As reported, Dominic Mathew’s Food Pantry store was robbed several times in the past, including one robber where the criminal held a gun to his neck. Wishing to defend himself, he got a handgun. Last Tuesday, a robber came into his Iowa store wearing a hoodie, with a gun in hand. Upon seeing Mathew’s gun, the would-be robber lowered his gun and ran out the door. No shots were fired, and the robbery was averted.What I found most interesting (and disappointing) about this self defense example was the reaction of the police chief:
Police Chief Judy Bradshaw said detectives are still investigating. She said clerks can make a situation more dangerous by adding a second gun to the equation.
“Robbers don’t want to shoot,” Bradshaw said. “They want what they came for. From a public safety perspective there are so many more possible outcomes when clerks arm themselves.”
I completely disagree with Police Chief Bradshaw’s statement, and would say that self defense is often the best option in such robbery situations. Complying with the robber’s demands is no guarantee that the robber will refrain from harming the victim. For example, this deli owner cooperated with the armed robber’s demands, only to be shot because there wasn’t enough money in the cash register. This woman was shot because the robber was angry that she had only a little cash for him to steal from the register. This man (the fourth robbery on that page) handed over his valuables, but was then pistol whipped anyway. This other man was also pistol whipped after complying with a robber’s demands for his valuables. This man was shot because the home invading robbers weren’t satisfied with the value of his belongings. This woman complied, but was apparently shot by the robbers just for the fun of it. Those who run from armed robbers often suffer similar fates. Unarmed citizens who try to fight back against armed robbers often suffer greatly as well.
On the other hand, those citizens who are armed for self defense are in the best position to save themselves. Statistical information and real life examples both show that self defense works. Despite anti gun propaganda to the contrary, the statistics also show that armed citizens are 5.5 times less likely than the cops to shoot the wrong person.
I would also note that by shooting the robber in self defense, that armed citizen does a great service to society as a whole. Whether the armed robber is fatally shot, and therefore permanently taken off the street, or just wounded and apprehended by police, that robber is unable to go victimize another person. Since the case is more easily solved when the criminal is shot in self defense, there is less risk that an innocent person will be jailed for the crimes of the escaped criminals. Also note that when a criminal succeeds at a robbery, they are emboldened and will be more likely to do it again, but when they are shot or scared off, it discourages them.
In short, I find Police Chief Bradshaw’s remarks to be untrue and detrimental to society. Self defense works, for off duty cops as well as ordinary citizens, and should be encouraged by law enforcement officials.