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Whole Foods Texas has transformed itself into a “gun-free zone.” No wonder, then, that some of our Lone Star State readers have vowed never to darken the store’s doors again. But c’mon. Whole Foods is home to some of the world’s best cheeses, including our man JWT’s epic, prize-winning goat cheese. In Austin, the yoga pants parade alone is worth the price of admission. Which is, it must be said, disarmament. One of the reasons I don’t mind [so much]: the parking lot is close-in, small, well-organized and well-lit. In contrast, my local HEB supermarket is a sprawling affair in front of a relatively large and chaotic parking lot with plenty of hidden sight lines. It’s an open invitation for robbers. Which helps explain this news item [via]. . .

Austin police are investigating a violent attack at a south Austin grocery store. Police say a man cut a woman’s throat while trying to rob her.

The woman left the H-E-B store at South Congress and Oltorf, just after 1:30 a.m. As she was walking to her pickup truck, which was parked beside the far back corner of the building, a man attacked her with what police describe as an “edged weapon.” They say he cut her throat, they struggled and he took her purse.

The woman walked back toward the store, trying to get help. A security guard heard her and used his orange security vest to put pressure on her wounds until EMS arrived.

Police report she is now out of surgery and expected to recover. Because her wounds were so severe, she was unable to give officers a detailed description of the suspect.

Detectives believe the attack was random, and they are now searching for the suspect.

I don’t think that word “random” means what thinks it means. A criminal staked out a location where he had a high chance of success, waited for a suitable victim and attacked. Viciously. If this victim had been armed – and HEB does not ban legally carried firearms from its stores – there might have been a very different outcome.

Then again, maybe not.

You never know what’s going to happen in a violent or threatening encounter. No matter what, it’s always best to be prepared. First, by avoiding stupid people in stupid places (e.g., a poorly-lit, crowded parking lot after midnight) doing stupid things. Secondly, by being situationally aware, so that you can detect a stupid person about to do something stupid (like rob you) as early as possible and escape, evade or attack.

As regular readers and clear thinkers no doubt know, shooting an attacker can be an excellent way to stop an attack. Again, HEB does not have a “no guns” policy. So, with proper licensing and situational awareness and armament, the victim could have launched an armed assault on the robber. I wish she had. And here’s a related message for Whole Foods: disarming customers inside a store leaves them disarmed outside the store. That’s something Shannon Watts and her Moms Demanding Disarmament will never acknowledge or consider. But you should.  [h/t JF]

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  1. this is the stupidest way to make your point. SHE WAS IN THE PARKING LOT. there was NOTHING keeping her from keeping a gun in her car but she choose not to. has nothing to do with the grocery store but i forget, you have no integrity RF, you’re just a as bad a bloody shirt waiver as the MDAs.

    • Nothing keeping her from getting a gun in her car except for the man cutting her throat, you mean.

    • “As she was walking to her pickup truck…”
      No mention whether HEB has a “no guns” sign.
      Stores that require customers to disarm make them vulnerable in the parking lot.

      Stories like this are powerful reminders of situational awareness, common sense and the value of tooling up. And they’re useful when Shannon asks a supremely stupid question like, “who would ever need a gun in a grocery store?”

    • Was she in or at her truck when she was attacked? No? Then you don’t make much of a point.

      Also, I don’t think H-E-B has a policy, could be wrong, never been to one.

      The Whole Foods in Tampa has no such policy. And that cheese omg.

    • And what the Hell good is a gun in your car preston when a violent criminal attacks you before you return to your car? Do you politely ask your attacker to pause their attack so that you can go to your car and retrieve your handgun?

      Is it really that hard to grasp? Or are you a troll preston?

    • Actually, there is an error in the title: the words “parking lot” should be at the end since the robber did not actually slit the victim’s throat in the supermarket; rather the robber slit the victim’s throat in the supermarket parking lot.

      Preston’s comment is nevertheless silly.

    • Preston, try as I may I cannot fathom why you capitalized “she was in the parking lot:” RF’s entire point was that if (as she was) the woman was returning to her truck from a store that bans firearms (which is implied but may not be true)….it would be of no avail to have a pistol stowed in her truck. Once she, defenseless, had her throat slit by the the psychopath…the truck’s inventory is of no relevance.

      Children should be protected by upright armed adults. Adult women should be empowered to defend themselves. When the ghouls come out with knives, a gun is required for defense.

      Shannon will certainly agree with what I’ve said….if I write a large enough check, which I won’t.

    • I miss the whole gist. HEB says nothing about guns, the problem was the lady in question simply did not shoot the sukkah for some reason, nothing about a GFZ.

  2. ” just after 1:30 a.m.”
    “parked beside the far back corner of the building”

    Common sense?

    • “Common sense?”

      Definitely lacking in this case … as is often the case. (hence my moniker)

    • It’s retail. They probably force their employees to park as far away as possible so that customers can have the close spots.

      • If an employee, another employee should have walked her to her car. It’s 1:30 IN THE MORNING.
        If a customer, this is a terrifying and painful lesson that nothing good happens after midnight; if you must venture out at that time to catch up on grocery shopping, keep your gun hand free and 2,have a gun.

        • or send your BF or husband. . . . sorry, my wife has a carry permit and is damn fine shot. She won’t go out after 9 pm anywhere alone, esp the store, and we live in a neighborhood where the biggest concern is a stolen bike on occasion. no, the spousal unit always sends me out to run these types of errands. and mr 9mm glock is always in my Remora holster. . . . along with lovely rounds of Hornady

        • That’s ideal, but doesn’t work for women without men, or whose men are sick, or women who work odd shifts.

