Episode 206 with Andee Reardon O’Brion
Welcome to episode 206 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained and also if you’re new to self defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Andee Reardon O’Brion.
Andee- Hi, Rob. I’ve been doing a lot of private lessons, and now some larger classes, but it is hard given Covid restrictions.
Rob- We received two more ratings and two more comments on iTunes (177/105). You said we reminded you that self-defense happens and that we help you prepare for it. One commenter was frustrated by the places he can’t carry, and I agree. 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. 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 San Antonio, Texas.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at home?
It is about 5 in the evening. You’re at home in your bedroom when you hear a noise coming down the hall. You turn to see your ex- boyfriend walking through your bedroom door. He threatened you before, and you have a restraining order against him. He has a rope in his hands and says he is going to kill you.
You are armed. You present your handgun and shoot your attacker until he turns away. Now, he falls down. You run away and call 911. You ask for police and EMTs.
EMTs declare your attacker dead at the scene. Police say your attacker entered your home through a side gate and side door that the lawn maintenance company left open. You are not charged with a crime.
Andee, what did our defender do to save her life?
Andee- Look at all the things she did in advance for her defense.
She locked her house. She armed herself. She took out a restraining order. She had her firearm with her. She used it when she faced an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat. She stopped shooting when her attacker was no longer a threat, and she called 911. She made a brief statement to the police. Each one of those steps was important to her physical defense and her legal defense.
Rob- Would you explain more about when lethal force is justified?
Andee- Lethal force is justified when you have no other option (Unavoidable) and you believe you are in immediate threat of bodily harm or death.
Immediate, Lethal, Unavoidable
Rob- Is there anything you’d like us to do if we were in this situation?
Andee- She was nearly killed. If she’d been on the phone or in the bathroom, then she might not have heard her attacker. If her back was turned, then she could have been attacked and killed without a chance to defend herself, so let’s fix that.
The neighbors said they were surprised by the attack. They shouldn’t be, because you want to tell your neighbors that you have a stalker, show them his picture, and a picture of the car he drives. That way, if they see a strange car drive up, they call you and then call 911. Also tell your employer, your pastor and the ushers at church, and tell anyone who regularly enters your home..like the people who cut your grass.
It says the attacker came in through the garage- this is often an easy access point into your home. Keep the garage door locked and keep the door between your home and the garage securely locked at all times.
It doesn’t say if she was carrying on-body, but that is how I want you to carry, even at home.
If she were my student, I’d want her to have an alarm system. That might have given her time to get her firearm in her hand, lock her bedroom door, crouch behind the bed, and call 911.
Rob- You’ve helped people who suffered domestic abuse. What are some of the difficulties they face?
Andee- Domestic abuse doesn’t stop when you’re given a restraining order. And sadly, the court system often doesn’t step in soon enough. Document everything, press charges… even when it seems fruitless. The woman in this story won’t see any time in court after a short investigation because she documented everything. It’s easy for investigators to see what happened due to the long history of abuse and criminal behaviour patterns of the ex boyfriend.
Rob- How often are you asked for help by the victims of domestic abuse?
Andee- Every class.
Rob- Anything else?
Andee- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home?
Teenage Intruder shot,
It is after midnight. You hear an unexpected sound from the back of your house. You roll out of bed to find out what is happening, but you also grab your firearm. You see someone breaking into the back door of your house. You shout for them to stop. You tell them you’re armed. They move toward you and you shoot your attacker.
Now your attacker runs away. A family member comes out to find out what happened. They call 911. Police find your attacker dead in the backyard.
Andee- Our defender did a lot of things right and avoided some things he could have done seriously wrong.
Our defender didn’t ignore the problem and pretend it would go away. He took his defensive tool with him. Burglars run away when they find out you are at home. That is one reason we turn on the lights. Robbers don’t stop when they see you because they want to rob you, and this intruder kept coming. Home invasion robbers are usually looking for money and drugs. Most assailants are intoxicated when they commit their crimes, and I suspect this robbery was only going to get worse.
Our defender stopped the threat and didn’t chase the bad guy. Taking an extra shot on a retreating intruder can make you a murderer rather than a defender, and our good guy knew when to stop.
