Welcome to episode 251 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and also if you are new to self defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Candy Petticord. How have you been, Candy?
Candy- Hi, Rob. I’ve been just peachy!! I’ve been very extremely busy with my Chapter of A Girl & A Gun, Buckeye Firearms Foundation, and my training company, Northpointe Training. How about you?
Rob- I will speak at the Alternative Media Conference in Dallas this weekend.
Two listeners gave us a rating on iTunes last week. (is 254,142). Robbie commented on our webpage, “Here in Augusta, Georgia, we’ve had a rash of auto break-ins. A guy interrupted one and he lost the fight. The thieves also stole a firearm. For God’s sake, stop storing your firearms in your vehicles at night.”
Thank you, Robbie.
Candy- Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell us why you listen.
These are stories from the real world – The real United States where we defend ourselves with a firearm tens of thousands of times each week. We’ll look at a few recent examples and see what we can learn. We give you the links back to the original news articles on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in North Olmsted, Ohio.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at home?
You’re at home with your husband. It is late Sunday night. You both hear a crash from the front door. Your husband walks into the center of the house before you do. There is a strange woman in the house and he tells her to leave. She attacks him. He fights back. The fight continues so you reach for your gun. You shoot the attacker until she stops fighting. You and your husband back away. You call 911.
Emergency medical services take your attacker to the hospital where she dies. You don’t know who the woman is. She was only 21 years old. You are 69 and your husband is 73 years old. News reports don’t describe your husband’s injuries.
Candy, let’s tell our listenteners what the defender did correctly. We’ll then tell them what we recommend to our students as best practice.
Candy- I noticed in the reports that the neighbors were shocked that the older couple were attacked and even moreso that this appeared to be a random attack. Unfortunately They answered a knock at the door late at night when they were not expecting anyone. Not only did they answer the door but they OPENED the locked door to a stranger. After they opened their door, the intruder pushed her way into their home and began assaulting the 73 year old husband, who apparently stepped forward to protect his 69 year old wife. However, an 73 year old man is no match for a 21 year old woman so the elderly female homeowner was forced to use a firearm to defend her husband and herself. I like that the armed defender called 911 immediately after the confrontation and repeatedly and urgently demanded an ambulance for her would-be attacker. They also stayed at the scene. All win moves.
Rob- I listened to the 911 call and the female homeowner was a wreck. That is a lot of things to do correctly when you can’t think at all. Is there more you’d like us to do in a similar situation?
Candy- You’re asking me what I’d like, as if this were a wish list of self-defense? Have I got a few presents for you!
I’d like to see homes have motion lights outside that turned on when the intruder walked up to their front door and I’d like the front door to have a peep hole so the homeowners could see that the person was a stranger. I’d like the defenders to ignore the knock at the door because it is almost 11:00 p.m., they’re elderly, weren’t expecting anyone, and the person was a stranger. If the stranger didn’t leave and/or began pounding on the front door, I’d like them to call 911, retreat to their bedroom and lock their bedroom door. I’d like the bedroom door to be solid like an external door and to have a deadbolt. I’d like both of the adults to be armed and I’d like them to hide behind their bed with their guns in front of them. I want them still on the phone with 911 and, if the intruder proceeded to break down their bedroom door, I would want them to defend themselves.
Rob- You don’t want us to work our way up the continuum of force and go hand to hand before we use a gun?
Candy- I don’t want a 73 year old man to get punched in the head. I don’t want either of them to be stabbed. You don’t know who is out there and how many of them there are. You don’t know the drugs they’ve taken and how crazy they are. We want a solution where we can’t lose. So what if someone grabs our shiny track medal that was on the mantle. You’d trade the world to keep your spouse safe and out of the hospital. Make your plans so that is what happens.
Rob- Is there an upper age limit to get your carry permit?
Candy- Absolutely not!!
Rob- This happened at night. Do we want to hide in the dark?
Candy- I want the homeowners to be armed with flashlights that they can use to identify the potential target without exposing themselves and potentially blind the intruder giving them time to flee.
Rob- Is a home invasion robbery by a person on drugs very common.
Candy- We had about 1.3 million violent crimes each year, and 2021 is expected to be higher. About 70 percent of assaults are committed by people who are intoxicated. About half of our defensive gun uses are at and near our home. About half are at night. That means this is a typical crime rather than an unusual occurrence. Many criminals attack old people to take the drugs from their medicine cabinet.
