Episode 342 with Candy Petticord


Rob- Welcome to episode 342 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. What has been keeping you so busy?

Candy Petticord

Candy- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been teaching in Ohio and taking training at WOFT in Florida. How about you?

Rob- Life is good. I’ve been carrying and dry practicing every other day. I was listening to some neighbors talk about firearms. People give a lot of bad advice.

We received a new comment on iTunes (is 202,368) Nerdly said he likes the way we break down each self-defense situation, and he likes our guest instructors. He gave us a five star rating. Thank you, Nerdly

I also want to thank Roger for his help this week. We’re still looking for listeners who want to write or edit this podcast. Someday soon, all this can be yours.

Candy- 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 Houma, Louisiana.

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

You are at home asleep in your bed. It is 5 in the morning and you’re woken up by the sounds of someone downstairs. You grab your gun. You go to the top of the stairs. Your intruder tries to climb the stairs and you shoot him. He runs back outside and you stop shooting. You call 911 and ask for help.

You put your gun away when the police arrive. You give the police a brief statement. Police search the area. They collect descriptions and security video from your neighbors. The police identify a suspect and go to his house. An armed woman comes out of the house and is arrested by police. Police find your intruder hiding under a mattress. EMTs take him to the hospital. He is treated for a graze wound to the head.

Your intruder is charged with one count of simple burglary and held on an outstanding warrant for violating parole. His girlfriend is charged with simple burglary, obstruction of justice, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

You are not charged with a crime.

Candy-  I like that the homeowner thought about protecting himself and then bought a firearm. He kept his gun where it was quickly accessible when he needed it. He heard something at night and responded to the sound. He grabbed his gun before he went to investigate the noise.

Our defender moved to a position of defensive advantage at the top of the stairs. That is brilliant. The defender shot the intruder when the intruder came up the stairs. Our defender then stopped shooting when the attacker ran away. Our defender didn’t chase the bad guy down the street. He stayed at home and called 911 for help.

It sounds like our good guy stayed on the call with 911 until the police arrived, and then he met the officers with empty hands. He briefly described what happened.

Rob- That sounds like a good job?

Candy- It is a very good job, but there are a few small things we can do to make it into an amazing job. The good news is that they don’t cost much.

Make sure your doors and windows are locked. Consider putting safety film on the side windows near your doors. Put motion activated lights near your doors. Since you sleep upstairs, add a motion detector with a chime downstairs.

Use a bedside rapid access safe to store your gun at night. Have your cell phone on charge next to your small safe.

For bonus points, have a light at the bottom of the stairs that you can turn on from the top of the stairs. You want to see your attacker while he can’t see you because you’re hiding in the dim.

Stairs are a pain in the rear end when you’re tired, but they are a wonderful place to defend your family. It takes a squad of men to move one defender off the top of the stairs, but only if you practice. Do you hide behind the left, the bottom, or the right side of the top landing? Work with through the problem at your house and find out.

You might want to shout that you’re armed and that you’ve called the police.

Rob- There are a lot of little skills hiding inside what you said.

  • You want your students to learn to live with a gun in their home.
  • To learn how to use cover
  • To learn to shoot in low light situations
  • To know what to say if there is an intruder in the home.
  • To know the laws in your state and understand the duty to retreat.

Candy- Yeah, that is more than what we teach in our firearms safety class or concealed carry classes. Keep coming back, and we’ll teach you everything we know!!

The duty to retreat has the caveat that you don’t have to retreat unless you can do so safely. Since you’re probably moving to a position of greater risk if you move from the top of the stairs, you are best to stay where you are.

Rob- Where would I get to practice moving to cover and shooting around it?

Candy-  IDPA matches are a great place to practice moving to cover and shooting around barricades. In fact, that’s one of the main purposes of the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) matches – To teach shooters how to properly handle their firearms in defensive situations and in various environments. 

Taking one of my advanced training classes is another great option and you will have the benefit of one-on-one or small group attention and instruction.

Lastly, you can join us when we host a Guest Instructor at our facility. Every Guest Instructor at Northpointe Training is invited because I have personally trained with them and I consider them one of the best in their field.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The defender was aware and he responded to a noise on the first floor of his home.
  • The defender had a gun and took it with him when he investigated the noise.
  • The defender fired on the intruder when he encountered the intruder on the stairs.
  • The defender stopped shooting when the intruder retreated and he did not chase the intruder.
  • The defender called 911, put his gun away when police arrived 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.)

