More Self-Defense Gun Stories- Episode 142 with Robyn Street

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Here are the stories. What would you do in their place?
More at the link.
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Our first story took place last week near Akron, Ohio.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at work?

You’re working behind the bar at a roadside bar and grill. Some customers have already come in after work on a Friday night. You look up to see a stranger come through the door. He’s wearing black pants, a black jacket, a black ski mask and purple rubber gloves. He doesn’t take off his winter clothes, but walks toward straight toward the bar. You’re hand is already headed towards your gun as the robber pulls up his jacket reaching for his waistline. Your gun comes up and the man in black turns around and runs.

You call the police. They said another bar down the road was robbed by a man fitting your robber’s description.

Robyn- We need to evaluate what is “normal”. The bar owner was paying attention. He saw something that was unusual and he had already decided what he was willing to do to defend his life. No time wasted on denial or justification.

Rob- This man saw thousand of people come into his bar. This one didn’t look right…and the bartender acted just that fast. Wow.

Robyn- He had quick access to his gun. On body carry is the best option. Take time to find the “right” holster for you.

Rob- Let’s back up before we look at holsters. Lots of people work in retail jobs where they see their customers. I know shop owners who’ve been robbed. Does this sort of attack happen very often?

Robyn- Employees get attacked for asking to see identification. In a bar, you might get some regular customers that might help separate two guys that were pushing and shouting. The people in the environment can escalate or help to de escalate a situation. They probably won’t intervene if the attacker has a knife.

Rob- Was the bartender justified in drawing his gun if the attacker only had a knife?

Robyn- A knife can be a deadly tool. The bartender faced a lethal threat, so yes. We are very lucky to have an affiliate instructor that specializes in self-defense and knives. Several of the same concepts are stressed but definitely a different tool with different challenges compared to an attacker armed with a gun.

Rob- The bartender reacted before he had a knife at his throat. Was that the right thing to do?

Robyn- Even though the owner had decided to remove his firearm from the holster and orientate it on the attacker, he continued to evaluate the situation. The attacker reevaluated the situation and decided to leave.

Rob - No shots were fired.

Robyn- No shots fired. No one was hurt. That is a great outcome.

Rob- Anything else?

Robyn- That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Pines Lake, Florida.

Keyword- no shots fired

Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?

It has been a tough night. You came home and your house had been broken into…again. You’re sleeping in your bed when you hear someone in your backyard. It is 5 in the morning and you call police…again. You also pull on your clothes and grab your firearm. You walk into your backyard and see an intruder. You shout for him to stop. He looks up, and then he runs at you and attacks you. You push him away, but he comes at you again. This time you present your firearm and fire.

You retreat into the house and call police…again. EMTs arrive and take you to the hospital to treat your cuts and make sure you’re not concussed from the blow to your head.

Your attacker died at the scene. There were four other burglaries reported in the neighborhood. Police found some missing articles stashed behind your outbuilding.

Robyn - Sounds like a tough neighborhood. No matter where we live, we need to harden our home. Make it as “safe” as possible. Force bad guys to work for entry, make noise and make them risk getting caught. That might be enough to change their minds but it is no guarantee.

Rob- What did our defender do correctly?

Robyn- I like that his first reaction was to call the police. Even if it is happening “again” let the police come investigate. That phone call identifies you as the good guy who is asking for help. I’m also glad our homeowner had a gun. He might need it to defend himself or his family if the intruder decided to break into the house…again.

Rob- Be the first one on the phone.

Robyn- Right. When our good guy was attacked, he was hit in the head but kept fighting. That shows he had both the right attitude AND good training. Training lets you practice what to do to stop a threat. We also need to work on developing a mindset that will not allow us to quit.

Rob- When do you get to teach that attitude and skills to your students?

Robyn- Bit by bit in every class. When they take firearms safety, in they get their concealed carry license, in a self-defense class. When they come to the range and practice…or when I ask my students what they would do in the stories we talk about.

Rob- What would you tell your students to do in this situation?

Robyn - I have a problem that the homeowner went looking for trouble. If you are “safe” in your house, please stay there. He went out knowing who he might find, how many he might find, how well prepared the intruders might be. Nothing in the shed is worth risking your life. That is what insurance is for.

Rob- Some robbers will run. This one was willing to fight.

Robyn- So why risk it? Stay in the house.

Rob- That is what we recommend, but this homeowner had been burglarized four times, and several times that same day. The robber would attack a home for a few minutes and then move on. The police were always one step behind him.

Robyn- Leave it to the police. They will eventually get the robber. In this case, the homeowner did end up in a physical altercation. Now he could face a legal defense that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Even if you do everything correctly, there is no guarantee that you will not be found guilty and lose your freedom. That is another benefit of cameras so you can see if someone is around your house, and the recording could be used as evidence and aid in the investigation.

Also, have motion sensor lights and a flashlight at night so you can see what is going on.

Rob- That is a lot to think about.

Robyn- Let’s go on. Our third story happened last week outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home?

You hear people at your front door, and a second later there is a loud crash. You walk to the sound and see two strangers standing in your home. You shout at them, and rather than running away, they attack you. Your attackers are armed. It is about nine in the morning and you’re in an unexpected fight for your life.

