Episode 168 with Andee Reardon O’Brion

Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 168 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Maybe you’re well trained, or perhaps you’re simply curious about self-defense. I’m Rob Morse. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Andee Reardon O’Brion.

Andee- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been running classes in the rush before the holidays.

Rob- Andee, we received two more ratings and and one more review on iTunes this week (101/58). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and give us a rating and leave a comment. This is a shout out to Harley of Arkansas for sending in a self-defense story that happened in his hometown.

Andee- We’ll talk about recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. Were they lucky, or did they have a plan? What should we do if we were in their place? We give you the links back to the original news article in our show notes and on our website.  Our first story took place last week in Birmingham, Alabama.

Rob- First story-  Are you armed at work?

It is 6:30 in the evening. You’re standing behind the counter in your beauty supply store. The bell rings, and a few seconds later you look up to see two masked men with their guns pointed at you and pointed at the customer in front of them. You step back from the cash register and one of the robbers pushes the customer to the floor. The other robber jumps up on the counter and heads for the open cash drawer. You draw your gun and shoot at the robbers. Both of them run from the store.

Neither you nor your customer are hurt. You call the police and show them the security videos.

Andee- According to the FBI, there were a little over a quarter-million armed robberies in the USA last year. Shop owners know the risks. This shop owner was armed.He also made some good, quick decisions. It was hard to see what he was doing with his hands behind the counter displays. Stepping away from the cash register meant the robber had to look in two directions at one time, at our defender, and at the register. That gave our defender the time he needed to draw his firearm without getting shot. Our defender took his shot, moved to cover, stopped shooting after the thieves ran, called the police and stayed at the scene to give a report.

Rob- He did a lot of things right.  

Andee- He thought about this ahead of time. Having a safety plan for your business is important. He carried a concealed firearm on his body. He also had security cameras that documented the attack and how he defended himself. Having a plan kept him out of the hospital. Those video cameras kept him out of the police station and saved him thousands and thousands of dollars in legal bills.

Rob- What else should we do in a situation like this one?

Andee- Talk to your employees. Include them in the plan, and practice with them. Also, our store owner could use more practice at the shooting range because he missed his attacker at close range. Shooting defensively while being under attack is easier said than done. You must practice.

Rob- We think of that as an easy shot. It takes practice to hit your target at close range?

Andee- You can miss your target even when your attacker is only a few feet away from you. You’re moving. They are moving. Anyone can shoot if they stand still and move slowly. But when someone has a gun pointed at you, you’re in a hurry, and don’t get your shots on target before you press the trigger.. Unless you practice.
Rob- Anything else?

Andee- That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Manatee County, Florida.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed at home?   

It is 10pm. Your son says he sees a strange bicycle and backpack in front of your home. You hear strange sounds coming from outside your home. You grab your gun and walk into your garage. There is a stranger pulling things out of your garage. You ask what he thinks he is doing, but his answer doesn’t make sense. You draw your gun and shout for your son to call the police.

The police arrive a few minutes later and arrest your intruder. He is charged with felony burglary.

(Tag- no shots fired)

Andee- I don’t know about Florida, but here in Maine, stealing someone’s firewood is no joke. I’m thinking the intruder was on drugs since he was taking wood from the garage (in Florida) and stacking it outside. Our defender used verbal commands. He wasn’t attacked, didn’t face an immediate, unavoidable lethal threat, so he didn’t shoot. He called the police and gave a report. But this story could have ended much differently…

Rob- It is fairly common to have someone break into a car, a garage, or a shed outside our home. What would you like us to do in a situation like this?

Andee- Lock your doors and call the police. If everyone is safe in the house DO NOT LEAVE! What if the crazy man in the garage had attacked you? What if he was armed? What if there were several of them? Let the police handle the problem for you. Call the police and be a good witness in the meantime.

Rob- What should we do if we live a long way from the police and it takes them a long time to get to us?

Andee- That is another reason to carry your gun on you. Does your spouse have a gun? Do you have grown children in the home who can help with your defense? Even if your children are small, make them part of the family safety plan so they know what to do and where to go as you wait for police.

It seems unfair, but it is way cheaper and safer to replace the stuff in your garage than to go into your garage, get attacked, and have to shoot someone.

Protecting yourself and your family is your first priority. Firewood isn’t worth losing your life over. Keep your family with you inside and wait for police.

Rob- That sounds like a plan. Do you talk about that plan with your students?

Andee- Yes. We even discuss it often here on the show.  Everyone in your household should be included in a safety plan. Prepare for different situations, practice and make sure everyone knows what to do. Remind your household members what is important to “rescue” and what can be replaced. In this case, the homeowner risked his life and could have ended up in jail because he acted without a plan…  for a pile of wood.

We teach children that in a fire we get out, we don’t worry about toys and things, it’s just important that our loved goes are safe. Same thing goes. When I teach a concealed carry course, we talk about the shark tank factor. You don’t use your firearm to protect something you wouldn’t protect from a shark- (explain the shark tank factor)

Our third story happened last week outside of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Please support FASTER Colorado at Coloradans for Civil Liberties

Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home?

