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Ex-gas station clerk Shannon Cothran holds his Ruger .380 (courtesy

“Shannon ‘Bea’ Cothran was working at a Shell station in Nashua early Monday when a man approached him with a knife. Police confirmed that the would-be robber fled after Cothran pulled out a gun,” reports. “Cothran said he then filed a report with Nouria Energy Corp., which owns the station, and was fired hours later even though the store manager and a district manager lobbied to save his job.” Sorry, NRA “Don’t Be a Victim” graduates need not apply. “Nouria said in a statement Wednesday that it instructs its cashiers to give thieves what they ask for during a robbery attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully and quickly.” Just in case customers in the Live Free of Die state take exception to capitulation, the company issued the following statement . . .

Make no mistake: We care about the personal well-being of employees like Mr. Cothran, whose years of service are truly appreciated — not about the money in the cash register. So, we are especially grateful that this situation was resolved without injury . . . We do respect the constitutional right to bear arms. However, we believe the best way to keep our employees and customers safe is to prohibit weapons in the workplace.

The company claims its policies are “similar to others in the industry” and “consistent with the advice offered by police.” Really? That’s just sad. An open invitation to the bad guys. In case you didn’t know. [h/t D&T]


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      • Yes, ALL shell stations.

        if shell insists on continuing business with these people after this incident, they won’t get my money.

        • Well Congrats on knowing who sells shell gas and who doesn’t. Most SHELL or any other “big oil” brand doesn’t always verify who gets their gas. In many cases, the mom-and-pop station gets Shell one fill-up Exxon another, and BP on another.

      • I hate to be saying this…but the company is correct…the employee was wrong…and though he probably should have simply been “counseled”…I can understand the company’s response. It has been the policy of large corporations for years…to not fight back or give the robber an excuse to harm anyone, or turn the situation into a hostage crisis…because of the potential liability of the business. As much as I’d like to scream “gun control extremism”…this just is not the case. I taught business management and management development all over the world…and the policy has been “give them whatever they want”…and “get them out of the facility ASAP”…in fact, I was once robbed at the Ft. Ord Burger King in California…and given an excellence award for the manner in which I managed the robbery…I told everyone to get on the ground, do as they say and not to move….then one robber took me to the office…and was shoving a knife in my throat…yelling at me and telling to “open it quick”…so I managed to tell him to calm down so I could open the safe on the first try…which I did! They put us in the walk-in cooler and told us to stay there for five minutes…or they’d “kill us”… when five minutes were up, one of the employees wanted to get out…and I held them for another five minutes…as I saw no reason to rush out to get some pieces of paper that the government can replace on a whim….or through insurance? Now…I got robbed one night in Amsterdam at about 0230…in a back alley…two guys shoved me up against the wall and started going through my pockets…and I felt they were going to steal my Weed…so I knocked them on their ass and ran like a triple crown winner…ha! Try to steal my Pot…and we’re on….! But the employee should not have had the gun, nor tried to use it to stop the robbery…that was company policy and the guy should have known…too bad..
        So I don’t think this is a “gun issue”…but a “corporate policy issue”….

        RJ O’Guillory
        Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family

        • You didn’t read that. Just keep telling yourself, RJ O’GUILLORY DOES NOT EXIST. He’s a character in one of his silly books….

        • I think your a fool, I had two people try to rob me when I was working midnights at a local gas station, they came in with a knife, I pulled my gun from the register and they ran, when the cops arrived they all agreed that they would have shot them. The owner of the gas station thanked me. I worked their part time for a long time after that. Your comment is really stupid, you risked your life to give some piece of garbage cash and fought 2 guys over dope? Yea, your real bright…

        • ….my gosh…I may have to take a valium tonight before bed time…because some douche in his parent’s basement thins me a fool? Ha! After you have had a chance to get some experience in life…get back with me and let me know how far your attitude, conduct and behavior get you in the world…. u not only failed to properly read my comment…you felt the need to burst out with your parental ego-state and start name calling…a true sign of an empty argument…or an empty head….since I don’t know you, I’d hate to speculate…but it seems pretty obvious…


        • yeah, too bad all the bad guys haven’t read the memo about “if they cooperate, don’t hurt them.” There has been quite a few cases where the victim cooperated with everything the robber requested only to be shot, stabbed, or otherwise hurt or killed.

          I can see the legal point and liabilities, but at the same time I can see the BS of cooperation will always keep you from getting hurt.

        • …yes, I know…it seems a terrible dilemma…but the bad guys already know the corporate policy for such incidents, yet armed robberies have not rocketed in the manner you would think. I think (know) that proper facility design, appropriate lighting, appropriate hours of operation, appropriate number of employees and activity…and/or a security guard (where liability is transferred)…all of these things should be done…and in my opinion…if not done…border on neglect in regards to a liability situation. Companies should not be leaving employees alone, or in a situation where their safety is at risk. I get the point that the situation could go far beyond a robbery, but the statistics point to the formation of this policy by insurance companies, and the vendors have to abide by them. The other part of the problem…once you allow anyone to be armed…you have to allow everyone to be armed…think back in your work history…and think of the one guy or girl that you’ve worked with…where the idea of them having access to a gun…in the workplace…would be a nightmare? Can you imagine the clerk at the Jack-in-the- Box…who is a bit unstable and doesn’t like working nights? That is a bit different than the gung-ho man-children on this site who keep abusing me for simply explaining the POV of industry….it is not like I am responsible for it.

          So it is a terrible dilemma…


        • Seems that was one of Gary “The Executioner’s Song” Gilmore’s crimes. Robbing some kid working nights at a gas station to put himself through school.

          Sounds like someone’s believing his own legend…

        • …you people crack me up…all of you, I’m unsure what you mean by “the legend” crack… is that supposed to be insulting to me? Is that related to the idea that I wrote a book? Why does someone else’s accomplishment bother some of you so much? The jealousy and child-ego-state behavior from some of you is embarrassing. If you don’t like being educated on the realities of managing a business in the 21st Century..and the legal / liability standards that a company is forced to deal with? Well stay ignorant then. Instead you have to attempt to demean me or my life goals and objectives? Are your lives so empty that you have to resort to abusing a man with more international business experience than any of you could imagine…but you all want to abuse me? Have any of you been invited aboard Air Force One due to your business acumen and responsibilities? I have…and I worked in war zones…was a Federally Protected Whistle Blower because I wouldn’t cooperate in illegal activity…but you guys want to Make fun of me?

