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A Self Defense Story

Last year BARFCOM user ,”anesvick” told this lethal self defense story. These things never happen the exact same way twice but there is also something to be learned from every single one.

It was a normal Tuesday night, I was in the process of making tacos, as we had invited the older two kids over for dinner. I had just got a text from my wife that she was on the way home from the YMCA and that the youngest had gone home with his sister. This was a VERY good thing, as he didn’t witness anything…. I don’t even want to think how traumatic it would have been for him.

8PM rolls around, I hear someone screaming bloody murder. I figured it was kids playing outside. I saw my wife’s car sitting out front so I went outside to say hi. I walked outside to my wife screaming “My God, he’s gonna kill her!” as she’s on the phone with 911, and see my neighbor across the street striking his girlfriend in the face while she’s sitting on the ground, as the girlfriends 9 year old daughter hits the dude in the back with what looks like an aluminum T-ball bat. He grabbed the kid and threw her about six feet.

This occurred in seconds. At that point, when I saw the dude pick up the bat, I ran inside and grabbed my handgun off my desk and went back out. I did not want to see someone get their head caved in. When I came back, at this point, the daughter had run in the house, and he had the woman down on the ground and was trying to choke her with the bat on her neck. I crossed the street, came to the ready position, and told him to get his ass off of her or he would be shot. This distracted him enough that she got him off her and he stood up and looked at me. I ordered him to sit his ass down and wait for the police, he threw the bat toward me.. at this point, the woman ran inside with her daughter and locked the door and he sat on his porch.

At this point, I’m just waiting for the police to arrive… he had other ideas. At this point, he stood up, shouted “YOU DON’T KNOW ME MOTHERFUCKER”, and started rapidly moving toward me, I started retreating backward, around 10-15 feet but I knew that my wife was back there, along with one of the other witnesses, so I couldn’t just run home… this guy was going to hurt anyone he could get his hands on, or beat my ass and take my gun away if I let him get too close.. he was quite a bit bigger than me and definitely spent a good amount of time at the gym. When he was about 5 feet away he lunged at me, and I shot him four times in rapid succession. The whole time he was approaching me I was yelling “STOP, DON’T DO IT!, STOP!, STOP!” His legs just collapsed under him and I will never forget seeing the blood rushing out. At this point my wife told 911 that he had been shot and I was told to put the weapon down so I sat it on the back of my wife’s car and just stood there and shook, and waited. The cops got there 30 seconds after I had shot… 30 seconds. The whole situation lasted from 8:00PM to 8:03PM when the wife hung up with 911 after the police arrived.

I remember, after the shooting, feeling like the world is coming crashing in on me. The first officer put me in cuffs and had me sit in the back of the car while they did the preliminary investigation. He was extremely kind. I remember sitting in the back of the car praying for the soul of the man I had been forced to shoot, praying for the mom and daughter, praying for the well being of my family. While I was in the car, I noticed that my left hand and arm was covered in blood spatter. The evidence tech took pictures of this, and then the officer helped wipe me off. During this time also, one of the lady officers on scene sat in the vehicle to use the computer, and said to me,”You know that you’re a hero to that woman and little girl.” That remark helped to calm me down a lot. About 2-3 hours later, the officer came back to the car and told me that the county prosecutor, who was on scene, had told him to uncuff me. He told me to just stick around but don’t touch anything, I would have to go to the station and make a statement. I asked if I could go into my apartment and see my family and he graciously allowed that, I just wasn’t allowed to talk to my wife about anything regarding the situation, as we had not made our statements. I went back outside and was approached by the Chief of Police for our town and he said,’What you did was heroic, you saved them.’ He told me that they had had prior dealings with the man and that he was a dangerous individual.

Fast forward another hour, and I’m sitting in the office area of the police station waiting to make my statement, watching the officers check in the evidence… I saw them check in my gun and they confirmed that I had fired four times, I wasn’t sure if it was four or five, and that there was blood on the slide, they checked in the bat, and they checked in a chunk of hair and scalp that had come from the mother. And a few other miscellaneous things.

While I was sitting there, finally in some kind of light, I noticed blood stains all over my shirt and pants. He was REALLY close when I shot him. Anyway, gave my statement, kept it simple and to the point. Had my wife bring me new clothes so they could put mine in evidence and I walked out and got in the car, and cried… a lot… probably the most I’ve cried since my mother died in 2000. My wife said to me,”I used to say that my father was my hero, but no, you’re now my hero”. My wife had gone through a similar domestic violence situation with her first husband and barely escaped alive, I couldn’t be there to protect her from him, but I could be there for this. The officers thanked me repeatedly for being cooperative and they were completely awesome, I have nothing but love for them.

