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Michael in GA writes:

It’s Saturday morning, 6:30 am. My day to sleep in and I am dreaming, or having a nightmare about hunters running and riding horseback around the neighborhood in which I grew up and I’m stuck in the middle. I blame Dean for posting his bear hunt story I read the night before. A lion charged me and then…RING! My wife and I wake up to the sound of the phone and my wife says, “Uh oh”.  A call that early means one thing . . .

My son who left for work a half hour earlier has been in another wreck or has broken down. I say that because he has been through six vehicles in the last seven years of driving. He’s 23. He’s had two incidents since March and I fear this was number three in six months. I answer the phone.

Good news, relatively: He is broken down with a dead battery only ten miles away. I get dressed, grab my keys, cell phone, and EDC pistol (my GLOCK 19) in an IWB holster.

I get to him and give him a jump and charge the battery long enough to get to the nearest parts store. Thankfully, Advance Auto Parts is close by. O’Reilly or NAPA would have been acceptable. Anybody but AutoZone, a company that fired an employee who stopped an armed robber with his gun. I don’t support boycotts in general but when a company shows blatant disregard for common sense, and they take action that is in opposition to what even anti-gun folks would consider appropriate, I have to take my business elsewhere given the chance.  At the time that this story broke, I wrote an email to Autozone’s CEO and voiced my opinion swearing never to patronize their business again.  I did not even own guns at the time but I have always supported the right.

So today at Advance, the guy tests the battery and the alternator. We need to replace the alternator.  My son and I come out with the new part and I’m showing him how to replace it when I hear a man behind me enthusiastically say “Thanks for carrying!” I turn around and see another store employee that had just come out and he can tell by the look on my face that I don’t know what he is talking about. I thought, “Doesn’t everybody carry the parts they just bought?”.

Then, a la H.I. McDonnough, he slaps his hip twice and says, “I love to see people carrying.”  I say “Thanks for pointing out that I exposed it” as I readjust my t-shirt. He says “No, I just saw the belt clip. Most people don’t don’t notice that, but I do and I say thanks to everyone I see carrying because I do, too.”  Then he pats his cargo pocket indicating he’s packing. So he carries in the store while working. I don’t know what Advance’s policy is on employees bringing guns in, but it obviously doesn’t not concern this guy.

If for no other reason, I would rather shop where I know there are good guys with guns.

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  1. It makes no difference if I boycott Starbucks or Panera, but I haven’t spent 1 cent at autozone since that day, and I own 7 vehicles. Unfortunately, if the same thing ever happens at Advance or O’reilly’s, their response will be the same. That’s just corporate America for you.

      • So, basically, you are “just sayin'” to forgo self reliance and personal responsibility in favor of “call someone else to fix my problems.”

        Yeah, he called Dad. That’s different. Dad is teaching him how to fix this stuff himself…someday.

        AAA and insurance….ugh. And we wonder why “they will fix my problem” mindsets take root…

        • No, not really.

          If I break down in the middle of anywhere, I can’t call my dad to come help. Nor am I physically able to push my car more than out of the traffic. I have AAA for the same reason I have any other insurance, there are some things I am just not able to do.

          It is the better man that knows his own shortcomings and better still that he knows how to overcome them.

        • Huh? When my SUV’s battery died I was glad to have AAA on tap – sure I know how to jump a car, but it turned out that neither my other car nor my neighbor’s car had the juice to jump the Beast.

        • Me too. Small radiator hose leak, stopped to check it- losing fluid but probably ok if I hiked a couple miles for a gallon or two of water, or take the chance and drive three miles to the shop…

          If I were 60 miles from nowhere off-roading would I have gotten out the duct tape and baling wire?
          Or called a buddy- yep. That tow charge would be in the hundreds.

          If it was raining cats and dogs and I needed to drive 3 miles to the next exit to get off the two lane highway with no shoulder, so I dont get slammed from behind with my kid in the car?- you bet.

          or, instead, on the side of this suburban road, broad daylight, plenty of room to get out of traffic,
          get out the cell, call USAA, wait twenty minutes, and for free- get a tow and peace of mind.
          And avoid the chance of seized engine.

