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ScreenHunter_09 Jul. 24 16.02

With much of the attention focused on “gun-free” military recruiting centers, a recent armed robbery and assault of a clerk in a Chevron station convenience store in Mesquite, Tex., reminds us there are plenty of higher-risk jobs where employees are on their own. This is the fourth robbery at this particularly outlet this year, Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth reports.

“The clerk fought back, took the gun away from one of the suspects and shot him in the shoulder,” the report notes. And that doesn’t sit well, with those who wish we’d just take it lying down.

“Police say it’s tempting to applaud the toughness of the clerks, but they don’t recommend fighting back,” narration for a video on the national Fox News site cautions.

“There’s a natural inclination to want to defend yourself, but if you can get through a situation like this and not do anything, and simply give these people what they want, and get the police out there as quickly as possible, that the way to handle it,” the Mesquite Police spokesman advises. “Let us handle it.”

The problem is, the police can’t “handle it.” They’re not the first responders, the victims are. At best, they’re the second, and sometimes third, and the action has in many cases already gone down.

Clerks, particularly at convenience stores, are in special danger. The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing documents “Convenience store employees suffer from high rates of workplace homicide, second only to taxicab drivers.”

Unsurprisingly, they warn against resisting, except they also concede you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t:

Injuries can result from an employee’s active resistance or from the offender’s misreading the employee’s nervousness or hesitation as resistance.

At least we know with armed self-defense, you stand a chance. We just saw that play out at another Texas convenience establishment last week, and at yet another Houston location a day later.

Sadly, there’s no shortage of accounts of clerks killed by evil predators, even when they follow the Mesquite cop’s advice (and he’s hardly alone) and just give them what they want — albeit in the case of one dead clerk, he was trying to, but didn’t hand over cigarettes fast enough.

Give them what they want?

What if what they want ends up being you?

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  1. Decades ago my first job on returning to the world was at a gas station. We didn’t sit in booths then, we actually pumped gas for the customer. I worked the evening shift and closed the station. I was alone. I carried a small automatic in my hip pocket. Completely against company policy and state law at that time.

    Manager, a reserve deputy sheriff, tumbled to the fact that I was packing. He asked why? I told him that if a robber wanted the companies cash he could have it. But if he had the cash and then said we were going to the back room, the gunfight was on.

    He never fired me or brought the subject up again after that.

    • Good point.
      It’s sometimes hard to decide when you absolutely have to fight for your life with whatever you have available to you, but when they want to take you to a safe execution spot or take away your freedom of movement (tie you up, etc), you know it’s time then.

    • Most times they shot you as a right of passage for a gang or so there are no witness but the camera.

      Who wants to take that chance.

      Best to put a large enough sign stating that employees are armed. That keeps most criminals out. The Cops cant help you 99% of the time. Your on your own.

    • Never go to a second location. The homicide rates go up when the victims are relocated. I’m not an attorney, but this might satisfy the “presumption of peril” requirement.

      • Well, it’s definitely kidnapping. It isn’t much of a stretch to ask for ransom and / or commit murder after that. It’s a whole lot harder to kidnap or murder armed people.

  2. Problem lies in the fact that there is no way to know what the bad guy really wants. Sure, if all he wants is money or your watch, giving it to him is far better than getting into a fight in which you might die. “Your money or your life” does not mean that your safety is insured if you give him your money.

    Remember though, the last thing you ever want to do is to get into a gunfight. You can do everything right and still die.

    if you have no choice and the fight is brought to you, do everything you can to win.

    • When somebody pulls a gun on you you are in a gunfight. Better to be armed than not and better to be shorting than not. If a person pulls a weapon on you use your gun to defend yourself. A strong arm robbery is a little more tough. First off they are likely to have a gun concealed.

  3. >>They’re not the first responders, the victims are.

    Thank gawd someone else is using this terminology.