Candy- I also noticed that some of the neighbors had ring doorbells, but they were not connected. Security lights and security systems are getting cheaper. You can find them at most big-box home-and-hardware stores.
Rob- This is your first story on your first podcast and you’re already handing out homework. Is there anything you want to cover before we go to our next story?
Candy- I’ll wait. Our second story happened in Roseville, Michigan.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed AS YOU DRIVE?
It is Tuesday evening and the sun set a few minutes ago. You’re cleaning your car at the carwash. You have the vacuum in your hand when two strange men walk up to you. You look up at them. The two strangers pull guns out of their pants. They tell you to hand everything over. One of them starts walking around your car.
You own a gun. You have your Michigan concealed pistol license. You are carrying concealed tonight. You present your firearm and shoot the attacker who is closest to you. You turn to shoot the other attacker but he is running away. You back away and call 911 and, after making sure there are no more attackers, you holster your gun before the police arrive. The police find your attacker’s gun next to him. EMS takes him to the hospital where he dies.
Your attacker was 16 years old.
Candy- The defender had a firearm. He obtained his permit and carried his gun legally. He recognized a threat. It sounds like our defender learned to present his firearm quickly from concealment. He defended himself from the greatest threat first. He stopped shooting when the threat was over. He stayed at the scene and called 911. He put his gun away and gave a brief statement to the police when they arrived.
Rob- I want you to repeat yourself. It wasn’t enough to buy the gun. Our defender had to learn when, and how to use it. Where would new gun owners learn about the legal aspects of self defense and how to efficiently present their firearm from their concealed holster?
Candy- I cover this a little in my concealed carry class but I cover this a lot more in my private lessons, and my advanced concealed carry class. Those are not first classes and a shooter must know how to manipulate your gun and how to shoot before you can take them. Each class is a stepping stone from what you already know.
Rob- Is there anything else you want us to do if we’re in a similar situation.
Candy- Our defender did a good job, but I bet that if the situation could be done over, he would rather avoid the fight than win it. Talk to the police and ask them about the patterns of crime in your area. Unfortunately, crime is up in 2021. We’ve seen criminals let out of jail and then not put back in jail but let out on parole when they reoffend.
Rob- We don’t want to draw our gun when the bad guys already have their guns pointed at us. How did this defender win?
Candy- We don’t have video, but you can turn your body as you place your hand on your gun. It was dark or dim, so it would be hard for the bad guys to see what was happening. Our defender was behind his car, and perhaps behind his car door. Maybe he walked over and turned off the vacuum as a distraction.
Rob- Our good guy could hide his movement so he had an advantage.
Candy- You cut your draw time in half if you start with your hand on your firearm. Our defender also hit his attacker in dim light, so maybe he had some practice in low-light shooting.
Let’s go on to our third story in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Rob- First this message from FASTER Colorado.
Rob- Third story- Do you have a gun nearby at night?
You’re home alone on a Monday night. At least you thought you were alone until you heard someone else walking through your house. You grab your gun and shout, “Who is there?” A stranger comes around the corner and runs at you.
You’re armed. You shoot until the attacker stops. You also shoot yourself in the hand as you push your attacker away from you. You back up and call 911. You put your gun away before the police arrive. EMS finds your attacker in the front of the house. They take both of you to the hospital. You’ll recover, but your hand won’t be the same. You find out that your attacker died in the hospital.
You are not charged with a crime.
Candy- This homeowner owned a firearm. He didn’t ignore the sounds in his house. The news article is unclear, but he was either carrying at home or got his firearm before he searched his house. He defended himself. He called 911 and stayed at the scene.
Rob- What else would you like us to do?
Candy- Missouri is a constitutional carry state. That means that a person who can legally own a firearm may carry it concealed in public. Being legally able to carry doesn’t mean you have the skills to defend yourself. New gun owners don’t know what they don’t know. My students learn to always follow the four universal gun safety rules, two of which are to always know where their gun is pointed and to never point the gun at themselves or at anyone or thing you do not wish to kill or destroy. That is called muzzle discipline and it comes from training and practicing with your firearm under the watchful eye of another skilled shooter. Another thing my students learn is trigger discipline which means we don’t ever touch the trigger until our gun is aimed at an identified target and/or threat and until we have made the conscious decision to shoot. This is also one of the four universal gun safety rules.
