Episode 305 with Heather Reeves


Rob- Welcome to episode 305 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 Reeves

Heather- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been teaching chemistry and teaching firearms. I’m making a big push this year to get more people to train beyond their basic classes and I’m excited to say, I’m seeing an uptick in attendance. Gold stars to everyone who’s listening to this podcast.

How about you?

Rob- I’ve been so busy that I can only exercise and dry practice. A new order of ammunition came in so I’m eager for the weather to dry out so I can go to the range. We are still looking for volunteer assistants to help make this podcast.

The podcast received several new ratings and a new comment on iTunes (is 181,329). A listener called BigFweshy said they are excited to add our podcast to their mental repertoire.  Carry on.

Heather- Thank you, BF. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new gun why you listen.

Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm several thousand times a day. Each week 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 Houston, Texas.

Rob- First story- Are you armed at home late at night?

It is just before midnight when you hear strange sounds outside your house. You go outside to see what is happening. You hear and see someone breaking into your neighbor’s house. Your neighbors are away. You shout for the intruder to stop. They stop for a few seconds. Then, they turn and charge you.

You’re armed. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. Now he stops. You stop shooting. You call 911 and wait for the police to arrive.

You holster your gun and give the police a statement. The police declare your attacker dead at the scene from a single gunshot wound to the upper center chest.

Police say they have to submit the case to the district attorney to see if he wants to forward it to the grand jury.

Heather- I read different news reports and some said that our defender was house sitting for his neighbor.

I’m glad he owned a firearm.

I’m very glad he took his firearm with him when he went outside.

I like that he recognized a problem and tried to defuse the situation by giving verbal commands.

He recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat when a stranger charged him in the middle of the night.

He defended himself until his attacker stopped. Our defender called 911. He asked for help and stayed at the scene.

Rob- At midnight no less. Is there more you want us to do if we hear a noise outside?

Heather- Call 911 and get help on the way. If you have to go outside, bring someone with you. Keep your distance and bring a very bright flashlight.

Consider this- If you wouldn’t go outside your own home to investigate, then don’t go outside to investigate a bump outside your neighbor’s home. Call the police and walk the property with them.

Rob- When do you tell your students about bumps in the night?

Heather-  During our Concealed handgun class there’s an entire section where I ask my students to think about background normal. The types of things that we “know” should be there, and the types of things that we “know” shouldn’t be there. And then we talk about how to plan for the surprises.

Rob- Is there a time when your students would work out a home safety plan?

Heather- I encourage it even prior to firearm ownership. Home safety plans transcend firearm ownership and having a plan is something that can make the difference in a myriad of different situations. From fire and natural disaster, to home invasion or stranger knocking on the door, having a plan that includes everyone who lives in the home is critical.

Rob- Is there more you want to cover before we go on to the next story?

Heather- That covers it for now. Our second story happened in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Rob- Second Story- Are you armed in your driveway in the afternoon?

It is about 3:30 on a Wednesday. You are standing next to your car in your driveway when two young men run up to you. They are wearing masks. They are also carrying guns in their hands. They demand your wallet and your car keys.

You own a gun too. Unlike your attackers, you have your Illinois firearms owners identification card in your wallet. This afternoon, you are carrying your Illinois Concealed Carry License along with your concealed handgun.

You step back and present your firearm. You shoot at your attackers. They run. You stop shooting as they jump into a black jeep and drive away. You call 911 and ask for help. You go inside and holster your firearm.

You meet the police when they arrive. You show them your ID and your carry license. You give the officers a brief statement. The police have security videos of the cars the robber’s used.

Carjackings have surged several fold from last year. You are not charged with a crime.

Heather- The first story was in the middle of the night and this is in the middle of the afternoon. I’m glad our defender was legally armed in his driveway. He stopped shooting when his attackers drove away. He called and asked for help. Well done.

Rob- Is there more you want us to do that isn’t mentioned in the news story?

Heather- Our good guy faced two armed robbers and didn’t get shot. Everything else is extra credit points on his exam.

Put all your gear into one bag so it is easy to have your hands empty as you move between your car and your house.

Create a distraction.

Fill your robber’s hands.

Move as you draw.

Move to cover.

Rob- This is more than marksmanship and concealed carry. When do your students learn to present a firearm?

Heather- Presenting from a holster is not an advanced skill. I offer a holster fundamentals course that gets students working from the holster as soon as they have gun safety down.

Rob- When do they learn to move as they present?

Heather- It’s discussed as part of all of our defensive curriculums, but practiced in the classes that come after the concealed handgun course. Mentally it should be practiced every time they consider a defensive scenario.

Rob- Where can they practice that?

Heather- If your range allows for movement, practice explosive movement while drawing. However, I know for many of you, dynamic range time is an issue, so I would suggest working it into dry fire practice.

Be explosive and move, practice side and back movement. Although keep the backward movement to one to two steps and make it a “J” step accompanied with sideways motion.

Rob- Where are we going next?

Our third story happened last week in Alhambra, California.

Rob- First this message from Amanda Suffecool.

Amanda Suffecool

Rob- Third story- Are you a defender at work?

and https://concealednation.org/2023/01/los-angeles-mass-shooter-reportedly-tried-second-location-unarmed-man-wrestled-his-gun-away/



You are working at an asian ballroom on Chinese new years. It is 10:40 at night when you hear someone come in the front door. You hear the unusual sound of metal on metal. You turn to see an older man who isn’t dressed for a new years party. He is carrying a large handgun in his hands. He is scanning the crowd. He sees you and you think you are about to die.

