Elderly gentleman shoots armed robbers at Internet cafe in Florida

This surveillance video clip shows 71-year-old Samuel Williams thwarting an armed robbery at an internet cafe in Marion, Florida on Friday, July 13, 2012. Williams, a licensed gun owner, may now become the poster child for those who support "concealed carry" rights in the state.

Williams was present when two masked thugs walked into the Palms Internet Cafe in Marion County, Florida. One of the men was brandishing a gun while the other had a bat. They started ordering patrons around and one smashes a computer screen. That's when Williams took action.

Williams was seated toward the back of the cafe dressed in a white shirt, shorts and baseball cap. One of the masked men, identified as Duwayne Henderson, 19 [at left in photo], comes in pointing a handgun at customers. The second man, Davis Dawkins, 19 [at right in photo], is seen swinging a bat at something off screen, which was later identified as a $1,200 computer screen.

As Henderson turns his back, Williams pulls out a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun, stands from his chair, takes two steps, nearly drops to one knee, and fires two shots at Henderson, who bolts for the front door. Williams takes several more steps toward the door and continues firing as Henderson and Dawkins fall over one another trying to exit the building. The two eventually run off screen.

Both suspects received non-life threatening gunshot wounds, and were later captured by police. Williams will not face any charges, according to a rep from the State Attorney's Office (via Joe Sabia).


  1. I’m disgusted that this vigilante will face no charges for further putting people’s lives in danger, all over whatever money and property these thieves might have gotten away with. 

    Life, anyone’s life, is worth more than money and property.

      1. I liked the part, a few pages in, where the gunman on the robbery team manages an impressive degree of self-pity about the fact that somebody had the temerity to shoot him.

        You would think that somebody who has just attempted an armed robbery would at least have the sense to STFU about how scary and hurtful the experience was for him…

      2. Did you miss the part where an armed amateur decided to escalate the situation by opening fire in a room of people? These kids were after money not looking to kill anybody – unless you have evidence to the contrary.

        This is a complex situation and their needs to be laws governing how people are “free” to use their guns when others might be put in danger.

        1. you have no evidence that they WERENT going to shoot anyone.. anyone can claim “oh they just wanted money” but you dont know that..

          1. What is your evidence that they would *more likely* be shot if they were cooperative?

          2. @Navin_Johnson:disqus  i made no such statement, i said that there is no way to say they “were after money not looking to kill anybody” when clearly they came in with guns. one of the punks even smashed a monitor with a bat,  dont put words in my mouth

          3. There’s a reason why 100% of employers tell their employees to just give people money when they threaten them for it.  There is 0 incentive for a robber to shoot someone who is cooperating; however turning an insurance-claim into a gun fight you put everyone at risk.

            Also these criminals, thugs they may be, are the result of a complex set of social and economical problems that won;t be solved by gunning them down.  They need help, not execution.

            On the flip side though, if you brandish a gun, you have to be at least half prepared to be challenged with a gun, especially in the US.  But the police don’t like vigilantes for good reason.

        2. Rule of thumb is you don’t brandish a fire-arm unless you intend to use it. None of us can know if the perps intended to follow up the intimidation with the baseball bat by spraying a few shots around the room to emphasize the point.

          I’m not happy with the fact that there’s a “success story” for the concealed carry law here. But rather than try to deny this incident, it would probably be more effective to find incidents where the armed amateur actually did fuck up.  For example, the Zimmerman case.

          I’ll concede that the decision to actually open fire is debatable, but mostly because we don’t have the info.

        3. “This is a complex situation and their needs to be laws governing how people are “free” to use their guns when others might be put in danger.”

          There are such laws. If a reasonable person would be in fear of grievous bodily harm, or death then the law says they are justified in using deadly physical force to defend themselves. 

          Pro Tip: know what you’re talking about before typing. 

          1. While you’re right that there are such laws, most of them do not allow you to shoot at FLEEING suspects, which is what this gentleman did AFTER he was justified in using deadly force. Once they turned to flee, and HE KEPT FIRING, that’s when he potentially broke the law. I don’t know the particular law in the state…but for the most part, it’s usually against the law to shoot once the threat subsides (which fleeing does).

    1. Uh, WHO exactly put peoples’ lives in danger by their actions? I personally am disgusted that these thugs walked into a place filled with people fully ready to shoot people, and that YOU are objecting to someone having a  response to their actions, mille.

      Perhaps the fair way to look at it is to value their lives with exactly the valuation they gave to the other people in the room, in which case the property is probably more valuable in this case.

      1. I think the issue people have is if the armed robbers decided to start firing back. They could have killed someone. Everyone is lucky that these guys got scared and ran instead of firing back and causing a shootout that could have harmed a lot of people. 

        1. One has to assume that when someone introduces a weapon into a situation in violence that they are prepared to use it.

          As far as I’m concerned, when they introduced weapons into a robbery, one of which can kill a person, and the other of which is designed to kill a person, their lives were forfeit.

          As to what could have or would have or might have happened, we don’t know.  We only know what did happen, and what kinds of actions have resulted in the past.  We know that the citizen with the firearm hit no one but the attackers.  We were told that he took a proper stance to aim and shoot.

          We don’t know where the other patrons were or what was outside.  He could have not hit anyone else because of luck, or he could have not hit anyone else because of skill and judgement.  As I said, we weren’t there.  We do know one thing though, he did exactly as he was supposed to, in that he didn’t introduce a weapon unless he was prepared to use it.

          As for comparisons that some have made to Zimmerman, there are no comparisons.  There was no opportunity to avoid confrontation, there was no question about the intent of the aggressors, there was no ambiguity as to what the aggressors could do to the other people in the room.

          And as for comparisons to police shooting suspects versus this man, I really doubt that a police officer could have done any better.  Most police don’t get the range time they need to be experts with their weapons, and while some officers are weapons enthusiasts in their off-time, the majority probably aren’t and don’t make a habit of training themselves in their spare time.  This man might have such training, as he has gone through the effort to privately legally carry on his own.

    2. They were armed, with a gun and a bat, and threatening the store customers and employees. The decision wasn’t “lose some stuff or shoot them” it was “will they shoot us as witnesses or do I shoot them” adding in that they had already shown they were willing to use their weapons I’d say this person made a fair call.

      I think most concealed carry laws are poorly written and allow too many people without training carry, but this is pretty much the gold standard of how it should work. I wouldn’t be surprised if this person had police or military training at some point.

      1.  I think you hit the nail on the head: concealed carry laws need to be stricter to ensure effective use.

    3. You’ll note the robbers were also armed with at least one gun. They therefore threatened to take others’ lives. This man chose his life, and those of the others in the cafe, over the lives of the robbers. Believe it or not, even in this “enlightened” society, such choices sometimes need to be made.

      1. To the half dozen negative respondants to the comment made by “millie fink”, yes the robbers were armed. But they made no attempts to harm anyone, merely to rob. No one was in immediate danger, they were merely threatened with force as a form of coercion to surrender their valuable goods.

        The appropriate response to this situation would have been to await the response of trained Law Enforcement Officers. The thieves may likely have made off with money or valuable property, but at least no bullets would have been fired.

        Williams escalated the situation to the point of violence. He was NOT properly trained to handle the situation, nor did he have the necessary resources to do so. His “success” in driving off the robbers is due more to luck and imcompetance on the part of the thieves than it is to his own capabilities.

        Any number of things could have gone wrong. Williams might have struck other patrons with a missed shot or a ricochet. He might have been shot himself if the thieves returned fire. The general confusion caused by gunfire can very quickly leave a lot of people dead or wounded.

        Prior to Williams’ actions the thieves had no reason to inflict violence – they were merely exploiting the threat of force. At that point, at worst they would have made off with stolen property and never have been caught. But once Williams started shooting off his gun, the worst case scenario suddenly escalated to the unfolding of a bloodbath. And that is unacceptable to some of us who believe in a civil society.

        1. So, can you read everyone’s mind or just those of violent criminals? 

          You make some pretty bold assertions that cannot be made in light of the facts we have. 

          You, Williams, nor anyone else could have possibly known the intentions of the assailants. The fact that they threatened violence is enough to assume that they are willing to use violence.

          You are asking someone with a gun to their face (or in this case a gun to the face of others) to read the mind of someone who is willing to use violence to get what they want. You are asking that person to decide that “yes, all this guy wants is my wallet and he will leave me alone” when in fact no one can know what the attacker is thinking or what they really want.

          Sure, give him your wallet and he may give you a bullet to your face. What then? 

          What your basically saying is that they [the assailants] would have to first start killing people before any action by Williams was justified? Or maybe not even that, maybe Williams should have just stood there and watched them kill people, maybe even helped them…  

          Your also assuming that Williams does not have any training. He has a CCW and that requires a minimum amount of training. Also, as far as we know all his shots hit their intended target. No one else, bu the assailants, was hurt by Williams firing. 

          The acid test for this is if a reasonable person would be in fear of their life or the life of another. In this case, having armed assailants busting in with guns and bats, I’m pretty sure that anyone would be in fear of their life. 

          Williams actions, like it or not, were justified legally and morally. 

          1.  Can’t you use that same argument in just about any situation though? Somebody in the street could have seen Samuel Williams shooting his gun. They would have then been worried for their lives (there’s a guy shooting at men who are running away), so wouldn’t they have been justified in shooting him down? After all, they can’t read his mind either.

            Is your arugment that as soon you feel threatened by somebody with a gun on his person, you should be in your right to gun down that person? After all, you can’t read that person’s mind, and he might be able to pull out his gun faster than you.

        2. So i suppose police interrogation at gunpoint would be okay with you? After all it would be “trained Law Enforcement Officers” and they would be “merely exploiting the threat of force”, right?

          Why do you think the cops are more trustworthy than some random old guy in an internet cafe? 

          1. If you’re going to bring the police into it, then would you consider it reasonable for a criminal to shoot down a policeman for brandishing a firearm?  As in many peoples opinions above simply holding a gun gives people the right to shoot you dead.

            The only difference in this situation is intent.  The criminals wanted cash, the policemen want to arrest somebody.  The best case scenario for both parties is for no bullets to be fired at all.

        3. From the article, which you should actually read before commenting: “The second man, Davis Dawkins, 19 [at right in photo], is seen swinging a bat at something off screen, which was later identified as a $1,200 computer screen.”

