Episode 66 with David Cole

Rob- Introduction- I’m Rob Morse and welcome to episode 66 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.  This podcast is for people who think they might want a firearm.. and those who already have one.  We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Dave Cole.

Hi, Dave.  How have you been?

Dave- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been busy, as usual.  Teaching, training, competing, and getting ready for an African safari…my work is never done!  

Hi to our new listeners, and welcome back to our regular listeners. We’ll look at three examples of armed civilian defense.  Mental preparation is just as important as physical training, and we hope you use these reports as part of your training program; use your imagination today so you can defend the people you care about tomorrow.  Please leave us a message on our facebook page with your questions or comments.

Rob, we have a message from one of our listeners.  Bob said,

I was very disappointed when I heard Amber say her bank doesn’t allow concealed carry. Amber…change banks!  Our gun club had a couple of Certificate of Deposits at a local bank – until the bank put a sign up “prohibiting” weapons. We closed our account and told them why we were taking our CDs to their competitor’s bank down the street. Amber, your money speaks volumes!

Rob- Bob, thank you for writing in and thank you for all you do.  You probably never noticed those no-gun signs until you started carrying concealed in public.  You notice them now, and I want another million people on your side of the argument.

Dave, can you carry concealed in Kentucky banks?

Dave- As long as they are not posted.  Banks are private property, so the individual banks can make their own rules…fortunately, my bank does not post, and I believe that most do not. And I’d reiterate this from Bob’s comment: don’t just leave a business that posts “no gun” signs…speak to management and tell them WHY you’re taking your business elsewhere.

Our first story took place last week in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Rob- First story-  Are you armed in your apartment in the middle of the day?

School is out.  You’re at home with your four small children.  The oldest child is seven and the youngest is a newborn.  Your first sign of trouble is a crashing sound from down stairs. You wonder if the kids knocked something over.  Then you hear a man’s voice inside your apartment.  You grab your gun and fly down the stairs.  A young man is standing inside your broken door, and he has a gun.  You raise your pistol and fire.  Most wounds from a handgun aren’t incapacitating.  This one was.  Your attacker falls to the ground.  Your neighbors reported two other young men who ran away from the scene.  You and your children are uninjured.

Dave-  This incident is a prime example of why our defensive weapon should be on our person – at home.  Especially if there are children in the home.

Rob- Why is that?

Dave- Guns should never be left where unauthorized persons can get them.  At the same time, we have to consider how long it might take to access that gun when we need it.  Will there be time?  Where in your home is it, and will you be able to get to it? Where are your kids, and will you have to leave them behind to get to your gun? I’d imagine most people will have their secure storage in a bedroom or somewhere else, not in the main living area.  Think for a second about how most homes are set up, and where you spend the bulk of your time while at home.  How would you get to your defensive firearm in an emergency? Of course, if you simply keep your gun on your person, you don’t have to worry about any of this…it is always right where you need it, when you need it.

Rob- That reminds me of another listener comment I received. This listener took my challenge to go get his gun in his home. The listener walked quickly from his living room to his bedroom where he keeps his firearm.  He opened his safe, grabbed his handgun, and walked back to his living room.  It took him 31 seconds.

Dave- Half a minute is forever in an emergency.  Just ask anyone who has ever had to race for a gun during such a time! Home invasion can happen very quickly, and you may not have time to access a “staged” gun. Perhaps another useful exercise for the listener would be to time himself from his front door to his living room…the time it would take an attacker to reach him. Or if the two paths would intersect…how long from the front door to the intersection…that’s where you might bump into a bad guy on the way to your gun!

And one more point on home carry, Rob. We know that even armed, “clearing” a house is extremely dangerous, so we usually advise people that it’s better to arm yourself, and barricade yourself in a room and call police. If you have to go get your gun first, you’re increasing your risk…if your gun is on your person, you don’t have to move.

Also…where’s your phone to call the police? Mine is in my pocket, all the time, while I’m at home.

The gun wasn’t all that saved this family…a locked door made a difference, too.

Rob- How did the locked door help this young woman?

Dave-  The breaking of the door is what alerted her to the danger she and her children were in.  The door was her alarm.  It also added valuable response time. Even a few seconds can make the difference, and a locked door will at least slow down an attacker.

Rob-  Was lethal force justified?

Dave-  She faced an armed intruder.  State laws can vary a bit with things like castle doctrine and duty to retreat, but i don’t know of one that does not allow an armed response to an armed intruder in your home. Another factor is the presence of children in the home…the adult cannot simply flee and leave the children behind.

Rob-  So the law recognizes that you’re protecting your children?

Dave- Yes. We are typically allowed to use force to defend another who would have been justified in using the same level of force themselves. If the children would have been justified in using that force in self defense (and they would have been), then the mother can use that level of force to defend them. And even if she were alone, she could still articulate that she was reasonably in fear for her life or serious bodily injury, since the intruder was armed and inside her home. She was clearly in mortal danger.

Rob- Dave, you teach your students about a situation like this one.  How many times do you teach them to fire their gun?

