Episode 237 with Heather Reeves

Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 237 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and also if you are new to self defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Heather Reeves. Heather, what have you been up to since we talked?

Heather Reeves

Heather- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been teaching a lot of new students, both at our gun shop and with our girl-and-a-gun chapter. How have you been?

Rob- We stopped the damage from the flood, and now we have contractors to repair our house. I carried concealed even though my feet were wet.

Thank you to Patrick who left a comment on our website. He liked that we talk about what happens before, during, and after a confrontation. Also, thanks to the listener who gave us a new rating on iTunes (238, 136). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know what you like.

Heather- Here in the United States, we defend ourselves with a firearm tens of thousands of times each week. We’ll look at a few recent examples to see what we can learn. We give you the links back to the original news articles on our podcast webpage.

Our first story took place last week in Olympia, Washington.

Rob- First story- Do you have your firearm nearby at night?

You hear the sound of breaking glass and shattering wood. It is after midnight when someone kicks in your girlfriend’s door. You get up and grab your firearm. A man comes at you with a metal pipe in his hands. You present your firearm and shoot him. He stops advancing, so you stop shooting. Now your attacker runs away. You call the police. Your girlfriend and her children are uninjured. Your attacker called for medical help a few minutes later. You find out that your attacker was an ex-boyfriend.

Heather- Armed. Locked. Recognized a threat. Defended. Stopped. Called. Statement.

Rob- This whole incident was probably over in less time than it took you to describe it. That is a lot of things to do the right way in very little time. How did our defender do so well?

Heather- Training, practice.

Rob- Anything else you want your students to do if this happened to them?

Heather- Where was the gun stored?

Rob- Good question. Tell me where the gun should have been stored.

Heather-  On their person, or in a locked location (children in the home)

Rob- Secure but accessible. When do you talk to your students about how to store their firearm?

Heather- As early as a basic pistol or introductory private lesson.

Rob- If an attacker wants to hit me with a metal pipe, it is a nice idea to have a free hand to protect myself. How do I shoot when I need a free hand?

Heather- Retention position in concealed carry class.
Rob- I read stories like this every month. Is this domestic violence, or is this aggravated assault?

Heather- Could be either, or both. Partially depends on the state, partially depends on the circumstances. It happens hundreds of thousands of times a year.  This is why we lock our doors and go armed.

Rob- Is there more you want to add?

Heather- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm nearby at home?

You hear the shouting and then the gunshots. The sun has just come up when you hear someone shouting that you should leave your apartment. Quote, “You guys get out here, come out here, everyone get out of this building right now,” close quote.

You wonder if there is a fire. You hear the gunshots and look outside to see a young man with a semi-automatic rifle shooting at the apartments. You own a bolt action hunting rifle. You grab your gun and load it. You shoot the attacker as he shoots at people inside the building. You watch him fall and stop shooting. Now you set down your gun and call the police. The police take your rifle. EMS said your attacker died at the scene. You give a brief statement to the police.

Because you stopped the attack, only one innocent resident of the apartments was killed. 

Heather- The attacker wanted to kill a lot of people and have his name in the news. Our defender stopped the attacker and also stopped the next generation of copycat murderers.

Our good guy gathered information and recognized a problem. He had the tools he needed, and he stopped shooting when the attacker stopped attacking.

Rob- Let’s look at each thing you said.

Heather-Info gathering  


Heather- Problem Recognition


Heather- Shot the proper amount of times to end the threat

Rob- Why is it important to stop shooting?

Heather- You are responsible for every shot you fire and you have to justify each shot.

Rob- Even if I’m shooting a murderer when he’s down on the ground?

Heather- We are legally justified in stopping an immediate and unavoidable threat..and nothing more. You don’t have the right to shoot someone who is not an immediate, deadly, and unavoidable threat.

Rob- When do your students learn about that?

Heather- This is a point that we teach and reteach. This thought process first shines during our Concealed Carry classes, and then with each class after we discuss mindset and the importance of making sure that each shot is necessary. 

Rob- Why could our defender shoot the attacker without getting shot?

Heather- Cover and concealment beat firepower.

Our third story happened in Smithfield Township, Pennsylvania.

Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation

Buckeye Firearms Foundation


Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home?

A woman you know calls you and asks for your advice. You let her come over to your house. It is about six in the evening when she arrives. You talk to her outside and then let her in. A few seconds later, four men charge through your front door and attack you.

You own a gun. You’re armed. You present your firearm and shoot your attackers. All of them run. Two of them are wounded and are left behind. You back up and call the police.

The police arrest your attackers at the scene and get the names of the other assailants who ran. EMTs declare one of your attackers dead at the scene. They treat your injuries and then transport the other wounded attacker to the hospital. Your dead attacker was from New Jersey, a few miles away, but the others are from Pennsylvania.

Heather- Our defender was a gun owner and it sounds like he was carrying at home. That is why he was able to defend himself against five attackers.

Rob- How do you defend yourself against five people who want to beat you?

Rob- Why didn’t the attacker’s grab the defender’s gun? 

Heather- retention

Heather- Our fourth story took place in Bal Harbor, Florida.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you drive and here.

You’re driving down the street in the daytime. The SUV in front of you stops unexpectedly. The four men inside shout at a family walking down the street. The family, a man, a woman, and a teenager girl, back up. The four men throw garbage and a water bottle at them. You hear the four men say they want to rape the women. You put your car in park and step out of your car. You’re armed. The two women step behind the man. You step between the man and the SUV and put your hand on your firearm. The SUV quickly drives away. You call 911.

The family is from New Jersey. They are Jewish and left the synagogue a few yards away. The four men shouted, “Free Palestine, die Jew, F- you Jew, I’m gonna rape your wife.” You stay at the scene and give a brief statement to the police.

Tag- No shots fired.

Heather- Have you thought about what you’d do if you saw an attack in public? Unless you’ve thought about it, you’ll either act without thinking or you’ll sit there and it will be over by the time you reach a decision, so let’s give credit to our defender for doing his homework.

Rob- Why was this a gun problem?

Heather- There was a threat of death and sexual assault and there was a disperity of force from the several adult males in the car, potential weapons inside the vehicle.

Rob- Why couldn’t the family defend themselves?

Heather- There are two fronts for this, one is there could be a religious or moral objection. However, the more addressable point is that they were a New Jersey family on vacation in Florida. (carry out of state) (hard to buy a gun in NJ. Impossible to get a carry permit in NJ. Could have carried in FL on an out of state Florida  permit.)

Rob- Tell me more about out-of-state permits.

Heather-  There are states where obtaining a permit is difficult and cost or time prohibitive. States that do not have a high reciprocity rate. 

Rob- The defender didn’t shoot anyone. Why should he stay at the scene and talk to the police?

Heather- The police believe the first person to tell their story. 

Exit-  Rob- that wraps up this episode. Heather, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?

Heather- Find me at by gun store website- http://tacticaladvantageguns.net/about/I also list classes at A girl and a gun shooting league in Portage, Michigan. https://www.agirlandagun.org/cat/mi-portage/

Rob- After you look at Heather’s classes, then please leave her a message on the podcast facebook page.

Heather- 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 Podcasts, 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 in a few weeks with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.

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