Sometimes I have to wonder what type of drugs our California government officials are taking and why the hell aren’t they sharing. The state is displaying symptoms of a serious multiple personality disorder, or at minimum a complete conflict of interest when it comes to how folks should or can protect themselves, their homes and their businesses. We all seem to understand how in “progressive,” victim-rich states, the police seem to subscribe to FEMA-approved methods of advising crime victims – just submit and let the bad doods do what ever they want. Unfortunately that didn’t work for one Castroville store clerk . . .

He took off out the back when he found himself staring down the barrel of a robber’s revolver. But the gangsta thought letting a witness run away on him might be a bad career move, so he took off after him. He fired three shots, hitting the clerk once in the ear. Luckily that was as bad as it got and the suspect ultimately fled the scene. It doesn’t say whether he got any money or not, but if he didn’t dip into the till, that’s one hell of a way to thwart a robbery.

Next up we have a convenience store owner who’d had about all the petty theft he could take. Gurminder Parmar (above) and his wife own a small mom and pop market in Lodi. They’d been robbed a number times, sometimes at the point of a gun. So Mr. Parmar tooled up to protect himself, his wife and his business.

When an unarmed Christopher Driggers decided he’d love to have a 100% discount on a case of beer, Parmar tried to politely get him to rethink the situation by shooting him in the shoulder. Driggers was found a few blocks away and admitted to the theft. Apparently Driggers is now recovering and charges are pending from the local DA.

Mr. Parmar, however, is now in some hot water. He’s been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. So much for protection of one’s property in the Golden State. In California, you really should just lie back and take it. Just don’t try to run, OK?

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56 Responses to It’s Not Easy Running a Small Business in California

  1. Therefore, can a California thief walk into a store and say; “Hi, I’m going to steal whatever I want and you can’t shoot me because I’m not gonna threaten you physically?” The values of those left-wing police-nanny state politicos are wacked.

  2. Mr. Parmar also faces sanctions and fines from the California Air Resources Board for those carbon emissions.

  3. There is no reason to shoot someone for stealing some beer.

    Defending your property, life and the principle that no one has the right to steal anything from you is a damn good reason to shoot someone. IMHO, YMMV.

    I don’t think I would have shot the guy since he was unarmed. But I haven’t been robbed several times in the past either. I think this guy is screwed.

    • +1. This could have easily been resolved if the store owner CC’d a digital camera and a cell phone to call 911.

      No need to shoot an unarmed someone over $10-12 worth of beer.

      • +1

        What item in a store could possibly be worth someone’s life? A gallon of milk? A candy bar? Are we doling out the death penalty now for petty theft. I live in California–have for all my life. And yeah, it sucks to be robbed, but to shoot the BG as he’s on the way out, and one is out of harm’s way….he should be facing criminal charges. What if that was your kid doing a stupid thing (shoplifting), and got shot and killed by a store owner? This is exactly the type of nonsense that Gun Grabbers refer to when trying to amend the Second Amendment. Seriously folks. Let’s use a little common sense.

        • Yes, a case of beer is not worth someone’s life. Perhaps the thief should have thought of that.

        • What if that was your kid doing a stupid thing (shoplifting), and got shot and killed by a store owner?

          Then you should be sentenced for raising a criminal and trying to make excuses for their behavior.

        • “Then you should be sentenced for raising a criminal and trying to make excuses for their behavior.”

          You’ve never raised a kid, have you? Way to judge others without even knowing what the hell it even means to be a KID. Kids do stupid things. Their brain cells aren’t even fully developed yet. We’ve all done stupid things as kids, unless you were a complete square. Nobody deserves to get shot for doing something stupid as a kid. And blaming the parent for a kid doing something stupid that might be beyond the parent’s control is even stupider than the original stupid act. Ya follow?

      • So what happens when next time, Mr. Robber and his five buddies show up, knowing they can do as they please and the cops are only half an hour away, and take ten cases of beer? Or all the money in the register? Or whatever else they please? If you don’t protect what’s yours, you’ll soon find yourself without it.

        This guy overreacted. Simply drawing down on the guy and strongly suggesting he FOAD with all haste would have probably ended the problem without shots being fired.

        The implication that one should just meekly submit and hope for the best is exactly the mindset that has FUBAR’d the state in question, and many like it.

