As reported, a man attempted to rob Mike Schrank’s Smoke ‘N Gun, a gun store located in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan. After the robber went behind the counter and got physical with the clerk, the clerk shot the robber twice in the chest and once in the leg. Police arrived to find the criminal alive, and held at gunpoint by the clerk. On a sadder note, the clerk somehow shot himself once in the hand, but will recover from this injury.
Firstly, I’m amazed that someone would try to rob a gun store. As someone who has been to plenty of gun stores, the universal theme that I’ve noticed is that the clerks are armed, generally with a pistol on their hip. Of all the places to rob, picking a gun store seems like the worst possible decision that a robber could make.
Secondly, while I’m glad the clerk was able to defend himself and the other patrons of the store, it is unfortunate that that clerk ended up injured. However, I think it is proper to refrain from criticizing the clerk for shooting himself, as it is almost never wise to second guess someone who has defended themselves. For all we know, the robber may have grabbed, pushed, or held the clerk in such a way as to make it difficult if not impossible for the clerk to avoid shooting himself. Either way, the clerk suffered only one shot to the hand, and was able to stop the robber by shooting him three times. By any measure, that is a success, given the way that this robbery could have turned out.
Finally, this shows once again that guns are a valuable self defense tool. Unarmed individuals can suffer a terrible fate when a criminal robs them, even if they fully cooperate with the criminal’s demands. The same is true for those who try to run from the robber.
On the other hand, fighting back against robbers can be quite effective as a means of reducing the risk of injury to the victim. This armed barber shot an armed criminal who threatened him and his son, saving their lives. This armed pet shop clerk shot an armed robber who threatened a fellow employee’s life, as well as his own life, preventing them both from being stabbed. This armed pizza delivery man defended himself against 3 armed robbers, and walked away unharmed. This armed citizen stopped a bank robber, while this armed Israeli citizen stopped a terrorist. This motel clerk was also able to stop an armed robber and ensure that neither her, a fellow employee, or a nearby mother and baby were harmed. Even outside the context of armed robbery, self defense has been shown to be the best course of action.