          Ha! Go eff’ yourselves…


        • Great! I’m glad you took the time…however…given the degree of anger and aggressiveness that you’ve shown in your comments, I doubt that you really took the time to read my memoir. Also, as I released the book in 09, I was diagnosed as having been genetically epileptic and I drove off a 200 foot cliff at 70mph…so in addition to learning about the vindictive nature of reviews…and how some review out of spite or disagreement with the content of the book…I have moved emotionally from that area…and really do not care.

          I have three book numbers listed with the Library of Congress…I’ve lived around the world and had a great time…in spite of not knowing about my “unobserved seizures” for 49 years…so your pathetic, petty review (if that what it is) doesn’t really move me. Now, if you really go on to read the book, which we are working on a film version of…then I’d accept a real review that is not tainted with your life’s bitterness…


        • Just great, why don’t you tell that to Justin Mallow ! oh wait you can’t because he took a bullet to the head execution style doing his job!

        • Drew, Drew, Drew…you poor, misguided soul….are you incapable of reading…or do you just selectively read (or comprehend) parts of what you read? We can get you the help you need, if you are willing to admit to your problem? I have clearly stated (multiple-times) that I do not endorse the policy of failing to provide security, nor did I support “firing” the guy. I suppose you couldn’t read that part eh? Smudge on your glasses or something? You people around here confuse the messenger with the person who formulates policy…I did not form the policy, but I am intelligent enough to know that from the business’s perspective… compliance and giving up the money..(statistically) is safer than trying to fight back…you may not agree with it, but those are the facts… and your emotional attack…plus your perspective may get others killed someday. As the man said earlier…the employee knew of the no-gun policy…he stayed working there of his own accord…and he chose to break the policy. Period. How many “policies” can you break at work without being counsel or fired? I bet not too many…eh?


        • Please take a ticket and wait in line, the next cattle truck will be along shortly.

        • Sorry Juan-Baby….if your comment is supposed to imply that I’ll be on the way to the FEMA Camp…via the cattle-car…you are both unimaginative…and stupidly wrong. You see, son…I was a Federally Protected Whistle Blower for over two decades with the US DoD…I caught my boss on tape explaining to me how they would come after me, set me up, make things up about me…how they would never stop until they “got me”. So I spent almost 24 years fighting back against government corruption and unethical, illegal, immoral conduct. I was raised by corrupt LEO’s and my mother was the corrupt court clerk, embezzling thousands from the city ticket fund…so I know corruption, I know bout intimidation…and I have stood up to it since I was very small child….the government hated me so much because I would not shut up about the corrupt activities, so they finally retired me….ha! So no cattle car for me or mine….but that was a nice, immature attempt to abuse me…you may want to wait until your balls drop and you pass through puberty before you attempt something as immature as that again.. RJ

        • “I caught my boss on tape explaining to me how they would come after me, set me up, make things up about me…how they would never stop until they “got me”

          Sounds like the FBI. Did they investigate and terminate your boss?

        • Danny…no but thanks for asking. I was working in Northern Japan for the DoD Agency known as AAFES, or The Army / Air Force Exchange Service (they do about $12 billion dollars a year by providing retail, food and services to our military members)…and they had just received permission from Congress to build Fast Service Restaurants on military installations…They had screwed up in Japan and had ordered $300,000.00 more in Whopper Meat than they could use, and it had all gone outdated. My bosses at DoD wanted me to “repackage” the out-of-date meat and sell it in smaller lots to local national citizens. In other words, they wanted me to solve their problem by taking a chance that I would not get caught for engaging in illegal activity …and to take the chance that by repeatedly handling raw meat, we would not endanger the locals they wanted us to sell to. I never ratted the company or individuals out…but when CID took over the case and asked me what I knew.. I told them…and that was enough to be attacked for two decades…Ha! I could not believe they would abuse me in such a manner…and for so long over something so small and silly…but they did…and after they negotiated my retirement deal, they screwed me out of almost $500,000 in retired benefits! imagine what must happen to large-scale whistle-blowers?

          After retirement, they sent the FBI after me…a couple of agents called me up and asked to meet…so we met them at a public place (McDonalds) and I had family members standing by in case they tried to take me or some such thing… cameras, recordings … all so they could not accuse me of something I did not do…they basically told me to keep my mouth shut…and they left after noticing all the people I had watching them…


        • Your story doesn’t surprise me, nor the FBI’s involvement and what they told you.

        • The first three responses and you’re already being flame, RJ.That’s called “civility among the POTG.” :-/

          The sad truth is, you *are* right. When an employee agrees to work with a company, they agree to abide by that company’s policies – each and every one of them. Even that policy of giving the robbers’ whatever they demand. If they break the rules, they pay the consequences, which includes being fired. That’s the cost of working for that company.

          This employee busted the company’s policies like a Big Dog and probably saved more than just money in the process, and they still fired him. I despise that the company dicked him for saving one of their. I find it reprehensible.But then, even good deeds don’t go unpunished.

          Of course, if I’m ever in a Shell station owned by that company and a robbery is taking place, well, I have no obligation to stop them as all, if you catch my drift…

        • As to your spaming of your book, a review of it:

          ‘His book is terrible, and if you look at his other reviews, he posted them himself. He has a massive ego, not a healthy confidence, a MASSIVE ego. This guy is a complete self proclaimed “author”. HA. Look up this guys name on the web and look at the trash he’s produced / written about. NEVER get this book, fake reviews should be removed (maybe amazon should check the IP / email addresses of these other “reviews”‘

        • Mister Flea…I doubt you took the time to read my memoir, as you have not had the time…but you are 100 % correct about the review thing. I never realized that by simply telling my story…telling the truth about the abuse and neglect of the baby-boomer childhood experience…well, I never realized how many people would be offended by the fact that I decided to write a book. It is as though some people out there never had a dream, or are incapable of acting to achieve that dream? People like yourself are simply jealous of someone else trying to accomplish something, and then being proud enough to stand behind their work product…I know my book is not yet a “classic” and it may never be…but as I said earlier, I am the one with 3 book numbers listed with the Library of Congress (I doubt you do?) I am very proud of my work. However, some folks don’t like my writing style ( which I’m good with)…and many people (probably yourself included) are put off by the book because it reveals the reality of the brutal, violet manner in which we raise our kids here in America and the West in general. I think many of them don’t like the fact that I’m ripping one of the most wealthy towns in America…and some folks are still brutalizing their own kids and do not like the reflection of the book upon themselves….however…you are entitled to your (even uninformed) .. opinions…see ya when the film comes out…if I can live that long…ha!

