A tragic case of a double murder – that was almost a quadruple murder – shows that armed robbers cannot be trusted not to murder their victims.
It was around 1 a.m. Saturday when William Wood Jr. walked into the Erie Boulevard East restaurant armed with a pistol, the DeWitt Police Department said in a felony complaint filed in DeWitt Town Court.
Wood – who had worked there about a year ago – shot two of his former coworkers – Stephen Gudknecht and Kristopher Hicks – in the head inside Chili’s, police said. Then, he stole $875 and ran away, police said. . .
Anton said Wood confessed to killing the employees after he was arrested.
Wood would’ve killed two other Chili’s employees, said Onondaga District Attorney William Fitzpatrick during a news conference Monday. But it appears Wood’s gun may have jammed, he said, allowing a woman and a man to escape.
“He had no intention of leaving any witnesses,” Fitzpatrick said. . .
Stealing money appeared to be the sole motive, Fitzpatrick said.
Two people are dead, and two more people are alive due to blind luck (or perhaps a lack of firearms skill on the part of the robber). By all measures this is a terrible thing for the victims and their loved ones, and my heart goes out to them. As with all terrible events, we can choose to learn from it or we can ignore it only to have it repeated.
Perhaps the biggest lesson here is that trusting one’s life to the mercy and judgment of a robber is unwise. By definition a robber is someone who is willing to use violence or a threat of violence to take property from others – those are not exactly the kind of people one should trust with their life.
Unsurprisingly, 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, as a few other examples will also show: This armed barber shot an armed criminal who threatened him and his son, saving their lives. This armed pet shop clerkshot 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. Armed self defense works, as both the statistical and anecdotal evidence makes clear.
Finally, do note that gun bans don’t work to reduce gun-related crime, as the British have learned. Instead, even a nation-wide ban on guns (like the British implemented) just leads to criminals illegally manufacturing guns themselves, smuggling guns into the country, stealing guns from the police, and using other tools to inflict harm. Indeed, British gun-related crime doubled in the decade after the gun ban was implemented. Given that Britain is a smaller country, with an easier-to-police border, with fewer civil rights to stop the police from searching citizens on a hunch, there is simply no way that the United States could succeed at nation-wide gun control where the British have failed. Moreover, there are hundreds of millions of guns in the United States which would not simply vanish.
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