        • There’s a difference between shooting an unarmed man(thief) who was running away and defending yourself from a big bunch o’ bastards who want your hide on a wall. Varying the response based upon the threat.

        • So, what, you’re going to draw a gun on a 11 yr old stealing a candy bar? Really?! You say this guy “overreacted”, but defend brandishing a weapon to make a petty thief comply?

          Yes, and you’re right, “if you don’t protect what is yours, you’ll soon find yourself without it” because you’ll be sitting in prison for a very long time!!

        • There’s a difference between shooting an unarmed man(thief) who was running away and defending yourself from a big bunch o’ bastards who want your hide on a wall.

          Yes, there is. Which is why I said he overreacted.

          So, what, you’re going to draw a gun on a 11 yr old stealing a candy bar? Really?!

          Nice Red Herring you’ve got there.

        • The slippery slope argument is irrelevant when you’ve already bought into dealing out a maximum harm for any transgression. If somebody can be shot while unarmed for lifting some beer, then what’s to say somebody can’t be shot for cursing or violating the local blue law? We have juries of peers for a reason.

        • “So, what, you’re going to draw a gun on a 11 yr old stealing a candy bar? Really?!”

          Nice Red Herring you’ve got there.

          It’s not a red herring, so much as it is a straw man.

          But yeah, shooting someone just because they shoplifted something is a little absurd, and it sets up some moral ambiguity. +1 for the guy who mentioned the slippery slope, because that’s exactly what condoning the situation is.

      • Wow, the submissiveness in this line of comments is highly disappointing.

        Nice to know that you feel it’s OK for me to come by your home and help myself to your TV and car and you don’t think I should be stopped.

        • Submissiveness is one thing—consideration/sensitivity for human life is entirely another. In terms of the law, it is always wise to use equal force to defend yourself. If you shoot a man dead who is not trying to kill you, then it gets complicated in a court of law. It’s not submissiveness but common sense. Enough of the machismo. Every person is a living being, a father / a son / a husband / etc. Respect that. Killing someone for shoplifting is a disproportionate punishment for the crime.

          Before you say something like “Oh he should have thought of that (/his family, etc) beforehand” be the better man.

          It’s not about dick measuring. It’s about using your head and not getting in trouble with the law, and not having entirely unnecessary blood on your hands and conscience for the rest of your life.

  4. this ain’t texas, more’s the pity. in ca we cannot shoot over property. there has to be a direct threat to your life or the life of another. the system really is stacked in the favor of the predators here. i cannot say this loudly enough or often enough, when the democrats have free rein, ca is what you get.

      • Agreed, it would be hard to convince a jury that a the value of a six pack could not be recovered without shooting the bad guy, especially if the guy has insurance. Deadly force is a serious business and even in Texas there are limits to when you can use it.

  5. More derp from the Communist Republic of California…I heard a story of a guy that was attempting to break in to a house and fell through the skylight and was injured. The would be robber then sued the home owner and won or something like that.

    • That is very common. A TV store was broken into by breaking the glass in the front door. Having been cought inside and arrested he fell on the way out cutting himself on glass and sued the store owner and won. It is even worse if your work for police department. When they sue they sue everybody who was working on that shift.

      • If morons are stupid enough to live in California and put up with those laws, then they deserve whatever happens to them.

        • Dude, how could you possibly be asinine enough to ridicule all Californians in an ill-willed blanket generalization?
          If you believe the ONLY reason to live in a state are the gun laws, you’re a complete moron. It’s about job opportunity/availability and many other factors that take precedence over recreational shooting. We have beautiful beaches, incomparable weather, top tier universities like Stanford and the University of California, exceptionally successful tech industries like Apple and Google and Tesla and the list goes on, the nexus of the entertainment industry (Hollywood and Los Angeles), unparalleled cultural diversity and tolerance, rich Californian cuisine, unprecedented city planning in the form of Irvine, breakthrough architecture and engineering firms, and thriving agriculture and wine making in Northern California.

          If you think many people would sacrifice all that for simply a few more rounds in a magazine, well, you need to get a big friggin’ clue about life priorities.

        • Clint Eastwood lives in California. As a matter of fact, he was mayor of Carmel Valley for a few years. I guess CLINT EASTWOOD is stupid enough to live in California and deserves whatever happens to him too, right Totenglocke??

