Skip to comments.Johnson: Attempted robbery triggers dilemma
Posted on 04/17/2002 4:57:17 PM PDT by What Is Ain't
The question was, would I ever shoot a man?
It's the kind of thing my buddies and I talk about on occasion. It pretty much tells you all you need to know of my friends.
Anyway, I answered yes. And it surprised me. Richie, my good pal, had reminded me of why. You know, of the time we both got held up.
Actually, we didn't get held up. The store we were in did.
It was a little after 3 on a recent Saturday morning. We were on our way to a morning's goose hunting. We stopped in to grab a cup of coffee.
Richie was pouring and fiddling with the multiple sugar packets he puts in his coffee when the little guy came into the mini-mart. I was behind Rich, waiting my turn. "How odd," I thought.
The little guy was dressed fully in black, from head to toe. He was wearing a Ninja outfit. I swear to you, I thought it was the child of the nice woman behind the counter. He was sort of dancing about -- to impress his mom, I figured.
And then, he backed up and produced a long, black, pipe-looking weapon.
"Oh, dang," I thought, "this is no kid. The joint's getting robbed. And this little fool has a shotgun!" I'm elbowing Richie, when the little guy bangs the pipe on the counter.
"Give me the money, wench!" he shouted. Not "wench," but a word that can't be printed here.
I'm figuring I'm about to be shot. For being a witness. How I longed for my own birdgun sitting unloaded and cased in my car. Had I been armed, I'd have for certain shot this little man.
I know this now. Yes, yours truly, who for years has so publicly railed against the evil that guns do, how they are such an abomination in a decent society.
God help me, I wanted a gun.
Richie, too, finally had noticed. And Richie is a man who often carries a little something on such hunting excursions. He says he does so to "finish" the birds he takes down. On this morning, he -- damn him -- is weaponless.
So we watch it all play out before us, as though we are safe in the Cineplex, waiting for the good guys to arrive.
Until we hear the black pipe. It's plastic! We are ready to rush him, to take his head off.
He sees us first, double-takes and lets go with yet another epithet. He flees -- cashless -- into the night.
Richie was going to throw the pot of hot coffee on him. I just wanted him beaten for scaring the kind woman behind the counter, who is now shaking noticeably.
I am glad I am alive, that it wasn't a shotgun. I am glad, too, that I wasn't armed and didn't kill the little, Ninja-suited man with the plastic stick.
I think of that day every time I walk into any mini-mart. I think of how I probably should be armed -- you know, in case.
I think, too, how I truly don't want to live my life that way, forever with one finger on the trigger. To get the baddies before they get me.
What I am really trying to set straight is whether I really would have killed that little man. They nabbed him less than 10 minutes after he ran out. Richie and I were driven past him, to ID him for the cops.
Had he been carrying a shotgun, he would have killed me for the 75 bucks or so he'd have gotten from the mini-mart. I'm certain of it.
And had I or Richie been carrying one, he'd have died with that plastic stick, trying to get a measly 75 bucks. Stupid fool.
I don't know what to do with any of this.
I might point out the obvious to him, to wit: if you had flashed a real weapon at the perp, he would have left the scene with warp speed.
End of story.
Or he could have been held for the cops.
One down, a few hundred thousand to go. Only thing is, the MMMers and Sarah Brady's of the world make it difficult to get these few hundred thousand to start thinking.
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