You are watching your three great-grandchildren. It is just before midnight when your granddaughter arrives to pick up her kids. She looks upset, and tells you to call the police because her boyfriend is outside threatening her. Before you complete the call, the boyfriend comes into your home and starts hitting you. You run to the back of your home and grab your shotgun. The boyfriend is pushing your granddaughter and her children outside. You shoot him and he drives away with your granddaughter. Now you call the police. They arrest your attacker at a nearby hospital. He is charged with home invasion, battery, kidnapping, domestic abuse and child endangerment. He is being held without bail.

Andee- Wow. There is a lot to say about this. I’d like to make a point to say we don’t have a gun problem in the USA, we have a domestic violence problem. Thankfully, our defender had a gun at home. He tried to stop a kidnapping. He did not chase the fleeing attacker as he drove away, and our defender did not injure innocent bystanders. He stayed at the scene and called the police.

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

Andee- Our defender was lucky the attacker didn’t follow him into the back of the home. I want you to make a habit of locking your doors. Carry your defensive tools on your body. This attack happened in Louisiana, and Louisiana issues concealed carry permits. That means you can be prepared at home and outside your home. This is particularly important if you know there is a history of domestic violence with family or friends. Also, talk with your family members and have a plan so you know how to help each other during an emergency.

Rob- Tell me a little bit about that family plan.

Andee-  A family plan should include a safe room where you can secure yourself and loved ones until help arrives.  You should all know whose role is to call 911 and who is to retrieve a weapon to use in case the safe room has been breached. There’s escape routes to plan, a meeting place (could be a neighbor’s house or a tree) and what is to be said to the police when they arrive.

Rob- This situation is very different that slowly shooting a piece of paper at 20 feet at the shooting range. Where should we learn to draw a concealed firearm and shoot accurately?

Andee-  If you took a basic pistol class and haven’t gone beyond that, I really want to challenge you to take your skills to the next level.  Find a concealed carry class, intermediate or advanced pistol class. Look for workshops and skill development courses in your area. You may even need to travel a little to get some good training.  It’s worth it. Practice at home. Drawing practice and dry fire doesn’t cost a cent and you can do it at home while you watch TV. If you’re not doing this at the bare minimum, you’re cheating yourself out of skills you may need to save your life.

Rob- Where do we go next?

Andee- Our forth story took place last week in Andrews, Texas.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you drive?

You and your friend stopped your car in front of the post office. You hear someone shout and you see a woman fall to the ground. Her attacker has a knife in his hand and is stabbing the woman. You get out of the car and step towards them. Now the woman runs across the street to enter a business there. Her attacker moves toward you with his knife still in his hand. He has tattoos on his face. You and your friend present your firearms and tell the man to stop. You order him to the ground and call the police and EMTs.

EMTs take the injured victim to the hospital, and the police arrest your attacker. Your attacker was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault against a family member after a previous conviction of domestic violence.

(Tag- no shots fired)

Andee- Our defenders saw an assault. They saw a woman fleeing, being overtaken, they saw her fall, and they saw her being stabbed. They both decided that this was an immediate lethal threat and that the victim had not precipitated the assault with an earlier threat. The defenders were armed and they used verbal commands. They used the threat of lethal force to stop that attack on the woman and to prevent the attack on themselves. The injured victim fled, and the good guys called the police. The defenders remained on the scene and gave a statement.

Rob- What would you like us to do if we were in that situation.

Andee- Our defenders were both armed. If they had practiced together at all, then they were a very hard target for the attacker. They could defend themselves and they could stop any further attack on the injured victim. But there is more I want to say.

Rob- Talk to me.

Andee- It’s super important in this situation to know your rights. You are not a cop, the same rules do not apply. You need to know the limits of what is allowed or you can become the aggressor. Suppose you stopped the attack, and the attacker turns and walks away. You no longer face a lethal threat. We are not the police and we can’t use lethal force against the attacker at that point.

Rob- This is our second story this week where the defenders didn’t shoot anyone.

Andee- Most defenders don’t press the trigger. Most criminals don’t want to be shot, not by the police and not by us either. Knowing how to conduct yourself in this type of situation can keep you from ever needing to press the trigger. Read up on verbal commands, build scenarios in your head and practice how you would react to an active assailant situation.

 Andee- The USCCA’s Concealed Carry course is a great class and goes over what the requirements are to keep yourself legally justified to shoot.  If you can, find a concealed carry course in your area that also has a lawyer teaching the law portion of the course. The information in either of these courses could save your life or at least protect you from jail.

 I’d also like to point out that if this had happened IN the post office, the story could have ended much differently. Because it’s a federal building, the concealed carriers who stopped the attacker from doing more harm would not have been able to legally be carrying their firearms in the building. I point this out because a lot of gun laws sound like a good idea until you realize that they only prevent good people from being able to stop crime.

Exit-  Rob- that wraps up this episode. Andee, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?

Andee- Look for me at EastCoastSchoolofSafety.com and on my facebook and Instagram pages with the same name.

Rob- After you look at Andee’s classes, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.

Andee- We share this podcast with you for free.  Please share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. We’re also available on Google Play Music,Tunein, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.

Rob- This podcast is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more great shows at sdrn.us I’m Rob Morse.  We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.


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