Most Armed Robbers are Reluctant to Shoot

By Dean Weingarten

Robbers Gun can be seen in the Window
Robbers Gun can be seen in the Window
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -( The video linked below of an attempted armed robbery in Houston, Texas, illustrates the fact that most armed robbers are reluctant to shoot, and reluctant to kill their victims.

I am not saying that they have high moral standards.  I am saying that robbers respond to incentives; they know that a killing of an innocent brings down unwanted attention; and a shooting brings quicker response and often, greater investigation.

In this case the robber grabs the store owner through a small opening in a bullet proof enclosure and points a gun at him while demanding money.   The wife also grabs the store owner and a tug-a-war ensues.  This goes on for about 20 seconds.  Then the first robber is replaced by a second, who fires a couple of shots.  The shots may be as much an attempt at coercion as an attempt to kill.  The wife accesses a revolver, and the robbers flee the scene.


The couple was helping customers from behind the counter, surrounded with bullet-proof glass, when one of the gunmen reached in from a small opening, grabbed the store owner with one hand and shoved a gun at him with the other

The wife accesses a revolver, and the robbers flee the scene
The wife accesses a revolver, and the robbers flee the scene

Here you can see the wife in the lower left of the picture with a black revolver in her hands.  If appears that she could use some basic firearms training.  Perhaps a local instructor could donate a few hours.   The first few hours are the most productive.  She was likely reluctant to shoot as well.  The store was robbed of $10,000 a year ago.

The first robber may have been armed with an unloaded, inoperative or fake gun.   It is common to see these used in robberies.

As long as a reasonable level of enforcement in the criminal justice system exists, criminals have incentives to avoid shooting and killing innocents.  This gives the armed victim an advantage that is often put to good use.

Even a small amount of training can bet make a large difference.  Most criminals are not interested in discipline, patience, and practice.

Certainly, all armed robbers are dangerous; there are some that plan on killing their victims, no matter what.   But most of them envision a quick reward for little effort, and have no backup plan when things go bad.

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That gives an edge to the armed innocent;  that is the what the system was designed to do.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.