Episode 271 with Heather Reeves
Welcome to episode 271 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and if you’re still learning about armed defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Heather Reeves. I know you have something to share with us.
Heather- Hi, Rob. Woohoo, I went to TacCon!
How about you?
Rob- We didn’t get a new rating or comment on iTunes this week (was 280×159)
.. but Robbie is a frequent listener and he left a comment on our episode webpage. Robbie liked David Cole’s idea of yelling “Stop” to get us breathing as we defend ourselves. Also, Robbie lets his handgun training slip during hunting season. He says thanks for the reminder.
Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new listeners what you like.
Heather- Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We look at a few recent examples to see what we can learn. The links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at work as you drive?
You drive a taxi. It is about 6:30 in the evening when you drive up to your next address. Three young men walk up to your car. Two of them get in the back, and one of them gets into the front seat next to you. The passenger in the front seat pulls a gun from his pants and tells you to get out and leave the keys.
You own a gun too. You have your Illinois concealed carry permit. You’re carrying tonight. You present your gun and shoot your attacker until he drops his gun. The two other robbers open the doors and run away. You try to drive away, but you hit two cars up the block and stop. You call 911 and ask for help.
Police arrest your attacker and one of the other robbers. Your armed attacker is taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds to his arm and hip. You give a statement to the police. You are not charged with a crime.
An hour later, a taxi driver was killed in a carjacking. Another taxi driver had to wait over an hour for the police to arrive after his car was carjacked. There are about two armed carjackings each day in Chicago.
Heather- very dangerous job. They called it a taxi, but also described it in ways that made it sound like a ride sharing service. He was legally armed as he drove, and that took him, or her, thousands of dollars in time and years of effort. He defended himself after he recognized an immediate, unavoidable and lethal threat. He stopped shooting when that threat was over. He got away from the scene of the attack, and then he called for help. He gave a statement to the police when they arrived.
Rob- How did the driver survive since the attacker already had a gun in his hands?
Heather- Access to the firearm, and complacency on the part of the attacker.
Rob- When do you talk to your students about that?
Heather- During discussion of carry positions, and locations as the gun only actually serves its self-defense purpose if we can access it when we need it. If you are using your console, or similar for a gun safe/carry location I’m going to encourage you to stop and find something on body that works for you.
If they had climbed out of the car, they would have found that they were on the side of the road with no car, and no gun as the assailant now has possession of both.
Rob- Is there a way they can practice drawing from under a jacket or as they move out of their car?
Heather- They can dry fire this scenario with a chair and a jacket. Situations like this are a great opportunity to explore during dry fire. Of course seeking out a vehicle class is always a fun way to use some training dollars as well. Is there anything else you’d like your students to do if they faced a situation like this one?
Rob- What should the driver tell the police?
Heather- Your name, location, say as little as possible. They had a gun, which put me in fear for my life. I would like to be examined for injuries. Provide descriptions of the attackers to the best of your abilities as well as general locations of the actual events. Get your lawyer in motion and make sure you defer timeline, and detailed questions (number of shots fired, handedness of the individual, make model of the gun held at you, etc…) until you’ve had a chance to speak with a lawyer.
Rob- Anything else?
Heather- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Lincolnton, North Carolina
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home?
You’re letting a female friend stay with you as she flees from domestic abuse. Someone knocks on your door and your friend opens it thinking it is her daughter. Her husband runs inside and threatens everyone. You run to the back bedroom and grab your gun. You turn as the husband rushes to grab you. You shoot him. He stops. You run from the house and call 911 from a neighbor’s home.
Police arrest your attacker. You give a brief statement to the police. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital for treatment of a non-lethal graze wound to his head. Your attacker is charged with felony breaking and entering, issuing threats, and misdemeanor communicating threats. He is held on outstanding warrants.
Heather- Our defender had a gun for personal protection. His doors were locked so they had a warning as the attacker burst inside. He defended himself and then stopped shooting when the attacker stopped. They moved to safety next door and then called the police. They gave a statement to the police when they arrived.
Rob- Is there anything else the defenders could have done?
