Episode 94 with Andee Reardon
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 94 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. This podcast is for people who might want a firearm.. and for those who already have one. I’m your host, Rob Morse, and firearms instructor Andee Reardon joins us as to co-host. This is Andee’s second podcast with us. We talked about a month ago. Happy birthday, and how have you been?
Andee- Hi, Rob. I’ve been very busy! December is usually a slow month for teaching classes but this December I was overwhelmed by requests for private and group lessons. It was awesome to see so many people taking training as a serious part of concealed carry and personal safety. I taught a mother and her teenager, a group of homeschoolers, a group of moms and a few mixed classes with husbands and wives as well as a few others. I also saw an increase in people purchasing gift certificates for their loved ones to take classes which is great.
Rob- That is great. We have some feedback that our podcast sounds scripted. Yes, it is. I’m here every week, but our instructors are only with me once every few months. We record for about a half hour, and then cut it down to 15 minutes. I could play 15 minutes of jokes and bloopers, or we could talk about self-defense. Thank you for the comment and we are both becoming more relaxed with practice.
Andee, please introduce our podcast to our new listeners.
Andee- We talk about three recent examples of armed defense each week. Our first story took place last week in Snellville, GA. This is what happened.
It is the season. The new cell phones are out and it is after Christmas. Many people are selling their old phones. You put an ad on Craigslist. The buyer agrees to meet at a Walmart parking lot. You park under a light and wait for the buyer to arrive. Two men walk up. One of them asks if you have the phone for sale. The other man one pulls a gun out of his pocket and demands your phones..and your wallet.
You are a licensed concealed carrier. You’re armed. You jump out of your car. You keep moving and shoot the armed robber closest to you. Your two attackers run to a waiting car. You run inside the Walmart and call police.
Police arrest all three men when they seek treatment at a local hospital. They are in jail charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of firearm during the commission of a felony and obstruction of justice for lying to police about what happened.
Andee- be armed
Rob- Three robbers approach you as you sit in your car. Those are bad odds.
Andee- They are, but we can make them better. Have your seatbelt off so you can move.
Rob- What else do you notice?
Andee- The defender shot the robber three times in the arm that held the gun. It’s possible he was either flinching while pulling the trigger or focusing on the gun in the robber’s hand. We often focus on the gun even when we should aim for high-center of the chest area. It takes training to overcome that habit. It’s a natural instinct to focus on the weapon because it poses the greatest threat. It helps to use realistic targets of a person with a gun or a knife.
Rob- What are realistic targets? We’re not practicing shooting at real people, are we?
Andee- Silhouette targets vs picture of people.
That way we learn to recognize the weapon and, at the same time, practice shooting at the center of mass. We also tend to practice on stationary targets from the same position at the same distance. Most armed defense happens between 5-15 feet feet and it happens very fast. That isn’t how we practice.
Rob- When you try that with your students at the range, what do you see?
Andee- Most people practice at about 30-50 feet and at a slow pace. Shooting at further distances gives us the impression that we have more time to react. I want us to practice drawing and shooting at close targetes. A great training tool is a shot timer. It applies a little stress and also measures our progress.
Rob- What else did you notice.
Andee- We don’t know why he exited the vehicle, it may be easier to draw the pistol because drawing from a sitting position in a vehicle can be a challenge. I wonder if he could have driven away, but we don’t know the whole story. He may have turned his vehicle off or the robbers could have blocked him in. This is where a vehicle tactics class can be very helpful in knowing what to do in different situations.
Finding a training class that offers shooting on the move, moving targets and vehicle tactics can really help you. I help teach a force-on-force class with Simunition (which is a plastic bullet shot through real firearms often used by law enforcement and military training). In this type of class we test people on how they would react to different scenarios a lot like this one. Even though you know it’s just acting and the bullets won’t kill you, your adrenaline builds up and the stress becomes real when you are engaging with someone who’s acting as though they want to hurt you. I highly recommend this type of training to learn your own capabilities and see where you need improvement, and it’s a LOT of fun!