          Yeah, it was just a computer screen, but an act of violence and weapons in hand implies violence will be meted out on the victims too. He had every right to defend himself against these douche bags, because threat of deadly force was obvious.

          1. What I find disturbing is that this man continued to fire as the thieves attempted to get away. He seems to have decided that they should die rather than escape. Pyschopath.

            I’m glad there are so few guns where I live.

        4. No one was in immediate danger,

          Umm, I disagree.  Robbers armed with a gun and a baseball bat constitute an immediate danger.

          The appropriate response to this situation would have been to await the response of trained Law Enforcement Officers.

          Disagree.  I trust this Williams guy more than I trust the cops.

        5.  they were merely exploiting the threat of force

          That’s awfully charitable of you. However, the law calls this “assault with a deadly weapon,” and seeing as how one of the assailants appears to have his actual finger on the actual trigger of an actual gun, each person there would rightfully be in fear for their life. Thanks for playing, but you appear to be uneducated in the details.

    4.  I get what you’re trying to say- that by firing at the robbers, he may have accidentally hit a patron of the cafe, or even somebody walking by out on the street, or provoked the robbers into shooting back and hitting him or someone else. It’s not as unreasonable an idea as the people replying are making it out to be.

      Still, considering they were armed, it’s just as possible that his actions may have saved some lives. There’s no guarantee that they wouldn’t have hurt anyone even if they got the money they were after. I’m certainly not “disgusted” that he defended himself and those around him.

      1. I think it is plausible for this man to believe that he was trained enough to respond without hitting any innocents, and also that he would disrupt the power structure that the robbers tried to instill enough for them to run in fear (as they did).

      2. How often do robbers in situations like this kill people who are cooperative and give them what they want? Why do pretty much all police suggest cooperating with anybody who’s brandishing a gun?

        1. The average robber does NOT want to hurt people. They want money, not a full police investigation into homicide.

          If you steal a car, that’s actually a pretty low priority for the police and they’re not as likely to catch you. If you shoot someone, that’s a very high priority for the police and you’re much more likely to be caught.

          Many more robberies “go wrong” because of people fighting back than ones that get “heroically foiled” for the same reason.

          1. I can think of two incidents from my town where the robber just shot the cashier in the face after he handed over the money.  So yeah, I’m calling BS on the whole, “no desire to hurt you” hypothesis.  There are people out there who will murder witnesses just to try and avoid a conviction for armed robbery.

          2. Do you really honestly think that people engaged in criminal acts are doing these sorts of cost/benefit analyses?  There’s very little evidence of that.  Research suggests, for example, that capital punishment is not a particularly good deterrent to murder.  That suggests to me that people who murder do not plan on getting caught in the first place.  Which is kinda common sense when you think about it.

        2.  I don’t know the statistics, so I honestly have no idea. All I know is that I’d probably have more faith in the competence of a well-meaning elderly man than in a couple of armed thugs being merciful. As others have pointed out above, there ARE incidents where robbers have taken what they wanted, then slaughtered everyone anyway. Any rational, sane person would run like hell after they got the money, but it’s hard to imagine a rational, sane person committing armed robbery in the first place.

          1. As others have pointed out above, there ARE incidents where robbers have taken what they wanted, then slaughtered everyone anyway.

            They are rare, are they not?

          2. Leave the terrorists to it. After all, a holiday in Cuba for a week or so isn’t bad. There’s absolutely no way they’re going to fly us into the side of a building. ;)

        3. Because your average Joe isn’t equipped to handle armed robberies and is more likely than not to make a life-threatening mistake out of sheer adrenaline. For untrained people, the “fight or flight” response is powerful enough to overpower simple questions like “can I handle this” or “which is the less risky course of action.” So the police tells them not to bother; you’ll probably cock it up.

          However, this does inevitably mean that there is a non-negligible risk of the robber deciding to kill everyone after they’ve got what they want. (or crashing your plane into a building)Someone who is training to handle these situations, on the other hand, is capable of both reducing that risk (so that fighting back becomes the “less risky” decision) and weighing the risk of surrendering vs the risk of fighting back rationally.

      3. One problem with armed response though (and no, I’m not blaming him for shooting) is that robbers could start going in assuming people are armed and will be very quick to shoot or even just shoot without warning.  If they expect a fight they may just start one.

        1. This doesn’t seem to be strictly compatible with the arguments to the effect that “the vast majority of armed robbers are not murderers.”  If both arguments are correct then it would imply that CCWs would discourage the majority of armed robbers (who aren’t murderers) from robbing at all.  The other armed robbers are already murderers.  Turns into an argument for CCW after all.

          1. A cop told me that people planning on robbing a man tend to bring weapons because they expect a fight, for a woman they assume they can overpower them.  So in his opinion having weapons brought in increases the likelihood of them being used.

          2. My argument is that if you are correct that armed robbers who assume that everyone is carrying a concealed weapon will just gun everyone down up-front, then it seems to me that many fewer people would engage in armed robbery, at least if others are right that the vast majority of armed robbers aren’t really willing to use their firearms in most cases.  I don’t see how your response is even remotely relevant.

      4. I think the solution is simple. Legalize self defense and the tools of self defense, BUT you are responsible for your actions. Namely, if you harm an innocent by accident, you are treated like any other idiot who fires a gun in a city and accidentally hit someone. If you intentionally kill someone who is innocent, you get treated as a murder. 

      5. “Still, considering they were armed, it’s just as possible that his actions may have saved some lives.”

        I believe that the technical term for this practice is a ‘preemptive strike’.

          1. There’s a lot of short-sighted commentary in this thread, quite frankly I feel like I’m providing some balance.

            It’s probably the cultural gap though; I live in a country where it’s a crime to carry a gun, whether you intend to shoot store owners or criminals with it is mostly irrelevant.

    5.  I’m about as liberal a person as you’ll ever meet and I think he did alright.  A lot of people also got VERY LUCKY not to get hit by stray rounds so I do understand your point

        1. Like ever human with a gun know exacty where the bullet is going when he/she fires? Please.

        2.  They do tend to travel in a straightish line until they either lose velocity or hit something though.  All of the slugs didn’t go into the thieves so anyone on the other side of them could’ve easily been killed.

    6. From his statement afterwards it seemed he wasn’t acting from a “I’ll get these punks!” motivation, he says his wife was there and it was more out of fear and protectiveness.

      I think there are way too many guns out there, legal or not, and some states hand out the concealed weapons permits like candy (FL anyone?).  That said even I have to admit that this was a case of a legitimate use.  People were being threatened at gun point and the guy who smashed the monitor with the bat showed they were violent.  I’m just glad he didn’t nail any bystanders, something the gun crowd never seems to care about (even if you hit the bad guy the bullet could pass through them).

      1. Legitimate use, yes.
        Understandable use, yes.
        Ideal use, no.
        Prefered use, no.

        It could have been a lot worse. We should all be glad it wasn’t, and we should all recognize that this is not a simple black and white issue – it is immensely nuanced and complicated.

    7. I’m a Canadian so my bias against guns is clearly stated up front.

      First of all I have a problem with the term vigilante. Williams did not avenge a crime, he was in the room and defending himself from a crime. Law enforcement was still not involved. You have a right and an obligation to defend yourself from crime in the first place, if you are so capable.

      Second, people’s lives were in fact in danger. If two masked men walk into a room with weapons, the likelihood that someone will get hurt is high. Statistically speaking, the most likely victim is going to be an employee. I think that it is foolish to argue that the only thing Williams was defending was the till.

      If you want to argue about what is the wisest thing to do for your own self-interest in this situation, yes the coward strategy is the best survival strategy. However some of us are not wired that way and would rather take action than be passive victims. Yes Williams put himself at risk.

      Another argument in this thread is that Williams could have harmed someone else unintentionally – did Williams put others at risk. Take a look at the video. The text doesn’t do it justice. Williams approaches the target swiftly and minimizes distance between his weapon and the target. He maintains complete control of his weapon. He maintains close proximity as he chases the robbers out of the store, keeping his weapon aimed toward the target and down the whole time. This guy has a concealed carry permit and has invested some time in learning how to handle himself with a gun in his hand. Williams recognized the threat to everyone in the room and took care in his response. I think his actions mitigated the risk that was already present.

      Samuel Williams is a hero not a vigilante.

      Edit to respond to Navin: You do not stop chasing until they are well on their way, else they may turn around and decide to fight back.

      1. Samuel Williams is a hero not a vigilante.

        Wrong, he became a vigilante when he followed and continued to try to kill them after they were frantically running away. And it’s extremely lucky that he didn’t accidentally kill any innocent bystanders who happened to be in the parking lot.

        1. Actually, we don’t know that he was trying to kill the robbers as they were running away. We probably won’t know until the trial.

          Given that the guy seems well trained AND he didn’t kill either of the robbers, it’s entirely probable that the followup shots weren’t aimed at anyone but designed to keep the robbers on the run.

        2. Police are very much allowed to, and trained to, shoot armed suspects that are fleeing from them.  The reasoning is that the suspect is able to turn and shoot faster than the officer can react.

    8.  I think everyone here is missing the big story – THERE’S STILL INTERNET CAFES.

      What next? Armed robbery at a buggy whip factory?

      1. Two things:

        1) This is Florida, home to a lot of retirees who don’t understand or desire the details for getting a PC and internet connection, but who do want to access the Internet.  (Unlike my father, who built his own PCs when he retired there).

        2) This Internet cafe appears to also host a form of online gambling on some of their terminals…so it’s kind of like an Internet casino, too.

      2. In modern America, “Internet Cafe” is a euphemism for “small scale gambling parlor.”

  2. It seems to my delicate UK sensibilities that he carried on firing way beyond the time when he may reasonably have assumed they were no longer a threat. 

    Heat of the moment I’m sure and of course I wasn’t there being terrorised but he was still firing at their backs as they were scarpering out of the door.

    1. I agree that the fact that he kept firing at the assailants after they started running and in fact were out of the door is a bit of a problem. However, you also have to take into consideration the physiological events that are taking place during a situation like this. 

