Responsible gun owners defended themselves, but you didn’t hear it in the news. Instructor Andee Reardon joins host Rob Morse to talk about four recent examples.
Are you armed when-
…you’re working in the back room of a small jewelry store. You hear unexpected sounds from the showroom.
…you pull off the highway and walk into a convenience store. Two armed men dressed in black start shouting from the cash register.
…you’re loading groceries into your car. Two men get out of their car and point guns at your wife.
…you’re standing at the checkout counter when four masked men with guns rush in.
These ordinary citizens responded to a lethal threat. What would you in their shoes? Text and podcast at the link. (23 minute audio)
Rob- Introduction-I’m glad you found us and welcome to episode 137 of Self-Defense Gun Stories.
This podcast is for people who are curious about a firearm for self-defense, and for those who already own one. I’m your host, Rob Morse. We’re joined this week by self defense instructor Andee Reardon.
Andee- Hi, Rob. I’ve been working and shooting and just relocated to a more rural part of Maine. We’re getting ready to open up registration for the Women Who Shoot Retreat coming up in July. Very exciting.
Rob- I’m looking for spanish speaking hosts and instructors for a spanish version of Self-Defense Gun Stories. If you know someone, then please ask them to contact us. Until then, Andee, please introduce our podcast to our new listeners in English.
Andee- We’ll report and examine several examples where gun owners faced a life threatening situation. Were they lucky, or did they have a plan? What should we do if we were in their place? Our first story took place last week in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at work?
You’re working in the back room of a small jewelry store. You hear some unexpected sounds from the showroom. It is about 5 in the evening. You get up and walk towards the front of the store. You see two men dressed in black. They have guns pointed at your customers and at your fellow employees. They pull rope out of a bag to tie them up. You draw your firearm and shoot the robbers.
One robber runs. The other falls down after shooting you. Your co-workers call for EMTs and the police.
Andee- I’m glad our defender was armed. I’m glad he did not run away. He saved his co-workers lives. It sounds like he did not rush into the store. He stayed in the fight and won even though he was wounded.
Rob- You’ve worked with small business owners. What do you tell them to do.
Andee- Avoid a gunfight if possible. You want to be able to shoot your attackers without giving them an easy shot at you. Use of cover is very important. Could you shoot from behind a doorway? Could you make the wall near the door out of something that will stop bullets, something like cinder block, brick or concrete rather than sheetrock?
It would be great to know what is going on in the showroom without walking in there. Can you set up video and have a monitor in the hallway and offices?
Andee- Let’s look at a larger picture. Can you secure the front door to the business so you have to buzz someone in? Put visible video monitors in the showroom. Have a panic alarm in your pocket and behind the counter. Think how differently this would have gone if every single family member and employee was armed rather than only one.
If that sounds expensive, compare it to the medical bills and the lost time from work this man has to pay.
Rob- How about learning first aid?
Andee- It didn’t say where the employee was shot but having tourniquet training and a heavy bleeding med kit could save someone’s life in a shootout. Learning how to use a tourniquet and chest seal doesn’t take long and is an important skill to have in an emergency.
Rob- Anything else?
Andee- That is enough for now. Our second story happened last week in Reidsville, North Carolina.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you stop to buy an energy drink?
It is two in the morning. You need gas and an energy drink to stay awake. You pull off the highway and walk inside. Two men start shouting from the front of the convenience store. They tell everyone to come up to the cashier’s desk. They are dressed in black clothes, black gloves, and they have masks over their faces. You look closer, and see that they also have guns. Now you’re awake. They yell at you so you walk towards the front of the store.
You have your concealed carry permit. You’re carrying today. The masked robbers threaten the clerk and he gives them the money from the till. Then the robbers ask the man next to you for his money and cell phone. You step to the side, draw your firearm and shoot your attackers. They run and get in the car waiting for them. You and the other victims call the police.
The police arrest your attackers the next day.
Rob- That isn’t easy. You’re facing two attackers and they are both armed.
Andee- That is pretty normal. Criminals bring friends because they don’t want a fair fight. The two robbers faced three victims. That gave our defender a chance to move and draw.
Rob- How was our defender able to shoot his attackers without being shot?
Andee- They were distracted with robbing the other people. Whoever goes first gets a half second head start while the other guys have to process what he’s doing. Our defender moved, and that bought him even more time. Our defender had a plan. With practice you can shoot shoot someone several times in less than a second even though you’re drawing from concealment. But there is a trick. The first dozen times you practice you’re much slower.
Rob- I don’t understand?
Andee- You’ve seen small children take uncertain steps. We’re all like that the first time we learn a new skill. It takes practice to become fast. Starting slow to build good muscle memory and gaining speed as you become comfortable with the correct technique.
Rob- What else did you notice?
Andee- Call police and ask the other people in the store to call the police also. Ask the store to get the security video ready. Call your lawyer after you call the police.