Rob- Wow. That is a lot to learn. How much training and practice would you need before you took a force-on-force class?
Andee- Our second story happened last week in Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you arrive home? It is getting dark as you arrive home. You’re stepping off the street when a young man hurries up and asks you what time it is. His hands come out of his pockets and he has a gun pointed at you. He demands your wallet. You hand over everything you have. You’re almost. You’re a licensed concealed carrier and you’re armed. The robber is stuffing his pockets as you draw your firearm. Your first shot misses. Your second shot hits your attacker in the head. You get your keys and your phone and call police. The police take the robbers gun.
Andee-Great that he was armed. That is a problem in Chicago since so many places in the city demand that victims be disarmed.
Chicago has some of the most strict gun laws in the country yet they are one of the highest ranking cities for gun crimes. I’m thankful to live in a state where our gun laws let us carry and the percentage of gun related crimes are very low. Criminals don’t usually like to take chances. They chose targets that they see as weak.
Rob- For example, people are often attacked as they get off public transportation.
Andee- This man in his 50s was seen as an easy target by the 23 year old who tried to rob him. This victim was prepared and thankfully he carried his gun with him while traveling to and from his home. He was approached by the would-be attacker and was threatened. The victim drew his gun and fired. Speed was an essential so he could defend himself before the attacker could shoot him. This is why practice is important, you may only have a second before your life could be taken from you, under stress you rely on muscle memory and that comes from practice.
I want you to carry everyday. Recently, a friend of mine was coming out of his work, a man came out of nowhere and jumped him. His gun was in his car. Thankfully, he was also well trained in self defense. He quickly took control of the situation leaving with a few bumps and bruises and leaving his attacker in a lot worse state. But his lesson was learned: ALWAYS carry your gun.
It would be great to know your neighbors so you didn’t have to touch the robber.
Rob- What do you mean?
Andee- The robber might have had the man’s cell phone.
Andee- Our third story happened last week in Oregon
It is closing time. You’re behind the counter at U-Haul. You have another employee and a customer in the store when a second customer walks in. He shouts for everyone to hand over their money. He draws his gun and points it at you. You’re armed too. You step behind the cash register and open the till. You also turn to the side. You draw your gun and shoot the robber. He drops his gun, turns and falls. You shout for everyone to follow you and you step back out of the store into the back room. You call police. The police interview the other witnesses and look at the security camera videos.
Portland [OR] Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley said “..we..realize that if you feel like your life is in danger or someone else’s life is in danger, a person may need to protect themselves.”
Andee- Protect yourself..and others. Some people have this thought that if you’re being robbed you should just give up your valuables. While this makes sense, as your life is more important than your valuables, you don’t know whether the robber is willing to leave witnesses or even if the robber is thinking clearly. Sometimes robbers get upset when you are unable to give them what they are looking for and will shoot you even if you follow their commands. When someone is pointing a gun at you, they are making a threat to take your life and that threat is enough to justify using your firearm to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Rob- Does that mean the clerk was justified in shooting first?
I think it’s important to note the man behind the counter didn’t just jump into action by drawing his pistol immediately. That would have most likely gotten him shot. He acted like he was going to give the gunman what he was demanding and got behind the cash register. He used that cover and distraction to draw and fire his gun taking the gunman off guard. This may have saved our defender from injury or death. It’s important to keep calm and use our brains before drawing our guns.
Rob- You expect me to think when someone points a gun at me?
Rob- What do you tell your students who want to know more about the laws regarding self-defense.
Andee- Go to the laws for concealed carry online or talk to your lawyer.
Exit- Rob- That wraps up this episode. Andee, thank you for helping us today. Where can our listeners learn more about you?
Rob- You’re collecting donations for some people who NEED training. Andee- https://www.thrivenewengland.org/
Rob- Our listeners can share their thoughts with us by leaving a message on the podcast facebook page.
Andee- We share this podcast with you for free. Please share it with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. We’re also available on Google Play Music.
Rob- I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.
Please support the Crime Prevention Research Center at