I’ve gotten a few more details as time has passed. Apparently he had told her that one way or another that he was going to die that night and was going to take her with him. I know that they had had some rough spots, they lost a baby back in January. My son works with his brother in law, and he was described as a mean drunk.

I picked up my firearm (Sig M11-A1) a month after everything had happened, and the PD had cleaned the blood off of it and oiled it to prevent rust, thank you again to them.

The call I got from the prosecutor this last Monday was illuminating. I asked about the toxicology screen, and his BAC was .228, and he had THC and anti-depressants in his system. The prosecutor was not sure about steroids as he said that they generally do not test for that. All I know is that he charged someone that had a loaded weapon pointed at him, so something broke inside his head.

I went shooting for the first time since the event this last Saturday.. and it just felt good… this is the hobby that got me through the deaths of both parents, and countless other stressful life events.

I’ve heard the word hero used multiple times… I’m not a hero, I only did what I had to do so that I can face myself in the mirror every day. The heroes are the guys that do stuff like this every day, The police, fire departments, the armed forces. They keep walking back into the mouth of hell repeatedly to save others. They are heroes.. I’m just a regular guy trying to keep my little corner of the world safe.

Also, one thing I’ll never forget, a male neighbor screaming ‘My God, won’t somebody help her!’ while he stood there and watched…. I don’t know how to feel about that, it just saddens me at the end of the day.

And a big thank you to my daughter for being there for her mother and I, and my son in law for watching his brother in law so that he did not have to see the scene.

Take aways from this.
1> I need formal training.. I’m ok, but I could be a lot better. My wife is also offering to go, which is a first, she needs to be able to defend herself when I’m not around. I think she understands that now.

2> CCW insurance? Is it worth it? I know that I was lucky in that I live in a gun friendly state with good politicians, it could have gone far worse legally.

Questions, comments, conjecture, I’ll take whatever you guys and gals have. This is the first time I’ve really put anything down and it has been kind of cathartic in a way.

ETA: I drew up a map of the incident… him in red, me in blue, and all other pertinent information. As close to scale as my wife and I can recollect.

Today he posted up his thoughts and feelings on it one year later.

“Well, his corpse is well decomposed, and life has calmed down. My wife still has nightmares and flashbacks, and so do I occasionally, but nowhere near like it was.

He wanted to die, I wanted to live.. That simple, I guess. I’ll never understand why someone would throw a decent life and career away because they want to imbibe large amounts of alcohol and stay in a bad relationship. I know he had his own demons from the death of his son but damn man! I’m not dying for your ass nor am I going to let you kill a defenseless person in front of me!

I still think about it nearly every day. It’s not life altering like it was, but the thoughts are there.

Guess that will go away as time passes. “

Discussion on starting guns, continued. . .

The other day I wrote about what I would buy if I were starting over. Article here.

Some people have complained about that article, and seem to think that I am telling them to buy what I would buy. That the stuff I talked about is too expensive, etc. I never said you need to buy a Colt 6945 and set it up EXACTLY the way I have mine set up.

I NEVER said you need this gun, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live with out one.

That write up was about what I would buy if a fire or hurricane, etc destroyed my collection. For example, one bit I omitted, I love my M203. I wouldn’t recommend it as a serious gun for anyone (unless you have a source for HEDP). I find mine so very fun that it would be one of the first guns I’d order a replacement if mine were destroyed in a disaster or lost in a boating accident.

If you read that last article, you now know what I would be ordering if I was standing in a gun shop with an insurance check right after a tragic disaster.

When people ask me what guns to buy, I give the same answer. Colt 6920 with an Aimpoint PRO and a Glock 19.

Howard

The quote above was the very second paragraph in that previous article.

Let us think about this for a moment.

If someone who has no guns, suddenly for what ever reason, decides they need/want a gun. That is a complicated situation. “Why?” becomes the important question. If they are only interested in hunting cape buffalo, the advise for them would be very different than someone who is in fear of their life because of a local gang.

Generally it is our assumption that someone is going to buy a firearm for two main reasons. Protection of life & liberty as well as for the fun and joys of shooting.

Most any firearm can be fun to shoot, but not every gun is a good choice for self defense.