    • This incident took place in Louisiana where Castle Doctrine is the law.
  • The defender did not have to retreat like he would if he lived in one of the twelve states that still have “Duty to Retreat” laws. 
  • It’s critical that gun owners know the “Use of Deadly Force” laws in the state where they live because they vary widely. Ignorance of the laws can get you a jail sentence. 
  • Even in a Castle Doctrine state, best practices states that gathering your family to a defensive room, locking and barricading the door, turning out the interior lights and preparing to defend the door from cover or concealment is much safer than trying to “clear” your house alone. 
  • Standing at the top of a stairway is using good tactics. Stairways, hallways and doorways are “fatal funnels” which are much easier to defend than standing in an open room. 
  • How did the intruder get into the house? Did he break in or were the doors and windows left unlocked? 
  • Intruders look for homes that give them easy access and where they can hide while they are breaking in. Use motion lights, trim your trees and bushes near the house and add hurricane film to any glass that can be reached on the first floor. Also apply the film to all of the glass on your doors and any windows within reach of door locks. 
  • Add security striker plates on the door locks and use screws long enough to engage the wood studs for both the striker plates and hinges.  Make your house too much trouble so the intruders will move on. 

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

Candy- Let’s proceed!! Our second story happened in Memphis, Tennessee.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home?

Your husband is having an affair. You put his possessions on the front porch for him to pick up. It is dark outside when he husband arrives. He tears down the security camera on the front porch and then uses the camera to smash a window at the back of the house. You’re armed. Your husband enters the home and attacks you. You run out the front door. Your attacker follows you. You shoot him and now he stops chasing you.

Your neighbors come out and ask what is happening. You shout for them to call the police. You put your gun away and give a statement to the police when they arrive. You show the police your husband’s clothes, the broken camera, and the broken window. EMTs take your husband to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to the knee. News reports are not clear if our defender was treated by the EMTs. She is not charged.

Candy- Domestic issues are difficult because there is often a lot of history between the attacker and defender.

I like that she locked the doors and windows. That left evidence of the forced entry. I like that she retreated so it was clear that the attacker brought the fight to her. I like that she defended herself and then stopped when the fight was over.

Does a person have the right to break into his own home? You can argue that all the husband’s possessions were already outside the home so this was a personal attack and gaining entry to the home was not about recovering personal property. To prove that point, the husband did attack the wife once he gained entry to the home. The defender fled, so the husband clearly instigated the attack.

The defender had a tool that worked at a distance. She is at a disadvantage if her attacker is close enough that he can grab her. She stopped the threat and then stopped shooting. I love that she shouted for her neighbors to call 911.

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

Candy- While a restraining order will not stop an attack, it will demonstrate to the court that the husband was in the wrong when he came to the home. That can potentially save you tons of money in attorney’s fees. If you feel threatened or have been threatened, I highly recommend you make the time to file a restraining order to help establish a paper trail. 

Shout that you’re armed and have called the police. Shout “Stop, or I’ll defend myself.” You want not just “eye” witnesses, but also “ear” witnesses. You also want to call 911 when you hear glass breaking at the back of your house. If you have a domestic abuser, then you should have a panic button on your phone so you don’t need to waste unlocking it and then dialing 911, especially when you are fearing for your safety or your life. 

Domestic attackers often want to get close to the victim during their attack. That means you have to learn how to shoot without extending your firearm out in front of you where someone else can grab it. That is called “shooting from retention” and it is another skill you can learn through my advanced training classes.

Since the situation is already documented via the restraining order, I would highly recommend having a deputy present when your husband moves out.

Rob- This defender had to shoot as she was moving away from the home and being chased by her attacker. When would your students learn to shoot on the move?

Candy-  This is an advanced skillset that would only be pursued after the student had exhibited a strong foundation of safely handling their firearm. 

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The defender’s windows and doors were locked. She also had a camera. Unfortunately, the camera was mounted so low that her husband could reach it and use it to break a window. Did the defender change the locks on the doors?
  • The defender tried to keep the husband at a distance by using commands and also a gasoline container.?? Unfortunately, these efforts failed. 
  • The defender tried to leave the house but she was pursued by the husband.
  • The defender fired on the husband until he stopped attacking. 
  • The defender shouted for the neighbors to call 911.
  • The defender put her gun away when the police arrived and she not only gave them a statement, she showed them critical evidence of the attack. 

