U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “A would-be robber of a convenience store brought a hatchet as a weapon. He ran when the clerk pulled out a gun,” CBS affiliate KOIN 6, Portland, reported Friday. “The president of Plaid Pantry told KOIN 6 News the stores have a zero tolerance for weapons and the clerk is no longer employed there. He said employees are trained to de-escalate robbery situations to avoid injury.”
Really? And that’s not the only question that deserves answers.
First of all, just saying “the president” insulates him from personal feedback for his obnoxious arrogance. Who the hell is this guy?
Per the Wikipedia entry for the 108-location privately owned convenience store chain, the President and CEO is Jonathan Polonsky. With such a policy in place, we can assume he speaks for Executive Chairman William C.”Chris” Girard Jr. and CFO Brent Chadwick. Those reaping the highest rewards demand low-level employees to be helpless and alone in the face of on-the-job danger. They do so from the relative safety of corporate offices, so they deserve to own the resulting personal reputations for putting the bottom line above the lives of human beings working for them.
We know the industry has been forced to install security cameras, but as we see in this case, that didn’t deter the hatchet-man from attempting an armed robbery. He was counting on the clerk being “trained” to give attackers what they want. But what if what they want is your life?
Shall we review some recent headlines from the past few days?
- Fayetteville store clerk killed was father, husband
- Clerk shot dead during Garland convenience store robbery; police seek two assailants
- Video Released in Search for Gunman Who Shot, Killed Liquor Store Clerk in Downey
- 3 men charged with capital murder in shooting death of Houston store clerk
We could keep going with this but the point is made. The stores were lit, surveillance cameras were deployed and the clerks were presumably just as “trained” as Plaid Pantry’s front line fodder. Yet despite it all, the attackers weren’t “de-escalated.”
What worked at Plaid Pantry was an armed clerk. And note, as with most defensive gun uses, the situation was peaceably resolved without firing a shot. Thanks to an armed citizen, as is so often the case, violence was deterred. The attack was de-escalated.
And that leads to some further questions:
What does “give ‘em what they want” training consist of? How extensive is it? How many hours of instruction do employees receive? What are the credentialed qualifications of those teaching it? Have any of the instructors or course designers ever personally “de-escalated” an armed assailant? Have Polonsky and his fellow captains of convenience? What evidence exists to demonstrate the effectiveness of such training as being the main factor in “de-escalating” sociopaths?
That’s what they are, you know. Who else would be so twisted they would threaten the life of another person over the contents of a cash drawer? And that’s the most important point: It’s not the cash being threatened, it’s the life. The money merely represents the value put on that.
Still, if Jonathan Polonsky, Chris Girard, and Brett Chadwick are so confident their way is the best way, they’d go a long way toward convincing others they believe their own BS if they would contractually obligate themselves to the employees they expect to put their lives at risk. Will they acknowledge a legally-binding special relationship with those they require to be disarmed, assume responsibility for their personal safety and protection, and admit and accept liability should they fail in that duty? For real money commensurate with the loss?
Or is this simply a matter of it being ultimately cheaper if everybody takes their chances and not wanting to assume the risk of a DGU gone wrong? The answer to that acknowledged risk is real firearms training, by the way. But then, that costs money, and we’re only talking clerks here, right?
Plaid Pantry is taking a well-deserved thumping over at its Facebook page right now, but don’t expect real change to come about. We’re talking Portland here, where the populace elected an anti-gun mayor who allows Antifa to run wild on the streets. That customer base doesn't care. And even if we’re not confining ourselves to such areas, you don’t see enough of an economic fuss made by gun owners to effect change at national companies like 7-Eleven or Circle K.
About all we can expect in this case is what gun owners are used to by now—control our own decisions. That, for me, means placing conviction over convenience and having zero tolerance for retailers that insist otherwise. Still, it would be nice to find out more about the fired clerk, let him know not everyone disapproves of his actions, and maybe help the guy find another and a better job.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.