    I’ve been saying for quite some time that YOU’RE the first responder. Police, fire and medical are SECOND responders.

    First aid training and fire extinguishers are common place because people understand that for medical and fire emergencies they need to act until the professionals show up. Why is it so hard for most folks to understand the same holds true for emergencies involving criminal acts?


    • O2HeN2,

      Please consider this friendly correction: police, EMS, and fire are not even necessarily Second Responders. I call them Professional Responders. Most of the time, you and I are the first, second, third, fourth, (and so on) responders.

      • You are absolutely correct. Though the reason I use the term “second responders” is for a simplification when explaining the concept to people that are cognitively challenged. If they weren’t cognitively challenged I wouldn’t have to do the explaining in the first place.

        My critical peeve is how it’s become fashionable to call police, fire and medical “first responders”. It leads to unclear thinking.


    • They would do anything to keep their children safe. Coat in the winter, fire extinguisher and first aid kit at home, seat belt in the car. But a gun? That’s icky. Their commitment to protection only goes so far in their coddled world

    • Got that right. The police cannot prevent a specific attack on you – all they can do is clean up the mess afterwards, and hopefully catch the perp. Good policing reduces the level of crime for society as a whole, but the police are not going to be there when you need them right now. Like you say, YOU are the first responder.

      And on the “give them what they want” crap, what a lot of the scum to “want” now is to kill any witnesses, and possibly have a bit of fun raping/torturing the victim first.

  4. All anti-gunner talking heads should be required to work a week on the night shift at a gas station in the ‘hood as part of their street cred to speak on the topic. Problem solved

  5. Having been robbed twice I consider myself an expert on this issue. I had no weapon as an employee when the stores were robbed I worked at. The first time I was six feet away when the register person had a gun put to her face. The second time at a different store I had a gun put to my face.

    In both cases the robbers were given the money and they just left. I’m part of the 1%. I’ve been robbed twice. At the time I was 18 and latter 20 years old. 7-11 would have fired me if I had a gun and shot the store robber at my second job.

    Now older and more informed I carry consealed all the time. One of my co-workers was robbed at gun point in the store parking lot we work at back in June. He reported to work one hour after I did. It was night time. He was not hurt.

    In Kentucky it is legal to keep your gun in the car glove compartment. You don’t need a permit. Your car is considered an extension of your house. So you can park your car on private business parking lots and be legal. For me the second civil right on that list of 10 became the most important to me. Open carry no permit needed. Consealed you need a permit. Takes about two weeks.

    If I had a gun and the training when I was younger, under my two examples I would not have had the chance to shoot. They had their guns out first.

    • Chris,

      If I had a gun … under my two examples I would not have had the chance to shoot. They had their guns out first.

      Please reconsider your mindset. First of all, something like 40% of the firearms do not function in armed robberies. Obviously you are not in danger from a firearm that doesn’t function. (Of course you have no way of knowing whether or not your attacker’s firearm works.) Second, you should be moving as fast as possible to create distance and try to get to cover. Armed attackers have an extremely difficult time hitting a fast moving target. And if they do hit a fast moving target, the odds of them scoring a fatal hit are quite low. Third, if you are shooting at them as you are moving to cover, they will instinctively start moving as well. It is exceedingly rare for a street thug to score a fatal on you when they are taking fire, moving, and you are moving.

      When you add up the odds — whether their firearm is functional, whether they can hit a moving target, whether they place a fatal hit if they hit the moving target, whether they can hit a moving target while taking fire and moving themselves, and whether they can put a fatal shot on you while dodging your shots, moving, and you are moving — you actually have a pretty outstanding chance of surviving the attack.

      I wish I could remember the source that provided the statistics. At any rate people who are armed and actively fight back against their attackers suffer a much lower rate of serious injuries/death than unarmed people who comply with their attackers.