      Should he of stopped firing as soon as the threat was eliminated, yes. Can you fault him for action that took place in the heat of the moment? Not necessarily.
      Keep in mind also that the footage does not give us the whole story. When he was in front of the door he could have been firing back at one of the assailants because he felt they were trying to come back in, or they raised their weapon towards him. By and large the defender’s actions were in the right and that outweighs the minor (in this case) issue of him firing when they had exited.

      1.  You can indeed fault him for action that took place ‘in the heat of the moment’. Hence the comments of those castigating him for escalating a situation that he was not trained to handle. If you shoot a person running away, or incapacitated, in the back in the UK, precedent says you’re likely going away for murder/manslaughter.

        1. He defended himself and others. He fired his gun, his shots hit their target(s) and the assailants ran away.

          Sounds to me like he’s more “trained” then some LEOs.

          1. Are your police allowed to shoot at people that are running away?  People that have their backs turned and aren’t actively threatening anyone?  I’m pretty sure they’re not.

          2.  @Nathan Hornby: Yes, American police are allowed to shoot armed suspects that are fleeing.  They are in fact trained to do so, at least in some jurisdictions.

          3. Speaking practically, “running” sometimes means “running for cover to return fire, rearm, call for assistance”.

            You aren’t allowed to return fire on an assailant that isn’t a threat, but threat is determined deferentially in favor of defenders and even more so when the defender is a sworn citizen.

            So… in brief, No, Nathan. If you are stupid enough to point a pistol (or a bat, for that matter) at a US policeman, your life continues at their discretion if you do anything other than disarm and capitulate to commands in very, VERY short order.

            Running, though, could mean anything.

      2. You can’t be sure the threat is eliminated until they’re incapacitated. What’s stopping them from retaliating?

        People watch too many movies and pass judgement from the safety of their keyboard. Real life “noble heroes” die.

        1. Did you miss the part where I said I felt his actions were justified in light of the possible mistakes he may have made?

    2. Adrenaline is a major factor. Most people in these situations later are asked how many times they think they fired. They remember 1 or 2 when it turns out they actually emptied a 15-round mag.

      But, you want to know how to avoid being shot in the back (or front) when you rob a store?

        1.  Bigger doesn’t really give you a particular advantage: at close range, a bullet’s a bullet. It doesn’t matter if it’s an uzi or a pea shooter. If that thing has sufficient stopping power, it’s just who shoots first.

    3. They were armed, I’d argue that the threat can only be considered “eliminated” when they’re either dead or out of range. Whether or not this guy even should have started shooting, given the likelihood (or at least possibility) that it would develop into a full-fledged shootout is probably a valid point of debate, but once he started shooting, there’s no way he should have stopped until it was crystal clear that there was no danger.

    4. If they still had their weapons, they were still a threat.  Ask any police officer.  If you raise a gun to a police officer, he’s going to shoot you until you are down, keep the gun on you until he can secure you and ensure you have no more weapons.  

      If this is OK for the police, why can’t it be OK for us as the general public?

      1. Like it or not the rules are different for non-sworn citizens. Again, we don’t have the whole picture and it’s not necessarily fair to criticize this guy but in general you should not fire at a fleeing assailant.

        1.  How do you tell “fleeing” from “retreating”? Real conflicts very rarely move in a clearly delineated fashion. You don’t want to give the other guy a chance because he might take it.

      2. “If this is OK for the police, why can’t it be OK for us as the general public?”

        Because you are only trying to defend yourself, not make an arrest.  A cop has to close with that person, you don’t.  Once it is clear they are running away they aren’t a threat to you.  A cop is obligated to chase them.

        Also, they were running into a parking lot or the street, not a gun range.  Other people down range you know?

      3.  If this is OK for the police, why can’t it be OK for us as the general public?

        Hilarious. Because the general public are not police. Florida has a very high profile example of the kind of tragedy that occurs when vigilantes THINK that they’re police.

    5. Yeah, store owners have been convicted in Belgium too for shooting robbers when they were clearly fleeing the scene and don’t pose a clear immediate danger. Clearly this guy was a good shot but what would’ve happened if he had missed the mark and the bullet ended up in some other more underving target ?

      1. You cna play the “what if” game all day. 

        Like what if he was not armed, or was but did noting. Perhaps the news story would be “Armed robbers kill all in Internet cafe.” Or “Armed robbers get away with thousands of dollars but no one hurt.”

        These guys threatened violence and appeared to have the means to enact it. Williams response was appropriate. 

        1. Perhaps the news story would be “Armed robbers kill all in Internet cafe.”

          Perhaps it would, but it would be much more unlikely.

          1.  Gotta say, if I was in that cafe and had a gun on me, I think I’d take a gamble on personal autonomy rather than play the odds in the “these guys probably won’t kill or rape any of the innocent folks here” lottery.

    6. he carried on firing way beyond the time when he may reasonably have assumed they were no longer a threat.

      In a situation like that, you can’t be sure they’re not a threat until they’re dead or at the very least throw their weapons and lay face down on the floor with their hands above their heads.  AFAIK, if someone puts a gun in the face of others or myself, they plan on being a murderer that day.  And, it’s go time.

      Don’t want to die today?  Don’t pull out guns on people or grab a bat and roll with idiots that do.  These guys showed deadly force and they’re damn lucky they weren’t given their own deadly force dirt nap.

      While we’re worried about others, here…  I wonder how many of those patron’s lives got disrupted in a very negative way because of the actions of these two idiots?  Or worse, how many would have been seriously injured or killed if it wasn’t for the BRAVE actions of this man?

  3. My only concern, and the concern that was repeatedly voiced by the instructor during my Texas CHL training class, is the civil litigation that is likely to ensue. Essentially the statement made was “Even if you are not on the hook for criminal charges, the minute you shoot someone, even non-fatally, you basically make the decision to spend at least $10K in civil litigation whether you win or not”

    I’m all for people who go looking for trouble getting exactly that, so I applaud Mr Williams, but I’m sure the punks and/or their weasely families will sue for civil damages and at at the very least cost him legal fees.

    1. This happened in FL so if he does not face any criminal charges then he is protected by FL law from civil charges as well.

        1. It should be like FL everywhere. It’s discussing that one can defend their life and then have to pay out money to the assailant or the assailants family. 

          1.  I see Navin here is also ignoring the amount of gun crime committed with actual legal firearms. I would think that that statistic is relevant.

            As far as I’m aware, CHL’s tend to be used legally or not at all.

    2. Actually, in Texas, the Castle Doctrine, passed in 2007, provides protections to the person exonerated from criminal charges. It does not prevent civil litigation, but the exoneration becomes evidence admissible in a civil suit and can be used to determine right or wrongdoing as well as damages. It is designed to protect those that the state has determined to have acted properly in defending the lives of others. This is taught in your CHL course (or at least should be), at least since 2007 (I am a CHL holder).

      Unfortunately, I can’t cite any cases since 2007 to prove that this has been either this has been an effective deterrent to civil litigation or has provided an inexpensive defense for someone who has been sued.

    3.  I’m guessing there would be no shortage of donors to pay his legal bills in this instance.  Also, at that age he is probably of the mindset “whats the worst they can they do, take away my birthday?’

    1. Yeah, but if the punks hadn’t taken the first step, nothing would have happened. He isn’t at fault.

      As a fellow CHL friend of mine says “I don’t carry a gun because I’m looking for trouble, I carry because I want to be left alone.”

      Those of us who carry aren’t itching to use it, in fact, the ramifications for doing so make it so that actually pulling the trigger is the *last* thing you want to resort to. The hope is that the mere possibility of someone being armed will be a deterrent to anyone getting out of line. But experience has proven that you can’t rely on people to behave when left to their own devices. He didn’t make them charge into the store, you can’t blame him for this episode.

      1. The hope is that the mere possibility of someone being armed will be a deterrent to anyone getting out of line.

        Can’t really apply this reasoning to conceal and carry, though, can you?  I applaud your sensible attitude towards gun ownership but let’s not pretend its universal among gun owners or advocates of lax gun control laws.

    1. “For every one of these feel good stories there are 10, 20, 30, 40, 50? Gun rampages by “law abiding” fuck nuts.”

      Cite your source.

      1. View the news some time.  This week it was that guy in Alabama opening up on a bar full of college students, next week, or tomorrow it’ll be somebody else…..  I hope you genuinely don’t think that people reading your comment are so out of touch to believe that this isn’t a complete aberration. There’s basically a gun rampage happening all the time. Oh, and welcome to Boing Boing gun guy scouring the internet for gun stories.

        1. You’re kinda all over the map here.

          Burress didn’t have  a concealed license. And it seemed like he got a pretty harsh penalty for a stupid error in judgement. He deserved some punishment, but it wasn’t like he shot his foot in a school classroom like that DEA agent. 

          Your point about the Alabama shooting can just as easily be flipped around to support concealed carry laws as well. Not to make light of the crime, but if one old coot in that bar had been armed, it makes things a little less lopsided. 

          1. but it wasn’t like he shot his foot in a school classroom like that DEA agent.

            was the DEA agent licensed to carry? I’m betting he wasn’t. If he had been, he would have known about gun safety.

          1. Pretty much every rampage from Virginia Tech to Gabby Giffords has been at the hands of a legal gun owner.

          2.  @Navin_Johnson:disqus

            For some reason boingboing is not letting me reply to you (reply link is hidden).

            I am not saying it doesn’t happen. You are saying there are upwards to 50 times more legal gun carriers “snapping” than there are legal gun carriers doing something good. However, you continue to fail citing facts on this. You are using obvious statistics skewing by including all gun violence. If we include ALL gun violence, 50 times is not close.

            Gun violence happens every day. However, gun violence by licensed carriers is kinda rare. Criminals are significantly less likely to follow the law to acquire a gun, let alone acquire license to carry it. This is the primary source of gun violence, and the only way your “50 times” statistic can work.

            Now, if you still believe that there is 50 times more gun violence by licensed gun carriers than there is these “feel good” stories, please cite your sources.

            BTW, in Texas, when a licensed gun carrier commits a crime involving a firearm, the instructor that signed off for his license is investigated. My instructor has been doing CHL courses for quite some time and had been responsible for licensing thousands of people in Texas. Up until the point where he signed off on my CHL, he had not faced any of these investigations. This seems to throw your point right back into your face.

