Episode 294 with Heather Reeves
Welcome to episode 294 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 are joined this week by firearms instructor Heather Reeves. What has been keeping you so busy?
Heather- Hi, Rob. I’ve been remodeling our store and classroom and planning the holiday travels. We’re also hosting Brian Hill in a couple weeks, so I’m making sure we’ve got everything we need for that ready.
How about you?
Rob- I’m back home and into my routine. I recorded 7 hours of radio last week. That included being a guest host of a nationally syndicated show, “Eye on the Target Radio.”
I’m looking for an assistant to help produce this podcast. If you want to contribute then contact our episode webpage.
We received a new rating on iTunes. Thank you. (Is 307,172). A listener also sent us his story of a defensive gun use. Thank you, Gabriel.
Heather- Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new gun owners why you listen.
Here in the United States, we defend ourselves with a firearm several thousand 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 Columbus, Georgia.
Rob- First story- Do you have a gun nearby when you’re asleep?
It is Wednesday night. You are at home with your two children. It is after midnight when you’re woken up by the sound of a man’s voice in the hallway outside your room. That doesn’t make sense. You grab your gun and open your bedroom door. You see a stranger in the hallway and you shoot him. He turns and runs out of your home. You stop shooting.
You check on your kids and then call 911. You put your gun away and give a statement to the police. The police find your attacker after he stops at a neighbor’s house asking for help. Emergency Medical Services transport him to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his lower abdomen. Police also find evidence that your attacker broke into four cars in the neighborhood that evening.
You are not charged with a crime.
Heather, what did this mom do to save her family?
Heather- This mom was great. She recognized that she needed a tool to protect her family. She found a firearm that fit her. She recognized an emergency. She got her gun. She recognized a threat and she defended herself and her family. She recognized when the threat stopped and then stopped shooting. She checked on her family and then called the police.
Rob- Are there other things you’d like your students to do that were not mentioned in the news report?
Heather- We don’t know how old her children were. If they are old enough to walk then I want you to include them in your family safety plan. That would include things like locking your doors. Turning on your doorbell camera and alarms. It also includes taking a firearm safety class where we talk about safe storage of your firearm. One last thing, I want you to have a prepaid legal plan for your defense.
Rob- That is a lot for a new gun owner to do. It is easier to buy a gun on the way home.
Heather- Making your family safe is harder than buying a gun because it is made up of many small pieces that fit together. That also makes it easier, since putting long screws in our doors only costs a few cents.. And a little time.
Rob- What are the first classes that new gun owners should take?
Heather- Take a beginning firearms class. One where safety and proper handling is stressed. The sooner proper habits of mind are taught, the better. The class should also include proper foundational skills so that you can build good habits from the first time you shoot. After that, take a class that includes legal information specific for your state. You need to understand your rights to self-defense inside and outside the home. Even if you do not plan on carrying in public, know what you have the ability to do, and know how to use a firearm properly without running unwittingly outside the law.
Rob- Anything else?
Heather- That is enough for now. Our second story happened in Columbia, Missouri.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed when you drive your car?
You and your girlfriend are sitting in your car. It is dark outside when a car pulls up nearby. It takes you a minute to understand what is happening, but the driver of the nearby car is shooting at you and your girlfriend. You’re armed. You present your firearm and shoot back. Your attacker drives away. It isn’t clear if you stay at the scene. You call 911. You give a statement to the police. You and your girlfriend are shaken up, but you are not physically injured. Police find security video of your attack.
Police find your attacker when she goes to the hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds. Her car matches the description you gave to the police and what they saw on the video. Your attacker is your ex-girlfriend.
Your attacker is charged with first-degree domestic assault, first-degree assault and armed criminal action. She remains in jail without bond waiting for a court date.
Heather- I don’t think of sitting in my parked car as being particularly dangerous. It can be dangerous, so I like that our defender decided to go armed. He recognized a lethal, immediate, and unavoidable threat and defended himself and his girlfriend. He stopped shooting when his attacker drove away and the threat ended. He called for help and gave a statement to the police.
Rob- Is there more you’d like us to do?
Heather- I want both you and your girlfriend to submit statements to the police. Later, I want you to take out a restraining order on your ex-girlfriend. I’d like it if both people in the car were armed and prepared.
Rob- That isn’t something we talk about on the first date.
Heather- No, but the subject should come up so that you find out if you can work together. Shouldn’t you know if your dating partner is armed?
Rob- Yes, you should. When do your students learn about armed defense in public?
Heather- Our concealed handgun class is where we discuss the dos and don’ts of armed defense in public. Beyond the basics, our everyday concealed carry classes, and the defensive night event that we run are great ways to practice even more of the skills necessary during an armed conflict in public.