      • In the 1950s the term “duck and cover” was well known to children back then. Are you suggesting the current term for people should be “run and dodge”? Unless you train people to zig zag while running people will normally freeze when a gun is pointed at them. I’m not sure our society is willing to take on this mind set.
        Perhaps the reason 40% of guns not working is the safety is still on. Good guy and bad guy can forget.

        • Chris,

          Criminals’ firearms are frequently broken or have the wrong ammunition in them. Whatever the exact cause, about 40% of them will not go “bang” when the criminal wants them to go bang.

          As for the unwashed masses freezing like a “deer in headlights” when an armed robber points a gun at them, that is their problem. They freeze because they have no idea what to do nor any tools to fight back. In other words they are so far behind the curve that they have no hope of ever getting ahead of the curve. You know better and can make better choices.

          Note: you are in an extremely dangerous and grave situation if an armed robber has the drop on you. You may not survive no matter what you do. It may or MAY NOT be wise to attempt to move to cover at the first instant you notice their firearm pointing at you. What you should ALWAYS be doing is evaluating the situation and look for the earliest opportunity to move away from the armed robber toward cover. That may be immediately. It may be 10 seconds later when the robber turns their head to evaluate a sound behind them or to pick up something of value that you tossed behind them. Or it may be when they start firing at you and after you take your first hit. Only you can make that call. Regardless, the objective is to get the armed robber off of their game plan as early as possible and force them to start reacting to you.

      • Plus just because a guy is willing to shoot YOU for the money in the register does not mean he is willing to get shot himself for that money. MOST criminals will not rob an armed target.

  6. I can’t find the source at the moment but I recall reading a report that the FBI/DEA/ATF and other .gov agencies train their people to always fight back.
    If I recall correctly a scenario that stood out to me was one of a female agent facing a sexual assault. The training dictated she fight as her life depended on it because the figures show she will most likely be killed.

    So they get to fight back. They are commanded to fight back. We should just give the criminal whatever they want and wet ourselves.

    • In their (statist, anti-gunners, collectivist, etc.) minds.-> Yes. We are all sheep. Sheep don’t fight. They go to the slaughter obediently. You can’t have a flock that thinks for themselves and acts for their own self-preservation.

  7. Why don’t the police follow their own advice? The criminals are just misguided and they are about to turn their lives around. Just let them take what they want so nobody gets hurt. It’s not a big deal at all o put your life in the hands of a criminal and just hope they are not going to off you to get rid of witnesses. /sarc

  8. “Police say it’s tempting to applaud the toughness of the clerks, but they don’t recommend fighting back,” narration for a video on the national Fox News site cautions.

    “There’s a natural inclination to want to defend yourself, but if you can get through a situation like this and not do anything, and simply give these people what they want, and get the police out there as quickly as possible, that the way to handle it,” the Mesquite Police spokesman advises. “Let us handle it.”

    What if the robber doesn’t want any witnesses? How is one to know if the robber doesn’t want any witnesses? The police spokesman’s advice sucks. Of course the robber want’s him to “give them what they want.” When a toddler throws a hissy fit, of course he wants someone to “give him what he wants.” However, this behavior shouldn’t be rewarded. If a guy runs into a convenient store with a gun pointed at everyone, gunning him down is the appropriate response. It serves to protect the clerk should the robber “not want witnesses” and also a deterrent to other robbers that robbing stores will get you shot and killed. The police can stick to what they’re good at – responding after the fact, cleaning up the mess left behind, and asking people questions.

    • +1, there’s today’s winner…why has nobody mentioned til now “they may well not want any witnesses?” Puts an additional level of urgency on it. The police are being very disingenuous, even if well-meaning, to say “we’ll handle it…” After SCOTUS affirms they have no obligation or legal duty to PROTECT anybody from anything, they’re the mop up crew with their chalk and yellow tape. We’re on our own, which a few brave sheriffs in different parts of the country have had the cojones to admit.

      • I keep telling people that two essential tools that must be within reach are a shotgun and a shovel. What you do with them is your own business.

