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By Mark Ching

In 1998, an armed robber shot Annie Williams in the chest. Fortunately, the plucky store owner survived. Her husband Wilford, who co-owns three Roanoke, Virginia, grocery stores, said at the time “We have to make a living, but we’re planning to take more precautions.” Last Thursday, another armed robber found out just what those added precautions were . . .

Wilford was working the register at the Annwil Grocery when the felon entered the store just before midnight, shoved a gun in Williams’ face and told him to step away from the register. That’s when Williams pulled his own gun, fired once and, though he apparently didn’t hit the miscreant, the gunman took off like a scared jackrabbit and is still at large.

Two details of this story stand out. First, Wilford didn’t realized he had pulled the trigger. When interviewed by a local TV station, he claims the whole brouhaha went down so fast, he couldn’t remember firing a shot. But the police report says otherwise. The bullet hole in the wall and urine puddle on the floor (OK, the puddle wasn’t in the report) may have tipped them off.

The second point of interest is the support his customers have given him. Virginia is a generally gun-friendly state anyway, but the area of Roanoke served by the three Annwil stores is overwhelmingly African-American and Democrat-voting. (It should be noted that the city as a whole routinely stands out as a spot of blue in a sea of red.) And yet, it seems that Williams’ customers and neighbors get it. An upstanding entrepreneur and crime victim using a gun to defend his life and property? Gee, maybe guns aren’t just for thugs after all.

“I think he did the right thing ‘cause sometimes you don’t get a second chance,” said a customer who was interviewed. Fortunately, Annie Williams got a second chance. And Wilford Williams didn’t squander it.


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  1. PROVEN, all liberals are NOT gun grabbers. I’ll bet all conservatives are not gun rights supporters either. Not many focus on one issue only; the world of politics has many shades.

    • My father is a staunch conservative and I was raised in that kind of environment. However, we lived in NJ, so the subject of guns and gun rights rarely if ever came up. Just a couple years ago, after I moved to a gun friendly state and began shooting, did I bring it up and get a very surprising rant about how people shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns. Very disappointing.

      One political alignment or another may make one more likely to have a certain stance on guns, but it definitely isn’t a sure thing.

    • Proven all socialists/collectivists are gun grabbers and parasites on the working public. If that district had their way Mr. Williams would have been defenseless and would have received serious injuries or been robbed.
      Also proven there are no true liberals in the socialist Democratic party you see today. The definition of Classic Liberalism: a political ideology that advocates free markets, limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and individual liberties including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and others. That’s kind of alien to the Democratic platform of today.

    • no, not all liberals are gun grabbers. but people who identify as liberals tend to support dems, who are gun grabbers.

  2. OT sorta:

    ‘Cops: Pennsylvania woman stabs fiance to death hours before wedding’

    — Dude should have been caring a piece in his home. Danger can come from any direction at any time. Be prepared. At least he doesn’t have to worry about divorce court.

      • The bride to be allegedly did not want him to leave the apartment to buy breakfast for the two of them, her two kids, and their two out of town guests. I wonder if she thought he was going to run? He should have run.

  3. Wilford needs more range time. Any time you get the justifiable chance to kill an armed crim, it’s a shame to waste it by not wasting him.

  4. Well the cops have DNA evidence. That is one crook that will think twice about robbing someone.

  5. But the person who was shot in the robbery was a black male, so apparently her customer base doesn’t “get it”. If that store closed because the location was too unsafe, how long do you think it would be before Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were down there crying racism?

  6. I’m praying
    If this store owner had been a Republican we’d have another Justice For Trayvon Meme

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