          Some things are proof of self-reliance, some are just smarter ways to do the same…
          and that day I taught my daughter to know the difference.

        • I completely agree with the need for self-reliance, working in the automotive and powersports industry for over a decade now. I deal with customers all day long who either haven’t the slightest clue what even maintenance is (40k miles, first time in for service, “oil needs to be changed?”) or think they know everything, which at least is a start that I try at every chance to build on.

          That said, I pay $10 every 6 months for roadside through my insurance, especially on my bikes, because I regularly ride several hundred miles at a clip and alone. I could theoretically call a family member to hook up their trailer and drive to wherever I am, it’s a huge favor and an inconvenience I’d prefer not to have to put on someone. I’ve plugged flats, bump-started engines and stopped oil leaks (or at least managed to keep refilling the oil), but a blowout or a getoff will leave you stranded at best, and bruised.

    • Actually boycotting businesses like Starbucks has worked out good for me, I save a lot of money, cut down a lot on coffee. I would go back if they became friendly to the local laws again.

      • Sometimes, I go to Starbucks, don’t purchase anything, set outside on the patio, and use their free WiFi, all the while carrying a gun.

        Why? Cause screw them, that’s why.

    • I still go into Starbucks packing, they only requested people not bring guns into their shop, falls into the same category as “people in Hell want ice water.”

      • And then they take a portion of the money they make from selling you coffee, and use it to get anti-gun politicians elected (while simultaneously reducing their tax burden by categorizing it as charitable contribution).

        You could complain about that, but it falls in the category of “people in Hell want ice water.”

    • I work at advance auto parts and we do not sell “lifetime”batteries we have 1 year (red)2 year(silver)and 3 year (gold,platinum and optima)so I dont know where you got the idea that they are lifetime batteries

      • “…so I don’t know where you got the idea that they are lifetime batteries.”

        From someone looking to sell him an overpriced car battery.

      • Tim, you are uninformed on some of their history.

        It was a legacy product that they took over.

        It *was* a good deal for me…I exchanged 10+ times over 22 years (same vehicle), the last 5 or so times at Advance. *every* receipt indicated continuation from the old program. Then, last spring….they refused.

        • Legacy from who? I have worked in Auto Parts for the Past 18 years. Having worked for 4 Major parts stores and 3 independent parts stores and as a person in the industry I have visited 100’s of parts stores across the country. I have NEVER seen a lifetime battery from anyone. None of the major Battery Manufacturers would back such a thing as batteries function by chemical reaction that WILL break down. EXIDE (makers of nascar select and pepboys) and Johnson’s Controls (makers of Autozone’s Gold batteries, Advances Gold batteries, Sears Diehard line and also Interstate batteries) has never given longer then a 3 year free replacement with a 96 month prorate that I have been witness too. So please tell me who gave you this wonderful lifetime warranty on a product that normally last no more then 5-6 years.

  2. I’m sure AAP has a “no weapons” policy in its employee policy boilerplate, as does just about every large corporation with a risk manager and insurance. If they don’t scrutinize or penalize employees, it’s akin to Starbucks “requesting” customers to leave their guns in the car. They have to please all sides, and tacit allowing firearm carry is as good as one can expect in the corporate world. I’ve always favored Advance over its competitors — this tale is a warm fuzzy in their column, provided they don’t axe this manager if he has to use his gun. Every retail manager should carry.

    • For the love of all that’s holy, when will these people post signs on the door that say “No beheading allowed!”

    • I always carry, even when I’m working and the company specifically says I’m to leave my gun in the car in the hiring paperwork. But I work retail and I’m not taking that chance. No one I work with knows I pocket carry. It’s pretty obvious why these companies do this, it’s a whole lot cheaper for them if a robber shoots and kills me, than it would be for me to shoot and injure a robber.