You’re attackers shoot you in the leg. You’re armed. You draw your gun and shoot your attackers. Now they run away. You call 911 and ask for help.

EMTs take you to the hospital. The police officer said they arrested two men when they arrived at the hospital with life threatening gunshot wounds.

Robyn- I read the story. The police officer indicated that this was a “safe and family-friendly” neighborhood. That really points out that we always need to be prepared to defend ourselves.

Rob- What should we take away from this story?

Robyn- Good job that the homeowner had his firearm with him. And again, he kept defending himself even though he was injured. This homeowner was swift and decisive once he recognized the threat. Also, he didn’t chase the robbers. As soon as the homeowner could safely make a call to 911, he called to get police and medical help on the way.

Rob- He was being beaten and shot by two robbers, so he probably saved his live by ending the attack with his firearm. Does this sort of attack happen very often?

Robyn- Law abiding gun owners defend themselves everyday. Think about it. There are alot of honest gun owners in the United States. We carry in public, and we save lives every day. We are prepared to save our own life, and the lives of the people that we love.

In this case we saw the attackers leave the scene when the intended victim didn’t behave as they expected.

Rob- This wasn’t the robbery they planned.

Robyn- And we want to make it difficult for them to walk into your house. Hardening your home slows them down and forces the attackers to make noise. Secure your doors and windows. That might change their mind but there is no guarantee.

Rob- You want me to prepare my home. What should I do to prepare myself?

Robyn- We need to have a plan. The homeowner went to investigate the noise. What was he prepared to do it he found trouble?

Rob- That makes sense here and now. How will I remember to protect myself and my family if I hear a crashing noise from the front of my house?

Robyn- I’m glad you asked. Make a plan about what you will do when it happens. What tools might you need? Do the other family members know what they should do?

Rob- So safety involves the rest of your family…or your roommates.

Robyn- Exactly. There are some examples of self-defense in your local paper. Talk about those examples, or about one of our stories, and ask the people living with you what they want to do.

Rob- Self-Defense Gun Stories, the podcast that gives you homework.

Robyn- The podcast that wants you to save your friends and family. Our forth story took place last week in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?

You’re standing on the porch of your garden apartment. When you hear your wife scream. It is early evening and your wife is standing on the sidewalk below your patio. A man is attacking her. You jump over the railing and land on your wife’s attacker. You hit him until he stops hitting your wife. Your attacker runs and you follow him into the apartment parking lot. That is when the attacker turns and runs at you. You draw your firearm and shoot him. Now he runs to a waiting car and drives away.

You go back to your wife. The attacker was trying to rob her and was hitting her head against the wall. You call police. EMT’s examine your wife. The police find your attacker at the hospital with a life threatening gunshot wound…and a stolen car.

Robyn- Wow, that sounds like a movie. His wife is lucky that her husband was physically able to jump the rail and protect her.

Rob- She could have been attacked a few feet earlier and been out of sight.

Robyn- There is a time to be a good witness, but not when you hear your spouse scream. This attacker was beating the woman’s head against a wall trying to get her purse. Our defender was prepared and he had a gun on his body. I can’t emphasize that enough. When the attack is on, you have the tools and equipment that you have and nothing else.

Rob- She could have been killed, and there was no time to run to the back room and get your gun.

Robyn- You have seconds to react…and this man did.

Rob- What would you tell your students to do?

Robyn- First of all, develop good situational awareness, defensive options and exit strategies. Best case would have been if the woman had been able to avoid the attack in the first place with an exit strategy or a lower level of force. Verbal commands, whistles or maybe OC spray. If all of that fails, I wish the woman had been prepared to defend herself. Imagine how differently this scenario might have turned out if the wife had been carrying a firearm on her body in addition to the husband. That way she could have defended herself immediately. And then they could have defended each other.

Rob- How many stepping stones are there between wanting to own a gun and knowing you can present from a concealed holster?

Robyn- It is an ongoing process and a personal decision. Everyone proceeds at their own rate. Once they make the decision that they might want to get a gun, I want to let them aware of all the issues and responsibilities that come with owning a firearm.

At our Scoot and Shoot events people get a chance to practice and develop their skills. The participants practice drawing from the holster, moving and shooting under the supervision of range safety officers and instructors. It is nice that our beginners have a 1 to 1 teacher to student ratio as they learn. We also suggest that the students get a blue plastic gun to use when they practice at home.

Rob- You and your husband are armed. My wife and I are armed. How much of a difference does it make that you’re both armed in an attack?

Robyn- There were two attackers in this story, the purse snatcher and the driver. The average is closer to three. Both of you being armed is a force multiplier, and it also makes you much harder to attack if you’ve trained together even a little bit. Simple decisions like staying together or splitting apart can change the entire dynamic of the attack.

Rob- Besides train together, what would you like your students to do in a situation like this?

Robyn- As soon as the attacker ran away, I wish that the husband and wife had gone to a safe position and called for the police and EMTs. By chasing the attacker into a parking lot, the husband might even have been considered the aggressor in this second fight.

Another problem is that the husband had no way of knowing if the attacker was working alone or if more weapons were going to be available to the attacker at his getaway car. What was his plan if he caught the attacker?

Robyn - Be prepared for the worst and do everything that you can to avoid trouble.