Rob- Thank you for mentioning that. It takes some thought to get organized.
Andee- Having a plan lets you do the right thing when you’re too upset to think. We have a plan when we get into our car. We do lots of things in a routine way every day.
Our third story happened in Houston,Texas.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you are out buying groceries?
You’re going to the bank and then doing some shopping with your spouse. It is about 2 in the afternoon when you walk up to your car and start loading groceries into the back. Two men get out of their car nearby and walk up to your wife who is standing near the driver’s-side door of your car. They point guns at your wife and demand her purse. You’re carrying concealed. You draw and fire at the two robbers. They run back to their car and drive away. You call police and stay at the scene. You’re not hurt, but it looks like the robbers let the air out of one of your tires.
The robbers crashed their car nearby. Police arrested one of them.
Andee- POGO. Pants On, Gun On.
Rob- What would you do in that situation?
Andee- I’m glad he was armed, but I wish she was too. That means we have to talk about purse carry. If her gun was in her purse then that is the first thing the robbers took from her.
Rob- Suppose I’ve decided that I want to carry a gun. What are all the steps I have to go through.
Andee- What is the gun for? If carry is legal in your state, then get a gun that you can carry concealed. You’ll need to consider a lot of things like how you will carry, where and what kind of holster you’ll be using.
Rob- Is that a good first gun for me?
Andee- Your first gun isn’t usually your only gun, just as the car you learned to drive probably isn’t the car you own now. Most people start learning with a 22 but I don’t recommend that for a carry gun. Get one that fits you. Remember, this is your FIRST gun. It isn’t an olympic style target gun so it should be simple to operate. It doesn’t have to fit in your pocket so it can be more comfortable to shoot. Go to a range that rents guns, and try some of them. See how they fit in the store and how they feel on the range when you shoot them. It helps to have an experienced friend go with you. When I teach my classes I allow my students to try a good variety of popular concealed carry guns so when they are ready to buy they can make an educated purchase.
Rob- So becoming a concealed carrier usually takes a few steps?
Andee- Lets make you a safe and accurate gun owner. Then we can work on getting you a carry gun that fits your particular needs.
Rob- What are the considerations for a carry gun?
Andee- Are you a large man or a small woman? That makes a difference because the gun that fits you won’t fit me. How are you going to carry it? Can it go behind your hip, or will you be sitting down a lot and you need to appendix carry? Are you wearing pants, or are you a woman wearing a skirt so you might carry in a belly band?
Rob- It sounds like that takes some exploration and discovery.
Andee- Yes, but it’s fun. I love walking new shooters through the process. I teach concealed carry clinics for women to help them learn about the different guns and holsters out there.
In this case, the man was carrying concealed on his body. If I were in his place, I’d draw while I was hidden behind the car. Then I’d walk so I could see the attackers and start shooting. If I could, I’d like to keep part of the car between me and them. There’s always an advantage of using cover.
Rob- This is what you were talking about in the earlier story. It seems that this attacker got to shoot his attacker but they didn’t get shots at him.
Andee- He kept the advantage of attack and didn’t give them an opportunity to shoot back.
Our forth story took place last week in Wichita, Kansas.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you stop for gas and a cup of coffee?
You pumped your gas and then walked into the convenience store to buy a soda. You’re standing in line at between two and three in the afternoon when four young men rush into the store. They have guns and tell everyone to put their hands up. There are four of them, so you do as they say. They demand money from the store clerk. The robbers take the money and some cigarettes. The robbers then tell you to hand over your wallet. You have your concealed carry permit, or you did, since you just gave it to the robber in your wallet. You’re carrying concealed. The robber closest to you pats you to see if you have your phone.
You turn slightly, and reach for your phone. You also reach for your concealed firearm. You shoot the closest robber before your gun comes up. You shoot at the other robbers as they run out the door and then head to the back of the store. The robber closest you you falls to the floor. Everyone inside backs away from the register and calls police.
The other witnesses tell the police what happened. The police told you that these same young men probably robbed another store convenience store a few hours ago.
Andee- If someone starts to touch me, to pat me down, then there is going to be a gunfight because I don’t want them to disarm me. I will give up my money, but not my gun.
Rob- That is a lot to think about.
Andee- It is, but this gun owner had thought about it. He waited his turn to defend himself. He let them leave with his money, but the robbers forced the attack.
Rob- What do you tell your students to do?
Andee- Firearms safety. Safe gun handling. Practice until you’re comfortable. Learn how other people concealed carry and try the methods that work for you. Practice them until they become second nature. That takes several classes, but you can get there in about a month.
Rob- Anything else you notice about this story?
Andee- The robbers saw the man as compliant until he was given a good opportunity to reach for his pistol. He used that opportunity to catch them by surprise.
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- Leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.
Andee- We share this podcast with you for free. All we ask is that you share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. We’re also available on Google Play Music and Spotify.
I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.