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

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The defender should have gotten a restraining order on her husband if she had time.
  • The defender was armed and either had the gun on her body or nearby when her husband arrived to get his clothes. The defender should have asked a few friends or neighbors to stand with her if she knew that her husband was coming over for his clothes. There’s safety in numbers whether the friends are armed or not. 
  • Did the defender know how to shoot from a retention position? Did the defender have any non-lethal options available? 
  • Could the defender have dropped the husband’s clothes off somewhere else, like at one of his relative’s homes so she would not have encountered him? Emotions run high in these situations and the less contact the better.
  • Could the husband and wife have met at a police station to give him the clothes? 
  • Did the husband know that his wife had a gun? Did she warn him that she did?
  • If the husband was the one having the affair, why did he attack his wife?

Rob- Where are we going for our third story?

Candy- We’re headed to Denison, Texas.

Rob- First this message from the Second Amendment Foundation.

Second Amendment Foundation

SAF https://www.saf.org/

Rob- Third story- Are you armed in the afternoon at home?

It is about 4:30 on a Monday afternoon when you hear someone knocking at your door. The news story isn’t clear if the door was unlocked and the intruder walked inside or if you opened the door to talk to them. The stranger pushes you out of the way and walks into your home. You shout for him to stop. You try and push him back outside. The stranger hits you with a hammer. You shoot your attacker. Now he stops hitting you.

You step back and call 911 for help. Police and EMTs arrive. You put your gun away. EMTs transport your attacker to the hospital. You give a statement to the police. It isn’t clear if your injuries required treatment. You are not charged with a crime.

Candy- Wow. Who would have thought that you’d get attacked at home in the middle of a work day afternoon.

It sounds like our defender was armed. I like that. The defender tried to use words and hands before he went to firearms. I like that too. Our defender used his gun when he had to, and stopped using his firearm once the threat had ceased. Good job.

He called the police and asked for help. He stayed at the scene and gave a statement to the police.

Rob- The fight only lasted a few seconds. I don’t want it to even last that long if I’m getting hit with a hammer. Candy, when do you talk to your basic firearms class about carrying a firearm on their body at home?

Candy- They ask about it during class. We talk about the follow-up classes they can take once they know firearms safety and have solid basic marksmanship skills.

I want to point out that this is another example of close quarters armed defense. I’m surprised that the defender wasn’t injured. If you are hurt, then make sure the EMTs treat you and then go to your own doctor for a follow up evaluation as soon as possible but no later than the next day. Those documents are evidence that you were defending yourself from an attack.

Rob- There is a school of instruction that says don’t talk to the police. How will the police know that the hammer is evidence of an attack and not something you were using for home repair if you stay silent?

Candy- You want to briefly describe what happened and point out evidence. Leave the details for the report your lawyer submits to the police.

Rob- I need a lawyer even though I was attacked in my own home?

Candy- Yes you do. You need a self defense attorney on retainer, or you need self-defense insurance which will usually provide you with a self-defense attorney via a special Member’s only phone line.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • The defender either had a gun on his body or he had it nearby when the intruder pushed his way into the home. 
  • The defender tried to use verbal commands and he also tried to push the intruder out the door. When those actions didn’t work and the intruder started hitting the defender with a hammer, the defender shot the intruder.
  • The shooting stopped when the intruder stopped hitting the defender with the hammer.
  • The defender stepped back to gain some distance and then called 911.
  • The defender put his gun away and gave a statement to the police when they arrived. 

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

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • Your doors and windows should always be locked. Don’t open the door unless you know and trust the person on the other side.
  • Don’t stand in front of the door in case the attacker shoots through the closed door. Stand aside or use a nearby window to answer your door. Make sure you can’t be seen from the outside.  
    • A hammer is a deadly weapon. No different than a knife, club or a gun. 
  • The Tueller Drill applies to clubs and hammers as well as knives. If you don’t know what the significance is to this drill, take a class or get an instructor to explain it to you. Remember, don’t just stand there and wait for the attacker to arrive – MOVE!
  • If an attacker is close enough to use a contact weapon, you must know how to shoot from a retention position. That takes training and practice. You also need to know how to shoot with your non-dominant hand in case your dominant hand/arm are injured. Do you know how to do a reload with only one hand? Again, this is taught in advanced training classes.

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?

Candy- Our fourth story took place in Chicago, Illinois.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at work on a Saturday?

You’re working in a high end jewelry store in the middle of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. It is just before noon and you see a customer come in and walk around the store. He stops near the exit and starts punching a jewelry display case over and over again. You have your Illinois carry permit. You’re carrying concealed at work today. You present your firearm and shoot the robber several times. He stops trying to smash the display case and falls down. You stop shooting. The robber gets up and runs outside.