        • What you commented is unbelievably unintelligent. I have to put up with the absurd gun laws already. I don’t need an out of state armchair expert who sounds like he’s never even met a Californian in person, much less traveled to the state itself, talking shit on me for shit that isn’t even my fault. I raise my glass to you, sir, in the name of getting what YOU deserve.

        • I was born and raised in California. Left there when I was 54 yrs old. At one time it would never cross my mind to leave that beautiful state.

          Reason wife and I left had exactly zero to do with gun laws, more having to do with Los Angeles traffic. Besides, wife and I had a hankering for a complete change, so we came to rural Kansas.

          I certainly wish the best for family I left in CA, and all the citizens there.

          Now with all that said, even in gun crazy Kansas, you can’t shoot somebody over a case of beer.

          Actually, I should say, you can, if you want to face crimnal charges, as well you should.

  6. Playing Devil’s Advocate, but here in North Carolina (not exactly a bastion for antis like urban California) you also can’t use deadly force over property. Hell, you can only use deadly force when in fear of deadly or significant/serious harm, or if they are in the act of breaking into your home. Of course, once the breaking process is done and they are actually in your home, it reverts back to “deadly or serious” harm. The home invasion part is confusing, imprecise, and just waiing for a colossal mess if you ask me, but no one did.

    However, my overall point is that it’s not just CA that has laws set up like that. I’d guess (based entirely upon my legal expertise, of which I have none) that Texas’s provision regarding deadly force and property is rather rare, even in the States.

    As for myself, I don’t think a beer is worth shooting someone over. However, I don’t know what a good course of action to stop something like this would be. So yeah, I dunno.

    • I live in CA. We have a “castle doctrine” in which one is allowed to defend oneself inside the home if confronted by a BG. I know of no case where the DA has brought charges in such a situation. We might have 10 round magazine and bullet button nonsense, but I can still conceal carry and defend myself/family in the event of possible great bodily harm or death.

      But a convenience store in which the dude is carrying beer (probably using both arms) and leaving the building….c’mon. Have people not heard that there is a lawyer attached to every bullet fired.

      I am appalled that there are people on this forum who would defend a petty thief getting shot. This is a GREAT forum, but there sure are some questionable replies to this article.

  7. The value of what is being stolen is not the criteria to use to decide to shoot the robber. The fact that this person is stealing from you is the criteria. If you won’t shoot the robber over a case of beer, what will you shoot over? 5 cases of beer? The contents of the cash drawer? And there is no way this person is not going to become more brazen and violent in the very near future.

    • Um, legally speaking, the value of what’s being stolen is not a criteria. The fact that it’s being stolen is not a criteria, either, outside of Texas or where ever else might have laws like it.

      Also, justice is based on what HAS been done, not what MAY be done in the future. Gunowner (or anyone) MAY go batshit and kill people and break things. Until they do, though, they’re innocent. Likelihood of future actions is irrelevant.

  8. This is why I posted two separate and different stories. In one, the clerk ran and got shot. As of now there have been no arrests, and probably won’t be.
    The second the owner stood up for himself. He is now being charged.
    You are correct, a case of beer probably isn’t worth shooting someone over, however, the question becomes do business owners have a right whether the criminal is armed or not to protect their business from theft? In CA as with other states it seems that unless they are armed the answer is no.
    So in this instance it comes down to free theft so long as you can run fast enough. I also sometimes wonder as a small business owner do you really want to wait to find out if the person is armed or not? Fortunately given the strict gun laws here in CA most criminals of petty theft are well armed, so don’t let the story dissuade you from tooling up.

    • Yes, you’re somewhat right. It does come down to “free” theft, but is it right to dole out the death penalty for petty theft? Install a security camera, whatever. OK, the guy stole some beer. Have you seen the “flash mobs” in which sometimes dozens of people enter a store and help themselves to the merchandise? What is it that’s being suggested? That one gets out one’s AK or shotgun and mow a bunch of people down? Now we’re at about the same level as the Aurora, Colorado madman.

      I am completely mystified as to how anyone could justify attempted homicide in this situation (unarmed BG heisting some suds).

    • Well, the law actually allows for the use of proportional force to protect property. As we all know however, legally proportional is very vague. And in reality as soon as you get into a confrontation things can escalate quickly. What the law doesn’t allow is the use of lethal force to protect property.

