

Rob- What else do you see in this story?

Amanda- It is possible that there was a reason to go into the garage, but usually I want my students to stay away from an attacker. Distance is your friend. There is no urgency to go looking for an intruder.   Stay put and let the police look for them. 

I like that the homeowner said go away, but having a shotgun pointed at you sent a stronger message than his words. One of the robbers did what he thought was best, in an effort to not get shot.  Another took his chances that running was better than staying put.   It did not work out for any one of them.

Let’s say you have small children at home. You see strangers in your garage. Your doors are locked. The first rule of defense is don’t get shot. That means you go and grab your gun. You get into a defensible position and then you get the police on the way.

Remember that the goal is to keep your kids safe rather than protecting the lawn mower and the case of beer that is in the garage.

Rob- When do you tell your students about that?

Amanda- We’re always answering questions. The class called self-defense in the home is where they form a home defense plan. One of the benefits of a class is we can learn from other people’s choices. You can see what other people did and decide if that fits your family in your home. Just the act of thinking about it ahead of time adds to your defensive layers. 

Rob- A long gun is effective, but what if the homeowner was at one end of the home away from his gun and the robbers broke into the middle of this home?

Amanda- That is exactly why most of us choose to have a concealed handgun with us. Pants on, gun on.  Then you don’t have to wonder if you can get to it in time. A handgun may not be the best defensive firearm, but it is a good compromise for most of us.

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

Amanda- Before we move on, I want you to know that holding someone at gunpoint is hard. We teach people how to do it, and there are ways to do it wrong that put you at risk. I compare it to having caught a tiger.  You can’t trust it, even for a second.  Many times it’s better for the homeowner if the bad guy runs away.

Now let’s go to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The defender had a camera and a gun. He realized that he and his children were in a potentially immediate, lethal and unavoidable situation. 
  • The defender checked his Ring camera and grabbed his gun.
  • Either the defender or his wife called 911.
  • The defender tried verbal commands. 
  • The defender did not pursue nor shoot the bad guys that ran away. 
  • The defender lowered his gun when the police arrived. 

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

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • Self-defense is about problem-solving. These situations happen very quickly and they can have deadly results. Having a plan, using situational awareness, tactics, distance, cover, concealment and various weapons are all tools that we use to solve a problem. 
  • THE PROBLEM: The defender was at home with (2) small children when he was notified that he had (3) trespassers in his garage. Were they armed? Were they dangerous? What was their intent?
  • THE DEFENDER’S SOLUTION: He confirmed that the bad guys were there using the Ring camera, 911 was called and he grabbed his shotgun. So far so good. But when he opened the garage door to engage the bad guys, he had no idea where they were, whether they were armed or not and how desperate they were. There was nothing in the garage that justified his walking into a gunfight. This defender not only put himself in danger but he also put his (2) small children in jeopardy. If he was shot, who would protect the kids?
  • BEST PRACTICES SOLUTION: The #1 rule of self-defense is DON’T GET SHOT! Don’t put yourself or others into a position where people get shot or injured unless you are saving a life. After 911 was called, he should have gathered the children into a defensible room, locked and barricaded the door then prepared to defend from cover or concealment. Use the door as a “fatal funnel”. 
  • ADDITIONAL TRAINING: Holding a bad guy at gunpoint is very dangerous. Knowing how to do it is a critical skill that requires knowledge and training. If you don’t have the training, don’t do it. Also, do you have the training and the equipment to treat a gunshot wound?

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed in public?

You’re standing next to your car in a business parking lot. It is about 5 in the afternoon when You see a policeman approach a homeless man who is standing in front of a business. The homeless man stabs the police officer. The officer yells and falls. You reach into your car and grab your gun. You shout for the attacker to stop. The attacker advances toward you and you shoot him. He falls. News reports aren’t clear what you did with your gun.

You run up to the officer and use his radio to call for help. Police and EMTs arrive quickly. You step back but remain at the scene. EMTs transport the officer.

You give the police a statement about what you saw and what you did. The attacker is declared dead at the scene. Later, you find out that the officer died in the hospital. His attacker had a criminal history including domestic violence, kidnapping, failure to appear in court, and repeated drug use. Police get security video from the businesses nearby. You are not charged with a crime.

Amanda- Yikes. You see a policeman being attacked and what should you do. If you haven’t thought about it ahead of time then you’re going to stand there with your mouth hanging open as the policeman is stabbed again and again. Our defender decided that he needed to have a firearm with him as he drove. That helps too. Again, the defender tried verbal commands. In this case they worked, sort of. The defender used his firearm when he faced an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable attack. He used the policeman’s radio to get help and he stayed at the scene.

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

Amanda- I want you to have your firearm with you all the time. This citizen was lucky that he was near his car and not near the crazy man with a knife. Depending on luck is a bad plan.

