Episode 280 with Heather Reeves
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Welcome to episode 280 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re so glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and also if you’re still learning about armed defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Heather Reeves. I noticed that a lot of people listened to your last episode. Thank you.
How have you been?
Heather- Hi, Rob. I’ve been taking classes, and teaching. It’s national train a teacher time and I’ve been working with some of my fellow teachers to learn a bit more about firearms and their uses.
How about you?
Rob- I’m not that exciting, but I managed to carry concealed and to exercise every day.
We received new ratings and comments on iTunes (288,164).
“When listening to the last story, I could not help but appreciate the extra level of defense provided by doorbell cameras. I put them on my front and back doors. These are inexpensive and provide not only good video, but they will alert you as people approach your door.”
Andrew says he can’t get enough. The news reports are different than he imagined they’d be. He also liked the story a listener sent in about Morton Grove and Skokie Illinois. Quote, “criminals are counting on us not being able to defend ourselves.”
Juuky likes a few things about the podcast. We take real reports from the news, we seem to know what we’re talking about, and we stay on topic.
Juuky, that works for me and I hope it works for new listeners as well.
Heather- Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell us why you listen.
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 episode webpage.
Our first story took place last week in West Chester, Ohio.
Rob- First story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
You are at home at night. You’re taking a shower and you hear your girlfriend scream. You leave the shower and go see what is happening. You are attacked by your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend who has entered your home. You fight him off. He grabs your girlfriend and forces her outside, dragging her by her arm and her hair. You grab your handgun and shoot your attacker. He lets go of your girlfriend. You and your girlfriend go back inside to call 911. You put your gun down as the police arrive. You pull on some clothes and give the police a statement. Your girlfriend also makes a statement to the police. Emergency medical services take you and your attacker to the hospital.
Your girlfriend stays at your home and watches over the two children inside. Later, you find out that your attacker died of his gunshot wounds. He was 20 years old.
You are not charged with a crime.
Heather- That is a nightmare out of a Hitchcock movie where you’re attacked in the shower and then you have to go hand to hand with someone before you’re dressed.
I like that our defenders didn’t shout, “What is it, Honey?” and keep showering. He got out of the shower and answered her screams with actions. It sounds like he was getting beaten up, but he did run and grab a firearm to stop the attacker. He stayed at the scene, called 911, and gave a statement to the police.
Rob- I know there is something else you want us to do for our safety.
Heather- Let’s replay this scene if our listeners were cast as the defenders.
First, your girlfriend takes out a restraining order against her abusive ex-boyfriend. You have your doors and windows locked. Because you have children you also have a motion detector in your home. You hear a sound of breaking glass and the alarm system goes off. You turn on the lights. Your family hides in the bedroom and you lock the bedroom door. Your girlfriend calls 911 while you get your gun. The kids hide in the bathtub in the master bathroom, exactly the way they practiced. Your girlfriend gets her gun while you push the dresser against the door. The police arrive while her ex-boyfriend is trying to get into your room.
He is arrested for violation of a protective order, for home invasion, terroristic threats and for threatening the safety of a minor. He goes directly to jail because of the protective order.
The good news is that you don’t have to call a cleaning service to remove blood stains. The great news is that you don’t have to give statements to the police in the nude. Instead, you call a 24-hour locksmith to repair your door. You call your lawyer, and you celebrate by taking your family out for an early breakfast where both of you are carrying concealed.
Rob- I love it when a plan comes together.
Other than listening to this podcast, when would your students learn about building and rehearsing a defensive plan with their family?
Heather- We teach two NRA classes on this, personal protection in the home and refuse to be a victim.
Rob- I have not taught those classes. What do the exercises or drills look like?
Heather- The in class exercises get the students thinking and brainstorming what they currently do to keep themselves safe in their home (what measures do they do now) and challenges them to look deeper at what more they could be doing. We rehearse what to say to our violent offender and what to say to police when they arrive on scene. They are sent home with homework to look at the layout of their room and start practicing their plans and refining them with their loved ones.
Rob- Is there more you want to add or should we move on?
Heather- I covered the main points. Our second story happened in Tampa, Florida.
Our second story happened in Tampa, Florida.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed as you drive?
You met someone online. Now you’re going to meet at her apartment. You step out of your car and look around for your date. That is when a stranger runs up to you. He threatens you with a knife. You step back and your attacker steps forward. You have your concealed carry permit and you’re armed tonight. You shoot your armed attacker until he drops his knife. You back away again and call 911 for help.
You stay at the scene and holster your gun. You give the police a statement. Emergency medical services transport your attacker to the hospital where he dies of gunshot wounds to the head and chest. He was 18 years old.
Police identify your attacker as your date’s brother. Texts on your attacker’s phone show that she set you up to be robbed. She is charged with second degree murder.
You are not charged with a crime.
Heather- I’m glad our defender had his carry permit. I like that he was carrying concealed, even on a date. He recognized a gun problem when he was threatened. He defended himself and then stopped shooting. He stayed at the scene and called for help. Well done.
Rob- What else would you like us to do?
Heather- A nice online video doesn’t mean you’re dating a nice person. If you fish from the bottom of the river don’t be surprised by what you catch. If you have to date online, then meet in a neutral place like a restaurant for the first few dates. If you’re trying to have sex with 20 year old girls then get a life.
Rob- When do your students learn about safety in online dating or online purchases?
Heather- This is an old problem for women being attacked. The old solution was to bring a friend and have a double date. We talk about online sales in our concealed handgun course. Make sure to make the exchange in a public location such as a police station and go armed if at all possible.
Rob- Do your students have any stories that THEY bring to class about their online experience?
Heather- They tell me about the encounters they avoided.