You stay inside the store. You ask if anyone else is hurt. One of the store employees calls 911 for help. You stay at the scene and put your gun away. You give the police a statement and show them your paperwork. You also show them the security video of the robber when he was inside the store and outside the store. You’re taken to the local police station to give a statement to detectives.

Later, you found out that the robber ran up the stairs to the train tracks and fell into a train car. He was arrested and taken to the hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds to the buttocks and stomach. You are not charged with a crime.

Candy-  I like that our defender was armed. I like that he called for help and stayed at the scene and spoke to police.

Rob- What else do you see here?

Candy- The news story doesn’t say that the thief threatened anyone. He just tried to steal property. You are in the difficult position of showing that your use of force was the safest thing to do.

The jewelry store worker in this case was not a defender of life but of property. This theft took place in Chicago, not Texas. Texas is the only state I know of that allows the use of deadly force to protect property and even then only under certain circumstances.

Considering how liberal the city of Chicago is, the jewelry store worker might be charged with aggravated assault or even attempted murder. The wounded thief will probably sue him in civil court.

This gun owner might not have had his concealed carry permit since he wasn’t carrying the gun in public, but only carrying it on his employer’s premises. No matter where you carry, you need to know the law. We now have 28 states that have constitutional carry laws where you don’t need a permit to carry in public. You absolutely need a class to learn what you should and should not do with a firearm in the situations you’re likely to face.

Particularly at work where you’re more likely to face a non-lethal threat, please carry a non-lethal defensive tool, such as pepper spray, with you. The FBI states that it is five times more likely that you will need a non-lethal tool than a gun. 

Rob- Do I have a duty to retreat when someone is stealing from me?

Candy- In most states you do. In some states the value of the property is important in that you might be allowed to use force including lethal force if the crime is a felony. That varies from state to state.

 Rob- What do you tell your students?

Candy- I tell my students that if it’s not worth my jumping into a tank full of hungry sharks to retrieve an item, it is not worth me drawing my firearm or perhaps even getting involved.

As always, we have to ask if there was an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat to an innocent party. If the answer is no, then it isn’t a gun problem. Could it have been a gun problem as the large man hit a woman who walked through the store’s main door which was right next to the robber, Yes it could have, but that is speculation rather than something we observe.

What did our defender do correctly?

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • This is a prime example of what a concealed license carrier should NOT do. 
    • The jewelry store worker in this case was not a defender of life but of property. This theft took place in Chicago, not Texas. Texas is the only state that allows the use of deadly force to protect property and even then only under a very specific set of circumstances. 
  • The jewelry store worker had a concealed carry license from Illinois which requires a 16-hour training course.
  • Nowhere in the summary story nor in the news report did the thief threaten anyone. He just tried to steal property. 
  • Considering how liberal the city of Chicago is, the jewelry store worker might be charged with aggravated assault or even attempted murder. And since he voluntarily violated the law, many of the legal defense insurance companies probably won’t cover his legal expenses. Even if the police or DA decide not to charge the jewelry worker, the thief that he shot absolutely will sue him in civil court and most likely win.  
  • This type of situation is why concealed gun carriers should always have a non-lethal weapon available. The FBI states that it is five times more likely that you will need a non-lethal weapon than a gun.  

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

(Bullet points by Roger T.)

    • Learn the difference between theft and robbery.  Theft is a crime against property, whereas robbery is a crime against a person. This bad guy was a thief not a robber. 
  • You can only use deadly force to save innocent lives, not property. Learn the laws concerning the “Use of Deadly Force” for the states where you live and any state you travel to. “The Law of Self-Defense” by lawyer  Andrew Branka is an excellent book on that subject. 
  • Carry pepper spray or a baton as well as a gun and/or knife.
  • Concealed carriers are not the police. It’s not your job to protect property.
  • In many states, a concealed carrier can legally present their gun and point it as a threat to prevent a thief from engaging in a property theft. Pointing a gun is a “use of force”. But pointing your gun and shooting at a thief trying to steal a car is a “use of deadly force” which is not allowed.  


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-Canton, Stark & Summit, & Cleveland-Parma Chapters of A Girl and a Gun. My training company, Northpointe Training, is located in the fabulous Parma Armory Shooting Center located in Parma, Ohio.

Rob- After you look at Candy’s articles and her schedule, 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 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.



Apple categories- news commentary, self-improvement


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