Episode 183 with Andee Reardon O’Brion

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 183 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Perhaps you’re well trained , or maybe you’re curious about self defense. I’m Rob Morse and I’m glad you found us. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Andee Reardon O’Brian.

Andee- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working and shooting and waiting for spring to come to Maine.

Rob- Thank you for talking to your friends about this podcast. We know you’ve been talking about us because we had over a thousand downloads one day, and 13 thousand downloads last month. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time. We also received another rating on iTunes this week (132/81). 

Andee- We talk about recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. 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.

Our first story took place last week in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

Note- Daughter screams, Dad tackles burglar. Clear danger, but not immediately life threatening.

Rob- First Story- Are you armed at home in the middle of the day?

You’re lying down in bed. You hear your family come home. A few moments later, you hear your daughter scream. You’re heading towards her room in a flash. You see a stranger standing over her, and you tackle him. Your daughter runs out of the room. You get off the stranger and draw your gun. You order the intruder to the ground while your wife calls the police.

Police were already in the area after receiving reports of several break ins. Your attacker is in jail charged with four counts of felony breaking and entering, larceny, and possession of stolen property.

Tag- No shots fired

Andee, what did our defender do correctly?

Andee- Way to go dad! He decided to protect his family months ago. He found a gun that fit him and he carried it. He reacted to a shocking situation. That is harder than you think, because we deny our senses when we hear and see new things.

Our defender took immediate action. He did not present his gun until his daughter was safe outside the room. Once she was safe, he didn’t face an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat, so he didn’t shoot the intruder. That shows great judgement under stress. While I usually don’t recommend people tackle an attacker when they are armed, I am sure the father wanted his daughter safe and wasn’t thinking of his own safety. With detail being vague in the report, we can only assume why he did this, but he may have saved his daughters life by doing so. You don’t want to shoot if there is someone innocent close by.

They worked together: daughter went to a safe place, dad watched the criminal and mom called the police. Everyone gets an ice cream treat for this. Well done.

Rob- Aggravated assaults are in and near our home about a third of the time. Home isn’t as safe as we think it is.

Andee- We need to start thinking of our homes as our fortress.  I’m not talking steel bars and moats (Which are cool) but we need to look at our house from the outside as a criminal would see it, and make some improvements! Reenforcing your home doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. Replacing the screws in your door frame and locks with larger 4” screws can make your door more secure.  Keeping doors and windows LOCKED makes a huge difference. Take a class to learn more about home defense and home safety.

Rob- What would you like us to do if we were in a situation like this? 

Andee- Put the bad guy facing away from you. Until the police arrive you need to make sure you maintain that reactionary gap we talk about.  Get your family to a safe location. Have someone call the police. Be a good witness, but prepare yourself and your family to tell police you’ll cooperate with your lawyer’s present.

Have a holster so you can put your gun away.

I bet this family bought an alarm system.

Rob- Anything else?

Andee- Lots more, but we’ll wait for another story. Our second story happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Rob- second story- Are you armed at home?

You hear the shouting outside. It is ten at night and you open the door to see what is going on. Your roommates are arguing with someone they know. You see the strange man hand a gun to the strange woman. Now your roommates run inside. The woman points her gun at you, and then she shoots at the house. You draw your gun, shoot at your attackers and duck for cover inside the house. The attackers run away. You call the police.

Police arrested your attackers. They were charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, attempted first degree murder, illegal use of a weapon, aggravated criminal damage to property, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Rob- Our defender was armed and retreated to safety. What else did he do correctly?

Andee- Our good guy didn’t chase the bad guys down the street. I want you to get your friends and family to a safe location. Call the police, they can chase the bad guys. Have a holster so you’re not pointing a gun at your roommates. While waiting for police, make sure everyone understands what to say to the police.

Rob- Do you train your students what to say to the police?

Andee- Yes. And I encourage people to have carry insurance. I also like to give out a little information card that they can keep in their wallet with their lawyers number written on it.

Rob- Should our defender have shot first? 

Andee- I wasn’t there, but if someone is pointing a gun at you or your friends, you have an immediate threat and have the right to defend.

Rob- Do you have a legal policy to defend you if you have to shoot?

Andee-   I have carry insurance. If I ever need to use my firearm in self defense, my insurance will help cover me in court and will recommend a lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases. You can purchase firearm and carry insurance though a few companies, I chose to go with the USCCA.

Rob- I use the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, and Second Call Defense.

Andee- Our third story happened in Fresno, California.

Rob- first this message from faster Colorado.

Please support FASTER Colorado at Coloradans for Civil Liberties

Rob- Are you armed at home late at night?

You are at home with your family. It is ten at night when you hear someone banging on your front door. The strangers are shouting “Sheriff’s office. Open up!” You’re gathering your family and reaching for your phone when the intruders break down your door. These are not deputies, and they have their guns out. Their guns are pointed at you and your family.

You move, draw your firearm, and shoot the attacker closest to you. The other attackers run away. You call EMTs and the police.

The four other people in your home, including a 13 year old child, are uninjured. One of your attackers died at the scene.

Our defender did a lot of things correctly. What do you notice?

Andee- We often have parents and children staying on opposite sides of the house. If someone breaks into your house, then the bad guys can be between you and your kids. Get your family together and move them to a safe location. Think about where you are going to go now, and practice it so you’re not fumbling around in the dark.  Having a plan ahead of time is important, we should do it for fire safety and also for other emergencies.