You lunge for your attacker and grab the firearm. You fight for it. You throw each other against the wall and throw fists and elbows. You rip the gun from his hands. You turn the gun on the intruder and tell him to leave. You think you’ll have to shoot him, but he turns and runs.

You have the gun in your hands when you call 911. You’re still shaking when you ask for help. You put the gun down when the police arrive. You give the officers a statement. You show the police the security video from the lobby.

Your attacker murdered 9 people at an asian dance hall earlier that night. He killed himself when the police located him. Gun-controlled California had four mass murders this week.

You are 26 years old. You are not charged with a crime.

Tag- no shots fired

Heather- Happy new year. I’m so glad our defender believed what he saw and then defended himself and others. He fought for control of the firearm. That might have been the smart thing to do even if he was armed because the attacker was so close to him. I like that he used the firearm for his own defense, and then didn’t shoot when the attacker was no longer an immediate threat. He called 911 and asked for help. I’m glad the ballroom had video security.

This guy was a hero and saved lives.

Rob- Was there more you’d like your students to do if they were in a situation like this one?

Go armed.

Have backup help that is armed.

Know some hand to hand skills.

Shout for help so that other people will come to your aid. Maybe they could have tackled the bad guy.

Don’t assume that the attacker only has one weapon. This murderer killed himself with another handgun.

Lock the doors when the attacker leaves.

Get everyone away from the doors. Ask witnesses to call 911.

Get your manager’s help. Make sure your customers aren’t injured. 

Learn some first aid. Have unarmed volunteers meet the police and have the volunteers guide the police to you. Do not have a firearm in your hands when the police see you. Maybe you could lock the attacker’s firearm in one of the offices.

Rob- When would a small business owner learn about physical security for his staff and his customers?

Heather- Being a small business owner is tough. Sometimes you have to seek out additional training from other businesses that you can trust. Try reaching out to a firearms trainer or self-defense trainer that specializes in mass casualty incidents. Work with them to make your business a hard target through physical and mental preparation for your whole staff.

Rob- Is that a single visit, or does that take several sessions?

Heather-  It will depend a bit on how far along you are in your personal preparation as there may be a lot you can do before they come in. However, I would plan on at least a few sessions at the beginning and conduct a brush up once or twice a year if at all possible. There’s always more we can do, and there’s always more to learn or be reminded of.

Rob- Where are we going for our last story?

Heather- Our fourth story took place in New Hartford, New York.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed as you go out to eat?

You’re eating dinner at a restaurant in central New York State. It is almost 7 at night when you hear several of the restaurant staff talk to a customer. The customer argues and starts a pushing match. The customer runs to the bar and grabs a steak knife. He turns on the restaurant employees and slashes with his knife. One of the wounded victims grabs his face where he has been cut. Another employee backs up having been cut.

You own a gun. You have your New York license to carry. You’re armed tonight. You step forward and tell the attacker to stop. You present your firearm and the attacker drops his knife. You tell him to get down on the ground. Your attacker does so.

The police receive many calls about the attack. You stay at the scene and holster your firearm when the police arrive. You show the officers your ID and your carry permit. The police arrest the attacker. You give the police a brief statement. News reports did not mention what happened to the injured restaurant employees.

The attacker had been asked to leave the restaurant a few days ago. He was charged with one count of Attempted Assault in the 2nd degree, which is a felony, two counts of Assault in the third degree, and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th degree. Those are misdemeanors. The attacker was taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.

The new concealed carry law in New York State makes it a crime to have a firearm in any business that does not have a “guns welcome” sign. It is also a crime to carry your firearm into a business that sells alcohol. You are not charged with a crime.

Tag- No Shots Fired.

Heather- I’m glad our defender recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat to innocent parties. Two people were injured but it could have been so much worse. Our good guy had every justification to press the trigger, but he tried verbal commands and that worked. He didn’t shoot. He stayed at the scene, and he gave a statement to the police.

Rob- Verbal commands worked in this case.

Heather- If the threat is a second away, then we don’t have to press the trigger. If the threat is face down on the floor then we want our finger off the trigger and the gun pointed at the floor in a safe direction while we wait for the police. I’d use the compressed ready or the sul position.

Like the earlier story, we want to make sure that the restaurant staff are on the phone with the police, and that someone will meet them and identify us as the good guy.

Rob- When do you talk to your students about having a gun and not having it aimed at a good guy or a bad guy?

Heather- This is the primary emphasis in our concealed handgun class during our gun handling portion. With the amount of media coverage many of these incidents get, and with the prevalence of recording devices you have to know that someone will see you point a gun at something or someone that it shouldn’t be pointed at. You have to be prepared to explain why. 

Rob- What else do you see here?

Heather- New York state hates gun owners. You want legal insurance so you look like a hard person to convict.

Rob- When do your students learn about the legal use of lethal force?

Heather-Their first exposure comes during the concealed handgun course. We have a legal responsibility as gun owners, and personal first responders to understand the ramifications of our actions mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Rob- Armed defense in public is hard. Defense of others can be tactically more demanding because there are more moving pieces. How would your students learn about that if they didn’t go to TacCon? 

Heather- I recommend online resources such as active self protection videos, this podcast, and running some scenarios in a force on force class, or scenario based training. There are also some fantastic books that have been written on the realities of the legal system, and combat. If nothing else, learn like we did before the internet, pick up a book.


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

Heather- Find me at my gun store website,

Wolverinedefenseacademy.com. I list more classes at agirlandagun.org under the Portage, Michigan chapter.

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.
Please share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher.
We’re also available on
Amazon, 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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