Episode 291 with Heather Reeves
Welcome to episode 291 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. What has been keeping you so busy?
Heather- Hi, Rob. I’ve been busy wrapping up my year of training, and working on next year’s schedule. It seems early, but it’s really not. I’m looking forward to how our guest instructor lineup is shaping up for next year!
How about you?
Rob- We received a new rating and comment on iTunes (is 305,171). A listener called Bow Tie Tony is a firearms instructor in New England. He asks his students to stay aware of the world around them. Quote, “This podcast speaks to that a lot.” Close quote.
Heather- I say the same thing to my students.
Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and you tell new gun owners 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 podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
Rob- First story- Are you armed at work?
You’re working at your store in the mall. You sell popcorn and other snacks. It is about 5 in the afternoon on a Friday when a customer grabs a bag and starts to walk out. You call her back. She presents a gun and says to hand it over.
You’re armed. She comes closer and you present your firearm and shoot her. She shoots too, but you’re not hit. She drops her gun and you stop shooting. You call 911 and ask for help.
People are running everywhere. You put your gun away. You give a statement to the police. You tell them it’s crazy that kids try to rob a snack stand at gunpoint. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital. She is treated and then taken to jail. Your attacker is 16 years old. She is charged with aggravated assault with a weapon and is being held without bond.
Heather- Yikes. You think you’re selling treats to kids and a 16 year old pulls a gun on you. I’m glad our defender was armed. I’m glad he defended himself when he recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat. I like that he stayed at the scene and called 911 for help. He also gave a statement to the police.
Rob- Was this gunfight over a bag of popcorn?
Heather- This gunfight was because a customer threatened to murder the store owner.
Rob- Are there other things you’d like your students to do in a situation like this?
Heather- Think through what you’d do and have a plan. Practice distractions like handing your attacker a giant bag of popcorn. People tend not to let go of items in their non-dominant hand, so practice dropping items and then drawing and shooting. Practice presenting your firearm and shooting at close range from the retention position. Practice what you’ll say to the police. Have a plan with the other store owners near you to call the police for each other. Also, have video cameras around your store and have a lawyer to call.
Rob- That requires some adjustment to believe a guy who sells candy and smiles might be looking down a gunbarrel.
Heather- You should listen to this podcast called Self-Defense Gun Stories.
Rob- You’re clever, but you own a gun shop and range. Your employees go armed so that criminals can’t walk in and steal all the guns.
Heather- We love making people happy. This business owner did it by selling candy. We do it by making our customers safer. Some people still want to kill you so you need to defend yourself.
Rob- Anything else?
Heather- I like that our defender had the presence of mind to stop shooting when the attacker dropped her gun. I’m of two minds about picking up that gun so that someone else doesn’t grab it. I’d probably pick it up and put it behind the counter, but I have video cameras in my store so that what I did would be recorded.
Our second story happened in San Antonio, Texas.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home at night?
You’re at home with your family. It is after 10 at night when your daughter rushes into your room. She saw someone watching her through her bedroom window. You tell her to stay there and you grab your gun and rush outside. You confront a man who is standing between the houses. You tell him to stay there. He presents a knife and moves toward you. You back away, present your firearm and shoot at your attacker. He turns and runs, so you stop shooting. You go inside and call the police.
You holster your gun and meet the police as they arrive. You give them a statement. They search the area but don’t find anyone. You’re not charged with a crime.
Heather- Our defender went to investigate a problem and he found one. I’m glad this dad was armed. I’m glad he recognized a threat and defended himself. I like that he stayed at the scene, called 911, and gave a statement when officers arrived.
Rob- What else do you see?
Heather- I wish he had security cameras. I want my students to carry concealed. I’m not sure I want them to hunt a criminal in the dark outside their home. Let’s get the police on the way, and let’s not meet the officers while we have a gun in our hands.
If you meet a bad guy at night, then I want you to train so you can still hit your target in low light.
Rob- When do your students learn what to do with intruders who are outside their home?
Heather- There is a class called home defense. We leave the bad guys outside and call the police. If the bad guy is going to run, then the police will have an easier time chasing him than I will.
Rob- Is a bad guy outside part of your home safety plan?