Don’t wait for the smoke to clear. Have someone call the police as soon as you hear an unfriendly knock at 10 at night. That means you have to plan what to do. Practice with your children and the rest of your family. If the police are knocking, the dispatcher on the phone should be able to tell you.

The plan might be, we all run to the kids room and protect them. You, you have our defensive tools, so you stand in the hallway. You have your cell phone and call the police. You, take care of the kids. All the kids go into that corner behind the bed and on the ground.

Rob- That doesn’t sound like much of a plan.

Andee- It’s not the greatest… We’ll talk about that later. Each part of the plan takes practice. We don’t want the kids walking into a gunfight. Do the kids know what to do? Do you know what to say to the police? Do you have a flashlight that you keep with your gun?

Practice this with me- “What is the location of your emergency?” Tell them where you are. That is the first thing you say. Then you say you need police and EMTs. Usually, the person talking to 911 is busy until the police arrive, so they only have one job. Your kids can learn this from an early age if you teach them. Think they can’t learn your phone number or address? Use it as the password for their devices and they will learn it really quickly!

Rob- I thought of something. What about first aid?

Andee- Someone gets hurt as you run  through the house in the dark.

Rob- Do you teach your students to use a flashlight and about first aid?

Andee- You should either have a good flashlight next to your home defense gun or mounted on it. Flashlights aren’t just to help you see, a powerful one will help blind and disorientate someone who doesn’t belong in your home. I also try to encourage my female students to keep a flashlight in their purse.

I’m a big advocate of first aid.  You are more likely to use first aid skills than you are to use your firearm, so have both! My 11 year old daughter can quickly and effectively stuff a wound and apply a tourniquet. She learned those skills at our Women Who Shoot Retreat last summer. Kids can learn first aid and I think all parents should take a basic first aid class. Especially if you carry, you should have tourniquet training as well. Stop The Bleed is a great resource. 

Andee- This story freaked me out a little. With many states now passing “red flag” laws, this could become a more common thing. Red Flag laws, for those who don’t know what they are, are laws that allow law enforcement to come take your guns if they have been led to believe you are in some way a threat to harm someone. Basically, red flag laws take away our right to due process, you can no longer be innocent until proven guilty. Someone said you were dangerous, so they take your guns first and then make you prove you are not. No warrant, just a knock on the door and then full force if you don’t comply.

These laws not only put innocent families at risk, but also the officers who have to enforce them.  Thankfully Maine defeated their attempt at this but I’m sure they will try again. These red flag laws are a complete violation of our 2nd, 4th and 5th amendment rights and shouldn’t even be allowed to reach the ballot. Please consider this when you vote. 

If this story happened in a red flag law state, the homeowner could have been made the criminal even if he did nothing wrong.

 Andee- Our forth story took place near Lake Centralia, Illinois.

Rob- forth story- Do you have a firearm available late at night?

It is three in the morning when you’re startled awake by someone banging on your front door. You wonder if you were imagining it, when you hear glass breaking. You shout for your roommate to wake up, and you grab your gun. You step out of your bedroom and see a stranger standing in your house. You shout for him to put his arms up. The robber does as he’s told and your roommate calls the police.

Your 20 year old robber is held in jail on charges of felony trespass, criminal damage to property and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Tag- no shots fired

Andee- This is the home invasion edition, isn’t it!

Rob- Yes, and the defend other innocent people edition. You talked about a plan. Why is that so important?

Andee- You can’t think when you’re pulled out of sleep at three in the morning. Not to mention the flood of hormones and chemicals when your body realizes it’s in danger. This homeowner did the right thing, but there are so many ways for this to go wrong.

Get your defensive tools in one place. Things like a gun, pepper spray, a flashlight, and a cell phone. Move the good guys to a safe position. Call the police. Defend the good guys. Use your firearm if you face an immediate, dangerous, and unavoidable threat. If not, then wait for the police.

Rob- We had two stories where the good guy didn’t shoot, but held the bad guy for police.

Andee- These stories are ordinary. Not shooting is what happens most of the time. A lot of those stories don’t make the news. Most bad guys don’t want a gunfight. It is unusual for the homeowner to hold the bad guy for the police. That is a really hard thing to do. If the bad guy runs away, then let them go.

  Rob- These examples all required the defender to move with a gun in their hand, and with other good guys near them. When do you teach your students to do that?

Andee- Basic safety, marksmanship, presentation from a holster, concealed carry, moving with a gun, and muzzle discipline as you move around people you don’t want to shoot.

Rob- That is more information than I can retain in one day, or even in one week. How do I learn to do all that.. A few months after the class is over?

Andee- Keep learning. Keep practicing. Many people think once they pass the test to get their concealed carry permit, they learned enough. This is not true! I consider myself sometimes a teacher but always a student.  You should be always looking for opportunities to gain and practice skills. Take more advanced classes, practice unholstering with an unloaded pistol once you’ve been taught how to safely do so, practice shooting at multiple targets from multiple positions… entering shooting competitions is a good way to push yourself, learn other skills like how to handle verbal conflict, hand to hand self defense, how to use some non-lethal options like pepper spray, tourniquet use and get educated about your legal rights.

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 leave Andee a message, then please leave us a message on the Self Defense Gun Stories 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, Podbean 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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