          Oh,….BTW…..why don’t you KMA as well?

          p.s. – There is an entire county here in California that is using my book to provide inspiration to adult, abused drug offenders who are trying to understand their my book can be helpful after all…..

        • RJ O’Guillory yes you can cooperate but sometimes it will not matter do you want to put your life into a armed thug hands that has no regard for life or law!! We knew some that had a son many years ago that got shot and killed as a gas station attendant, even though he fully cooperated with the robber! thank God that robber did not slit your throat, he could have and what would a company policy do to save your life? be well and be blessed and stay safe!

        • I know myself I will not put my life into a armed thugs hands. yes I also have been trained in de-escalation when I was in security and would only use deadly force at a last resort. I will not have some drugged out armed thug hold a knife to my throat or any ones throat! If the thug is not stopped he could go down the road emboldened and kill someone else! Again thank God you survived without injury many people that were robbed fully cooperated and still got shot or murdered!

        • …yes, it is a terrible dilemma to put an employee in…if you are unarmed as dictated by company policy…and the situation escalates beyond simple what point do you “fight back”…? It is ridiculous to expect any employee to be both the service personnel and security at the same time…and these cheap-ass companies who will not pay for appropriate security should be boycotted…both from a customer perspective…and an employee perspective. It should be well known that Company A refuses to secure their property…and potential employees should avoid the place like the plague…until the company does the right thing. When I was working in Hungary, the US Government wanted me to open a facility that would have accommodated hundreds of soldiers…but with no fire-suppression system, no EXIT Lighting …and to leave huge Soviet Era velour curtains hanging up in the place which would have stopped anyone from getting out in case of a fire…DoD was refusing to pay the $600.00 it would have cost to upgrade…so I refused to allow the facility to open…until they finally paid for all the safety upgrades…! You see, I think business can be managed equitably, fairly and profitably…if you invest in the right tools…!



        • The employee wasn’t using the gun to stop the robbery. He was using the gun to the mitigate the likelihood of him loosing his life. You see regardless of the company’s policy the robbers are not a party to any agreements between the employee and the company. Therefore the company cannot guarantee that the robbers will not harm the employee, even if he cooperates as policy indicates. This also means that if an employee cooperates as per policy and the robbers chooses to harm them anyway the company is now liable – which in the case of death is of little consolation to the employee. See the problem?

        • ..I fully agree with you…it is a terrible dilemma either way you slice the pie…and if it came down to “losing my life”…or “losing my job”…I’d take the latter and attempt to defend myself. In the robbery I experienced at Ft. Ord, we were pretty sure from the get-go that it was a former employee (we could hear his coke-rattled-voice) and it was obvious all they wanted was the money…but you bring up legitimate issues… which I think rest upon the shoulders of the company, and it’s willingness to pay for security. I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but Bank of America (and/or Chase Bank) are paying armed guards to stand in front of their facilities….and as the country/economy continue to crash, we are going to need a lot more of those types of guards at 7/11, Wal-Mart etc….so I think the company is liable for the well-being of their employees while on the clock.

          Thanks for the calm, measured and intelligent response to my comment.


        • Dude…what a colossal waste of time it was for me to read your posts. Did you come on here to try and promote your book or to pick a fight or both, hoping for some publicity? Do you really think any of us care about your life story or how much “better” your life was than all of ours put together? Take that crap somewhere else. Suffice to say, your rude, obnoxious rantings have not engendered you any potential readers and I am sure this will be remembered if any movie was to ever surface in relation to you…good day to you sir!

          Since you seem to like “P.S.”, don’t bother flaming me…I don’t care what you have to say anyway.

        • ..hey little douche baggy…yes you do care about what I’ve written…or you wouldn’t have responded to me in such an abusive manner. And you would not have asked so many questions. You must not know anything about psychiatry, or you would have already recognized your own problems…and if you don’t like my comments or references to my book….then simply don’t read them…but you can’t can you? You are an angry little man who cannot even imagine a world where your POV is not dominant…let me ask you something…do you beat your wife, girlfriend or kids? That is a common occurrence from people such as yourself…you know we can get you some help for all that anger you hold inside of you…stomach churning, violent, abusive anger…I bet that is what your circle of “love” experiences from you on a daily basis? Please sonny, get some help..before you have spent your whole life all bitter and angry…..sad little man that you are…Ha!

          KMA & GFY


        • I don’t give a damn about corporate liability. People should be protected from punitive action when they take appropriate measures to defend themselves. This isn’t about the companies assets, it’s about his personal safety. You don’t know what some asshole with a knife is going to do. The law allows us defend us and should protect us if we’re forced to do so. I see this as someone being punished for exercising his right to defend himself. Since I’m of the liberal bent, I think there should be laws in place to protect people like this guy from losing his job. It’s a form of discrimination.

