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.
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?