I always recommend the Glock 19, but plenty of other Glock models are available at good prices used. J&G Sales has used Glock 42s for $350. Other vendors have G22 for $270, G23s for $340. There are some LE trade in Gen 3 G19s for $380 shipped to your dealer, that includes 3 magazines. The .45 GAP model Glocks are nearly being given away at $260 or so.

Why a Glock? They work, and tend not to be fucked up by previous owners. There are less people taking files to the guts of the Glock than their 1911, Highpowers, etc. They are common and extremely easy to service. There are a great deal of cheap Beretta 96 .40 cal hand guns out there, but if a novice has a mechanical issue, it is so much harder to work on.

Someone out there is going to advocate some C&R or surplus gun like a CZ82 , PA63, or a Star/Lama, etc. Now some of these guns are great guns. Some of them have broken and sitting in a box for five decades. You are still generally talking at least $200 for many of these, and if it breaks or doesn’t work it you might not be able to get replacement parts. Many of these old blued steel guns can rust easily and require more maintenance than a Glock. Maintenance that a novice or spend thrift is not likely to do.

I could go on and on. If someone can buy a used Glock for $300, isn’t their life worth that cost?

They are still going to need to get some ammo, some training, time to practice. Buying a gun is just a very small part of the process of defending ones self and others.

Now once they have that Glock, they need to buy a Colt 6945 and set it up exactly like mine, the one above. Just joking. From the self defense side of things, many would not have need of a long arm. It irks me when people recommend a pump shotgun to the novice for home defense. While the shotgun has nearly countless merits, it is larger and heavier and most importantly a two handed weapon. Watch a novice holding a bad guy at gunpoint with a shotgun while trying to use their cell phone to contact the police. It is a mess. A shotgun will not easily be able to use it in a compact car to defend ones self. The point I am trying to get to is that a pistol is handier and most importantly, concealable. For the person worried about self defense that only has one gun, a pistol is what makes the most sense in our modern society.

There are tons of cool things out there, and plenty of cheap stuff out there, giving countless options. There are many good choices out there, but a used Glock handgun is just a very simple, less expensive, and easy way to get off on a good start.

NationalInterest.org “The 5 Things You Need to Make a Glock or Sig Sauer Truly Deadly”

Over here at LooseRounds.com we have a few gun enthusiasts who try to share some useful facts and opinions about guns. But we have to give credit where it is due, there are people out there that are so much more informed professional experts that we just can only pale in comparison to their knowledge.

“The bullets” writer Kyle Mizokami (Of the defense and security blog “Japan Security Watch” and lives in San Francisco) tells us what we need to make our pistols truly deadly over in their article at: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/5-things-you-need-make-glock-or-sig-sauer-truly-deadly-63267

He so expertly points out the following 5 items you need to use:

  • Dum Dum bullets
  • Jacked Hollow Point Bullets
  • 13mm Gyrojet
  • Flechette Rounds
  • +P Ammo

So what can we learn from this experienced expect?

Well first that we would be stuffing in 13mm Gyrojet rounds or firing out “a high speed cloud of deadly darts” of our CCW weapons. That way we would truly have an effective gun.

As always, it is not grand to have a Californian tell us what we need to do? Or maybe we can use this as a learning experience to see how truly uninformed some are.

A tale of two NDs

Over in the news, in North Carolina a woman shot her self while at a Ruby Tuesdays. She ended up dying from her wound. I suppose that is one way to get out of paying a bill. Or maybe Ruby Tuesdays was just that bad.

I dunno, but there is another story to share about someone shooting them selves.

There is a long write up by a man who shot him self in the leg with his shotgun. Now we could easily start working through his story and try and make our selves feel better by pointing out his mistakes and saying that we would never do that. Instead lets give it a serious read and let his suffering be a lesson for us. I can learn from my mistakes, but I’d rather learn from some one else’s screw ups.

Never hurts to have a reminder of how bad we can screw up in an instant.

The Tape Loop

My father just sent me this good video.

For some people guns are just a toy, or collectible, etc. For others, they are a fighting tool to protect lives and families. We need to keep in mine that the gun and the shooting is only a small aspect of the big picture. In the process of self defense, multiple layers of defense have failed if you reach the point of shooting. The very best defense is to be able to avoid a conflict.

One of the many tools to do this is “The Tape Loop”. This series of pre-practiced and prepared lines is a tool to help prevent problems, potentially diffuse problem situations in the beginning stages, or buy you that precious moment to identify what is going on and respond to it. Also helps keep you from being a bumbling buffoon in the first moments of a problem situation.

John Farnam explains it better than me in this video: