I’m glad you found us. Welcome to episode 125 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.
This podcast is for people who are curious about a firearm for self-defense, and for those who already own one. I’m your host, Rob Morse. We’re joined this week by self defense instructor Andee Reardon.
Andee- Hi, Rob. I’ve been working and shooting and enjoying some outdoor activities here in Maine.
Rob- Andee, how do you listen to the show?
Andee– I listen to it on my phone while I drive
Rob- That is how most people listen. Please put us in your pocket every week, and give us rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. Please leave a comment to tell us what you liked about the show.
Andee- A listener left us a message about one of our stories where a couple who went to buy a camera and got mugged. He asks how many times you have to let your girlfriend be punched before lethal force is justified. Alone, she would easily be justified to use lethal force to defend herself, but can she really claim disparity of force while you’re standing right there?
Further, my girlfriend is a former UFC fighter. Does that mean I would have been disallowed to employ a firearm completely until the attacker produces a weapon?
Andee- It’s really important to know the laws in your state.
Our first story took place last week in Columbia, South Carolina.
It is time to close up, clean up the restaurant, and go home. You look up from behind the cash register to see a man dressed in black clothes. He has a black mask over his face. He also has a black gun in his hand, and the gun is pointed at you. The robber says to open the cash register. You and your co-worker open the drawer and step back.
The robber reaches over the counter to grab the cash. That is when your co-worker reaches across the counter and grabs the robbers gun. You are armed. You present your firearm and shoot the robber as the two men struggle.
Now your attacker lets go of his gun. You and your co-worker run into the back room, but then come back out because you’ve left your customers unguarded. The robber is lying at the front of your store and you call 911.
Andee- Great that the defender had a gun on his body.
Rob- He didn’t have enough time to go back into the office where some store owners keep their gun. HE had his gun on him when he needed it.
Andee- Exactly, and our defender waited his turn. He was legally justified to use his gun as soon as he saw the robber threaten people with a gun. It met the legal standard of a lethal and immediate threat. Drawing right then leads to a gunfight. You’d rather wait until you get to shoot them and they don’t get to shoot you.
Rob- So he waited until the robber was involved with his co-worker, and the co-worker didn’t have to win the wrestling match with the robber.
Andee- All our defender needed was a fraction of a second head start so he could shoot the attacker first. His co-worker gave him the time he needed to draw his gun without being shot.
Rob- Do you think they had a plan?
Andee- I think he thought about it before it happened. He recognized the opportunity the instant the robber had his attention on struggling for his gun.
Rob- Anything else?
Andee- I like that they retreated to safety rather than chasing the robber. I also like that they worried about the rest of the customers.
You want to honor the witnesses.
Rob- What does it mean to honor the witnesses?
Andee- Tell the customers to get back away from the attacker so they are safe. The attacker might have another gun or an accomplice. If you can, you want the customers and staff to stay at the restaurant. Ask them if they are hurt. Have them there for the police to interview.
Rob- is there more?
Andee- This attack happened in South Carolina, so you don’t need a permit to carry behind the counter of your business. It would be foolish to survive an attack at your store, and then be attacked as you took the money to the bank. South Carolina is a shall issue state, so anyone who is legally eligible to own a gun is eligible to take the training and get a carry permit.
Rob- Good point. Do many of your business owners have their carry permits?
Andee- A lot of my students are small business owners.
Rob- Do you teach them how to draw a gun from a concealed holster?
Andee- I do. I feel it’s important to train for any possible scenarios. I’m a big advocate of carrying on the body, but that’s not enough. You need that muscle memory that comes from practicing your draw and firing on the range.
Our second story happened last week in Macon County, Missouri.
You hear someone inside your house. It is four in the morning. You roll out of bed and grab your gun. Before you can lock your bedroom door, the intruder is in your room and he’s pointing something at you. It is a nail gun. You shout for him to leave.
Instead of leaving, the attacker drops the nail gun and draws a handgun from the waist of his pants. Now you shoot him. The attacker shoots back, but misses you. Your attacker falls down and you run from the room. You call police.
The police say that the attacker used a ladder to get in an upstairs sliding glass door that was left open. The attacker was also carrying methamphetamine.
Andee- I talk about leaving doors and windows unlocked in my classes, it’s an intruder’s favorite way to enter- it’s easy and quiet. Balconies are often left unlocked because homeowners think they are hard to reach, ladders make it very accessible and often homeowners leave those outside. By securing your windows and doors, you’re creating an obstacle that an intruder can’t pass without making noise which will hopefully wake you. If you’re a sound sleeper, window and door alarms are fairly cheap and easy to install. Noise and time are your friend because they give you a chance to grab your gun and prepare.
Rob- The robber came in the bedroom and pointed a nail gun at the homeowner.