        • If all the circumstances… as you describe them… are accurate…it still doesn’t matter. Our “rights” and The Constitution are aspects of our relationship with our government and not our employer. Now, does the person have “the right” to self defense(?)…well of course…but they waived that right when they agreed to an employment contract with the gas station that hired them. So, if the person agrees to work for them voluntarily…and agrees with all of the elements of being hired and the job-description…then they have to surrender their right of self-defense as per their employment agreement. I do not think this is a bad thing, as the owners of these small companies and shops cannot afford the insurance to keep them afloat. Imagine this…you let one guy in with a gun because he is range qualified…and knows his stuff about guns/shooting…perhaps he is a retired LEO? At that point, from a corporate policy perspective, you’d have to let every other employee carry into the workplace…and what a nightmare that “could” turn out to be…thus the insurance and increased costs. Not to mention…perhaps a few less dead people around the country? It is however, since the employment agreement prohibits you from protecting yourself…it is the company who would take on the responsibility for insuring the employees safety during their work period. You may like to complain about your rights…but in America and much of the western world…your rights die at the front door to the office (except in areas the government wants their paws in)…


        • be that as it may, your wrong, and so is corporate America , they are the problem with this nation. they are globalist that want amnesty for illegals so they can increase corporate profit by paying less . so your defense of then holds no weight or value.

        • I realize you are an author, but did you need to write an entire book here?

          Sure, it is the policy of most corporations that employees roll over and go “ass up” in submission to their attackers. Here in Oregon, Dutch Bros. coffee had the same policy until one of their employees was robbed at gunpoint by two men. He killed one and the other ran away. Dutch Bros. coffee not only kept the employee, but changed their policy to allow concealed carry at work. None of their drive-up stands have been robbed since.

        • I like to insure my thoughts are as clear as possible…so I sometime explain too much…but I did want to address the issues brought up by the commentators… as much as possible…and I’ve had a very unique life, and my perspective may add to the conversation….but it is a difficult call for businesses that are barely getting by. Do you provide security….which can be costly…or do you let everyone in the facility be armed…regardless of the position held…or do you only allow certain people to be armed? As I said earlier…if you allows one armed person in the workplace…you would have to allow all guns in the workplace. And in spite of all the background checks, etc….how would a business person differentiate from someone who is capable and stable…vs. someone who gets mad at the drive-through clerk.


    • Is there a single gas station chain out there that doesn’t have policies in place like this????

      • Not that I ever worked for. Never stopped me from carrying while on the job though. New jobs are easy to find compared to personal safety.

        • I would too. My point is that if we’re going to boycott gas stations with policies like this, we’ll be riding horses….

    • wow does shell still even sell gas in the us?? well hopefully they wont sell much more with this bs policy of getting their employees a bullseye on there backs

    • I think we need to find the email address for the CEO/s of Nouria, or home address, then send them email letting them know that we will not buy anything from their gas stations and are informing our friends and family to do the same and pass on the word.

      Here is the contact info I was able to find:
      Corporate Office:
      326 Clark Street
      Worcester, MA 01606
      (508) 762-3700 Phone
      [email protected]

      and you also can do a google search for Nouria Energy Corp., then click on “Write Review” on the right side to let them and others know what you think of them.

    • This is a business decision based on the realities of legal liability (civil, and perhaps even criminal, in some cases) established by statutes and wielded by juries. If you want something to change, your efforts are probably been spent focusing on tort reform, rather than on organizing boycotts.

        • I don’t know who died and elected him, but if it happened in that order, it must have been in Chicago.

        • LOL! I wasn’t near my keyboard, but the iPad Mini needs a bit of attention!

      • I don’t care if it is a business decision: BOYCOTT THEM!!!

        since it’s only a business decision, and they don’t care how it affects him, then they need to be hit where it hurts.

      • It’s a business decision punishing someone for exercising his right to protect himself from gross bodily harm or death. Nobody should be forced to choose between that and employment. Boycott away.

        • Exactly. Funny how the leftists see minimum wage as a human rights decision, and not a business decision. Yet they see the very basic human right of self-defense as a business decision.

  1. “However” nothing. Either you do or you do not. If you have to qualify that statement with a “but” or a “however” or anything else, it immediately becomes clear that you really well and truly don’t.


    • Not only that, but the company made an error of ommission in not telling the robber of its “no weapons policy”.
      I live on the West Coast (the left coast) and will not do business with a Shell station again!

  2. Less an invitation to thugs, and more like liability prevention.

    Some doctrines of civil court hold that a company is responsible for the actions of an employee when they’re acting on company time-such as being held up at a gas station.

    Since its not practical to clock out before drawing your defensive gun, the only way a company can avoid liability when Mr Thug or his survived family sues is to terminate the employee posthaste. That’s why businesses which permit their customers to be armed universally forbid their staff from carrying.

    It’s not about employee safety or discouraging crime . A company “no guns” policy is about lawsuit prevention-and when we’re talking about $50k plus legal liability and defense fees, the HR department is passing go and proceeding to termination.

    That’s why even if your company doesn’t have a policy against CCW, don’t plan on keeping your job post incident.

    • I fear you are on to something there. My only quibble is that $50K sounds like a really low figure for what the company faces for lawyers and liability.

      • Most companies will settle immediately over $50k or less. It’s cheaper than defending themselves in court.

        • Maybe so, I was thinking more along the line that they are “facing” a lot more than that, potentially, even if they do manage to settle for less in a particular case.

    • As a lawyer, allow me to advise that you are on the wrong track. If an employee pulls out a gun on the clock, company is potentially liable under a respondeat superior theory no matter how quickly they fire him afterwards. What happens afterwards is legally irrelevant. The actual story is that insurance companies tell companies that they will be sued, not by the robber necessarily, but by any customer injured in a shoot out, plus the additional liability for workers’ compensation if any employees are injured. to avoid these risks–that of course only the insurance company will bear–the carriers advise the companies to have a “zero tolerance” policy for all employees on company property/company time. Such a zero tolerance policy, to be effective, must necessarily result in immediate termination for any employee violating the rules, as a warning to all the others. Further, no one has successfully sued fror reinstatement.

      • Hmm. Company is liable if employee injures or kills someone while defending himself. Company is not liable if robber injures or kills someone during a robbery. We can see that respondeat superior makes it cheaper for your employee to get killed. Because then they only have to pay out worker’s compensation.

        I think this is a situation that legislatures should statutorily fix.

        • It’s not just employees’ actions that can get a company in trouble. Companies can be liable for robbers’, murderers’ or whomever else’s actions, as well. Technically, the company is responsible for their own supposed negligence in foreseeing and preventing such actions on the part of others; but the effect is the same.

