Episode 198 with Andee Reardon O’Brion
Welcome to episode 198 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained and if you’re new to self defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Andee Reardon.
Andee- Hi, Rob. I’ve been training and managing my family during the quarantine. Lots of projects to keep me busy.
Rob- We received four more ratings and two new comments on iTunes (161×94) this week. They said we were a good way to learn for the whole family. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know what you like.
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? We give you the links back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Kwethluk, Alaska.
You hear the village fire alarm. The volunteers in your village start to show up and then you hear screams and gunshots. These volunteers are also the village police officers, and you know they are unarmed. You have your rifle with you, though the news story doesn’t say if the rifle was in your truck or in your home. You grab your gun and walk toward the sounds of gunfire. You take cover and point your rifle at the armed attacker who is shooting at the village police. You talk the attacker down without firing a shot. The Village police officers take the attacker into custody. State police officers arrived a half hour later.
The attacker wanted to commit mass murder and broke into the village warehouse to steal guns kept in the evidence lockers. He was wearing body armor and a helmet. The police said thank you, and you went back to work.
Andee- Wow, this story makes me appreciate living where I do- where police are permitted to carry guns. This story could have turned out with many people dead if an armed bystander didn’t step in. This is a rural community in Alaska where the Village Police are not armed. The officers faced a crazed 19 year old who stole a rifle from the city government. A good citizen who knew how to use a firearm talked the disturbed teenager out of committing death by cop.
Rob- What did our defender do to save lives.
Andee- He faced an attacker who wanted to kill people. Our defender was armed and I assume, he was in a covered position so he was not an easy target. He used his verbal commands clearly so the young man wielding a rifle could understand and comply.
Rob- Why is verbal commands so important?
Andee- I carry a gun for safety, not because I want to use it. Many situations like this can be dealt with without a single shot fired. When your adrenaline is pumping and your body is in fight or flight mode (for everyone involved) it’s really important that you are clear with your voice what you want from the person you are trying to stop.
Rob- How could this sound?
Andee- A clear “STOP! Don’t move!” “Drop the weapon, hands up” or “get down on the ground!”
Rob- Your attacker won’t know what to do if you don’t tell them.
Andee- Exactly. Shout out to the brave police officers out there working unarmed. I hope they can make a change in their budget to allow officers to get proper training and give officers the tools they should have for their job.
Rob- We often have a situation like this when an armed intruder enters our home. Do you talk about that situation with your students?
Andee- I’ll talk about that in a later story. Our second story happened in Fort Worth, Texas.
It is after dawn on Sunday morning. You hear voices outside. A minute later, you hear someone pounding on your front door. You grab your handgun and see three men in black clothes smash through your front door and enter your home. They move toward you and you shoot them. They turn and run.
You stay in your home and call the police. You make a brief statement. They catch two of your attackers on the street nearby. The police catch your third attacker when he seeks medical treatment for a gunshot wound.
Andee- The story doesn’t say if the homeowner was already awake at 6:22am or still in bed but I’m sure he was caught by surprise. The homeowner was faced with 3 men and felt he needed to protect himself. His gun, whatever it was, was close enough for him to shoot before they could injure him. He fired until they turned to run and then he stayed put. Well done. Don’t chase after the bad guys, that’s the police’s job.
Rob- Could he have done anything differently?
Andee- The homeowner was already in his home. He might have been able to barricade himself in a room and call police but maybe he didn’t have time or the ability. That would be wise if you are able to do so. Make sure anyone who lives with you knows the plan if anything like this was to happen. Communication is key.
Rob- Communication with the good guys and the bad guys
Andee- Yes, let the bad guy(s) know what you want him to do and let those you are protecting know what you need them to do. Preferably before it is needed so it’s a trained response.
Rob- You mean have a plan.
Andee- Yes, and practice your plan! Having a plan can make a huge difference when it comes to surviving something like this. Make sure your family knows what they should do in any emergency: fire, storm, break-in, medical emergency etc.
Rob- How do we do this without scaring our kids?
Andee- We teach fire safety in school and at home, as long as it’s done right, kids don’t constantly worry about their house burning down. Teaching kids gun safety and emergency plans works the same way. We can play games to teach kids how to quietly sneak to a safe spot until help arrives, time it, set a goal and make it fun to beat last time’s goal. In an emergency, kids will automatically go straight to where they practiced with little hesitation because they have created pathways in their brain that will tell them to.