Andee- If you have your gun in your hand and are behind your bed, then you can yell at the robber to leave. A nail gun isn’t a lethal threat at that distance. A real firearm is a distance tool, and the homeowner defended himself when the robber drew a gun that presented an immediate and unavoidable threat.
Rob- So you have your gun pointed at the intruder. If they are at the other end of the house with a knife you can’t shoot them, but if they have a gun then you can?
Andee- and you should shoot because your life is being threatened right now, and if they are between you and the door then you can’t escape the threat.
Rob- Say that you’ve shot someone in your room. They fall down. What do you do now?
Andee- That is a hard question. You’d like to grab your phone and your clothes..but those might be back in the bedroom. Depending on where you live and the time of year, you might run out of the house to be safe.
Rob- Maybe run to a neighbor’s house and ask them to call the police?
Andee- Unless you live up here in Maine and it’s the wintertime. Everyone should make a plan ahead of time as to what they would do in different emergencies and let family members and people in the house know those plans also.
Rob- Do you talk about this with your students?
Andee- We talk a lot about planning ahead, muscle memory and how those thing are important when you’re under stress.
Our third story happened last week in Roanoke, Virginia.
Rob- First this message about my good friends at Gun Freedom Radio.
It is three in the morning. You’re working at an all night gaming parlor. A stranger walks in, and before you know it, you hear a gunshot. Now the stranger yells for everyone to get down on the floor, and he fires his gun again.
You’re armed. You draw your gun and shoot the robber. He falls to the floor and drops his gun.
You take the criminal’s gun and call the police.
The police arrest the getaway driver.
Andee- I like that the defender was armed. Here is what I tell my students to do. First, if possible, take cover. Then shoot.
Rob- Why is that the first thing to do?
Andee- We want to cheat. We want to have the bad guy standing in the open and being a great big target, while we are hard to see, and even harder to shoot. It is pretty natural to drop behind a counter if you hear a loud noise.
Rob- Announcing yourself with a gun would make a lot of people jump, so everyone was probably moving and ducking down wouldn’t draw attention to you.
Andee- Again, honor the witnesses. Ask if they are hurt and need immediate help. Ask them to stay down, but to look around, see if anyone else is hurt or if there is anyone else with the attacker.
Rob- Should you disarm your attacker once they are down?
Andee- Yes, if you can do so safely. To protect others.
Call the police.
Give a short statement.
Clear lethal threat since the bad guy fired first.
Rob- lets go on to our forth story.
Andee- Forth story? We usually do three stories.
Rob- Our listeners left us a message on the podcast facebook page and about 80 percent wanted a fourth story.
Andee- I deserve a pay raise. Our last story took place in Cleveland, Ohio.
You’re pretty sure someone just broke into your house downstairs. It is 2:30 in the morning. You get out of bed and grab your shotgun. You listen, and there are sounds coming from the first floor. You walk to the top of the stairs and wait.
You see a man turn the corner. You shout, “I’ll shoot you.” The intruder runs away. You call police. The intruder broke your kitchen window to get inside.
Andee- See? A locked window is easier to hear! The homeowner heard the noise of the window being pried open with a screwdriver. The homeowner was 68 years old. He used his shotgun as his defense gun and kept it ready.
Rob- So he probably didn’t want to go hand to hand.
Andee- He did not go investigate. He waited in a position of advantage. (good view. Only one direction of approach. You’re behind the wall or the floor, and they are out in the open. They have to work extra hard to come up the stairs to get to you.)
Rob- Should the homeowner have turned on the lights and shouted that he was armed?
Andee- Turning on lights is usually an advantage to the intruder- You already know the layout of your home. A tactical flashlight can be very useful though to help you see and blind the intruder. The homeowner didn’t chase the intruder, he waited. Calling out to warn you have a gun is important in some states so know the laws in yours.
Rob- Does this sort of attack happen very often?
Andee- There are lots of home break-ins. About one out of 40 of us will be the victim of a burglary or property crime each year. About 6 thousand of us defend themselves with a firearm every day, but I don’t know how many of those are the result of a robbery when the victim is at home. Here in the US, would-be robbers tend to pick homes at a time when no one is there. That being said, as the drug problem increases, these break-ins while the homeowner is present are becoming more frequent.
Rob- Do your students practice what to do in this situation?
Andee- Follow your safety plan: Get your tools, defend. Call police. Put your gun away when the police arrive.
Let the police clear the house rather than you doing it in the dark.
Exit- Rob- that wraps up this episode. Andee, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- We appreciate the feedback we’ve received on having four stories. Leave us a message with comments or questions on the podcast facebook page and we’ll answer them on the show.
Andee- We share this podcast with you for free. All we ask is that you share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. We’re also available on Google Play Music and Spotify.
Rob- This podcast is part of the Self-defense radio network at sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.