  3. No offense, but your son sounds like he needs a redo on driver’s ed. I shudder to think what his insurance rates are.

    • +1

      I was going to make that point as well. I told my son when he started driving that he has to take care of the car and there is zero tolerance policy for accidents that are judged to be his fault. If he didn’t take care of the car and it broke down he had to pay and if he cause an accident then he wait to get a car until he could buy it himself. He takes care of his car, (at least mechanically) and he has never caused an accident. He is 24.

  4. Count walgreens out as well after their recent incident.
    Also multiple people have been robbed in target parking lots after they yielded to the unrelenting force of angry ‘moms’ with nothing better to do.

    • Go to an independent pharmacy. The service is often so much better and many independent pharmacists pack heat all on their own. I know for a fact that mine does, I married her. 😉

  5. Were you tucked or un-tucked?

    I personally am normally as casual as possible, generally untucked as Im almost always in a t-shirt.
    If someone saw the kydex clip, I would be worried what else they saw.

    My wife always give me massive amounts of shit for changing my shirt because I feel like im printing before we go somewhere, “Most people arent paying attention Taylor, they probably think its a cellphone”

    • Untucked 4:00 reaching under the hood and only the one black clip on a black belt was partially showing. I think this guy was trying to pick out CCW folks. Like he said, he wants to personally thank everyone he sees carrying.

      • Yup, bored at work, at least in my experience, is prime time for trying to spot concealed handgun shaped lumps 🙂

        That sounded a lot dirtier than I initially imagined ha

  6. I shop at the local Advance Auto stores frequently. I’ve OCed there many times. The only thing they are concerned about is that I get the right parts.

  7. I not only boycott the stores, I boycott the States that have anti-gun laws. In part they are, CA, MD, NY, CT, NJ etc I support those States that make sense. Why gun-grabbers think that disarming VICTIMS is the way to go, is beyond me. Women, blacks, and gays take note.

    If those folks want to vote in the politicians that create these laws, they can do without my business as well. Depending on what they do I may, or may not go back to them. Let those States go bankrupt!

    Try to make one call a day, or email, to every business that you used to do business with and tell them why you aren’t going to do that anymore. I do. After all they need to know and feel that their actions/votes have consequences.

  8. I deal with Autozone almost every day, and there’s no sign on the door that says I can’t carry my own gun, so I really couldn’t care less. The employee policy doesn’t affect customers.

      • amen brother. I stopped patronizing them over this. . . . and told them to stop sending me emails re specials and deals, but to no avail . . . had to finally mark them as spam.

      • That happened in York County, Virginia, just a few miles from where I live. I had actually shopped there before on several occasions. After the firing, I wrote a letter to corporate and went into the store personally and told the manger that I would never darken the door again. I know he can’t do anything about it, but maybe he got enough calls that he reported it up to corporate.

        Also, I am originally from Georgia and can’t wait to get back there.

    • Although I agree, I still dumped a-zone over the firing deal. I prefer to spend my money at places that are more supportive of the values I feel important. Autozone could encourage child prostitution for employees children and I could say ” I don’t work there so it doesn’t affect me” but I wouldn’t and I doubt the above poster would either.

    • I haven’t promoted and I certainly have not seen an organized boycott of AutoZone. The story ran on the nightly news and most decent people decided for themselves to take business elsewhere. It wasn’t for the policy of requiring employees to leave their guns in their cars. His gun was in his car. After the bad guy came in the front with the gun, the employee went to his car and reentered the store with it during an active armed robbery. Brave move if you ask me. Rather than get a promotion and a bonus, they canned his ass. That decision is what turned people off to that enterprise. It is each individuals right to make up his or her mind what to do and that is all anyone has said here.

      • Not you necessarily, no. Everyone else echoing the chorus of “And that’s why I don’t shop at X” though… Happens every time.

        Edit: I especially like the guy who always mentions he tries to boycott gun unfriendly states. That is adorable.

        • Because it’s hilariously short sighted. “I hate CA so I’m not buying from companies from there.” Yeah? Guess you’re paying extra for anything CA specializes in producing. If anyone else even make whatever.