          The company could be liable under OSHA if a victim or their family can prove that the employer knew or should have known that violence could occur. The company may also be penalized if the Labor Dept. establishes that the employer violated the “General Duty Clause.” They’ve been known to do this when there’s an absence of a specific applicable standard. The government loves those elements of the law that gives them elastic and evolving authority to go after someone.

        • What does that even mean? I’m just an ordinary person; I can’t connect with that. Maybe Ralph can explain?

      • I practice employment law in Illinois and have been tagged by my firm to field questions from employers on CCW. (The firm knows I am a gun guy.). After dozens of calls after the passage of concealed carry, I have not heard a single employer say that their insurance insisted on a no employee carry policy. I have had a few employers say that they want to allow customers to carry but not employees, and it has always been based on a fear of offending their customer base. Employees? Apparently, fvck them, we can get new ones.

      • What I take away from that is that we should not only boycott Shell, but find out who insures that chain of stations, and boycott every company that insures through them, with a clear message that we want to do business, but they need a new carrier and under writer. That might drive the point home to those barn muckers.

    • no, it’s actually about making an open invitation to any criminal who wants quick cash to come in and help themselves. They literally just advertised, “free money for the taking, help yourself and come back later for more”.

      • This is nothing new, and well known by most criminals AND convenience store employees. And Bank employees. And Supermarket employees. And restaurant employees.

    • So the employee gets to choose between maybe being terminated by MR. Thug or definitely being terminated by his/her employer, hmmmmm, decisions, decisions……

    • If this is a business decision as opposed to anti-gun hysteria, it’s the wrong decision from my point of view. In any confrontation with a criminal, armed or not, the prime directive is never never NEVER willingly render yourself helpless. The usual reason for herding clerks and customers into a back room or locker is to kill them without a bloody mess where the next person in the store immediately calls the police and cuts down the getaway time. That get-in-the-storeroom order is the watershed moment in an armed robbery. You might believe they want in and out with the cash as quickly as possible, but what if you’re wrong?

      Armed robbery is a dangerous business. In most states, the perpetrator knows he’s facing the prospect of the rest of his life in jail if he’s caught. He’s tooled up with weaponry, and usually wired on speed. He’s not making sound decisions and anything might set him off – a new customer coming in, the phone ringing, some event that you, or the clerk, has no control over whatsoever. Or they shoot or stab one person, then decide to eliminate the witnesses.

      Clerks in convenience stores and gas stations have a disproportionately high chance of being a victim, and if that were my line of work I’d carry, regardless of my company policy. Your job isn’t worth your life.

  3. The mileage I get with Shell gasoline is 10 pct below most other national brands so I don’t shop there. This action is just another reason not to give them my business. If wo don’t stand up to the “bad guys” they win and we are ultimately the looser. Shame on Shell.

  4. If it such a great policy, they should place ads on local radio stations that employees are to just hand over the cash at any threat.

  5. I know they think they are saving themselves from thinking they will have to defend their corporate identity if a robbery turns into news making shootout with the station and logo being on every tv station for however long the event takes to get out of the cycle. But asking employees to comply, even if a clear threat to an employee or customer comes up..well, its asking people to lay down and die. But the litigious and “feel good, just cooperate” atmosphere we live in will not allow a perceived risk to exist. They rather it go down like this:
    “An armed robber came into ABCDE Gas Co and Bait Supplies, and without warning killed the employees and a customer with a gun. This tragedy could have been avoided if guns where not such a big problem.”

    As opposed to an employee and robber traded shots, a bystander was hit and everyone sues, with clear targets being the company for allowing guns and the policy of not telling employees to bend over and bite the pillow.

    Sadly, I bet this is their logic. Legal ramifications of civil suits and bad PR if the event where to turn into a big deal. Instead of the focus being the safe employment of policies in regards to armed robbery that did not focus on litigation and PR. For example, an employee choosing to fight when a robber decides to start shooting instead of just demanding cash.

  6. Mr. Cothran will soon find himself employed by a better company at a higher salary. Meanwhile, the suits at Nouria will still be playing pocket pool.

    • You’re in MA, right? Is someone actually hooking him up with a better gig? If not I’ll look around – I’m in NH.

      • Yup, I’m in MA. If I had a job for him, he’d already have the offer in hand. I don’t think I’m the only one.

        • As it turns out this happened in October of last year, so I’m sure he’s already landed another gig.

  7. “Nouria said in a statement Wednesday that it instructs its cashiers to give thieves what they ask for during a robbery attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully and quickly.”

    Apparently that includes giving the robber the employee’s life as well. But it’s all good as long as the robbery attempt is over peacefully and quickly — for the criminal.

    • The best way to ensure a robbery ends peacefully is if the robber rests in peace. Or pieces. I’m not picky.

    • This. 1000 times this.

      When I read a “give the robber what he wants so it can end peacefully,” my opinion is tainted by experience.

      I once worked a convenience store robbery wherein the bad guy walked in and without pre-amble, shot and killed the clerk. He shot her CoM and the bullet pierced her heart. She never knew anything was up.

      Now, and armed citizen may not have helped her. Not much could have. The bad guy just had too much of an element of surprise.

      But the story does not end there.

      As he left with his loot and leaving one body behind, he ran across the parking lot taking pot shots at other customers who were outside.

      THIS is where an armed citizen could have made a difference.

      He got away – for about an hour. A patrol officer found him hiding in someone’s back yard, and in short order, we compiled a solid case based on physical evidence against him.

      He got off.

      He got off on a legal technicality that had NOTHING to do with the deceased victim or the additional potential victims he TRIED to kill to make his escape.

      “Give them what they want and they will leave you alone” may work.

      It may not.

      Only an individual should decide for themselves if they want to carry a firearm. No one, not an employer, not the government, should decide that for someone else. THEY are not there getting shot when YOU are attacked.

  8. Nice of them to let all the bad guys know that all of their employees will now be good little sheep.

  9. “However, we believe the best way to keep our employees and customers safe is to prohibit weapons in the workplace.”

    Where is the company’s proof that the “best way” to keep employees and customers “safe” is to prohibit weapons? And who ever established that it was the company’s place to determine the “best way” to keep their employees and customers safe anyway? That is up to the individual, not the company. This paternalistic horseshit with companies and governments has to stop.