I can’t tell if using verbal commands in this case was a good idea or a bad idea. I don’t think we know enough to decide.

Rob- What are the arguments on each side?

Amanda- There is a family member you love being attacked. You already have the legal justification to shoot and you don’t have to wait and issue verbal commands while your loved one is stabbed three more times.

Rob- And what is the other argument?

Amanda- Maybe shouting for the bad guy to stop was all it took for the murderer to look at you and move away from the officer. Your words prevented the officer from being stabbed again. Maybe the murderer was kneeling next to the officer and you thought that was a hard shot. With the bad guy standing and moving away from the officer you have a clearer shot with less risk of accidentally injuring an innocent party.

Rob- What else do you see?

Amanda- I want you to have basic trauma care training and materials. If your spouse is stabbed I want you to know how to keep them alive until EMTs arrive.

Now that I’ve given out homework for the week, our third story happened in Fullerton, California.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The defender had a gun near him and he responded when he saw a police officer getting attacked.
  • The defender tried using verbal commands but they failed.
  • The defender shot the attacker while he was being rushed. Perhaps he knew about the Tueller Drill since the bad guy was stopped before he was able to complete his attack on the defender. 
  • The defender stayed on the scene, radioed for help and gave a statement.

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

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • According to www.handgunlaw.us, New Mexico law allows loaded handguns concealed in your car without a permit. This defender had his gun in his car instead of on his person. “Pants On, Gun On” is always best if you can. What would have happened if the defender was 25 feet from his car when he saw the attack? Would he have had time to get to his gun? 
  • Learn about the Tueller Drill and how to use that information in a real fight. Remember, if someone is running at you, you can either step aside or start running away from the attacker in order to get more time to react. DON’T JUST STAND THERE- MOVE!
  • Did the defender know how to stop the police officer from bleeding out? Did he have a tourniquet or chest seal? Take a class and keep a trauma kit in your home and your car. 

Rob- First this message from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership



Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work?

You work as a security guard. Today, you’re standing in a strip mall jewelry store. It is about about noon on a weekday when you see three men get out of a car that pulled up outside the store. The car doesn’t park. The three men who got out are all wearing masks and they are carrying pistols in their hands. They start to walk toward the jewelry store.

You present your firearm and shoot at the robbers. They run back to their car, shooting at you as they run. The news stories aren’t clear if you called 911 or if someone in the store called them. Neither you, nor store employees, the store customers, or any bystanders outside the store are injured. You give a statement to the police when they arrive.

There is extensive news coverage of the event, but that doesn’t include the store security video. The owner says that jewelry stores are robbed because the jewelry is so easy to sell for cash. You were supposed to meet with the store owner today and talk about extending your employment and asking for more money. They seemed to like you before the attack. They certainly like you now. You are not charged with a crime.

Amanda- We have to stop and explain. A security guard is not a police officer. He does not have arrest powers. He doesn’t have a squad of guys who come running when he calls on the radio. He is a civilian with some training and a cheap blue uniform.

The guard saw a robbery unfolding. Good for him that he was doing his job rather than playing with his phone. He reacted which tells me he had a plan. We don’t know if he was inside or if he was already standing outside the store. We know he was outside the store when he started shooting at the bad guys. He didn’t chase them after arriving at the shooting location. He stayed at the scene and gave a statement to the police.

Rob- What else can we learn here?

Amanda- Ideally, the security guard is wearing clothes that you’d see on a customer or on an employee in the store. We want the staff and the guard to train together. The staff knows to drop to the floor when the guard yells “threat” or whatever their training word is. We want a panic alarm that calls 911 with one touch.

We want to hit our intended target with our first shots. Let me repeat.  We want to hit our target the very first time. That takes training and practice. We also want to look at the store so the security guard has some cover when he defends the customers and staff.

I want every business owner to have a plan. You move the customers to safety. You check on them and then tell 911 what you need.

I want your store employees to be armed as well. There are lots or reasons why a single armed guard is a weak plan. Some stores who want high security use a revolving door so they can’t be rushed by a gang all at once.

Rob- Are there security consultants that can help convenience stores, jewelry stores, and marijuana dispensaries?

Amanda- There are consultants, and there are business groups who share what they’ve learned in the area.  Depending on your business and your budget, there is help out there for you and your business

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Amanda- Our fourth story took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The security guard was armed and alert. He noticed the (3) attackers with masks and guns. 
  • The defender recognised an immediate, lethal and unavoidable situation and reacted.
  • The defender stayed at the scene and provided a statement to the police. 