  3. Worst thing that people do regarding situational awareness is looking down and their damn phone walking across a parking lot. I catch myself doing it every now and then. If your waiting for someone in a big box store watch people going to and from. It will surprise you how many don’t look up

  4. You should move to Iowa, Robert. I carried in Whole Foods the other day. Don’t know if they’d like it if they knew. Don’t care either, I broke no law.

      • It was my wife’s money, but yes, the hippie dude at the checkout looked quite pleased. I was carrying concealed though.

    • I’ve carried openly in the Wholefoods (Wholefoodses?) in Bellevue, WA, Redmond, WA, and Seattle, WA (Westlake, not Magnolia) a few times. The only comment I ever got was from a checkout clerk wearing a pictogram shirt “I [heart] [shotgun] [zombie]”. Usually I carry concealed though.

  5. Claims of protection are Wrongful (with or sans “no-guns” sign). The no-guns sign are a movement beyond zero (into negative territory) in the realm of safety.

    But this could have happened on any other day at nearly any other time. The only thing between you and the next a-hole wishing to do you like this is such individuals lack of immediately piqued desire to do you such harm. Any claim to the contrary is BS and Wrongful, and anyone’s claim that they can or do protect you from such situations is ABSOLUTELY FALSE. [loosely paraphrased, TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012]

  6. The only reason she wasn’t armed, was through personal choice. HEB has no 30.06s, or gun-buster signs posted.

    • If your employer implements a rule and threatens you with unemployment if you break it your choice is not so simple.

      • No mention of her being an employee, but I can see how you would come to that conclusion.

        BTW, I’ve yet to see an HEB(in TX) with an employee parking lot. The back of the stores are where the loading docks are located. 😉

  7. The point, which was poorly made and overly wordy is this: this should have been a defensive gun use.
    There was NOTHING that HEB did or didn’t do that would have prevented her from carrying a firearm.
    However, if she had been at Whole Foods, their rules would have prevented her carrying (if she chose to do so).

    That’s it. Plain and simple.

    Now, regarding situational awareness, she shouldn’t have been at HEB at 1:30 AM unless it was an emergency. Picking up milk for her cereal would NOT fall into that category.

  8. At 1:30am there should be plenty of parking near the entrance. Obviously, she doesn’t have a defensive mindset. Hopefully she’ll learn from this terrible experience.

  9. Absolutely hideous. If there are any people in the world that I hate (and there are), it’s armed robbers. Unfortunately, the bastard who cut this woman’s throat will probably get away with it, freeing him to do it again. And again. I can only hope that the next “soft target” he goes after will be alert and armed.

  10. I don’t care what store you go to or what state of the 50 if you don’t carry it is on YOU. I will not get a permit because I was born under a contract called the Constitution of the United States. I used to not realize that but my younger brother has carried since he was 15 and kept saying (Until I finally got it) that my 2nd amendment right is inalienable. I always carried while living in Texas, but twice I have lived in California and did not take any guns. But ever since those “knock out games” started I take my 9mm Baby Eagle everywhere I go. I carry it in my purse on safety, but it is chambered. And the situational awareness is of course a huge part of it because if you are not paying attention a gun will do you no good. Also, especially you women out there, don’t look submissive, look alert and confident. Kevin, As far as the time of night she or anyone else gets milk or whatever is irrelevant. If I had been in her shoes no one can say for sure, but we would most likely be planting the bad guy. Also be sure to do at least some target practice. 😀

    • Good luck staying out of jail “phyllis”…and good for you that you don’t look like a target.

    • I followed your concept for decades, but after the CHL law had been in effect for around 5 years with no nasty surprises, I figured if it was available it wouldn’t hurt me to have one. It still doesn’t stop me from carrying where it is not recognized, since I didn’t realize that/didn’t see that sign and on and on. Just not having a license at all – well, good luck to you, you won’t get an argument from me, you are exactly correct. But you may end up in jail, still correct.

  11. My son used to use that store when he was at St Edwards U. Horrible. I hope she recovers fully.

    The Whole Foods near me has an invalid 30.06 sign (lettering too small) so I could legally carry there, but I choose to no longer go there since I have other choices of stores that don’t try to ban guns.

    I may go back sometime to try JWT’s goat cheese though, if I can find it.

    According to texas3006,com, several WH stores have 30.06 signs that are invalid due to size, so you might check your store, Robert. Like a nerd, I actually measured the letters on the sign at my WH store. Don’t tell them, but they’ve been printing up the signs on letter size paper, and that makes the lettering too small.

    • Julie, I wonder if they did this on purpose. Putting up an invalid sign gets Demanding Moms of their back while not legally denying anyone concealed carry.

  12. The point is the gun-free zone. Even a CCL person is asked to leave firearm in vehicle, thus making them vulnerable. An advertized gun-free zone is a safe-area for criminals.

  13. For those of you who don’t live in Austin:

    That HEB can be fairly crowded even after midnight–it’s the closest 24 hr grocery to downtown–so it is fairly reasonable that the patron may have needed to park some distance from the entrance.

    Also, that neighborhood is generally considered safe–it’s an old neighborhood, but the new and updated houses and condos in the vicinity sell for $500K to over $2M. It’s not a street full of flophouses.

    I will admit that I’ve seen some transient folk hanging around S. Congress bus stops nearby that have raised an eyebrow or two. But–until now–I would feel perfectly safe walking to and from that HEB after midnight.

    Maybe it’s time for that Glock 43. It’ll cause less of a stir than open-carrying an AUG…

  14. If I am not allowed to carry a gun because of a store policy/law then the store or federal, state, or local government is at fault and liable for all pain and suffering (giant period). If when open carrying I get S.W.A.Ted then the state is liable. If I get attacked and don’t have enough time to load a round in the chamber when open carrying (utah law) then the state is liable. How are states, stores, and the sensitive types getting away with this crud? If they have that belief system then they should be liable.


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