    • The Constitution says …”the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. It does not say ” Shall not be infringed by the Government”. A correct reading makes it clear that not even an individual can infringe. Liars err lawyers will argue against that, but our Constitution was not written in some hard to understand language.

      • I agree. It was never written in some code language; it was written to be easily understood. And it IS.

      • Right, except the constitution is a legal document delineating rights of citizens and function of the government. It’s not some legal technicality. It’s completely outside the purview of the document.

  10. Oh man – I’ve totally seen that dude. I used to work right across from that gas station.

    Regardless, good for him – I hope he puts that place well in his rear view. On to better and brighter for this guy.

  11. “not about the money in the cash register”

    You’re right, it’s not about the money, it’s about his life! He was threatened with a deadly weapon!!! Some people need to be horse-whipped.

  12. I can’t remember buying Shell gas more than once or twice in 40 years of driving. Good to know about this as I don’t need to buy their overpriced crap anyway. I too worked in a gas station in the 1970’s in a “changing neighborhood”. Low paid and dangerous. I never was robbed but I was threatened. Hope someone gives this man a better job.

  13. That’s friggin irritating. We’re sorry you almost got shanked in defense of our company. Also, you’re fired. Suck it, Shell.

  14. Sure, just hand over the cash and everything will be fine. It’s not like gas station employees have ever been shot or stabbed even though they complied with the robber’s demands.

    This case is an excellent demonstration of the utility of small pocket pistols like the Ruger LCP. No one ever needs to know you’re carrying it, unless you need to use it. Personal protection is more important than the job.

    • They didn’t know the employee was carrying. He was fired for defending his life. He was summarily fired for it.

    • “It’s not like gas station employees have ever been shot or stabbed even though they complied with the robber’s demands.”

      I mentioned above a robbery I worked where the clerk was shot without warning.

      But, your post brings to mind another incident. You can add “raped” to the list of things that still might happen even if you comply with a robber’s demands.

      Story is…robber came in, robbed the place and…with cash in hand and clerk dutifully cowed by threat of force, he decided he had some extra time.

      So, he took her into the back room and raped her. It wasn’t “date rape” or any of that, either.

      She lived. I wonder what she thinks now about complying with an armed robber as a strategy to get them to leave the victim alone.

      The premise of it is stupid on its face. Anyone that believes compliance is the proper course of action with someone that has already decided to commit violence is delusional.

      • Sorry, my sarcasm wasn’t thick enough. Seriously though, if you can carry legally, but it’s against company policy, that’s when an LCP is extremely useful.

        • No, it’s okay…I got your sarcasm 100%.

          I just wanted to help stick the point home in case anyone reads what you wrote and doubts the truth of what you were getting at.

          I’ve seen it…compliant victims beaten into vegetation or raped. The very notion of give them what they want and they’ll go away is just plain stupid.

          It may work or it may not. It’s one huge helluva gamble, though…unless you perceive no other choice created by the evil that is civilian disarmament movement.

        • +10,000. These companies need to feel the public’s wrath. Including gassing up and driving away. Hey, it’s not as bad as armed robbery, right?

  15. Imagine for a moment if you will, a future headline:

    “ABC gas station kills another robber, third this year” and the sub headline, “other gas companies doubt if they can better the record as armed robberies plummet”

    • When I lived in Houston in the early 80’s there was a chain of dry cleaners that had been hit with a rash of armed robberies. They took out ads, and got into the news cycle, advising their intention to station certain people in the back rooms at selected locations. The person would be armed with a 12 ga. shotgun with instructions to shoot at the onset of any armed robbery – with no warning.

      The robberies stopped.

  16. I suspect the company’s policy probably has more to do with avoiding nuisance lawsuits if there’s a shootout.

    Either filed by the robber or a bystander. They might not win the suit, but the plaintiffs might be looking for a quick settlement and and the company might just pay up.

    In my dreams, an employee files a lawsuit for an unsafe work environment and gets the policy overturned.

  17. With all the inconvenience, uncertainty, high overhead and other headaches associated with being in business for myself, I can at least be assured of a 2A-friendly employer…

  18. I worked at a gas station a few years ago on overnights, as a way to boost my earnings while studying for my bachelor’s degree. A nearby restaurant was robbed at closing, which created a large police presence for about six weeks after (because, why NOT shut the barn door after the horse done got away, right?). Many times I was asked if I was carrying, and if not why not, by the officers that came in for coffee or a snack. My employer didn’t allow it, and being an Illinois resident, the employer must allow it for it to be legal. T’was quite the shame, but I managed anyhow 😉

    • I worked at a gas station one summer, while in college. I never felt safe. It was in the sixties, and nothing happened, for which I am grateful today. It was in a small town, though.

  19. We should let them know how this makes us feel.

    Nouria Energy Corporation
    326 Clark St, Worcester, MA 01606
    (508) 762-3700

  20. Even if they do “respect” someone’s 2A rights, that’s meaningless and irrelevant. The Constitution outlines the structure of government, the powers of government and the fundamental legal rights of the People vis-à-vis the government. Shell is a private entity, not a government. It isn’t within their authority to impact anyone’s Second Amendment rights, in that they have no men with guns who can force you to do anything, as the government does.

    Now, they can restrict what’s allowed on their premises, of course, but that’s a separate issue. He agreed with company policy when he was hired. That’s a private contractual arrangement, not a governmental proscription. It’s like when people cry about “censorship” work, what they really mean is that they no longer agree with the agreement they made with the employer regarding speech on their property and on their paid time. That has nothing to do with any First Amendment rights.

  21. foolish business model. because giving the bad guys what they want will certainly make them go away and never come back… right, right?
    i know of two friends who got held up at work. both submitted to the robbery and both got shot. in one case the robbers didn’t even allow the guy to hand over the cash. they panicked for some reason and chose to shoot him instead. by the grace of god, both survived.
    the managers at shell are idiots. their employee courageously exercises his rights, effectively saving his own skin and their money yet they fire him in return. fools.

    • Not Shell, but you should boycott them anyway. NOURIA ENERGY is the vendor to blame. Email them with your displeasure. I takes a minute of your life.