        2. The monthly NRA magazine has a section with 8 or 10 of these “armed citizen uses gun to defend self or others” stories every month.  So, like Adam said, what’s your evidence that the ratio of good to bad gun use is so low?

          1. Oh the NRA does….haha.   Anybody with any common sense knows that these situations are rare.  You’ll notice I put a question mark after my post because it was tongue in cheek.  If ANY of you guys can point out all these scores of times concealed carry guys have saved the day then I urge you to do so.  The rest of us will continue to read about gun rampage after gun rampage in the news.

          2. His “evidence” is a link to a UK rag. The article looks at gun crime which one would expect to be higher if guns are more available. It’s interesting that they did not look at the types of weapons used to commit crimes in the UK… I guess that’s because we all know that the UK is violence free.

            Or that you’re just more likely to get beaten or stabbed to death, rather than shot.

            The weapon used to commit a crime is largely irrelevant other than as an interesting statistical fact. If someone is bent on committing a crime and using violence to do so, they will find a way.

            Also, notice the states with the strictest gun control – really high numbers there.

          3. I don’t imagine that NRA mags print every story of a shooting by licensed gun owners. They print the ones that best support their narrative. Navin has been emphasizing gun rampages, but I’m more interested in the minor league shootings that happen every day without getting much attention: licensed gun owners who shoot themselves, shoot their spouse or neighbor,  or some guy in a bar. The kind of shootings that happen so often they don’t get mentioned beyond the police blotter section, because they are boringly repetitive.

          4. @twitter-10847762:disqus 

            You’re right in that the UK has plenty of violent crime.  Not as much as the US of course, but we have our fair share.

            But a knife is a tool, one that has many uses.  And quite frankly I wouldn’t like to try and defend or kill anyone with a knife, I imagine it being fiddly and pretty risky.

            A gun, on the other hand, is a tool designed to kill.  You can stand 20 feet away from somebody and empty several rounds into them before they even know what’s happening.  

            Can you really not see the difference?  Banning knives is complicated, banning guns is sensible.  Most people that don’t live in gun filled countries feel the same way.

          1. Good legal gun owners aren’t criminals until they snap and decide to go on a massacre.

        3. I read Boing Boing every day (nearly). I do not “scour the Internet for gun stories.”

          To dispel any other assumptions: I’m an Atheist, and my political leanings are Libertarian.

        4. Virginia Tech’s Cho was a licensed gun carrier ONLY because of a clerical error.  Legally, he was not eligible, but Virigina failed to report his mental status to the NICS, allowing him to purchase a gun.  Which in turn had its serial numbers filed off.Columbine: Not Legal.

          One Goh: I haven’t heard any conclusive evidence that he had a CCW.  I have heard it reported he had a hunting license, but that’s not applicable to the gun he used for the shootings.

          Rodrick Dantzler: Used a stolen gun, no CCW.

          Michael Mclendon did have two permits for his handguns.  But NOT for the Bushmaster AR-15 assualt rifle that he actually used for his rampage.

          The point is, “Pretty much every rampage from Virginia Tech to Gabby Giffords has been at the hands of a legal gun owner.” is incorrect.

      2. It’s hard to find (with a quick search) one source with all the relevant statistics, but it seems it basically boils down to this; there are about 100,000 “gun defenses” a year, in which the gun is only actually used in roughly 10,000. There are about 20,000 unintentional deaths and injuries, and 15,000 suicides. Guns were used to commit crimes in approximately 500,000 incidents, resulting in about 85,000 deaths or injuries.

        So it would appear that the actual number is closer to 5-8;

        100,000 “good” gun uses
        500,000 “bad” gun uses

        10,000 defensive actions resulting in injury/death
        20,000 accidental/suicide injuries/deaths
        85,000 intentional criminal injuries/deaths

        I give these stats without commentary, though I admit I’m a believer in the 2nd amendment’s protection of the individual’s right to bear arms.

        1. It’s worth noting that your statistics are all crime-related.  Many gun owners in America are sportsmen and hunters, which may account for many of the ‘accidental’ category and would change the ‘good’ gun use numbers, if one chose to categorize target shooting and hunting that way.

    2. I would venture a guess that it’s closer to a one-to-one ratio of feel-good and feel-bad stories. The number of LICENSED concealed weapon holders involved in criminal shooting incidents in a given year is statistically negligible when compared either to the number of licensed concealed carry persons in the US, or the number of firearm homicides per year. Most gun crimes are committed by people who are already violating the law, either by merely possessing a firearm, in the case of felons, etc. or by carrying it concealed illeagally (which is a crime in every jurisdiction I’ve had experience in). Not trying to say that there are that many “hero” stories either, but don’t stretch the facts to fit your belief system.

    3. Wikipedia says Plaxico had an expired CCW license from Florida. His shooting happened in NY so I’m not sure if that would cover it anyway. Concealed Carry fans would emphasize that point, as if people with updated licenses never have accidents or break laws. I’m still with you on your conclusion.

      1. Plaxico was well outside the law for having a firearm in New York.  it’s incredibly difficult to get a license to carry in New York…especially if an individual is not from that state.

  4. If his gun hadn’t been concealed, maybe they wouldn’t have tried to rob the place in the first place. If guns weren’t so common, maybe they wouldn’t have been able to get a gun, or they may not have felt they needed a gun in the first place (they might have just robbed an empty cornerstore at knifepoint).

    And who buys a $1200 computer screen?

    1. It’s hard to have normal everyday interactions with people when they see you have a gun, don’cha think?

      Also i’d imagine an INTERNET cafe buys many expensive monitors.

      1. actually, normal everyday interactions with visibly armed individuals in states that allow open carry are pretty commonplace.  Florida is one of those places.  so are Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (based on my own experiences).

      1. Also medical users(on the very low end).  Your radiologist probably vomits into his mouth a little every time he has to use a monitor that goes for under 5k…

    2.  Yeah, it’s a nice paradox for the poor saps in these gun crazy states.  They have more guns floating around and more gun crime, thus they must forever be arming themselves and putting even more guns into circulation.  It’s like a snake eating itself, or a dumbass shooting himself in the foot*

      *which seems to be a big problem with a number of gun fanatics.

      1. “Yeah, it’s a nice paradox for the poor saps in these gun crazy states.  They have more guns floating around and more gun crime”

        This is simply not true. DC, for example has had some of the most restrictive gun laws on the books. Hardly what you’d consider a “gun crazy state” and yet… more violent crime and a lot of it by gun. 

        1. Hardly an argument. If the country is awash with guns then state laws won’t prevent people already intent on breaking the law from bringing them in…

          1. I’ll take drug running for 500, Alex. Texas is a major drug trafficking highway throughout the entire country. There’s a large meth production problem and many other contributing factors that would suggest to be much more important than legal gun ownership.

            Also, you can get chicken-or-the-egg with this and argue that more guns are owned legally in Texas because there’s a greater societal need for them.

            Guns are the sort of thing you never really want to need. They’re easy to argue over until they’re useful and then you’re glad someone brought it.

          2. I dont know. What’s your point? You’re avoiding the issue that states/areas with harsh firearm laws are still awash in gun violence. Banning something is not the panacea you’re proposing it is.  

            With guns or cars or dogs or drugs or anything else in the world, I’d rather have a right to exercise as I see fit. And the punishments for harming others while irresponsibly engaged in that activity should be harsh and as prohibitive as possible. 

      2. Ah, and there’s zero gun-related crime in more secure, gun-prohibitive cities like Chicago, DC and New York?

        Oh wait a second… 

        1. Per capita by state buddy.  You knew that though….  obviously crime totals are higher in urban areas, particular ones with poverty, even so, you’ll find that it’s worse per capita in cities like Memphis, and a bunch of smaller cities you wouldn’t expect.

        2. Does it have to be zero, or can it just be lower? 
          BTW, Toronto is a very gun-prohibitive city. With very few exceptions, you can safely say that ‘only the criminals’ (and police) have guns here. We’re also in the midst of, what for us is a very bad summer for gun-related crime. 
          We’ve had 60 homicides this year, and I think roughly 30 of them were gun related. How does that compare to a gun-positive city in America with with a similar population (2.6 million)?

          1. Baltimore has had 112 homicides this year, and the laws determining the right to CARRY are very, very restrictive.  according to the census last year, we had 619,493 residents within city limits with 196 homicides. 

          2.  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/01/11/20-deadliest-gun-states-from-mississippi-to-arizona.html

          3. As of July 19 there re 30 homicides in Toronto for 2012. The trend on murder is falling until this year, for instance, 60 homicides was the total for all of 2010, followed by 46 homicides for all of 2011. 2012 may break that trend but not by much.

            As for general comparatives, Detroit has a murder rate of 10x Toronto’s. New York City has a murder rate of only 2x Toronto. Those are extreme examples, mostly it is about 5x in comparable urban areas. Most of the murders  in those cities are gum related, in Toronto it is usually 1/3, but has gone as high as half.

            Summary, yeah, murder can be 10x, or as low as 2x, but always double or more and always at a much, much higher incidence of gun violence. 

            Vancouver runs about the same rates, places in between usually do better on crime, cept Montreal.

      3. Actually before responding to this thread I did some research and Florida is not especially high in gun crime. In fact gun crime has fallen dramatically there. (Edit: sorry I know citations should have been included but I was late for work cause I was reading BB comment threads not ironing my shirt)

        1.  You wouldn’t be able to do that research because they don’t provide their figures for deaths.  What they do provide shows that they are one of the worst states in the U.S.

      4. And yet simultaneously, gun ownership is at an all-time high, while the number of homicide deaths (not rate; number) is at a level not seen since the mid 50s when the population was about half as large.   So more guns = more crime?  I await your explanation of how that is so most eagerly.

          1. Sure, if you cherry pick. Overall, the states with higher rates of gun ownership have, on average, lower violent crime rates. It’s a very slight correlation with a low R squared, resembling a random scatter more than a trend. But the regression line does slope downward…

    3. “If his gun hadn’t been concealed, maybe they wouldn’t have tried to rob the place in the first place. ”

      So you favor open carry? Me too. ;)

      “And who buys a $1200 computer screen?”

      I do . 2 of them. 30″ Sammys.