        As for what robbers want? Obviously, an early grave. Their removal from the gene pool is an urgent necessity. Too late for some, as well.

        If the Police offer to be on hand at all times to offer personal protection from armed theft, then their input would be fine. But I don’t think that happens anywhere. So whatever they say should be treated accordingly.

        Being a retailer open at night is a hazard in itself, with all the drink and drug affected people that want to waste your time. Being able to dispose of criminal predators, the same as coyotes or other wildlife who threaten your stock, is surely a natural right.

  9. Law enforcement officers have no meaningful ability to prevent armed robberies. They advise potential victims to plan to cooperate with violent criminals who assault them with weapons, and hope for the best.

    If one is considering a carreer in the armed robbery field that might be viewed as an encouraging work place environment.

    We might do better if we find ways, like concealed carry, to dissuade those who would use the threat of lethal violence to take what they want.

    • +1 on Tom Givens

      And the duplicitous Mesquite Police spokesperson can go pound sand. Robbery/Aggravated robbery allows the law abiding citizen in Texas to use immediate deadly force to stop the threat. Period.

      You never know how far the violent forcible felon will go. But no skin off the spokesperson’s back if the victim is killed/gravely wounded.

    • Several dozen of Tom Givens’ students have been attacked by armed criminals. The only three who did not prevail were unarmed when attacked. Those three died.

  10. The role of the police is to give chase after the perpetrator has broken-off the attack. The police are a 3’rd party to objectively consider the evidence and ensure that the likely suspect is brought to justice; vs. the alternative tragedy that the selected suspect is mis-identified and wrongly lynched.

    This is the proper role of the police; if they happen to be able to do more than this on some occasion, that fortuitous. We rely on fortune at our peril.

    This is the message we need to communicate to the naive public. The police didn’t have the ability to transcend the space-time continuum on horseback; they don’t have that ability to do so today in a patrol car. It is not foreseeable that they will ever have that ability with any technology on the horizon.

  11. “Just give them what they want” works out fine until they decide they want your life. What happens then when they have a gun and you dont? Thanks to laws like the “three strikes and your’e in for life” some criminals have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by not leaving any witnesses so they can continue their life of crime.

  12. These are the same sick bastards who give rape victims the same, bovine excrement Safari Principle advice.

    Screw them. Fight for your life. Fight for your natural right to be secure in your person and effects. Don’t give the criminals an inch.

  13. Did y’all miss this?

    “Injuries can result from . . . the offender’s misreading the employee’s nervousness or hesitation as resistance.”

    So the employee is to blame when he’s shot by the goblin who’s robbing him at gunpoint. It’s certainly not the offender’s fault. He simply “misread” the situation.

    What a load of crap. Why not just hang up a flag that says “Robbers’ Lives Matter.”

    • Ralph, when I worked at the state prison I had contact with an inmate doing 15 to life cause he killed a clerk during a store robbery in LA.

      Years later and the killer was still angry at the victim for “making me kill him.” You cannot make this sh*te up.

  14. Why has no one mentioned anywhere, including a pro-2A site like this one, that assassinations/murders can be made to look like robberies? The eyes see what the mind tells them to. I am sure the vast majority of these robberies are just that, but the potential is there. If it has been mentioned previously please excuse this post (no hubris intended) but it does not hurt to mention it more than once.

  15. I have and believe most realize if you’re being robbed, getting the robber out of the area, which may mean letting them have the till is a wise choice. Increase your distance. But then reality walks in. The robber is armed, overtly pissed off, and you realize the lead may fly no matter what move you make. Now what? Attempt to survive by running? Run where? Can you outrun bullets? Open carry. You can still choose to flee, but at least you have the option.

  16. There is no time in your life, that you will feel so helpless and afraid, than when you are confronted by an armed assailant, and you have forgotten to carry that day, or feel you didn’t need to.
    Remember, there may be a time in your life, when the only thing between you and your families death, or serious injury, is the fact that you are carrying a deadly weapon!
    To heed an employers request to leave you gun at home, or in your car, my be the end of your life!