      Stand tall for Shannon! No, not that one, Dirk! We know how “tall” you “stand” for her!

  22. IME, most gas stations and quik-stops overwhelmingly have this policy with their employees (as opposed to the owner’s family). It’s based on liability and common sense. It’s been this way for decades. It’s not a gun rights issue. Imagine that — not everything is a gun rights issue.

  23. To all the idiots who suggests the clerk should have shut up and given the money and thereby becoming “a/the victim”, I present to you the Wellington, FL gas station clerk who was murdered in cold blood just a few days ago, even though he fully COMPLIED with the robbers.

    22 years old, killed in cold blood for just a few bucks.

    • Thank goodness he didn’t get fired! The policy is built upon craven ignorance. NEVER work in a place that will FIRE you for defending yourself and THEIR PROPERTY.

      Which is just about everywhere, I know… I don’t have a solution, only rampant ANGER at the companies who allow this madness.

    • There is a distinct difference between what is in the company’s best interest and what’s in the employee’s interest. To argue what is in one party’s interest is not to deny or disparage what is in the other party’s interest. Now, if you really want to get into it, the clerk’s smartest move is neither to fight back nor calmly submit. His best move is not to be a gas station clerk in the first place (or a customer there, either, for that matter).

  24. The corporate policy is about money, nothing else. If an employee gets killed during the robbery the company’s insurance pays out a death benefit, then cleans up the store and hires a new clerk with minimum overall cost.

    If the employee shoots the attacker, depending on the state, or shoots some else then the company will have to bear the cost to defend and a possible settlement, even if the claims are fictitious. On an actuarial level life is only seen as another number with a dollar sign.

    • Since Day One, life has always been about scarcity of resources and making choices. Modern society utilizes money to represent many of those choices about resources, but the underlying reality hasn’t changed.

  25. We care about the personal well-being of employees like Mr. Cothran, whose years of service are truly appreciated — not about the money in the cash register. So, we are especially grateful that this situation was resolved without injury . . .

    They obviously don’t care about him getting stabbed to death. Shannon ‘Bea’ Cothran wasn’t protecting the store’s money; He was protecting himself. The store cares nothing about Shannon ‘Bea’ Cothran’s well-being – they only care about their policies.

    Funny – if he had a baseball bat, or a nail gun – then he likely wouldn’t have been fired. It has everything to do about policy and nothing at all to do about Shannon ‘Bea’ Cothran’s “well-being.”

  26. well never stop at a shell from now on .when a pan handler comes up to you wanting money tell him to go to a shell station and get what ever he or she wants. best place in town to get money now cover your face they may have a cameria

    • They all have cameras, to see if their employees are criminals. Like this poor, loyal employee. Robbers and murderers? Not so much, the fuckers.

  27. So what this guy should have done was pull his pistol to keep from being stabbed, but also stop the robber long enough to empty the cash register and load him up with beer and cigarettes before sending him on his way.

  28. So, the company is only concerned with liability…

    When a criminal threatens the clerk, he is not threatening the COMPANY with harm, but a human being.

    To support a policy to PUNISH the VICTIM of a crime, is reprehensible.

    Keep standing up for your human Rights, there are other companies that would welcome determined citizens.

    • Unfortunately, ALL companies are pretty much like this one. We need a more effective way to punish them, but I don’t know exactly what it may be.

      It’s sort of why I stopped working. All employers seem to pieces of shit, like this one.

  29. And what if the attackers goal wasn’t just to rob him, what if it was to rape him as well? Hmm? Hmm?

    • …I understand the thought process and in some ways agree with you…if the “robber” is going to do anything other than rob you…it is putting yourself at a disadvantage…however, I think the policy is statistical based…in that most people who commit these crimes are only interested in getting the money and getting out. I was robbed while on a Federal Military Installation…so you never know what someone may do…or what their motivations may be? I understand the frustration of the people who think anyone working for the company should keep a gun under the counter…but from a business perspective that would be a nightmare… even if no one was being robbed! Can you imagine the accidental discharges, the pointing of the gun at customers by immature employees…? I think the real issue is the cheap-ass company who will not pay for two employees, which drops the chances greatly.. or even a security guard…I think that is immoral.

      RJ O’Guillory
      Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family

        • Little Billy…why are you taking your anger out on me? I am simply explaining the reality of the situation as it relates to the policy formation of these companies and their insurance company…(or if they are self-insured)…I have agreed that the company deserves the responsibility for insuring their employees are secure … either through a policy of at least two employee at all time…obvious video systems…or security guards…so get off your high horse, KMA….why don’t you GFY….ass clown


        • Don’t you EVER call me “little” ANYTHING. Are we clear on this? Do you really want me for an enemy? I would hope not, for your sake.

        • …well…there is little chance that I would listen to Little Billy’s little bullying…that is derived from the little opportunity that Little Billy has had to learn to form a coherent little thought in his little, little mind….but don’t take it personally….or, perhaps you could get yourself a pump to help yourself (a little)…down there…eh?


        • …well, John…it seems to me that I started my thread of comments with a fairly articulate explanation of the business circumstances surrounding these kinds of issues…yet I was immediately attacked? Besides, I’m just having fun here… reading all the anger and hostility that erupts towards someone people don’t even know? But the “pump” joke was pretty funny (if you ask me)…Ha! However…what in the world are you talking about with regard to a “victim mentality”…? If I simply tell the truth about what life is like…that is being a victim? You and Mr. Transparency (Obama) must be like butt-buddies or something… because you really weren’t very transparent with that victim thingy? Oh, and BTW…I have a 19 staple gash in my head/brain from driving off the cliff and I suffer several hundred seizures a year…that mostly steal my cognitive ability and memory (until I get them back, eventually)…so even if some of what you wrote was correct (it’s not)…at least I have an explanation for any erratic behavior I may have displayed. What’s your excuse?


  30. “However, we believe the best way to keep our employees and customers safe is to prohibit weapons in the workplace.”

    “However, we believe the best way to keep our employees and customers safe is to prohibit weapons in the workplace except for robbers.”

    There, fixed it for ya.