  5. It’s hard to have any sympathy for these guys since they get what they deserve, but really, do we want everyone carrying a gun and shooting at people every time they perceive that something is wrong? I mean, even if this guy isn’t wrong, look at the judgement of the average person out there and imagine everyone doing this. And even in this case, what if there had been an innocent person just outside the door that he had hit when he was shooting at them as they ran? It all just seems like an excellent reason to never visit Florida again.

    1. I don’t trust the judgment of other people either.  Perhaps we should reduce the capacity of citizens to decide their own actions in some way.  Perhaps more laws and enforcement and prisons and ..

      1. You do get right to the heart of one of the problems there. I have no solutions, and I doubt many others do either or we’d have solved this problem already.

    2. He didn’t just perceive something was wrong, there was a gun in his face. He responded appropriately. He didn’t harm any civilians, only the two pricks who were pointing a gun in his face. And I bet they won’t do it again.

      I’ll guarantee you all the other people who were one trigger pull away from their death appreciate that guy had a concealed carry permit.

      1.  He didn’t harm any civilians

        Which was lucky, considering he was firing out the door while chasing them off…..

        1. If he HAD accidentally fatally wounded a civilian, he’d then be cited by gun proponents as an irresponsible menace, the “bad” kind of gun owner who ruins the reputation of all the “good” gun owners.

          Remember folks, there’s no true Scotsman!

          1.  Exactly, like all the other legions of legal gun owners who went crazy and decided to start killing people with their ridiculously militarized weapons.

      2. He didn’t harm any civilians, only the two pricks who were pointing a gun in his face. 

        What exactly is a “civilian?”

        1. Presumably someone you don’t have a reason to dislike.

          Remember folks, death is a fitting reward for almost any poor choice or unpopular action!

      3. Okay, read what I wrote and tell me where I said “he” perceived something was wrong. And no, he didn’t hit anyone innocent, but looking at the video again, he well could have. And someone else certainly will.

        I am actually surprised that so many people seem to think that living in a world where everyone can shoot at everyone else in public is a good idea.

        1. Your last paragraph is a lil trollish.  I think if we are being honest, both gun control advocates and concealed carry advocates would think living in a world where nobody shoots anybody in public is a good idea.  That is the shared ideal everyone wants.  The difference of opinion is about what to do in the imperfect world where criminals exist and have guns, and use them.  
          I don’t even know, myself.  Clearly the US has a problem with homicide given its other demographics, compared with other nations of similar living standards, etc.  Is it because of guns, wealth disparity, some cultural thing?  Then, on gun control, what would we propose and for what purpose?  If the purpose is to reduce deaths, should we ban handguns or Ho-Ho’s, or alcohol?  Or none of the above?

          1. Okay, we can disagree, but “trollish”? Methinks you have a nonstandard definition of the term since I’m here in the discussion, not flaming and running away. And there do appear to be a substantial number of commenters who think that a shoot ’em up society is just fine–in fact, that it’s better than the alternative. And that surprises me that this attitude is this prevalent on boingboing.

            But this has all degenerated, as a couple of people predicted it would, so perhaps I am done after all.

        2. I am actually surprised that so many people seem to think that living in a world where everyone can shoot at everyone else in public is a good idea.

          I’m surprised so many boingers have so much faith in the competence and professionalism of LEOs.

  6. two questions come to mind:
    1.) are there really still internet cafes?
    2.) who in the hell robs internet cafes?  not exactly a huge cash gold mine.

    1. The story Xeni linked to references ‘sweepstakes’ being held at Internet cafes, which sounds like some kind of gambling. In other words, these Internet cafes have lots of cash on the premises.

    2. I read a post elsewhere that said that in Florida “Internet cafe” is short for “on-line casino” and is a place where people go to access some sort of internet gambling site for a fee, so that may be where the money part of the equation is.

    3. They were not just trying to rob the cafe, they were going to rob everybody in the cafe.
      They would be taking credit cards, jewlery, phones, etc…

    4. This is why we need better STEM education in the US.  If these robbers had been taught programming in school they’d have been home writing malware to steal people’s credit cards in a non-violent way and wouldn’t have precipitated a firefight in a public place.

    5. It’s a casino, you can see the dedicated video slots in the video and the “internet” available as MTDutch101 & ogver point out is probably used mostly fro gambling.

      They would probably grimace if you walked in intending to only play starcraft for $5 an hour

  7. Discussions of handgun laws were out of bounds at one time on Boing Boing.  This comment thread is going to be a free fire zone with lots of damaged feelings and nothing settled.  I doubt it’s intentional but you could hardly find a more effective way to troll your own readers.

    1. The gun control debate provides a really good example of what is called Attitude Polarization.  People have a tendency to assimilate evidence into whatever preconceptions they already have.  So when a person who is averse to guns hears about a shooting they think, “There are too many damn guns.”  When a person who is sympathetic to gun ownership reads about a shooting, they think,”I need to be armed, because the world is hostile.”  More or less.

      1. Very true, I grew up in a mostly rural state with almost universal gun ownership and an extremely low gun violence rate (suicide and accidents are a different story), but now live in Chicago. I strongly support legal gun ownership and use, but I think there is plenty of room for common sense gun control measures. Shame folks can’t realize that there are “grey areas” in the world.

  8. Did this guy just “perceive something was wrong”, or was it pretty much obvious? You can pretend people in states where concealed carry is common go around shooting at whatever threat they “perceive”, but in fact, it doesn’t actually happen that way.

    1. Right, it’s not like they’d stalk some kid, despite police urging otherwise, and get in a confrontation that enabled them to finally use their gun.

      1.  Which was encouraged by the lax gun laws of the state. In Texas, such a shooting would require that Zimmerman go to court and submit the evidence for the case.

        Also, in Texas, what he did is clearly defined as murder. You can’t go “looking for trouble”. If you do so, you are in violation of your license. Clear CHL laws provide legal protection and procedure for many cases.

        1. This is correct, while Texas has some serious problems with the proliferation of weapons it is widely accepted that you have to answer up for any shooting you do. Even shootings that seem to be clearly “castled” can end up in a grand jury if it doesn’t smell right to investigators.

          Florida is just stupid with that “stand your ground” asinine bullshit. Talk about a concept that promotes aggressive behaviour. 

          Both places need fewer weapons and tougher restrictions on acquisition coupled with -lucrative- buy-back programs. No sub-tropical or tropical places should be so free and easy with weaponry.

  9. What bothers me is that the man was a lousy shot.  I’m not joking about that, either.  It pisses me off that most of the gun nuts in this country are people I wouldn’t trust with a butter knife.

    If you can, under pressure, calmly and precisely put a bullet into an armed robber’s skull before he can hurt somebody, and prove to a jury that that was the best possible response at the time, then by all means, please do- But don’t go looking for an excuse to get into a firefight.  The point of using a firearm in that sort of situation is to REDUCE the danger to bystanders, not EXACERBATE it.  If you can’t be counted on to do so, then you shouldn’t be carrying a deadly weapon.

    You know, in principle, I believe that a citizen of a free society should be allowed to keep full-auto explosive round anti-tank weaponry if they so choose.  In practice, I’m not entirely convinced that Americans can be trusted to own private automobiles, let alone guns.

    1. I can see where you’re coming from.  Given the amount of idiots in the wild, it seems reasonable to be concerned that some of them might be armed.  It comes down to who one trusts.  Personally I trust myself to be able to handle a gun more than a cop or some other random citizen.  I’ve met cops that knew surprisingly little about firearms.  I’ve seen cops do things that were categorically stupid from a gun safety standpoint.  That’s the main reason I’m reluctant to disarm: because I don’t have faith in the ability or willingness of others to defend me.

    2. “What bothers me is that the man was a lousy shot.”
      Compared to what?  The average distance for a law-enforcement gunfight is 10-20 feet, and frequently neither party manages to hit the other, even at the smaller distance.  In high pressure situations that sort of accurate shooting is a fantasy.  (Which means it’s either damn lucky no one else got hit, or the shooter was being very careful to make sure no one else was anywhere near their line of fire.)

    3. If you can, under pressure, calmly and precisely put a bullet into an armed robber’s skull before he can hurt somebody, and prove to a jury that that was the best possible response at the time, then by all means, please do- But don’t go looking for an excuse to get into a firefight.

      You have no idea what you’re talking about.  LEOs and weapon owners are trained to shoot at the trunk, not the head.  More stopping power, much better odds of hitting, lower chance of fatality, and much reduced risk of stray rounds.  This guy did everything exactly right.

      I’m not entirely convinced that Americans can be trusted to own private automobiles,

      I actually agree with this, but contrary to what you’re saying Williams actually demonstrated that he’d been trained.  The fact that he made contact with moving targets suggests that he’s actually a pretty damned good shot.

  10. Interestingly enough, all the people here bashing granpa are the same people who want to outlaw guns. Yet they fail to realize that the only guy in this situation who obtained a gun legally, was the hero.

    Outlaw guns, and the robbery still takes place. But this time, there’s no law abiding citizen to defend the innocent.

    1. Absolutely true. I love the comment about “bad shot”. Had this elderly man killed one of them, it’s a whole new set of arguments. You can’t win with these people. I personally believe across the board that people who want to carry, and file to do so, should have to take a mandatory training class. You could do it in one day. Subjects like stress, when to fire, what will you hit if you miss the target, when to stop firing, aiming techniques.

      But in the end,  I’m yet to see a great number of police video where the officer is in grave danger, pulls his weapon and fires, and puts down the assailant. Most are frantic and adrenaline fueled – and thats totally understandable. But it does say something when a single elderly man is the most adept, calm and effective defender I’ve seen in years. 

      1. I doubt most people realize the fact that even trained Law enforcement has trouble hitting their target in a situation like this.  There is an FBI report speaking to handgun round selection that notes that most trained officers only land 1-2 hits on target when emptying an entire magazine.  Using a firearm effectively in a high-stress situation isn’t like playing a video game or what you see action stars doing in the movies.


        Also, how was the old man supposed to know that they weren’t going to kill all the witnesses at the end of the robbery.  They were wearing hoods and gloves so as not to leave hair and finger prints behind.  After killing everyone in the cafe they could have disabled/erased the security cameras and left.  Then we’d be reading a story about 10-20 dead from multiple gunshot wounds/blunt force trauma.  This scenario is equivalent to the “he could have hit an innocent person” hypothetical.