Heather- You have to be ready for many different scenarios. If the bad guy is outside we use our security cameras to track the situation, call 911 and be ready for when they come inside. If they stay out, then we stay put. The only fight you can guarantee survival is the one you’re never in.
Heather- Our third story happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rob- First this message from Buckeye Firearms Foundation
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home?
It is after 7 at night, and the sun has been down for about half an hour. You hear a crashing sound from the front of your house. You move toward the sound to investigate. You see a stranger in your home. The stranger moves toward you and grabs you. You fight with him until he lets go. You step back and call 911. In less than a minute there are several police cars in front of your house. You wave the police inside. EMS treats the attacker.
The news reports are not clear. One report said you shot your attacker. Another said you stabbed him. It is not clear if the attacker died in your home or on the way to the hospital. What is clear is that other neighbors called the police when your intruder was walking down the street breaking into cars and homes. It is clear that your family isn’t hurt. You are not charged with a crime.
Heather- This sounds so much like a druggie who is crazy high as he is walking down the street breaking windows. I’m glad our defender protected his family from an intruder. Our good guy stayed at the scene and called for help. He also gave a statement to the police.
Rob- What else would you like us to do?
Heather- I want you to be armed when you’re at home. I want you to have a safety plan that your practice with your family. I want your doors locked, and I want you to use the peep hole or doorbell camera to see who is outside. Ordinary people can get a carry permit in Wisconsin, so I want you to have one.
If a bad guy breaks in while your family is at home then the fight is on right now. It’s one of the reasons I keep my gun on me even while cleaning, cooking, and hanging out inside my home. If you don’t have your gun on you, then a knife is an acceptable second choice, but I’d like you to take a knife class too.
Rob- There is always more to learn.
Heather- There is, and the guys who like to fight with a knife intimidate me. They are deadly. Also, I want you to call your lawyer.
Rob- That is a lot of homework.
Heather- Put home safety on your list of things to do, and work on it a little each day. Budget and prioritize for items that you don’t have. Before you know it, you’ll have an amazing security plan that hasn’t broken the bank.
Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Heather- Our fourth story took place in Chicago, Illinois.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed in the evening?
You’re at Grandma’s birthday party after work. One of your cousins wants to show off their new car. A group of you go to the alley behind the house to look at the car. That is when you think you heard firecrackers. You look and see two men shooting at you and your cousins. You see one of your young cousins get shot.
You own a gun. You have your concealed carry permit. You’re carrying this evening. You present your firearm and shoot back at your attackers. They stop shooting and run. That is when you stop shooting. Your family calls 911 and asks for help. You put your firearm away and try to help the injured. You give a statement to the police when they arrive. So does the rest of your family. One of your cousins is seriously injured and taken to the hospital.
You are 21 years old, and are not charged with a crime.
Heather- I like that our defender was legally armed. He recognized a threat and defended his family. He stopped shooting when the threat stopped, and he gave a statement to the police. One of his wounded cousins was 13 years old and was shot in the head.
Rob- I’m not sure what I could do better than this defender.
Heather- There is part of our training that says move to cover, but we’re leaving our family behind as we move. We’re spending time moving so they are getting shot at more before we return fire.
This is also why we practice shooting at a distance beyond 7 yards.
Rob- When do your students get to practice presenting a concealed firearm and then hitting a target at 25 yards or more? We don’t usually put those two together.
Heather- We normally think that someone who is a distance away isn’t a threat, but they were in this case. Self defense is stressful. You get better at it with practice. If you start to relax as you train, then add a timer so you’re competing with the other students. Let me add this warning though; don’t add the timer until you have the skills down. If you add the time too soon then you learn to shoot poorly but quickly. We want to always shoot well, and then get faster.
Rob- Give me examples?
Heather- Learn the skills very slowly during dry practice. Do that in eight-to-ten practice sessions during the first month. Then try a steel fun match. An IDPA stage. Shooting a target for time with your buddy at the range. Measure skills such as your draw to first shot, how long it takes you to get 5 to 6 shots on target, or time your magazine exchanges. Refine and practice the skills that are hampering your performance through dry and live fire. And then perform them as at a match or a full length drill such as the FBI pistol qualification. Without a shot timer how do you actually know how well or how poorly you’re performing?
Rob- You have to measure your performance to know how well you’re really doing.
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 classes, then please leave her a message on the podcast 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.