Our third story happened in Panama City, Florida.
It gets hot in Florida, and you’re working on a project in your garage as the sun comes up. A stranger walks down the street shouting and cursing. The stranger sees you, and comes up your driveway screaming. You retreat into your home and lock the doors. The stranger smashes your glass front door and knocks your wife to the ground. You are in your 70s and your attacker is in his 30s. You dash to your bedroom to get your gun. The attacker is hitting your wife and you shoot him. Now your attacker stops. You go to your wife and call 911.
You put your handgun on the counter as the police arrive. EMTs take your wife to the hospital. They pronounce your attacker dead at the scene. You make a brief statement for the police.
Andee- I am glad that this 70 year old man is a good shot! He probably saved his wife from being beaten to death. He made the right choice when he decided to get to the house where he was safer.
Rob- Is there anything he could have done differently?
Andee- If he carried his gun on his person in a holster, he would have been able to stop things much quicker. You’re only as good as the tools you have on you.
Rob- Anything else you notice he did right?
Andee- He put his gun on the counter when the police arrived. He wasn’t wearing a holster, so he put the gun where the police would be able to see it and see he wasn’t a threat. Smart move on his part.
Rob- Even after the threat is over there’s a lot to think about. What do you tell your students to do if they ever use their firearm in self defense?
Andee- This is where I plug the USCCA… the concealed carry course offered by the USCCA is a great course to learn all about these situations. In that course we go over what to do after you use your firearm in a self defense situation. The first thing you need to do once you know you are safe is to call authorities. Make sure your firearm is secure when police arrive. That could be a holster or someplace safe. Once they get there remember: be helpful but say nothing. Tell the officer you are willing to cooperate but need your lawyer present. You can let them know you were in fear of your life and had to use your firearm as the only means to stop the threat. If they start asking questions beyond that, politely state you’ll answer once you’ve spoken with your lawyer.
Rob- Let’s take this situation as an example.
Why did you shoot the attacker in the back?
Did you tell him to get off your wife?
What if what you remember is different from what your wife remembers?
A lot can happen in those moments, it’ll be hard to process them all immediately.
Andee- Correct. Our memories don’t work the greatest when we are under stress. The last thing we want to do is give incorrect information that will make our story seem false.
Andee- Our forth story took place in Des Arc, Arkansas.
You walk up to your Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning shop. You have an old car parked next to your building that you and your son’s work on. You see someone sleeping in the back seat. He isn’t wearing normal clothes. That is when you remember that the sheriff is looking for two escaped convicts. You draw your firearm and shout for your dad to come outside with his gun as well. Your dad calls the police as you hold the inmate at gunpoint. Police arrive in minutes. You step back and holster your firearm as the police approach you. They take the inmate into custody.
The day before, two inmates attacked two guards at the county jail. This inmate was being held for murdering his girlfriend.
Andee- Chalk one up for situational awareness. Because this man immediately noticed something was different, he checked the car and found the escaped murderer. Because he and another employee were armed, the convict didn’t have a chance to flee before police arrived. Well done.
Rob- Sounds like another opportunity for those verbal commands you were talking about.
Andee- Yes, not a shot was needed. Just the presence of the gun and someone giving clear commands of what they wanted the bad guy to do until the police arrived.
Rob- And as they were waiting for police?
Andee- The business owner has an employee on the phone with dispatchers the whole time. This is good because then he doesn’t have to worry about being mistaken for the bad guy while he’s holding a gun on the bad guy. Police are coming into a situation with limited information, you never want to be mistaken. Make sure the police know who you are, what you look like, if you have a weapon where it is or why you are still holding it until they get there.
Rob- It’s a lot to think about
Andee- It is, and chances are, if you don’t think about it ahead of time, you won’t remember it all. Taking a course will help a lot. I encourage anyone who owns a firearm or wants to own one, to take a course, always look for more learning opportunities and train.
Exit- Rob- that wraps up this episode. Andee, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you look at Andee’s classes, her videos, and her schedule, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
Andee- We share this podcast with you for free.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.