        Lowering the availability of weapons does not decrease crime.  Humans are the most resourceful species on the planet, if we can’t obtain a weapon we will make one ourselves.  Wealth distribution, quality of free education, and availability of social services does impact crime.

        1. >> Wealth distribution, quality of free education, and
          >> availability of social services does impact crime.

          absolutely true.

          news stories about armed robbers getting shot also impacts crime.

      2. Yeah I don’t think the old man was a bad shot. He hit them both after all. Their wounds don’t sound that serious though, so my guess is he was using target ammo instead of hollow-points.

      1. A mental defective, a drug dealer, a junkie or a common criminal will get the gun by hook or by crook. I’d like to know how you make yourself believe gun laws have any bearing on that. Guns laws aren’t the issue – it’s the complacency and apathy of society that allows the genesis of these issues to remain – some of which sadly end with a gun, instead of getting to the real issue(s) everyone wants to ignore.

        1.  In Laughner’s case it was a simple matter of going into a shopping mall’s sports store.

          I’d like to know how you make yourself believe gun laws have any bearing on that.

          Uh, they make getting guns much easier for criminals, either legitimately or by straw purchase.  yeesh..

    2. “there’s no law abiding citizen to defend the innocent”

      And what do you use cops for?

      1. You’re right, this older guy should have let the cop sitting 2 seats down take care of the situation.

    3. Except that if all guns were outlawed, it’d be a lot harder to get illegal ones.

      Why? Because most of the illegal ones come originally from “legal” sources.

      It’s a lot easier to game the system when it has existing loopholes. It’s not like there are all these secret factories pumping out guns just for criminals, made without serial numbers and sold for cheap. Illegitimate weapons start out as legitimate ones. They start out with serial numbers which later get filed off. They get stolen, “lost”, “misplaced”, “destroyed”, “sold” to shell companies and phony buyers. There are countless ways to take legitimate goods and get them into illegitimate gray and black markets. Instead of hiding illegal weaponry from view completely, all you have to do is disguise is as legal weaponry.

      1.  So where do all the firearms come from in places where they’re illegal? Unless we entirely end weapon production, they’ll be sidelined from military and put into the hands of criminals.

        It’s a good point, but I think it justifies further gun control tightening to ensure proper ownership.

        1.  UK and Australian gun death rates would suggest that limited gun rights make it very difficult to get illegal firearms.

          1. Assuming you reason purely by confirmation bias.

            Canada has more guns per capita than the USA.  Explain Canada’s gun death statistics.

          2. @wysinwyg

            Canada’s stats only suggest there are more than one way to limit gun violence.
             One seems to be limiting guns, and the other, may be taking your agression out by watching hocky and drinking beek while eating maple syrup.   Or maybe its socialized medicine.  

    1. Over the past year or two (at least here in NC) there have been a lot of small-time casinos set up in retail storefronts under the guise of “internet cafés”. Which, of course, become attractive armed robbery targets.

    2. The Life of Bryan below pegs it, you can see video slots lining the wall toward the entrance in the video. They probably do have the internet but it’s not $5 an hour internet that earns them the bread and butter, it’s the addictive pathetic-maker machines. (and I don’t mean WoW)

    3. No, it’s actually more of an Internet Casino with access terminals.  So presumably they were hoping to get money off of the victims, but assuming that most of the transactions were electronic, that wasn’t really very likely.  But then, armed robbery rarely returns a lot of money, so I don’t think clear thinking was on the table, here.

  11. Moderator’s note:  I realize the subject matter here is inherently inflammatory, but please argue politely.

  12. The shooter (and the by-standers) got lucky. This could have gone wrong in so many ways.

    1. I am not an expert marksmen, but from what I saw he waited until the guy was not looking at him and shot first directly at center of mass.  He continued to fire towards the assailants until they left the facility.

      1. Yes, he seemed to have hit the robber with the gun with his first shot. But he could have missed, and the guy could have returned fire. Also, he fired a shot out the front door after the guys left the building — where did that bullet go?
        My point is, if 20 people did what the old guy did in a similar situation, I think it would go terribly wrong 19 times. 

        1. What if the robbers started shooting first?
          What if the guy didn’t pull his gun?
          Or didn’t have a gun?

          You can “what if” every situation to twist it into your side of the debate, but in it’s hard to debate this was a proper use of firearms based on state and federal laws (well, except for those two bozos).  

          A legal use of firearms won out in the case of an illegal use of firearms.

          1. I disagree that I’m ‘twisting’ anything to ‘my side’ by suggesting that firing a weapon (in a crowded room!) greatly raises the stakes, and increases the probability of a very bad outcome. 
            I don’t dispute that it was done lawfully, as I have little knowledge of your laws. Nor do I dispute that the outcome here was good (except of the robbers). Just saying the shooter was very lucky.

          2. disagree that I’m ‘twisting’ anything to ‘my side’ by suggesting that firing a weapon (in a crowded room!) greatly raises the stakes, and increases the probability of a very bad outcome.

            That’s not what you’re being accused of.  What you’re being accused of is using hypothetical scenarios as arguments while not allowing the people you’re arguing against to do the same.  This is called “hypocrisy.”  I’m sure it feels really good to win arguments but when you do it unfairly you don’t convince anyone and often actually alienate the very people you’re trying to bring round to your side.

      2.  It’s a nice wager.  It just has to come off this well *every* time to prevent innocent citizens from being shot by a guy like this.  Good luck with that.

        1. And for the guy with the illegally used gun to rob the place?  Would that be included in your “*every* time” statistic count?

          It will come off that way with better training and knowledge of a firearm.  I’m pretty sure that baseball bat applied to that old ladies skull would have had invoked a “fatality” on your statistical meter.  I used to be pretty much for gun control, but after years of familiarity and occasional use of a firearm…seriously, the people who have never fired a gun yet scream about how they are evil tools look like idiots.

          If you are so worried about training and what idiots get a CCW, get one yourself and follow the process.  $50 and a day or two of training.  See for yourself.

          1. I used to be pretty much for gun control, but after years of familiarity and occasional use of a firearm…seriously, the people who have never fired a gun yet scream about how they are evil tools look like idiots.

            I spent my early years shooting in a rural environment, as a tween I was allowed to keep  a 410 in my bedroom.  I grew up with a hunting family.  That does not mean I want idiots and wannabe heroes carrying pistols on city streets. You offer a false dilemma: Wide open gun use vs. outlawing guns.  Most people simply are for sensible gun policy.

        2. When somebody actually points a gun at you, I think that counts as an “all bets are off” situation.  It was about two years ago that somebody walked into a 7-11 and where I live and shot the clerk dead.  About a year before that some teen-aged employee was killed by a robber at a T-Moble store.  None of it makes any sense.  It just seems to me that your best bet is to do whatever you can to try and save yourself.  A lot of times that means booking it out of there, even if you have a gun.  Some situations might not allow that of course.

          I guess what I’m saying is, sometimes there is no time for hesitation.

  13. Thankfully I don’t live in a country where this is an issue but it does appear to me to be an example of the sort of escalation problems frequently discussed around gun control.

    These two dead beats both felt the need to and were able to purchase a gun to commit their crimes. Felt the need because they know other people will legally have guns. Were able to because of the high number of guns in circulation.

    And as much as I would not trust your average citizen to have good instincts (or aim) how much less would I feel safe with two frightened criminals waving their poorly maintained firearm around in their twitchy hands?

    People are injured and die in robberies conducted with knives all the time, simply increasing the ease and efficiency of doing the killing on both sides of the equation by allowing gun ownership seems like a poor idea to me.

    The right to carry a gun ‘in case shit happens’ appears like a basic denial of the universal law that ‘shit indeed does happen’ and leaves no one any the safer.

    1. “Felt the need because they know other people will legally have guns”

      So, the point is that criminals only carry guns because other people have them? If you eliminated legal firearms, the illegal ones would disappear. Pardon my skepticism, but I would posit that criminals bring firearms because they give them power and they’re using them to force people into doing what they want.

      It’s not as if, without firearms, they’d just walk in barehanded and demand all the cash.

      1.  “If you eliminated legal firearms, the illegal ones would disappear.”

        Well, yeah, but bear in mind it might take a century for them to corrode to the point of unusability.   Maybe a couple of millenia for them to oxidize to the point where they are unrecognizable.   How long until they actually “disappear”?  Perhaps there’s a chemist here who could tell us.

      2. Now that 3D printers and automatic 3d milling machines are getting better, the ability to make guns at home is inevitable in the near future. Guns, like it or not, are here to stay.

  14. Also that blond woman on Walking Dead, at two different points in the first or second season, she pulled her gun and aimed it on the hero cop because he said something that made her mad. He was being extra generous to just talk her down. He would have been justified (Justified?) to shoot her at any point after the first time, in the expectation that she would do it again. Second time she did it, I kept shouting at the tv screen, “Shoot her! Self defense!” Especially in a world as chaotic as that, you can’t mess around hoping that hot-heads will decide not to pull the trigger when they aim guns at you repeatedly.

    This is the thing George Lucas didn’t quite understand: *It doesn’t matter if Han shot first.* The person who aimed a gun in the first place initiated the firefight, and that was Greedo. Han just had the good sense to finish it. Hero on the Walking Dead did not have the good sense to finish it. Elderly gentleman here closed the deal too.

    I’m not usually on the side of NRA or “hold your ground” crackpots though. Watch for gun dolts to emphasize this case and de-emphasize all the other shootings that happened on the same day by licensed gun owners killing themselves, wounding a girlfriend, shooting a neighbor after an argument, etc. They have a regular column in some gun mags talking about upstanding citizens who successfully defend themselves against intruders. If they listed all the licensed gun owners who maliciously kill because they had easy access, they’d be publishing a phonebook every month.

    1. Watch for gun dolts to emphasize this case and de-emphasize all the other shootings that happened on the same day by licensed gun owners killing themselves, wounding a girlfriend, shooting a neighbor after an argument, etc. 

      They’re doing it right here on this thread. (Though I wouldn’t call them “gun dolts,” in deference to the polite middle-class conversational norms maintained here at BB).

  15. 6-8 shots fired and 3 hit the criminals. That’s 50% at best.

