Episode 52 with Elizabeth Hautman


Introduction- Rob- Welcome to episode 52 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.  This show is for people who think they might want a firearm for self-defense, and those who already have one.  I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Elizabeth Hautman.

Hi, Elizabeth.  How have you been?

Elizabeth- Hi, Rob. Happy birthday to the Self-Defense Gun Stories Podcast.  We’re a year old.

Rob- Thank you. And thank you to our listeners.

Elizabeth-  Let’s not forget them.  Hi to our new listeners, and welcome back to our regular listeners. We report and analyze three examples of armed civilian defense each week.  I hope we inspire you to defend the people you care about.  If you have questions or want to hear more, then please leave us a message on our facebook page.

Elizabeth- Rob, I want you to take this story first, because I have children at home.  Our first story took place this month in Oklahoma.

Rob- First story- Are you armed when you’re at home?  

You’re at home with your children on a Friday afternoon.  You hear sounds coming from the other end of the house.  That wasn’t the kids roughhousing.  Your daughter shouts, “Mom, someone is trying to open the front door.”  You go look, and by the time you get there, the visitor is gone.  Then you hear the sound of breaking glass.  Someone is breaking into your house through your children’s bedroom.  You grab your gun and walk towards the noise.  The kids are out of their room, but a stranger is climbing in through the broken window.

You yell, and then you shoot.  The female intruder runs away, and you call police.

The intruder was cut by the broken glass.  She tried to break into several other houses.  She also tried to break INTO a police car.  She was arrested by the Tulsa police, booked on first-degree burglary, attempted larceny of a vehicle, two counts of possession of a controlled drug and for resisting arrest.  The intruder was taken for medical treatment and then to jail.

Elizabeth-   There are quite a few lessons with this story.  Good job mom/dad for teaching the kids to notice the door issues and report the problem.  The kiddos didn’t open the door – never open the door!  That is a tough lesson for adults as well.  I can communicate through my door, and with the new doorbell technology, I can talk through that.  No need to open the door.

Rob- Good job kids.

Elizabeth-   Good job mom for recognizing the threat and retrieving her firearm.  I would always hope there is time to call the police before you shoot, but that is unrealistic at best.  Maybe if the kids are old enough, they could be on the phone.  Mom must have been hustling too!  She kept it together, because, I know, when my kids are in danger, the stress level and pressure will increase – calm heads must prevail.

Rob- How easy is it for new students to realize that they have a breakin?

Elizabeth- about 80 percent of my students are moms and new moms.  The question comes up again and again, will I have time to get my gun.  I have two answers.  This may sound a like a little much for people new to firearms, but the best place for me to keep my firearm, away from kids and always ready, is on my body.  It is in a secure holster and ready in 2 seconds.  But if that is not your style, and for many it isn’t, a safe, close at hand – like the one in my friend’s kitchen, is a good option as well.  

As a firearms owner it is my responsibility to keep my guns out of the hand of unauthorized people – my kids.  So yes there is a compromise, but the safe is easy open and will still keep my firearm close.

Lastly –  the character of the lady breaking in.  When I have students explain how racking the slide of a shotgun would scare away a criminal – they assume the criminal is of sound mind. This story states that the mom was screaming at the lady coming through the window before she fired her gun.  Any sane person would have high tailed it back out the window with the threat of being shot – this illustrates how deranged, or drugged up an intruder may be.  The intruder went on to even try to break into a police car.  The epitome of crazy.  You can never assume the intruder will think like you do.

Rob- 80 percent of criminals are high on drugs when they attack someone or break in.

Elizabeth- Our second story took place in Texas.

Second Story-  Are you armed at work?  You own a small barbeque restaurant in Houston Texas.  You’re 70 years old, and you’ve run J & S  Jeff’s Kitchen for a while.  It is late Saturday night.  You’ve closed up the place and are walking to your car to drive home home.  Two young men jump out from behind the dumpster and move toward you.  One of them has a gun out and he is pointing it at you.  They yell at you.  You know the drill.  You’ve been robbed before.  That is why you have a gun in your pocket tonight.

You didn’t see the thugs coming out of the darkness.  Now the darkness works to your advantage.  You draw your pistol and fire at the armed robber nearest to you.  He falls to the pavement.  You move and look for his partner.  The other robber is already running away.

It is hard to talk, but you call the police and try to explain what happened.

The police and EMTs arrive.  They take the wounded robber to the hospital where he died.  The police are looking for his partner.

Darkness, physical response

Elizabeth- The restaurant owner had a plan.  It is better to recognize the problem quickly so you can shoot slowly and accurately.  This older man did exactly that.  He had worked out his shoot and move strategy beforehand.

Rob- What can I do to recognize a robbery without on-the-job experience of being robbed?

Elizabeth-  You need to think about it ahead of time, and have a plan.