It sounds like there were several people in the home, and one of them called 911 and got the police on the way.
Rob- Those are a lot of separate actions to do correctly. How can I possibly get all that right in the middle of the night?
Andee- We are all idiots when you wake us up in the middle of the night. You have to think about the problem before it happens. You won’t have time to think, but it is easy to do something you’ve rehearsed if I wake you up in the middle of the night.
Rob- That rehearsal is more than listening to this podcast.
Andee- Start with thinking about defending your home, when you should and when you shouldn’t, but I’d like you to walk through the situation when you’re awake with a toy gun in your hand. You’ll be amazed at the things you’ll discover.
Rob- What would you like your students to do if they hear a crash and crunch in the night?
Andee- You’re already rehearsed this with your family or your roommates. If you live alone, then get your defensive tools. That is your gun, your flashlight, and your phone. Lock your bedroom door. Turn on the lights. Get away from the door and behind the bed, and call 911.
Rob- What if I live with other people in the house?
Andee- What did you plan to do?
If it is my brother and I, then he can lock his door too. If I’m there with my husband and my kids, then I grab my tools, he calls 911, and we go to the kids, because they are worth defending.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d want us to do?
Andee- Again, I like alarms so you’re not surprised when something falls off your refrigerator, but you’ll know that someone is walking around inside your home. A security camera that connects to your smartphone is also helpful, you’ll be able to see where the intruders are, how many and get video footage of their crime.
Rob- Let’s go on to our next story.
Our third story happened in Howard County, Texas.
Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at night?
It is an hour after sunset. You hear something from your backyard. You go outside and see two young men stripping your car. You shout for them to stop, show their hands, and get out of here. They turn and attack you. You shoot both of them, then you back up and call 911.
Police find both of your attackers in your backyard. EMTs take them to the hospital. They are charged with aggravated robbery. You are 73 years old.
Andee- I’m glad our 73 year old defender was armed. Again, he defended himself and then backed out of the situation to wait for police.
Rob- I’m also guessing you would want us to stay inside and let the police chase the thieves.
Andee- Yes, but I feel for the man. You put up signs, you put up fences, you lock your gates, and people keep stealing from you anyway. You call the police, but it takes 45 minutes for them to arrive. In Texas, you can defend property at night, but that isn’t true in every state. It’s best to only defend the things we cannot replace- Those around us and ourselves.
Given that it was night, the robbers might not have seen the defender’s firearm.
Rob- Talk to me about why a flashlight is important.
Andee- You have to identify your target. It’s also a good tool to gain the upper hand: you can see them, if your light is bright enough, they can’t see you.
Rob- So if our defender’s light was bright enough, they might not have known they were attacking a 73 year old man who had a gun? All the bad guys were seeing is spots in front of their eyes?
Andee- Our forth story took place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in public?
You’re a passenger in a car driving down the street after dark. A car runs up on you and hits you from behind. Your driver pulls over and slows down. The car behind you rams you again. Now, the car you’re riding in won’t move and the car behind you hits you again. Your driver runs from the car. You are able to open the passenger door and get out of the wrecked car. You see your attacker drive toward you again.
You’re armed. You present your concealed firearm and shoot your attacker. The car stops. You run away and call 911.
Your attacker was the ex-boyfriend of your driver. Your attacker was out on bond after being arrested for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
Andee- I wish this was a crazy story, but people do strange things. What you didn’t say, is that the defender was 30, the female driver was 22, and the ex-boyfriend was 40 years old.
Rob- This reads like a bad soap opera.
Andee- Our defender was armed. Being rammed by a car is a lethal threat. He was out on the street, so he couldn’t avoid the threat. He had seconds to stop the threat, and only then did he use his firearm. He stopped shooting when he could safely escape. He called 911 and asked for help.
Rob- What should we say to the police in a situation like this one?
Andee- As little as possible.
Rob- Please spell that out for us.
Andee- You want the police to know you are happy to help and will tell them everything but need to have your lawyer there with you. This is not a good time to spill all the details. Something short and simple like “I was in fear of my life and had no other option but to stop him, I’d like to talk to my lawyer before answering any more questions”
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 articles, then leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
Andee- We share this podcast with you for free.
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Rob- This show is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more pro-freedom podcasts at sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.