It Should Have Been a DGU: New Haven Gun Store Robbery Edition

Jerry Lyons owns Shooters in New Haven. Mr. Lyons has brain cancer; when armed robbers invaded his gun store he reckoned he had nothing to lose. “They wanted me to beg for my life and I just wasn’t going to do it. I just knew they were going to do it anyway. You could just feel it.” Fortunately, Mr. Lyons was wrong. The perps didn’t perforate him, his employee or a customer. Nor did Mr. Lyons engage in a gun fight with his attackers, who were eventually apprehended. Now I know there are times when a law-abiding American gets so far behind the curve that a counter-ambush is more of a suicide mission than a self-defense strategy . . .

I realize that second-guessing survivors of criminal attack puts both my qualifications within the firearms fold and my emotional intelligence in the cross-hairs. But it must be said: when you’re up against a credible threat to your life, even if the odds are overwhelmingly against you, push back. Hard.

Again, I’m not saying I would have for sure started a firefight if I were in the same position. The only people who can make that claim with anything remotely resembling credibility are armed self-defenders who’ve actually been there, done that. Or not done that.

But I’m down with Daniel Daly. Just before charging the Germans during the Battle of Belleau Wood, the Marine commander (awarded not one but two Medals of Honor) yelled to his men “Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?”

We’re all going to die. I’ll be god damned if I’m going to let some vermin decide the moment of my departure. It might happen regardless of my intentions, but I [pray that I] will do everything in my power to make sure that I don’t let it happen.

I respect those who tape over the “or die” part of New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” license plate. There are plenty of people who’d rather submit to authority (of any kind) in a life or death situation (be it tyrannical or criminal) and hope that they’ll live another day. So that they can continue to fight for their freedom. Or just survive

Their choice. Not mine.

My Lyons’ customer could have emerged from this vicious robbery with permanent brain damage. All three men could have been executed. Some of them could have been murdered, leaving the survivors broken men. Thank God they all survived. But this should have been a defensive gun use.