    I realize that it’s a situation where lives were threatened by the criminals to begin with, but haphazardly shooting in a room full of crowded people isn’t the solution. 

    I really have a hard time understanding why handguns are even produced at this point, aside from the idea of protecting yourself from OTHER handguns.

    1. And how many bystanders were hit?  Zero.  Does it make it perfectly safe?  Of course not.  

      BTW, that’s a far higher rate of “hits” percentage wise than most police shootings.  Especially in Miami (read up on some of Miami PD’s latest shootings…I’ll take this guys accuracy over the Miami PD any day).

      1. Five stray bullets, one of them fired out the front door. You don’t think he got lucky?

        1. And fired where?  Into the ground.  IF we have to frame-by-frame this entire thing..which probably still won’t change your mind.

          Also as I said in an earlier post, that’s a far higher “hit” rate than most police shootings.  

          1. Ground? Or concrete? Again, I’m no firearms expert, but I’m certain that bullets bounce off of concrete here in Canada.
            I don’t dispute your ‘hit rate’ assertions. I’m just not sure it supports your argument to say that this man’s 3/8 hit rate is above average in any way.

          2. I’m just not sure it supports your argument to say that this man’s 3/8 hit rate is above average in any way.

            Do you think average literally means “50%”?

            Moving targets.  Better than 33% hit rate is actually pretty phenomenal.  I’d really like to see all the people shitting on this guy’s skills do better.

      2. Personally I’d rather be shot myself than shoot a bystander accidentally while attempting to defend myself.

        The range of lethal force behind a handgun combined with the margin for error is just too high for me to be comfortable on either end.

        1. Personally I’d rather accidentally shoot a bystander while defending myself, not to mention this case where he was defending himself and wife and clerk(s?) and I haven’t read the article to see how many customers.

    2. I wonder what this vigilante’s defenders here would be saying if he’d shot and killed an innocent bystander or two?

      1. I dunno, what would you be saying if the robbers had gunned down a bunch of unarmed people in an internet cafe? 

        Also, nice derogatory inference  –  a Vigilante is  “a private individual…who undertakes law enforcement without legal authority.” Seems like he had the law on his side in this case by being legally authorized to carry and use his firearm in accordance with state laws. 

        1. The term vigilante still applies; he undertook law enforcement and wasn’t a person who is authorized to enforce the law.

          You can argue all day about whether or not it was the right thing to do, but either way it’s definitely an example of vigilanteism.

          1. It’s absolutely not vigilantism.  He wasn’t purporting to exercise the state’s power to arrest or carry out a sentence reserved to the state.  He was exercising his own personal right to self-defense.  

          2. And he took it to another punitive level by following them as they fled and trying to kill them.

          3.  @boingboing-51da85a3c3dfa1f360b48852b64218b2:disqus
            His first shots that sent them fleeing perhaps, but he gave chase and tried to kill.  That’s not self defense at that point.  That’s revenge.

          4. The fact that he wasn’t charged with a crime kinda means that you’re wrong as far as your “authorization” assessment goes.

  16. In my day, shootouts were held in a real, honest-to-goodness saloon or a dusty street. 

    Kids these days with their dadgum internet cafes, and whatnot. 

  17. After reading the comments on here I don’t know why the world doesn’t just give all the criminals all our money.  Therefore no criminal will ever have to fire a shot at somebody or kill somebody. I guess when I get home I will go walk around STL with my savings in my hand just to make sure that the punks won’t go out to mug somebody else for money….

    1.  Yeah, and if you may die tomorrow driving in the highway why not crash your car just now?
      Guns should be restricted to everyone except policemen. And them may never have to use those guns because close to no one would be dangerous enough to draw one.
      Look at other countries, countries where gun possession is highly restricted, and you may discover that crime rates are way lower.

      1. That correlation does not prove causality.  You’re talking about different countries with different cultures, different economies, different income levels and different population densities.  There are all sorts of factors that can have an effect on crime rates.  It is also significant that each country has their own methods for reporting crimes and gun ownership.  There are other blind spots.  Old guns or illegally owned guns, for example are seldom registered.  Some countries might not even have a gun registration program in place, in which case one would have to rely on estimates.

      2. right, because that guarantees violent crime is reduced.

        take away the guns, they’ll use knives.  take away the knives, they’ll use rocks.  there will always be violent crime.  we’re predisposed to it.

      3.  NOT TRUE.  Look at Canada.  More guns per capita than the US.  Almost no violent crime involving guns.

    2. An absurd argument, that addresses the issues under discussion with all the accuracy of a frightened old man spraying bullets around.

    3.  You mean socialism?   or just like some equitable economic system?

      I like this silly idea that criminals are like plumbers, they joined a trade, got trained and carry a criminals union card in their wallet.   These are just some poor dudes that are pissed that they don’t got shit, so they come up with moronic ideas for how to go take shit from people that got it.  They are just people that don’t value their society because their society has never valued them.

  18. What I find disturbing is: had the elderly gentleman been a cop- he would certainly have been facing charges for shooting at the two criminals without warning. Obviously, this is not true for random armed citizen. This raises MANY question: Why should a cop follow a procedure that a random citizen mustn’t. What if the man had killed one of the guys? Would he still face no charges for shooting without warning? The training that law enforcers get is also aimed at reducing any unnecessary casualties and to reduce the risk of shooting a kid wielding a plastic gun in the head. Obviously, an armed citizen lacks the training and judgement to take the right decision and it’s a pity that the case is taken so lightly by the state authorities. I’m personally glad to live in a land where people aren’t allowed to carry concealed weapons.

    1. Oh boy, do you *EVER* read the news?

      It’s a rare, rare, RARE occasion for a Law Enforcement Officer to be charged (much less prosecuted) in the aftermath of a shooting. It’s amazing how many infinite reasons there are for a cop to feel “threatened” or “in mortal danger” by a cell phone or a hand gesture or an eyebrow twitch. 

      In any case, I’d say the old guy had more training and legality on his side than the other gun-toting individual in the video. 

        1. Not trying to be confrontational – 
          Just seems like cops these days can shoot/beat/tase you or your kid or your dog and write it up later to justify almost any use of force. 

          It’s rare that someone actually calls their accounts into question and opens the investigation. And even then the punishment often amounts to a slap on the wrist or a transfer to another area. 

          Most recent case was a female sunday school teacher shot in the face for no apparent reason by a deputy in VA: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2012/05/patricia-cook-shooting-husband-files-wrongful-death-lawsuit-75947.html

  19. In one video of this incident, when the old guy fires the first shot at the kid standing by the counter, there is an employee standing right behind the robber.

    The chance of the bullet going through the robber or missing him entirely and hitting the employee behind him was very high.

    In these situations “tunnel vision” is a serious problem, and the person with a gun is likely to be completely unaware of someone running into their path.  Also, in the excitement, even people that trained self defense shooting often completely forget how to use the sights and send bullets in almost random directions.

    I saw a video of a robbery on a “Worlds Dumbest Crooks” show where the policeman was shooting at fleeing crooks and the bullets were clearly hitting the ground a few yards in front of the cop.  He’s lost track of the front sight and was just shooting into the ground. 

    1. Compare the likelihood of the old guy accidentally hitting an employee or bystander, versus the likelihood of a robber hitting an employee or bystander that he was aiming at. If I was the employee and wanted to survive the situation, I’d put my money on old guy rather than having faith that the robber wouldn’t decide to shoot.

  20. the video of that entire cluster-fuck should be shown in jr high and high schools; A, because those two fools will never outlive how stupid and inept they looked escaping and B, it suggests that there are crazy old men who are just itching to shoot dumb-ass’s. Both seem to be good reasons not to try that kind of thing

  21. When I was a kid, for me, America used to be a country inhabited by cowboys and indians. This topic brought back my childhood memories. *walks back through the tulip fields to his windmill, wearing wooden shoes*

  22. This just happened to work out ok. It’s easy to imagine the guy missing one of the robbers and striking an innocent person standing behind or around them. 

    The robber’s gun probably wasn’t even loaded. If it was, why not shoot back out of self-preservation? In that situation all the other people are even more in danger than they were before the concealed gun guy decided to open fire. And none of them get to decide any of this for themselves once concealed gun guy takes matters into his own hands. Yeah, sure, the concealed firearm saved the day in this particular situation, but it’s mostly a matter of dumb luck. There’s a whole lot of things that could have easily ended instead in a disastrous conclusion.  If I was one of those people in that room I would want to choose for myself whether or not to be put in the crossfire.

  23. the wide variety of opinions and personalities reading boing boing is amazing to me

    i was raised around guns for hunting, i know how they work how to handle them how to maintain them, but i don’t think i could enjoy my daily life walking around with a loaded firearm on my side, its just too serious of a thing to me

    1. Same. I’m a natural marksman too but when I see someone who believes they need a sidearm , concealed or open, and they aren’t law I consider they feel insecure in society or with society. That puts them closer to the mindset of the weak willed criminal than it does the upstanding citizen.

      Unless they happen to frequent illegal casinos, boozecans, whorehouses, crack dens, etc. Then they are a failing of two kinds, which do not cancel each other but are at least complimentary. 

      By that I mean, the old man was just living his dream of being in a casino, strapped.

  24. I am diametrically opposed to CCW or open carry as I see the demonstrable societal harm severely outweighs the incredibly tiny instance of benefit, which is usually questionable as is the case in this instance.

    That said, as someone with experience with firearms I appreciated the manner in which the elderly gentleman handled his weapon, while not perfect it was well executed under duress.

    1. Sorry to see you are opposed FD, but appreciate the one point I was trying to make.  This was a “textbook” case of how responsible firearms ownership and training works.

  25. Why keep shooting at the kids (and at everyone else outside) after they are running out the door? This old guy and his gun scares me ten times more than those kids. Sure.. instigating a gun battle inside this cafe was going to work out for everyone. It’s astonishing that it worked the way it did. Take your vigilante guns and ram them where the sun don’t shine and keep the hell away from me and my family.

    1. That’s the one thing about his actions that I don’t like.  If they are running, then you are not in imminent danger and should hold your fire.

      BTW: self defense in not vigilantism.  It is the basic right of all living creatures.  Calling 911 is all well and good, but good luck convincing the bad guys to hold their fire until the cops arrive.  If you can’t defend yourself, who can defend you?