Rob- Give me an example.  What would I think, and what would I want to do?

Elizabeth- If I see people come out of the dark towards me with a gun, I’ll step to the side, draw my firearm, and defend myself.  Get off the line.  Keep moving, keep looking for bad guy number 2 or 3. Keep looking for cover, or an escape.

You don’t have to have a fire in your home to practice a fire drill – it just takes practice and FORETHOUGHT.  The same with a violent encounter.  Discuss with your spouse – what you might do if you hear an intruder.  Who goes to the kids, who calls the police, who retrieves the firearm.  Discuss with your co-workers – who leaves last, who will walk to the car – do you all leave together?  Work out a safety plan in advance.

Rob- The store owner was robbed at night.. Again.

Elizabeth- We can’t see well in the dark.  But this is important, neither can the criminals.  Action beats reaction.  That is why you need a plan.  A plan lets you take action when your brain locks up.  The animal instincts can kick in and should be expected if you are in fear for your life.  Training and practice can help anyone overcome that fearful paralysis.  The plan is the key.

It is hard for us to identify what is happening in the dark.  It is also hard for the criminals to recognize that their intended victim is defending himself.  Criminals pick their victims because they think they WON’T/CAN’T defend themselves.  Always be ready.  This BBQ owner was, and he had a strategy for survival.  I’m sure he knew the terrain better than the assailants in the dark as well – his advantage.

Local ranges often have simulators.

Another thought might have been to install lights.  Although the previous story illustrated that attackers don’t think like we do, and the light may not have deterred them, but lights help.  

It was also great that the restaurant owner called 911-  I recommend that if you ever get into a situation like this, get to safety, check to see if you are hurt, then call 911.  Remember you are the victim! You have been attacked and you defended yourself.  Give your statement to the police ONLY with your ATTORNEY present!

Elizabeth- Our third story took place in Illinois.

Please support Buckeye Firearms Foundation at https://www.buckeyefirearmsfoundation.org/


Third story- Rob- Are you armed when you’re in your car?

You’re driving a friend to her home.  You are 70 years old, and at your age, lots of your friends don’t drive any more.  It is harder to drive at night, but this is a sunny day at 10 in the morning.  Traffic isn’t too bad in Venice, Illinois, just across the river from Saint Louis, Missouri.  You arrive at your destination and stop to say goodby.

A car pulls up next to you.  They ask for directions.  In a moment, the passenger in the other car has a gun out and pointed at you.  He wants you to get out of your car.

You’re armed.  You’re also a vietnam veteran, so you go to work.  You wait for the right moment, and shoot the armed robber closest to you.  You also shoot the robber behind the wheel.  Then you and your passenger move to safety and call police.

The armed robber died at the scene.  The wounded driver was taken to the hospital.  Police told you that the two thugs had probably robbed another driver that morning.  They were wanted for questioning in as many as 20 robberies last year.  Both robbers had long criminal records.

Elizabeth-  Criminals look for older people to rob.  They always look for the easy target.  The distracted mom, the dreamy teen or the old person.  Gray hair can make you a target.  The best way to keep my students safe is to teach them to be aware of their surroundings and not act like a target.  Walk with a purpose, make eye contact, keep your phone in your pocket, look behind you when you leave a store.  These are habits that could make the difference between you being a victim or not.

Rob- So it wasn’t an accident that they chose two older people?

Elizabeth-??  Nope, and this older man had a plan.  Over the years, he had kept his skills sharp, and was alert!  I tell my students to be aware, not paranoid, but know where the exits are, pay attention to the people around you.  This veteran was aware and recognized the threat from the first question – asking for directions.  The questions close the space, can distract you and the excuse of asking a question brought the bad guy right up to the car.  This veteran was not fooled and was ready.

Rob- Broad daylight

Elizabeth-  Daylight, but the thieves couldn’t see into the car.  Think about it – it is difficult to see into a vehicle unless you are right up close.  Also, just because it is daytime, never become complacent.  Bad things happen anytime of day.

Rob- Two criminals versus two victims.

Elizabeth-   Yes there is safety in numbers, and there were two attackers.  Sometimes there are more.  But you can practice and train for an event like this.  Get with an instructor, go through possible scenarios, develop your defensive skills.  

Exit-  Rob- That wraps up this episode. Elizabeth, thank you for helping me today.  Where can our listeners learn more about you?

Elizabeth- I instruct in Colorado Springs.  I teach small classes at my private range in Black Forest.  Students can contact me at Colorado Boots Firearms Instruction.

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

Elizabeth-  If you liked this show, then you’ll like the other podcasts on the Self-defense radio network.  We create this podcast under a creative commons license, so please share it with a friend, and give us a rating on I-Tunes.

Rob- I’m Rob Morse.  We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.

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