  31. This is a typical, boilerplate corporate response, carefully crafted by lawyers that have never had to work as the only employee in a gas station at 2 AM. From their perspective, the potential liability of an employee possibly shooting when they shouldn’t is their only concern. Apparently they believe that all criminals are nice guys, and the employees’ safety is guaranteed if they just turn over all of the cash.

    This nonsense will only stop when the families of employees disarmed by company policy, and subsequently killed by criminals, start bringing lawsuits against employers for putting their dead relatives at risk by requiring them to forfeit their 2nd amendment rights and disarm in order to get a paycheck.

    • Well, they simply don’t give a shit about their employees. I’ve worked in this sort of environment before – at a “conservative” metropolitan newspaper.

      They never gave two shits about their employees. Unless he worked in the newsroom, where they saw him/her, day to day….

      I was mugged by five or six guys, a couple blocks away, on my way home from there at night. A friend of mine was mugged right in front of the doorway, in full view of the guards at the Security Desk… neither of us were contacted, or got as much as a note from the company. And one of my ears is permanently deformed from that attack. And they fired me.


    • “Apparently they believe that all criminals are nice guys, and the employees’ safety is guaranteed if they just turn over all of the cash.”

      Using that logic, armored car employees shouldn’t be armed. If a criminal wants the money, just hand it over. Don’t pull your gun.

      Again, these people should be horse-whipped.

  32. I will not shop at Shell. I am sick of this stuff and have had enough. Shell can sell to the anti-gun crowd. I will not buy visit their stations again. And since my family drives a Suburban and a Sequoia we regrettably buy a lot of gas.

  33. WAIT A MINUTE! Didn’t I see this story a few months ago? And didn’t Nouria Energy Corp. encounter a complete sh1tstorm on the Internet because of it? And because of that, didn’t ‘Bea’ Cothran get his job offered back to him? And didn’t he inform them that they could do something anatomically impossible with it? Huh?

  34. I think a good Question of the Day topic would be “what does an employee carry policy look like? ” I have never seen an employer allow workers to carry. Other than the obvious m&p, hell even security guards are not allowed to be armed anymore.

    • My question of the day would be “so you’re find with hourly wage employees being killed in the course of a robbery?”

      Are we talkin’ about your Silver Spoon, or what?

    • I think my response would be: “We don’t need an employee policy!”

      You see, company policy does not trump the law and my civil rights!

  35. I think we need a national law that makes the corporation strictly liable for any damages employees and customers incur as a result of obeying any restrictions on self defense imposed by the corporation. They can put their money where their mouths and policies are.

  36. So now if someone working at a Shell station gets attacked by a robber and is unable to defend himself, can he sue the employer for knowingly encouraging robberies?


    ……and tel ALL your friends and family to do the same! It’s obvious they DON’T care, so hit them where it hurts them the most: Their wallet!

  38. It’s not just shell people. Almost every retail establishment of any kind tells its employees this. They don’t want to get sued if someone (bad guy) gets hurt. Welcome to modern, everyone is a victim, America.

  39. Congratulations Nouria..You just announced that it’s open season on all of your service stations to be held up….try explaining that one to your employees.

  40. Is That RJ guy is for real? Or what? What a jerk!!!! I lost interest in this whole thread cause of him. People like that are just pathetic. The world does not revolve around you dude. Even if you are right, everyone else is entitled to their own view, hello, this is America!!! While the policy is prob from the cry baby lawyers, trying to keep their client from being sued. If these companies would grow a back bone and give their workers the right to defend the self a few times, I bet the bad guys would go somewhere else cause they know they would get a weapon pulled on them their. Instead of havering the attitude that oh they won’t do anything and I’ll get whatever I want. Mr RJ, that is what I believe, and I have several degrees in biz and management also, and have been very sucessful and I don’t think the world revolves around me like you seem to.

    • …well, we now know why you are “Loveless”…it must be something similar to the young man who supposedly shot up Southern California the other day…you just can’t get laid? And as I said before…if you don’t want to know the reasons for the policy….then just stay ignorant if you’d prefer? As far as your great business degrees, it is sad that your Mommy and Daddy went out and paid for those degrees, yet you have no idea how to properly apply the information you should have learned. I any case, I was never able to attend College or University, yet was still able to retire at the pay-grade equivalent of a Lt. Colonel…and was both an International Business Instructor, NSF Instructor and Proctor…as well as an EEO Investigator and Diversity Instructor…I am so sorry your parent’s didn’t have better judgment and simply send you to some technical school…perhaps you would not have grown up so small-minded and angry…so shove your judgmental comment up your ass….the get some therapy…Ha!

  41. This is so asinine. The same twisted logic that keeps me from carrying where I work. Except I wouldn’t just get fired, I’d go to jail. I’m not sure what the company was thinking. Maybe it just wasn’t. I feel for the guy.

  42. I know of multiple incidents where employees “complied” with the thieves and the thieves still decided to kill all the employees so any corporate policy like this better carry a huge liability insurance along with it as violating employees civil rights to self-defense is about the biggest insult and blatant violation of their Constitutional rights as could be imagined and I would hope any such corporation would be sued out of existence after any employee is injured or killed due to not being able to properly defend themselves.

  43. So everyone at corporate is concerned more about the well-being of their employees than they are about the money? So tell me, oh concerned corporation, how’s buddy’s well-being now that he can’t pay his bills or buy groceries now that you fired him? Saved the money in the till and the expense of wages too. Oh goody, its a win, win, win scenario….

  44. Wonderful as capitalism is, this is an example of when it bites liberty in the ass. Nothing is more liberating than pursuing one’s own success…until you get so big that you can disarm everyone under you because you don’t like dealing with paperwork.

  45. I support the idea that a business should have the choice in letting or denying their employees to carry however the employer should also be responsible for their employees well being if they deny that right. Much like they must sure the work environments is safe from other common elements.

    True story, major grocer outlet gives their closing manager who is a 135 lb. girl 15 thousand dollars in cash and tells her nightly to drive across the street and deposit it at the bank and that she is not allowed to carry a firearm as she is on the clock.

    How are you not basically condemning your workers to a death sentence. It is unethical. Don’t want your employees carrying a gun you should have to hire security for your employees. Bottom line.


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