We also have a class on close quarters defense where we talk about pushing an attacker away with one hand while you defend yourself with the other hand. It is a huge advantage to have those skills mastered before a gunfight.
Rob- To our defender’s credit, he stayed in the fight after he was injured.
Candy- That is further evidence that you were touching the intruder when you fired your gun. That close distance establishes that the intruder was an immediate threat.
Rob- There is more you want us to do.
Candy- I want you to avoid the fight rather than win it. You don’t know how many people are in your house and you don’t know how they are armed. Just because we conceal carry, doesn’t make us law enforcement so if there is someone in your home, get out and let the police do their job and go hand to hand with the bad guy. They will come with lots of trained officers and lots of gear.
If you can’t get out, then go to a room with a lock and lock your door. That is another reason I want you to carry at home. It doesn’t make sense to run from one end of the house to the other to get your gun when you ran right past an outside door that would take you to safety. We talk about that in our defense-in-the-home class.
Rob- Sigh. More homework.
Candy- Yuppers!! When it comes to self-defense, homework is so much easier than learning on-the-job.
Candy- Our fourth story took place in Mesa, Arizona.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?
It is before sunrise on a weekday. You have some yard work you want to finish before you leave for work. You look up when you hear a crash from inside your house. Your security system says there was movement outside your carport door. You go investigate.
You see a man standing in your kitchen. You shout for him to leave and you run to your bedroom. You grab your handgun and go back into the home. The man runs toward you from the carport door. This time he has a knife in his hands. You shoot him when he reaches the living room. Now he turns around. You go outside and call 911. You’re standing in your driveway when the police arrive.
Police find your attacker in your living room. They disarm him. Emergency medical services take him to the hospital. Your attacker said he was high on methamphetamine and didn’t remember attacking you. He is arrested for first degree burglary and aggravated assault along with his outstanding warrants including violating his parole.
Candy- Our defender had an alarm system and it was turned on, so good for her. She also had a loaded gun for her defense. She kept the intruder at a distance rather than go hand to hand against a man with a knife who was out of his mind on drugs. She escaped from her home and called for help.
Rob- What would you do in a situation like this one?
Candy- I want you to have your gun on you. Pants-on-gun-on. Unfortunately, even though she was armed, if she was outside the house, she should have stayed outside the house rather than face an intruder and she should have called 911 from a distance. That works because this defender seemed to be the only person living in the home. I have children at home, so I have to get them outside to safety or defend them from a safe position in my home.
Very few people will walk up to the muzzle of a gun. Most attackers run away without the defender having to fire a shot.
Rob- So you’re a firearms trainer. You shoot every day. You shoot very well and you know how well you shoot.. yet you want to avoid a gunfight with a stranger.
Candy- Yep. My gun is to protect me and my family. The best way to do that is to avoid a gunfight.
Rob- Did your family make and practice a safety plan?
Candy- Of course we did and we do. That was one of the first things we did once I started studying armed defense.
Rob- What else do you see in this story?
Candy- Again, Arizona is a constitutional carry state. The homeowner didn’t need a permit to carry in public. On the other hand, there are some states where you need a permit to carry if you’re standing in your own driveway. Gun owners must continue their education, whether they are new or seasoned. Listen to podcasts like this one. Take a class. Go to the range and practice. Learn to dry practice safely at home. There is so much to learn. Give yourself 15 minutes of practice or study at least twice a week.
Rob- What should we tell the police when they arrive?
Candy- First, put your gun away. If you don’t have a holster with you and you’re away from the bad guy, then place the gun on the ground in front of you so the police can easily see you are unarmed. Do what the police tell you to do. Answer their questions but say little. You’re going to be a mess.
Tell them, I called you. I’m the homeowner. A stranger attacked me with a knife. I defended myself and then ran out here. I’ll press charges and be a witness against him. I’ll answer all your questions once I’ve spoken to my lawyer.
Rob- Do you have self defense insurance?
Candy- With USCCA.
Rob- That wraps up this episode. Candy, thank you for joining this podcast. Where can we learn more about you?
Candy- Look for me at the Akron, Ohio Chapter of a A Girl and a Gun. I teach at Northpointe Training in Akron, Ohio.
Rob- I put a link for that in our show notes. After you look at Candy’s classes, please leave her a welcome message on the podcast web page.
Candy- Or on MeWe.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.