          All these huffy foot-stomping personal boycotts hurt is yourself and for no other reason than that a business disagrees with you on an ultimately inconsequential point. If you’re fine with that, then go for it. It’s still amusing, if a bit tiresome seeing an article like this every four days or so.

  9. At advance auto parts they have a rule saying no weapons of any kind are allowed at work by employees and doing so will result in being fired even if it is in your locked vehicle but Florida has a bring your gun to work law and says they can not ask you if you have a gun in your vehicle or ask to search your vehicle even though in my managers case had a co worker shot and killed and she was shot and injured she is against guns at work too

    • Now that you mention it. A guy told my wife about a place in South GA that sells guns and ammo. When I did street view on Google Earth, it was in back of a NAPA auto and tractor parts store. Whish I could remember the name.

  10. I boycott whoever I want to. And say what you want AAA. I had 2 tows in the same day over 100 miles with a busted drive shaft. Allstate Motor club-zero charge.

  11. Thanks for informing me not to shop at Autozone. But also thanks for being a hypocrite: you’re boycotting a business for doing something stupid, but then you’re flashing your gun. Is this just artistic license and you’re just saying it happened (when it didn’t) to make a story? Or did you really flash your firearm?

    I’ll not shop at Autozone. Please also do something: stop revealing your firearm.

  12. I work at Lowe’s and they don’t allow employees to have weapons of any kind, anywhere on the property. It’s a pleasant place to work, so I’ll probably just get an ankle holster and carry anyway. Plus I see customers carrying every day, which makes me feel a little safer.

    • Worked for anti self-defense state for 25 years. Carried almost every day. Was happy I had my pistol 4 times. Saved my life by presenting it twice. When I told my coworkers after I left that I carried every day, they were flabbergasted, then pleased I was there protecting them. Now I work for a place that doesn’t care if I carry. I would anyways.

  13. yep I boycott anyone who does not my rights I always boycott places like Dicks and Cheaper than dirt since they sold us out during the drought. Ill admit it was tough last week when Dicks had bulk 22 at good prices.

  14. I work at AutoZone, and it’s not so much an anti gun policy but an anti response policy. The employees are supposed to just give the robbers what they want and not try to stop them. I was told that doing so would result in termination. So the guy would have been fired even if he punched the thief or hit him with a wrench or something.

    From what I understand most all similar large companies have some policy along those lines, such as CVS which we saw had a similar experience. I can also say that some big check cashing chain my brother’s ex used to manage had the same thing in place. From what I understand it’s in place to cover the company legally if anything goes down and they can wash their hands of it; due to everyone being sue crazy.

    I think it’s sad that companies have to implement these nonsense policies to cover themselves.

    I know it’s a long shot but hopefully one day articles and comments and especially the drop in business from honest legitimate gun owners can change this nonsense.

  15. The customer service at Autozone is horrible Beyond horrible. Lazy employees with crappy attitudes. The service at Advanced is first rate, their employees well trained, and the prices decent. I shop at Advanced exclusively.

  16. I don’t know why IWB and tuckable holster makers insist on using belt clips instead of promoting the use of velcro-lined belts with holster connections that go only _under_ the belt.

  17. I have worked for AZ for a few years now and i have to say i enjoy it, I don’t agree on the shit decision that the company made on firing the young man who faced the fire a few years ago, i bet the competitors would do the same really, I know a ton of customers who care concealed and open in CO. and we don’t have any signs that indicate no weapons allowed. As per company policy, no weapons are allowed on the property by the employees, but i take the risk of loosing my job any day before loosing my life or my fellow colleagues. The dress code is good for concealment as we have to wear black boots or shoes and dickies pants are loose so all these recent compact handguns are easy to conceal. Just be smart about it.


  18. @Nicocat. I buy local or make it myself or just don’t get it.

    Sounds like you live in a boycotted State and do not want to see your taxes go up, or own a business in one!

  19. I think you should maybe check on Advance Auto’s policy about their stance on 2nd admendment. I called their store in Newport,Tn and was told they don’t carry Lucas gun oil because the company doesn’t want to be associated with anything to do with guns.

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