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

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • Ideally, the security guard should not have been in a uniform. That just puts a target on his back. Working in the showroom in plain clothes or being concealed behind a wall is much more effective.
    • Was the guard wearing a bullet-proof vest?
    • The guard fired multiple shots at (3) bad guys and didn’t hit any of them. Every bullet he fired has to hit someone or something. 
    • Did the guard fire on the bad guys while they were still spread apart outside of the store or did he wait until each one of them came through the door and use it as a “fatal funnel”? Tactics are more important than firepower. 
    • Did the guard use any cover or concealment? 
  • Did the guard have the equipment and the training to stop the bleeding from a gunshot wound to himself or others?
  • Once the shooting was over, did the guard move everyone to the back of the store, out of sight and lock the doors? Sometimes the bad guys come back and they bring their friends. 
  • Did the store have a plan in the event of a robbery? Did everyone know where to go and what to do? Was the plan rehearsed? If the first plan doesn’t work, what’s plan B? What would the store personnel do if the guard was shot?
  • What would have happened if the robbery took place during the guard’s lunch break? Does he stay in the store or go elsewhere? Who covers for him? What if he calls out sick?
  • If the store had a revolving door or a second door in a narrow breezeway, that would restrict the traffic flow to only one customer at a time. That makes it easier to defend.  

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in public?

You are waiting at an auto repair shop. Your 12 year old son is with you. You hear gunfire from the back of the repair shop. Your son grabs his head and falls down. You hear screams from inside. You see a man with a  gun shooting at people inside the shop.

You have your Pennsylvania concealed carry permit. You’re armed today. You present your firearm and shoot at the attacker. Now he runs. You reholster your handgun and check on your son. News reports aren’t clear if you called 911, but a lot of customers did.

You and your son stay at the scene. You identify yourself to the police. EMTs take one of the mechanics to the hospital. Your son is treated for a graze wound at the scene and released. The officers say that the mechanic was the intended target and your son was struck by a stray shot.

You are not charged with a crime.

Amanda- This is the opposite extreme of a security guard at a jewelry store. He somewhat expects and is prepared for bad things to maybe happen.  You’re going to have your car worked on and you take your son with you. You expect nothing.  Unfortunately, a criminal decides to shoot the place up while you’re there and you have to defend your son and other innocent parties. Wow.

I’m glad our defender was licensed, trained, and armed. Well done. AND the big thing is here,  does he take action to stop the shooting or render first aid to his child?   He recognized it was time to shoot and he did. Hard as it is, you have to stop the threat first, THEN render first aid.  He stopped the killer and then took care of his son. He stayed calm, working with EMT’s and  gave a statement to the police.

Rob- What else can we learn from this story?

Amanda- If you can, I’d like you to participate in some defensive pistol classes, then move on to competitions USPA, or IPSIC. You see people move and shoot over and over. That is the antidote to training at an indoor shooting range where you’re forbidden to draw or move your feet. If you cant do that, at least when you dry practice I want you to move to cover as you draw.

As I said before, I want you to have medical training and a medical kit. 

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. The defender had his License to Carry a Firearm and he had a gun on him while going about his normal day.
  • The defender recognized an immediate, lethal and unavoidable situation. He drew his gun and fired on the attacker.
  • The defender stopped shooting when the attacker ran and he did not chase after him. 
  • The defender stayed at the scene, holstered his gun, checked on his son 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.)

    • The Fight, Flight or Freeze response kicked in but the defender did not freeze. He drew his gun and returned fire. Most untrained people freeze when the adrenaline rush hits. Stress inoculation training and pre-visualization help you respond instead of freezing. This training adds to your “Library of Responses”.
  • Again, the first rule of self-defense is “DON’T GET SHOT”! Hopefully, the defender grabbed his son and pulled him behind cover or concealment. Staying in the open can get you killed. Move first, then draw and return fire. 
  • Head wounds can be very bloody. Did the defender know how to apply pressure to the wound with gauze or a clean cloth?
  • Since the defender didn’t hit the bad guy, this was a psychological stop not a physical one. The attacker met with resistance so he decided to run off. Let him go. Protect the wounded and make sure the bad guy doesn’t return. Lock the doors. Don’t reholster your gun until the police arrive but be sure to greet them with empty hands- no gun, no phone. 


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

Amanda- My eye on the target radio show is syndicated coast to coast on Sunday nights from 5 to 7 eastern time. The show is also on video at OpsLens. I instruct on the weekends in Northeastern Ohio. I’m part of the DCProject – Women for Gun rights  that you can find at WomenForGunRights.org

Rob- After you listen to Amanda podcasts and watch her TV show, then please leave her a message on our podcast episode webpage.

Amanda- 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, 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 341 with Amanda Suffecool”

  1. Michael R Ivy

    I note your disdain for security officers above. Security officers in my state undergo a background check and training. We are issued a Security Weapons Permit by the state law enforcement division. At some sites which we work we are required to maintain a secret security clearance, and that uniform is not so cheap.
    On the back of my particular state issued weapons card is the following statement.
    “Security Officers shall have the authority and arrest power given to sheriff’s deputies to arrest a person violating or charged with violating a criminal statute of this state but possess the powers of arrest only on the property on which the officer is employed.”

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