  17. “Just give them what they want.”

    What if they want to rape you, or your significant other, or your child?

    What if they want to rob you and then kill the witnesses?

    What if they are mad at the world and want to kill somebody, and you are the lucky person?

    No thanks to all of the above. I prefer to be armed and fight back. If I lose, I lose, but at least I had a chance. Either way, the police can clean up the mess afterward. Most likely they won’t be there until it is all over.

  18. Pretty telling comment by police at the end of the linked story about the clerk killed for not handing over cigarettes fast enough.

    The dead clerk…tragic the police officer says. But the best they can do, he says, is to apprehend the suspect quickly.

    After the murder.

  19. It occurs to me that someone who threatens your life for the petty cash in the drawer is not likely to be the kind of “professional” that you can sort of expect to just be after the money with as little fuss as possible. Just as likely to be hopped up, or out for a thrill (which might include some rape and murder), or out on an intiation as others have mentioned, or so desperate as to be lethally unstable, or any number of other scenarios that are at least as consistent with “kill the clerk” as they are with “just take the money and run”.

  20. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. I can distinctly remember the tipping point around 1968 when police started saying “give the nice criminal what they want and MAYBE they won’t hurt you”. What I never figured out was why the police decided we all should be victims at the mercy of evil. I would still like to know why they came up with this insane idea which modern statics have pretty well disproved.

    I still remember the day the old man (I thought he looked a lot like Rip Van Winkle) who lived on the next farm over. Three hooligans came in and ruffed him up and tried to rob him. He really didn’t have anything to take. Just the same they left with a load of shot from a 12 gauge through the back window of their Chevy. The Deputy Sheriff said it would make the car easy to find.

  21. Back in the 1990’s “experts” (sorry I can’t remember their credentials, so I can’t say how reliable they were) were advising people to resists as criminal were getting meaner on Oprah. Oprah, bastion of liberalism was proclaiming the need for people to defend themselves if possible, of course never admitting guns were a good tool to achieve this end. El Paso PD, in an extremely blue city in an otherwise red state, regularly say that they have to make sure the killer was not acting in self defense when investigating certain cases, In the ’90’s they added a comment that people should not engage in vigilanteism. They don’t say that any more, It should be mentioned that EPT keeps getting rated the safest large city in the US. Obviously the Mesquite PD doesn’t watch Oprah or listen to news from far west Texas.

  22. “just give them what they want”.
    From the crowd that unloads 15 rounds if you “threaten” them with a teaspoon from 20 yards. No thanks for the advice, I’ll pass.

    • This is indeed where law enforcement starting losing my support. When I was in LA in the 80’s, LAPD/LASD would advocate always giving the criminals “what they want.” In one neighborhood meeting, I remember a woman asking “What if they want to rape a woman?” The LAPD mouthpiece had a very uncomfortable silence as a response.

      Who are cops to tell me how to dispose of my property? It’s not enough that I have to pay taxes, now we have employees of the government telling me to give my property to the welfare-funded underclass that they helped create? It really was (and is) a sore spot with me.

      As far as I’m concerned, cops should cease with dispensing advice and just do their job. Dispensing advice about how to conduct myself with criminals isn’t their job. Enforcing the law is.

  23. In Wisconsin because of winter, many “7-11″s have vestibules to act like an air lock. After 10:00 pm have a buzz in system with a sign that says no hoodies or hats and smile for the camera. Clerk can be ready if their spidey sense warns them.
    What robber wants to be vetted at the door, identifiable on video and know the clerk is ready.
    Prevention is worth an Lb of Pb.

  24. What if it’s not your employer’s money they want; what if it’s yours? Taking the fruit of your labor is taking your labor; taking it at threat of violence is slavery.

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