Rob- Where are we headed for our next story?
Heather- Our third story happened in Casey, Iowa.
Rob- First this message from the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Rob- Third story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
You are sleeping in your bed. You wake up when you hear someone banging on your apartment and then you hear the sound of glass breaking. You get out of bed and grab your gun. You walk into the middle of your home and see an intruder in your home. You shoot him several times. He stops and falls to the floor. You step back and call 911 to get help. It is 4:30 in the morning.
Police arrive and you put your gun away. Emergency medical services transport your intruder to a local hospital. Police report a stolen car that was found on the highway nearby.
You are not charged with a crime.
Heather- I love it when our defender knows there is a problem because he locked his doors so the bad guy had to break in and make a lot of noise. He didn’t ignore the noise and pretend it was the cat. Our defender was armed before he left his room. He defended himself and then stopped shooting. He called for help and stayed at the scene.
Rob- Are there other things you’d like us to do when we hear glass breaking of our door kicked in?
Heather- Let’s not confuse a good outcome with a good plan. In all likelihood, the intruder was intoxicated. That means we’re dealing with a crazy man.
If we hear glass breaking we don’t know how many intruders there are overall, we don’t know where they are inside and outside our home, and we don’t know how they are armed. This defender lived alone so I’m going to act like a frightened defender and protect myself in my room. I’ll grab my gun, lock my door, turn on the light, and hide behind the bed and call 911. If I have to, I’ll shoot and stop anyone who breaks through my doorway.
I’d do almost the same thing if we were a couple. The plan gets more complicated when you have children. Then I might have to protect the hallway or the stairs leading up to the bedrooms.
Rob- You’ve thought about this.
Heather- I teach this, and I have a plan for me and my family.
I don’t know your situation or the layout of your house, but you do and you should make a plan.
Rob- Why is a plan so important?
Heather- We have a plan so we can use our brain during the day and just follow the plan some night when we’re half asleep and frightened.
A plan keeps us from shooting each other or walking into the middle of our house and getting shot by the bad guy who is sitting on our couch watching us walk into the living room.
Rob- Lock your doors.
Heather- And have an alarm. If you are going to spend money on guns, ammunition, training, a rapid access gun safe, holsters, and a gun belt, then spend 30 bucks on a motion detector.
Rob- The more you plan and train the luckier you get.
Heather- I practice so I can perform in the middle of the night like I performed in training.
Rob- Thank you.
Heather- You’re welcome. Let’s move on to our fourth story that took place in Detroit, Michigan.
Rob- Fourth story- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?
You and your girlfriend are asleep in bed. It is 4 in the morning on a weekday when you hear someone beating on your door and shouting from outside your house. You grab your gun and go downstairs to see what is happening. The man outside is an acquaintance of your girlfriend. He says she owes him money and he is going to kill you. He throws something through your upstairs window and fires his gun demanding that you come out. You call 911. You go outside to tell him that you’ll settle the debts. He wants to come inside, but you won’t let him in. Your attacker points his gun at you. You shoot him until he drops his gun. You back away and wait for the police.
You give a statement to the police when they arrive. So does your girlfriend. You show the police the broken window on your home. You think your attacker had been drinking. The police interview your girlfriend and your neighbors.
You are not charged with a crime. You are 64 years old.
Heather- I like that our defender was armed. He called the police before he went outside. He tried to diffuse the situation and to get the attacker to go away and sober up. When that didn’t work, he recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat of death, so he used lethal force to protect himself. He shot the attacker until the threat went away, and then he stopped shooting. He and his girlfriend stayed at the scene and gave statements to the police.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do?
Heather- It sounds like the attacker had an addiction problem and that is the usual rule rather than the unusual exception. You want to know if your friend’s brother is an addict. You want to know if your cousin is dating an addict. Don’t lend money to addicts and don’t borrow money from addicts. It is dangerous to rent rooms to addicts or invite them to parties at your house.
And then, don’t go outside to meet drunk people in the dark. Stay inside and let the police deal with the crazy man who has a gun. If the situation is loud and obnoxious enough that you’re embarrassing the neighbors, then stay inside and let the police get there and take the problem away.
Rob- We’ve had to defend ourselves. What should we say to the police when they arrive.
Heather- You touched your firearm so you called the police. When they get there you say,
I called you. This man shot at my house and broke my windows. He pointed a gun at me so I defended myself. I’ll cooperate with your investigation and swear out a complaint, but right now I’m going to talk to my lawyer so I have help filing out a complete report.
It helps if your girlfriend knows about the legal use of lethal force too so she knows what to say and not to say. She should say the same thing that you did, that she’ll cooperate after talking to her lawyer.
Rob- I need a lawyer?
Heather- Yes, you do, and here is an example why. You went out to meet your attacker while you were armed and you knew he was armed. That makes it sound like you chose to close with and start a fight with your attacker. That means you lose your rights of self-defense because you made an aggressive act of closing the distance rather than backing away.
That is why we want a lawyer and we want him to write the report for us. Never lie to your lawyer, and it helps to have one to call before the police are on your porch.
Rob- When do your students learn that they need a lawyer?
Heather- Our concealed handgun course and every course we offer beyond that one we discuss the need for a lawyer. We talk about what to say, and why it’s a good idea to keep the interaction with police positive, but short and then to get in touch with your lawyer.
Rob- That wraps up this episode. Heather Reeves, thank you for helping us today. Where can we learn more about you?
Heather- Find me at my gun store website, tacticaladvantageguns.net. I list more classes at agirlandagun.org under the Portage, Michigan chapter.
Rob- After you look at Heather’s classes then please leave her a message on the episode webpage.
Heather- We share this podcast with you for free.
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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.
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