      The castroville clerk’s business owner legally could have allowed him to have a weapon, it would have been legal for him to defend his life with it when confronted with an armed robber.

      • just to clarify a point. i’m not going to shoot someone who’s running away and not displaying a weapon. i’ve worked a lifetime for what i’ve got and don’t want to lose it in court. another thing to consider, i’ve worked in prison. do you really want to be the middle aged guy with nothing more than a few traffic violations who suddenly finds himself doing real time with the bad guys.

    • When I gave a grand “Iunno” above, someone suggested a Tazer. Would those be legal in this situation? At least, in whatever states the posters might have knowledge of.

  9. This whole article should be under “IGOTD”–“Irresponsible Gun Owner of The Day”. Self-defense is one thing. Shooting petty thieves as they are running out the door is quite another. These 2 situations come under the “shoot or don’t shoot” scenarios which ALL gun owners should sanely consider. As far as I can tell, there are some “insane” opinions being expressed here.

    • “This whole article should be under “IGOTD”–”Irresponsible Gun Owner of The Day”.”

      Two thumbs up.

  10. I’m amazed by the number of store owners prepared to risk their lives for what’s in their cash registers. My home town (a city of about 100,000) has produced two examples of this in just the past two weeks that have gone viral.

    2 knives vs. One Big Stick:

    http://youtu.be/ol_6WEoSoh0

    .38 vs. mangoes:

    http://youtu.be/AEyF8MrFZt0

    And since these two incidents, the would-be victim of a street mugger used his belt (yes, the one he was wearing) to defend against a knife.

    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120817/NEWS/120819888/-1/ARCHIVE

  11. I’m an Emergency Medicine physician. Federal law mandates I have to treat all patients regardless of their ability to pay. In my mind, this is “stealing”, and let me tell you, I give away 10-15% of my time, and it amounts to a whole lot more than a case or two of beer!! So if I were to follow the advice of some of the folks on this thread, I should just shoot them.

    But on second thought, then I’d just have to treat them for their gunshot wound!

    • You have the Reagan Administration to thank for that Act, by the way. (EMTALA)

      Personally I think it’s a fine thing, but I also would like a national healthcare system (leaving room to quibble about the mandatory aspect) to ameliorate those costs.

  12. What kind of beer was it? I can’t imagine shooting somebody over a case of Miller or Bud. Or anything Canadian.

  13. Without using too many words, I’ll just say that I’ll never shed a tear over one of way too many bottom-feeding leeches and scumbags this country has getting his ticket punched by someone who’s an actual contributing member of society.

    That said, from a legal and “good guy” standpoint, popping someone who wasn’t armed and wasn’t a threat was likely an overreaction.

  14. One more time.

    What most people don’t get about theft is that theft actually steals from the victims life.

    To explain: People are on this earth for a finite time. A good portion of a person’s life is spent acquiring what is needed to survive along with acquiring comforts which help to make life more enjoyable. When a thief steals, the thief is not only taking an object, the thief is also taking the portion of a life that was used to acquire said convenience. On top of that, the thief is also stealing the portion of a life that will be used to deal with the police and also the time required to replace the stolen object.*

    In short, those who dismiss theft do not respect life.

    *Someone upthread mentioned insurance. Paying for insurance requires more investment from a finite source: your time on earth.

    • Your reasoning is based on the assumption that a bunch of little things add up to a big thing in all cases. But material possessions – although they are the kind of thing that may be required to live – are not irreplaceable. If I take half of my things, and somebody else combines half of their things, we will not have “a life.” If I lose all my things in a fire, I haven’t lost my life – it would be a severe handicap to my well-being, but it would not be the end of my well-being. For people of a reasonable mindset, the most severe (absent religious) harm that can be done to a person is to lose their life. A person who has stolen something from you can make that loss good; but a person who has lost their life obviously cannot make any amends. (I know somebody will try to call me out for that, but call it a respect for life, or a lack of willingness to play God’s role as divine arbiter – somebody stealing a beer is not evidence that they are going to do enough evil that they need to be killed.)

