Episode 211 with Andee Reardon
Sorry for the audio problems.
Welcome to episode 211 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 working and shooting and teaching in a few new locations here in Maine. There’s a lot of new gun owners in Maine right now and I’m doing my best to teach as many as possible. Rob, where have you been?
Rob- I was dodgin hurricanes, and then I took my wife on a vacation. This weekend I’m taking another concealed carry class so I can renew my carry license. While I was gone, we received five more comments and ten more ratings on iTunes (195/115).
Andee- With that many responses, you should go on vacation again.
Rob- OK. An anonymous commenter liked the stories and the analysis, but doesn’t like the second person narrative of the stories. Please let us know if that bothers you and I’ll see if I can find a better way. You can 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. We give you the links back to the original news article in our show notes at our website. Our first story took place last week in Saint Louis, Missouri.
You’re sitting on your front porch. It is 10:30 at night when three teenagers come out of the dark and turn down the path to your home. One of them points a gun at you and tells you to hand over your wallet. You’re armed. You grab the gun next to you and shoot your armed attacker. He drops his gun and you stop shooting. The two other robbers run away.
You call 911. The police take your attacker’s gun and EMTs take him to the hospital. The police say your attacker was 14 years old.
Andee- What a bad situation. No one wants to shoot a 14 year old boy but no one wants a gun pointed at them either. I tell my students that we don’t aim for legs, if you’re trying to protect yourself from a life or death situation, we need to be prepared to shoot for center mass and end the threat. But honestly, I don’t know if I could do that if it was a 14 year old boy in front of me. There’s a lot of legal ramifications that can come from shooting at the legs. But we don’t know if that’s what he was aiming for or not. It was probably dark and he might not have been able to get a good shot off.
Rob- Defend yourself at night while you’re probably shooting toward the street. That is hard.
Andee- Hopefully our defender was shooting down into his yard rather than across the street into his neighbor’s houses. We always have to consider what is around and beyond our target before we take our shot.
Rob- Andee, let’s suppose I successfully defend myself. Should I run inside, or should I move toward the attacker and take his gun?
Andee- It really depends on the situation. Is anyone else in danger? We know his friends took off running so they probably weren’t coming back for the gun. It’s safer to wait inside.
Andee- The news story says the defender “got his gun” That sounds like it might have been in a bag next to him, but it wasn’t in a holster on his body. That means the defender doesn’t have a place to put his gun when the police arrive. Here is a tip from a professional, the police know that good guys wear holsters. The last thing you want is to be holding a gun when the police arrive on the scene not sure who is the good guy and who is the perpetrator. I prefer on body carry because something like this can happen so fast, you may loose preciou time going to get your firearm.
Rob- There are layers of self-defense. When can you talk about a situation like this one?
Andee- I talk a lot about the layers of self defense. Usually while teaching concealed carry and protection inside and outside the home we talk through scenarios like this one where I ask my students “what would you do?”
Rob- Anything else?
Andee- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
You’re walking up the street at about 10 in the morning when a young man comes up to you. The man draws a gun and tells you to hand over your valuables. You’re a legal gun owner. You’re armed. You present your concealed firearm and shoot your attacker in the chest. The attacker turns away, and you run. You call 911 and wait for the police and EMTs to arrive.
You work for the District Attorney of Philadelphia. It is your job to talk to crime victims and make sure they have a say in the legal process. EMTs declare your attacker dead at the scene.
Andee- This makes sense to me. Here is a man who sees the results of violence every day and he chose to go armed for self defense.
Rob- What did our defender do correctly?
Andee- He was carrying his firearm and ready. He knew the kinds of crime that happened in this area, he’s not a stranger to criminal acts. He consciously made the decision that he would not be a victim and was prepared for an event like this.
Rob- Andee, have many of your students come to you after they had or saw a violent incident?
Andee- Many people call me after they have had some form of scare, witnessed something happen to a loved one or watched a story on the news from their area that made them realize they could very well be faced with a similar situation. Upon realizing that, they decide they would be better off prepared with a firearm in these situations.