      1. That’s a fine line to walk between self defense and vigilantism. Shooting at the kids as he runs out the door was crossing the line in my humble. Killing a kid is no small thing in this world or at least I thought it wasn’t. I seems Florida has a different view these days.

        Don’t I have a right to protect and defend myself (and others) from some old dude and his .38 and poor vision and a shaky hand? The logic fails at some point. More guns is not the answer… unless you work for the gun manufacturers.

  26. I’m not a big gun person, but honestly, I have no problem with this. We’re never going to get rid of guns in this country. Between 3d printers and automated 3d millers, I fully expect it to be possible to make any number of automatic weapons at home in the future. More gun ownership seems inevitable, so we might as well at least train people properly to use them before allowing them to buy bullets.

    1. anyone can buy bullets.  people without firearms can buy them, though i doubt they’d know what to do with those chunks of metal.  can’t do much WITH a bullet, really…it’s the assembled cartridge that has any sort of explosive properties. :)

          1. the casing is the brass part; the actual bullet itself is the copper part at the tip, which is included in a couple of those examples.  but i meant “bullet” in the general colloquial sense, referring to the whole shebang — even though the “bang” bits aren’t there. 

  27. Thanks you citizen hero. Too bad there weren’t three of you with concealed weapons ready too respond, then things could have really gotten interesting, Or wouldn’t it have been great if a police officer had quickly responded upon hearing gunshots. Very reassuring having so many well trained and coordinated concealed weapon carrying citizens. This is exactly what our founding fathers were thinking of when they mentioned “a well regulated militia”. We are so much safer in this country with all these patriots running around.  

  28. @Richard D

    Citations please.

    Specifically on your ‘statistically speaking’ points : “If two masked men walk into a room with weapons, the likelihood that someone will get hurt is high”
    “Statistically speaking, the most likely victim is going to be an employee”.

    I love it when people state facts in discussions, but if you are going to make the case, then cite links to the evidence please. I’m not saying those couldn’t be true, but I find the first assertion highly unlikely.

  29. Anybody who’s ever had a gun pointed at them during a robbery, raise their hand. In my case it was a 12 gauge shotgun, and he only swung it away from me to point it at my girlfriend. (I was stocking coolers, she was running the register that night.)

    I am the biggest pacifist you will ever meet, and haven’t struck another human being in anger since 1988. (Everybody present agreed that not only did he have it coming, but that I should have hit him more than once.) But I would have done exactly as that man did, and I don’t say that lightly at all.

    I agree that he shouldn’t have continued firing after they got out the door in such a comical fashion. But I don’t entirely fault him for that, either. Even on the range I’ve seen people continue firing until the clip was empty even when they didn’t intend to.

    1. *raises hand*

      toss in some good old fashioned rape for funsies, too.  because that happened. and now i go armed (in places where it is legal for me to do so).  and in the situation in the video, i would have shot the idiots.

      he definitely magdumped…and yeah, when the adrenaline is flowing, it’s harder to keep track of how many shots have gone downrange and how many are left in the mag.

      (PS: it’s a magazine, not a clip. :) )

    2.  Your example states precisely why people shouldn’t carry loaded weapons. You have been in a situation that makes you emotionally weak, resulting in you making an awkward decision and putting yourself and others at risk.

    3.  I was mugged by two guys in Detroit, one with a pistol and one with a bat.  I dutifully opened my wallet when they demanded and lost $5 but kept my life.

  30. When I was a kid in Florida, I remember an incident where some asshat tried to rob an all day breakfast place (like a waffle house or Ihop) and ended up getting shot at by two old guys sitting at different tables.

    If I learned anything from that incident and this one it is this:
    In florida, if you rob some place, you have ZERO excuse to be surprised at being shot in the back by old people.

    Ohhhhh new tourism slogan:

    Come to Florida for the sun, stay for the backshootin’

  31. If the elderly gentleman does get charged, I wonder if the police union will lobby to get him paid time off instead.

  32. Aw – I missed the shit storm on one of my favorite subjects. Anyway – he should have stopped shooting when they turn and ran. Other than that, good for him. Screw the robbers. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  33. There were really 3 options: 1) the one we was on video, 2) waiting things out, and only engaging if the perp started firing first, 3) engage the perp without firing.

    As others point out, there is a low chance the robber would start firing. So, (2) may be a good bet. Although, if shots WERE fired by the perp first: a. someone might be dead, and b. the guy might not have had the jump he did.

    Engaging the perp without firing (i.e., raising your gun and demand he flee or drop his weapon) seems very high risk.

    I also wonder how the conversation would be different if:

    1. An undercover police officer had performed the exact actions we see in the video
    2. A recently returned marine had done the exact same
    3. The people in the internet cafe unanimously praised him as a hero, or
    4. The people in the cafe felt he threatened their lives.

    1.  2. A recently returned marine had done the exact same

      The very last person I would want carrying a weapon out in public among citizens.

    1.  Which makes sense that it might draw criminal interest.  So “live by the sword, die by the sword” as so many have suggested?

  34. 1. anyone who commits armed robbery knowingly runs the risk of being shot — and when they are shot, it makes the world a safer place.

    2. cops don’t like vigilantism mainly because it just illustrates how blatantly ineffective they are in many situations where crimes occur.

  35. It is feels somewhat hopeless to argue the FACT that the widespread availability of handguns in the US makes us LESS safe- not more. Why? Because the other side argues from ideology and goes to great lengths (and $) to refute all facts to the contrary via selective evidence, lobbying etc. By analogy close to half of the American public believe that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” We live in a world neck deep in technology born of science and yet the very foundation of modern biology- evolution- supported by evidence from morphology, genetics, immunology, paleontology, geology etc. remains for many- “just a theory”.  These people vote. What a great country, praise the lord.

    1.  it also feels hopeless to listen to someone who sort of screams out something with no facts attached and uses ad hominem attacks to paint gun owners as some sort of neanderthal.  Not all of us are.

      1. Did I scream? Ad Hominem?! Not as I understand it. I am a gun owner myself smarty pants. No need to post any facts, they are there for any objective person to find. Don’t oppose gun ownership, although I do believe in reasonable handgun control laws. Also the NRA has morphed into a lobbying group for the firearms industry. Unless you were born in Africa then we are both part Neanderthal.

  36. I wonder what the headline would be if it had been an elderly black man who had shot the robbers. Or a latino woman.

  37. Let me put this as simply as I can:
    You can’t try to kill someone for possibly trying to kill you and either failing or not having the opportunity; i.e., the victim was armed.
    Think of it from the standpoint of robbery. You don’t get to empty the pockets of someone who tried to rob you and failed. That’s called the law of the jungle and while some would love to see that happen, IRL chances are they wouldn’t be pleased with the result. We try, or should be trying, to not only maintain civilization on this planet, but to forward it as well. Hence, if you strike me, while my first (animal) instinct will be to hit you back, what I’ll do instead is let the courts handle the situation.
    And finally, yes, the man should be charged via the crux of this argument. He continued firing his pistol at the thugs after they had fled *out the door*. No one’s life was in danger at that point and deadly force was unacceptable.

  38. Wow… hot topic, to be sure.  Fire-and-forget on my comment, then:

    I, personally, feel ENTITLED to my safety.  The only person I trust with it is myself.  I am highly trained, armed and unarmed, and fully capable of using either skillset in my defense, or the defense of others.

    Aikido teaches (essentially) “fight without fighting.”  Tactical training teaches disciplined use of force with deadly weapons.  Both emphasize awareness and puissance over raw power.  

    What we need is better training (for everyone), not “more laws.”

    If you’re going to propose more laws, you really need to propose harsher PENALTY upon CRIMINALITY before you send up DEFENDERS OF THE PEACE for doing what I’m sure most of them believe is their CIVIC DUTY.  Misguided as his actions may be, the man stopping the robbery is automatically LESS GUILTY upon Her Scale than the perpetrators thereof.  Yes, absolutely penalize him – harshly – should he murder an innocent by his actions.  Yes, put him on home-arrest until the situation becomes clearer.  

    But – don’t punish him simply for trying to stand up for what’s RIGHT.

    Also, if robbery (or other crime) is “right” in your estimation, under any circumstance, then you are WRONG.  Period.  No debate.  There is ALWAYS a better way.

    I would do the same, in that man’s shoes.  I am a defender.  I don’t carry, but I don’t need to – those chairs looked sturdy enough to serve as a distraction, at the least.  Chairs don’t generally break first; that would be the people hit by them.  Then I do have a gun (if it becomes necessary).  That one fellow turned his back for more than long enough.

    The bottom line is that criminality is terrible.  I don’t care about your situation.  I don’t care about your upbringing.  Those are things you can change, if you swallow your pride long enough.

    I guess it boils down for me into a broth of self-respect and quiet power:  I know that I could take the things I want – probably for a good long while; however, there is ALWAYS someone (or a gang of someones) “badder,” more powerful, meaner, more corrupt… than oneself.  In the end, it’s not worth meeting them (except perhaps to gloat at their trial).

  39. Reading about this incident gives quite a nice explanation, why there are so many people injured or killed by gunfire in the U.S. Such a situation would be unthinkable in Germany and the shooter would face serious trail. And oh… quite a load less people are shot down in Germany per year. I wonder why.

  40.  Looked good until I read the second article that states that only 3 bullets actually hit the targets. Williams missed on all but 3 shots.

  41. That’s some good video, I hope it gets lots of airplay so punks like that think twice before attempting armed robbery.  

    I haven’t read all the comments, but I will say this… love it or hate it, it was a successful end to the situation, for everyone but those two.  Plus, the guy looks pretty well trained.  He easily could have killed those two, but instead he ran them off.  I don’t think I would have fired that last shot out the door, but who’s to say?  I don’t know what’s outside that door any more than most viewers do.See his actions at the end of the clip – he steps back into a better and safer position, looking out the closing door, he looks back into the room, and checks his weapon. That is some serious Three Stoogery, those two tripping over each other busting out the door.  LOL the crabwalk as one flees, he’s lucky to be alive.  And he didn’t shoot the glass! 

    P.S.  Do you think the people of the State of Florida have to pay for their medical treatment?  Or did they have insurance?

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