      Most Christian philosophy (especially Catholic) will make this distinction – mere things have only an extrinsic value; if they are replaceable, they just allow you to achieve some goal expediently. Things that have intrinsic value, like a life, are things that cannot be replaced. If you are on a desert island with a glass of water, you won’t go thirsty – but if I take away that glass of water, you may still get another. A judge in the desert island court would take into account whether my stealing your water was likely to have deadly consequences – and it would be especially bad if I knew this. On the other hand, what’s a glass of water sitting on a table really worth to you? In most cases it can be replaced by any other glass of water – and a merchant in a store doesn’t argue that the specific merchandise on their shelves has any sentimental value to them.

      Somebody might say, in response to all this, that the Constitution gives us certain unalienable rights – which would be wrong; nowhere in the Constitution are you rendered secure against all of life’s indignities, and “cruel and unusual punishments” shows the Founders’ approbation towards thoughtless murders in the name of justice, no matter who is guilty of them.

      But then somebody might say “well Ayn Rand this” or “I have liberty not to be messed with:” I would ask – where are you getting your values if you think that somebody’s life is worth less than something that might incidentally make you happy or fatten your wallet? (Especially something that might be covered by insurance…)

      • Answering my own question: If “I like it” is the source of your value that lets you shoot people who inconvenience you, that’s obviously not in of itself going to restrain you from doing anything. So the human experience of living with other people – who necessarily, and inescapably, infringe upon our freedoms or even annoy us at times – has required some level of acceptance of the situation. Any belief that other people will act perfectly acceptably is not borne out by daily life. However, it does seem reasonable to ask that small “corrective” measures come before the fatal ones. I wouldn’t argue with a shopkeeper who plants a boot in the thief’s butt, but taking their life is way outta left field when there’s no apparent fear of deadly danger. Lots of folks here like to complain when the police stereotype people – but if the shopkeeper was taking out their frustrations or fears about other people on one unarmed thief, that reflects a severe lack of situational awareness, and possibly reveals a coward to boot.

    • Regardless of your strange reasoning (material possessions are definitely NOT one’s meaning for existing on this planet for such a short period of time), do you really think a human life is worth less than that material possession? Shooting someone, possibly killing her/him, over a pack of beer, for example? I’d say that a life is definitely more important than this. No one disregards theft or condones that the man took the pack of beer, but get real, life is WAY MORE than one’s material possessions. I can name a few things: relationships, family, and pursuing intrinsically worthwhile activities that makes one happy.

      This country already has a huge materialism problem, anyway, because people keep thinking like what you mentioned in your post. Life is not about acquiring creature comforts. We were put on earth for SO MUCH more than that.

      In any case, a measly pack of beer does NOT take away from a man’s life in any way, shape, or form. Sorry.

  15. Whoever mentioned insurance, business owners in this class probably get one, two maximum chances of using their insurance to compensate themselves for a loss.

    After that they’ll be calling Flo to see if she’ll write them a new policy to replace the one that just got canceled.

  16. shooting someone in CA is a tricky business. We have to give them an out before we can shoot them. in other words if they flee we have to let them go, if they move toward us we can drop them.

    How did I know he got that knife from my kitchen…..

  17. Not knowin’ all the details, the Castroville store clerk probably did the best thing. A robber who’d shoot at a clerk running away might likely have shot him after he did whatever he told him to do anyway.
    I’d tell the police that when they catch that guy, don’t ever let him loose in society again and leave it at that.

    Two types of theft in society. Legalized and Illegal.
    In the Driggers Parmar story, far as I can tell Driggers was the real criminal, Parmar was made into a criminal under law which made him a victim of law and there’s a whole bunch of other victims.
    That whole bunch of other victims would be all those taxpayers forced through theft legalized by gov’t who have to pay the thousands of dollars involved in the costs of all this nonsense.
    Any soldier who got through boot-camp can’t help but know there’s consequences to his or her actions, not to mention the UCMJ and after that civilian law.
    If the man needed a beer, why didn’t he just ask?
    So you own a store, a soldier comes to the counter and says I need a beer but don’t have the money right now to pay for it. I say you active? He says yes.
    I say take a six-pack and pay me when you can, and thank you for your service.
    Oh, yeah, and if you would, you see that gang-banger over there? On your way by tell him if he’s thinking on trying to rob me, I’ll shoot his sorry ass.

  18. Like they say, it’s better to be judged by 12 than pay for a 6 pack.
    wait, no .. I think it’s something like that.

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