Dave- We shoot to stop the threat, so we shoot until the threat is gone. Or, as I often put it, “shoot until they stop doing whatever it was that made you start shooting.”

Our second story also took place in Indianapolis.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed at home in the middle of the night?   

You and your family are asleep.  You hear the sound of breaking glass from the front of your house.  You grab your gun and investigate.  You see a young man standing in your living room.  You raise your handgun and fire.  The robber takes a few steps and falls.

You wife and children are uninjured.

Police say the robber was unarmed..this time. Two months ago he was arrested for possessing drugs and a stolen gun.  Last month he was arrested for hit-and-run with an automobile while intoxicated.  Last week the robber was arrested for theft and drugs.

Dave- Good the homeowner had a gun.  How about a flashlight?  Even in a state like Indiana that has a castle doctrine, you still want to be able to identify your target.  This is especially important in a home like this one, where there are other family members. Is that shape in the dark a bad guy, or just a family member who got up to use the bathroom in the night? Too often we hear of tragedies of mistaken identity that could have been prevented with a simple flashlight.

Rob-  So if you want to protect your home, first get a flashlight.

Dave-  Yes.  That is at the top of your emergency list.  Also, let’s talk about gun storage at night, when we’re asleep. Where do you keep your gun when you’re asleep?

Rob- Mine is in a quick access safe.  Why is that important? Why wouldn’t I just put my gun on my nightstand..or under the mattress?

Dave-  There are a couple of reasons. The first is secure storage.  You need your gun secured all the time.  Don’t leave a gun, even an unloaded gun, where children could get it.  Have you ever had one of your kids come into your bedroom at night? What if they picked up your gun off of your nightstand?

Also, consider the process of waking up. Even when we wake up startled…like to the sound of a window breaking…it takes a couple of seconds to orient ourselves. Using some sort of quick-access secure storage forces us to take a step before putting a gun in our hand, allowing time to clear our head and avoid a tragic mistake…especially in a home we share with others.

Rob- Not even if the gun is unloaded?

Dave- Not even if it is unloaded.  You are responsible to control that firearm all the time.  When it is on your body and when it is off.  It is your gun.  It doesn’t belong under the pillow.  I doesn’t belong between the mattresses.  You have to secure it…And be able to get to it quickly.

Rob- so you keep your home defense guns locked up, but loaded?

Dave- Yes. If it is not on my person, it’s secured. If it’s my defensive firearm, it’s loaded.

Rob- What else can we learn from this story?

Dave- The story doesn’t say who called the police, but it would be awesome if the wife was on the phone getting help.  A team effort…you deal with the threat, she gets the call out to police. Plan not just your response to a threat, but your whole family’s response.

Rob- Teamwork. David, I practiced those calls, and I was mumble mouthed until I practiced them several times.

Dave- That means our listeners have homework.  Our third story happened last week just west of Philadelphia.

Please support the Crime Prevention Research Center at

Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you’re walking down the street at mid-day?  

You and your friend are walking down the street just before noon on a Sunday morning.  Another man gets out of a car and approaches you.  He yells for you to stop.  He pulls a knife.  You and your friend back away.  You tell the attacker that you’re armed.  You draw your gun and hold it at the low ready.  Your attacker continues to advance toward you and your friend.  You raise your gun and shoot.

Your attacker grabs his leg.  The two people in the car drive away.  You call police.  You explain that you have your concealed carry permit.

Dave-  Bringing a knife to a gunfight? Not a good idea. I do hope that the shot in the leg wasn’t intentional. Despite what Hollywood tells us, it isn’t a great target.

Rob- Is this attack a one-in a million event?

Dave- Specifically, your odds of being a victim of violent crime in the US are about 4 out of 100, according to the FBI. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/21/5-facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/

But locally, your mileage may vary. In Philadelphia, the homicide rate this year is already up 19%, with 140 reported so far. https://www.phillypolice.com/crime-maps-stats/

Rob-  But during your lifetime, what are the realistic odds that you’ll be the victim of a violent attack?

Dave-  The short answer is: it depends. About one out of three of us will be attacked during our lifetime, but your milage may vary.  The longer version is that it depends greatly on specifically where you live, and your own behavior. People who consort with drug dealers, etc…tend to get dead more often than those of us who behave ourselves.

That said, I think the calculus is not that simple. We don’t want to consider just the odds of an attack, but the stakes involved…the consequences if it does happen. Living in a suburban area as I do, living the life of a law abiding citizen, I am probably about as likely to be attacked as I am to be struck by lightning…but people DO get struck by lightning, you know. So despite the fact that an attack may be unlikely, I am unwilling to accept the consequences of being defenseless if it does…so I am armed.

And remember, if you are a parent or responsible for small children, you are making this choice for them, too. To me, it is not worth risking the consequences of going unarmed.


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

Dave- My training company, Aegis Solutions LLC is on Facebook, and my articles on gun rights and more can be found at Black Man With A Gun…including my latest commentary on the recent attack on the GOP baseball practice. http://blackmanwithagun.com/shootout-or-massacre

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

Dave-  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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