Heather- Women are often attacked after they leave their abuser. I want them to look before they open the door. I want all of the adults armed when they are out of bed. I also want the victims to take out a restraining order so the abuser can be arrested on the front lawn rather than after he breaks into the home. They need to report and record everything that occurs with this individual.
Rob- When do your students learn about things like that?
Heather- Report, report, report. If your hand goes to your gun, you feel threatened enough to potentially use it report it. This topic comes up more often than people think, but society shys away from discussing domestic violence. Therefore, the discussion gets framed as a general piece of information that sparks those who have come in contact with violence like this to speak up in a more private setting.
Rob- That can’t be easy.
Heather- Our third story happened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Rob- First this message from the Second Amendment Foundation.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work in the evening?
You’re at work. You manage a Dollar General store. One of your clerks waves you over with a problem. You move behind the register and turn toward the customer.
How can I help you, you ask.
Open the register, he says.
The customer taps his waist, and you see a gun shoved in his pants. You are being robbed at gunpoint.
You own a gun too. You have your Pennsylvania license to carry. You’re armed tonight. The news article doesn’t say when and how, but you present your firearm and shoot your attacker twice. At least one shot hits the attacker in the head. You and the clerk step back and call 911.
None of the employees or customers are injured. You give a brief statement to the police. EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene. Your employees tell the police what they saw. You also hand over the store security video to the police. You are not charged with a crime.
Police tell you that the robber had a fake gun in his pants.
Heather- Our defender recognized that he had a dangerous job since he handled money. They had a video security system. It sounds like he and his employees also had a plan about what to do when they faced an armed robber. He wanted a firearm to protect himself, his customers, and his employees. He took armed defense training, selected a gun, and applied for his permit.
He recognized the threat. He defended himself. And then he stopped shooting when he stopped the threat. Rehearsing your defensive plan makes you and your staff much better when you face an armed robber.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like the defenders to have done?
Heather- I’m worried that he was the only armed defender in the store. What happens when he is at lunch, steps out to run an errand, or if he is in the back of the store while they are robbed out front.
Rob- How do people learn to defend themselves at work?
Heather- Consider positions you are in, the tools around you (beyond the gun), and what types of events would be most expected all the way to least expected but could occur. Then you can begin setting up individual practice as part of dry/live fire at the range. For instance, if you know that you sit at a desk all day practicing that seated draw and even a drop to one knee behind an object might serve you really well. Or if you are on your feet everyday giving thought to the objects around you that could provide you concealment and cover is an excellent place to begin.
Rob- How does a team practice for the defense at work?
Heather- Coordinated practice is the best, you all have to be on the same page. Discussion and then inert practice with a watchful eye. Look for a program such as FASTER in your area, and get in the habit of thinking as a team.
Heather- Our fourth story took place in Akron, Ohio.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?
It is about 7:30 in the morning when you hear glass breaking in your home. You grab your gun and investigate. A strange young man moves toward you. You shout, and then you present your firearm and shoot him until he stops. He runs downstairs into your basement. Now you call the police.
Police arrest your intruder. EMS takes him to the hospital for treatment. Your attacker was 16 years old and you are 74 years old. You are not charged with a crime.
Heather- I’m glad that the doors were locked. I like that our defender was armed and defended himself. It is good that he stopped shooting when the threat stopped. He called the police and gave a statement.
Rob- Is there more you’d like us to do?
Heather- This attacker smashed through the defender’s front door. There is a lot of temptation to go see what happened. I’d like you to stay in your room behind another locked door, behind your bed, with the gun on the bed and you talking to the police dispatcher.
Rob- Make them work to get to you.
Heather- This defender spoke to the press. Don’t do that. Call your lawyer and let him talk to the press.
Rob- What should we say to the police when they arrive?
Heather- Keep it simple. I felt in fear for my life. When I saw the person, I shouted, and when they didn’t stop I protected myself. As with the carjacking story earlier, give the outline and then call your lawyer.
Rob- Why do we call our lawyer?
Heather- Our lawyer can keep us from making large mistakes in the way we present our story. They can allow us time to process what has occurred and make sure that when we make our statement it is as accurate as possible given that our brain is recovering from a trauma.
Rob- That wraps up this episode. Heather, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Rob- After you look at Heather’s class schedule, then please leave her a message on the podcast webpage.
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 next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.