Our third story happened in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Rob- First this message from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at home?
One of your roommates has a problem. A man is yelling at one of your roommates. He doesn’t live here. It is late at night and everyone asks him to leave. The man hits your roommate, and says he’ll be back and that he’ll bring friends with him. You and your roommates lock the door after he leaves. You also grab your firearm, and just in time.
You hear someone banging on your door. You hear several voices outside. Someone is hitting the door really hard and the entire house shakes. The door breaks and three men force their way inside. Your earlier attacker hits your roommate again. This time he pushes your roommate over a glass coffee table. The table shatters. The three men move toward your roommate.
You step back and present your firearm. You shoot the attacker in the chest. He runs.
You call 911 and stay at the scene. You check on your roommate as you wait for help. You put your gun away when the police arrive.
You and your roommates give a statement to the officers. You show the police the security video you have. News reports are not clear about how far the attackers ran. We know the wounded attacker was taken to a local hospital.
Your attacker dies from the gunshot wound to the lower abdomen. An autopsy showed that he had alcohol and components of marijuana in his system when he died. It takes over a month, but your shooting was ruled as justified defense of a third person.
Heather- One of your roommates has a problem and it lands in your lap whether you want it or not. Our defender recognized that the threats had grown from threatening words to physical actions. The roommates tried using words to slow or stop the threat. The defender recognized an immediate, unavoidable threat of death of great bodily harm to an innocent person. That was enough to legally justify the use of lethal force in defense.
The defender stopped shooting when the threat ended. It sounds like they stayed inside and didn’t chase the bad guys down the street. They stayed at the scene and called for help. The defender put his gun away when the police arrived. They then gave the officers their statements. The news story doesn’t say if the surveillance video was from them or from a neighbor across the street.
Rob- Are there other things we might do to protect ourselves?
Heather- How about calling the police after the first threats. I assume that all the roommates were adults, so I’d like it if all of them were armed. If one of your roommates had a drug or gambling problem, then either you want to move or you want them to move.
Rob- This sounds like one of the stories that people bring up during a concealed carry class.
Heather- You want to know the laws in your state and a concealed carry class is a good start on that. Also, your carry license shows the officers that you are a card carrying good guy with a clean criminal record. In some states, your license costs you a few hundred dollars. If you are in a self-defense encounter, then having that license will save you much more than that in legal bills.
Rob- Why do we want a lawyer to defend us after we’ve defended ourselves?
Heather- Your lawyer knows the points of law that should be presented in your official statement. I don’t know them. Rob, you don’t know them. Let him put them into the report so that the district attorney or the jury that determines if you should be indicted have all the facts to justify your armed defense.
Rob- Where are we going for our last story?
Heather- Our final story took place in Northglenn, Colorado.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?
You are at home on a Sunday afternoon. You hear a crashing sound from behind your house. You look through your back window and see two men in your backyard. They knocked down your fence, and at least one of them is armed. You’re armed too.
The two men move toward your back door. You open the door and shoot them before they get inside. One of them shoots at you and you keep firing until they stop. You back away and call 911 for help. You holster your firearm when the police arrive.
The police find your attackers in your backyard. EMTs take your attackers to the hospital. You give the police a statement. The police find evidence that links your attackers to another burglary down the block.
Your attackers died in the hospital. They were under 21 years of age. You are not charged with a crime.
Heather- I’d be in shock if this happened to me. I’m imagining being at home on a Sunday afternoon and then two young men smash my fence and try to break into my house. That is why I carry a firearm at home.
I like that our defender was armed because he might not have had time to run to his bedroom, put on his holster, open his safe, load his gun, and then run to the back door. He recognized a lethal threat. He defended himself and stopped shooting when the threat ran away. He called 911 and asked for help.
Rob- Is there more you’d like us to do if we were in that situation?
Heather- Was there a safe place to retreat? Then again, if you see two armed attackers, do you know that there are only two of them. You know there are at least two. Is it safer for you to defend yourself after they break through your back door, or when they are on your back patio or deck. I don’t know. I do know that you’ll have to explain why you faced an immediate and lethal threat from two men who were outside your home. The story doesn’t tell us who fired first.
Rob- The attackers were two men who were under 21 years of age. Someone is going to call them children.
Heather- Most 20 year old males are clearly men. These two men were breaking into houses and stealing weapons. They shot a firearm at the homeowner. In addition to burglary and robbery, it was probably illegal for them to have a firearm.
Rob- When do your students learn about defense in and near their homes?
Heather- Through our home defense course. That is where we explore our options and study how the layout of our home layout impacts those choices. It gives them several ways to look at defending themselves and their families in and around their home.
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.