Rob- What should you tell the police?
Andee- As little as possible. I explain this in my CCW classes. You want to let the police know you were protecting yourself and you’ll be happy to answer all of their questions, AFTER you’ve spoken to your lawyer and while he or she is present.
Our third story happened in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Rob- First this message
You are at home with your three year old daughter. It is about three in the afternoon and you are trying to put her down for a nap. That is when you hear someone else in your house. You quickly close your bedroom door. You hear the stranger again so you go to your closet and grab your loaded firearm. The stranger tries to open the bedroom door, so you push your daughter into the bedroom closet behind you and close the closet door. Someone tries to open the closet door, and you shoot twice through the door. You hear someone run away.
A minute later, you open the door and call the police. The police search the area for your attacker.
Andee- What a scary situation, thankfully mama bear was ready to protect her cub. She retreated to where there was a firearm and waited until she didn’t have any other place to retreat before she fired.
Rob- Should we hide in a closet? What mom did worked, but is it the best idea that will work for most of us?
Andee- I want to keep my eyes on the bedroom door, but I agree with putting your child on the floor behind you. I would probably be behind the bed so the bad guy has to turn two corners to get to me. That means I’m out of reach and it gives me time to defend myself and my child. A biometric safe in the bedroom may have allowed her quicker access to her pistol and would have given her an easier shot as he came through the bedroom door.
Rob- What would you ask your students to do when they are at home?
Andee- I want them to lock the doors to the house. That is hard because this mom had two other children. If they are like my kids, they are constantly in and out.
Rob- Is there anything else?
Andee- You want to see your target. What if it was one of your other children, or one of your children’s friends coming over to visit? You are responsible for every shot you fire. Make sure you can see and register who it is before your shoot.
Rob- Those are the basic safety rules that you teach your students. Are you able to talk about scenarios like this?
Andee- We talk about scenarios like this often. By thinking out stories like this, we can learn and adapt our own safety plans to fit our needs. Having a safety plan in place ahead of time will help you in an emergency.
Andee- Our forth story took place in St.Louis
You drive to work and pick up your paycheck. You’re getting back into your car when a stranger grabs your keys and your purse. The robber pushes you. You dive into your car and grab the gun you keep there. You shoot your attacker in the stomach. Your attacker pushes you away, and you shout for help. Your attacker drives away in your car and you call 911.
What did our defender do correctly?
Andee- It isn’t clear if the woman was being robbed outside her car, or if she was being carjacked when she was inside her car. Carjacking is a lethal threat. What I do know is that she had to leap for her gun because it wasn’t on her body (probably in her purse). This is a good example of why on-body carry is best if you can do it.
Rob- Why does that make a difference?
Andee- You can fight back if a robber grabs you. You can use lethal force if he is larger and stronger than you are. Remember, Don’t shoot a criminal as he is running, or driving away.
Another thing isn’t clear is where this woman kept her gun. Was it on her body, off body in her purse, or tucked into the door pocket in her car. Missouri is a constitutional carry state, so she didn’t need a state permit to carry concealed on her person. The article says that she’d been robbed before.
Rob- She knew she wanted a gun, but maybe she wasn’t taught about holsters and concealed carry. Have you seen that from your students? Who comes up to you and says, I want your help getting a good holster and the gun that goes with it?
Andee- I get messages almost daily from people who have just bought a gun and don’t know how to carry it. After asking some questions about their lifestyle, clothing choices and physical limitations, I can make suggestions for holsters and work with them to get them comfortable carrying and drawing from the holster.
Rob- What would you like us to do if we were walking out of our business with a paycheck?
Andee- Stay alert. Situational awareness is key. Was this man hiding behind her car waiting for her to unlock the door? Could she have seen him had she been more alert? When she unlocked her car, did she hit the key fob once and only open the driver side? Many people hit the button numerous times which unlocks all the doors and makes it easier for someone to jump in. The first thing you should do when entering your vehicle is LOCK THE DOORS.
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 website, 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, Podbean and iHeart Radio.
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.