Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(when your life is on the line) Compliance is safer than confrontation

If you run a restaurant, grocery store, convenience store, liquor or beer store, pet store, flower shop or (especially) a pharmacy, the risk of armed robbery is very real.

And often times, very deadly.

In southwest Michigan, a Walgreens pharmacist, Jeremy Hoven, experienced this firsthand--the armed robbery part, at least. His quick reaction and courage, along with his concealed handgun, in all likelihood prevented the "often deadly" phase of so many of today's armed robberies.

The Walgreens employees at his store credit him with saving their life.

For his bravery and protecting his fellow employees, he was terminated by Walgreens.

By e-mail.

Walgreens, like many large employers with deep pockets, maintains a no-weapons policy for their employees, however they fail to adequately describe or outline what constitutes a weapon.

Most Walgreens sell beer. So if an employee were to take a beer bottle and bust off the end to make a "weapon" in order to defend himself against a group of rowdy punks who came in to hassle or assault him, would that employee be fired?

The fallout begins

This story is now making national news and is flooding forums and blogs on the internet, especially with gun-owners, of which there are approximately 80,000,000 or more in the U.S. A Google search turns up endless gun forums with this story.

Translation? There are tens of thousands of gun owners pissed off at Walgreens, and the numbers grow almost by the hour as more learn of this event.

And if that isn't worrisome enough (at least, Walgreens should be worried), this story is now making the rounds in a number of veterans' forums and blogs and is being pinned up on bulletin boards of VFW and American Legion Posts.

Veterans know a thing or two about bravery and duty, and most of all, protecting your buddy--or in Hoven's case, his fellow employees. And right now, we're riding high on the wave of patriotism and supporting our veterans. If THEY have a problem with you, then. . .

Calls, letters and e-mails of protest to Walgreens' corporate office have all netted the same boilerplate response:

Thank you for contacting Walgreens regarding this matter. Our policies in this area are designed to maintain the maximum safety of our customers and employees.Store employees receive comprehensive training on our company’s robbery procedures and how to react and respond to a potential robbery situation. In past incidents, employees have told us they’ve found this training effective.These policies and training programs are endorsed by law enforcement, which strongly advises against confrontation of crime suspects.Compliance is safer than confrontation. Through this practice, we have been able to maintain an exemplary record of safety.We’ve made significant investments in security technology in recent years, including increasing the number of digital surveillance cameras at our stores.With upgrades to security technology, we are able to provide police with high-resolution photographs and video of crime suspects.We continue to invest in state-of-the-art security measures and high-definition surveillance equipment and hope that the apprehension of robbery suspects in the Benton Harbor area will prevent future crimes. Thank you for contacting Walgreens to share your comments.

"Compliance is safer than confrontation." (the bold emphasis in the above response is mine.)

Let's take a look at that in this day and age. In the Dallas, Texas area several years ago, a couple of robbers hit a car wash early on Saturday morning and rounded up the employees. The employees "complied" and for their compliance, they were shot execution style.

Not so safe.

Security cam videos are replete with armed punks walking into convenience stores, walking up to the hapless and complying clerk, and shooting him or her dead at point-blank range.

Not so safe.

And of course, on September 11, 2001, the passengers of three commercial airliners complied with the hijackers' demands. The result was the worst single terrorist attack on America in our history with over 3,000 dead.


One hijacked flight, however, had passengers who did not comply. They fought back, and in doing so, in all likelihood saved the Capitol or the White House from being destroyed, which would have also resulted in a catastrophic loss of life.

I wonder how Walgreens and other corporate security "experts" feel about that?

A differing opinion

Predictably, a rent-a-cop with his own "consulting" firm (who in this case, just happens to be from California) couldn't wait to get his two-cents in on the matter in regards to Jeremy Hoven.
"He's a cowboy. He was a dangerous man," said Chris McGoey, owner of Los Angeles-based McGoey Security Consulting, which includes the 7-Eleven convenience store chain among its clients.

By the way, this penis wrinkle's website address is ""

"Crime Doctor?" Give me a mall-ninja sized break.

This "expert" goes on to steal oxygen and pass gas by authoritatively pontificating,
"That (worker) got lucky. The store got lucky," McGoey said. "And I guarantee you there are hundreds of stores, perhaps thousands, where the opposite has happened," where workers or customers were hurt or killed.

Really, now. "Thousands" of instances where a store employee or owner defended himself and got killed or his customers got killed? I would be willing to wager that John Lott could refute that. I wonder if McGoey has read Mr. Lott's book, More Guns Less Crime?

I also wonder how much military experience, actual "fired a shot in anger" experience McGoey has? If he has any, he doesn't boast about it on his website. Nor does he boast about any actual serious street cop or federal agent experience on his website. Most security experts who make such bullshit claims as McGoey and use candy-ass monikers like "crime doctor" can't brag enough about their "DeltaSEALAirborneCommandoReconCIARanger and DEA/FBI/HRT/I'd-have-to-kill-you-if-I-told-you who I worked for" experience.

I also wonder if McGoey feels the same way about having a firearm in your house? After all, by his "logic," you'd be more apt to get yourself killed or kill your wife or your dog or your pet parakeet rather than the piece-of-shit who kicked in your door.

Like I said, Penis Wrinkle.

Problem. Solution.

I salute Jeremy Hoven for his bravery and his actions. I disagree with Walgreens' termination of him, primarily because I disagree with disallowing employees to be able to defend themselves.

Is it better for a female Walgreens employee to "comply" with being raped rather than confront the pervert and maybe punt his nuts into orbit? Would that get her fired?

By their (Walgreens') own admission, probably so. After all, their policy is "Compliance is safer than confrontation."

Walmart seems to think that way as well. They fired some security employees after a shoplifter held a gun to their head--and they fought back and subdued him. They were fighting for their lives, literally, and Walmart fired them for it.

What a bunch of chicken shits. My spending at Walmart has plummeted to virtually zero. And you know what? I haven't missed it a damn bit.

We all know that these "policies" are the work of the biggest chicken shits there are, corporate lawyers, who take their leaks sitting down and who curl up in the fetal position on their shrinks' couches trying to deal with their phobia of the biggest blight on society this country has ever seen--ambulance-chasing lawyers.

And so the net result is that corporations lose their reproductive genitalia, be they ovaries or testicles, the lawyers get richer, and employees get screwed.

It's yet one more reason I seek out locally owned, independent businesses whenever and wherever I can.

So what can we, us ordinary consumers, do about this?

I'll leave you with this final thought: I carry not one, but TWO voter registration cards in my wallet. One allows me to vote at the polls.

The other allows me to vote at the cash register. . . of MY choosing.

Think about it.

1 comment:

An Ordinary American said...

I just Googled "Walgreens fires armed employee" and got page after page after page of hits--lots of them from gun forums, as expected.

However, I was also surprised to see groups like Democratic Underground wading into this and being generally SUPPORTIVE of the fired-but-alive Walgreens pharmacist.

Likewise, I found several other distinctly left-leaning groups strongly supporting this fired-but-alive pharmacist.

Walgreens is in a tough position right now. Insurance and legal liability are simply facts of life for any modern day large business with deep pockets.

However, the deep pockets could, and should, be used to ensure employee safety and well-being.

If a company is going to put the salaries and bonuses of their top executives this far ahead of the safety and well-being of their employees, then they should not be surprised when "average Joe's" decide to shop elsewhere.

The NRA needs to keep the heat on, and also needs to clarify exactly where Walgreens stands on the Second Amendment and gun rights.

We already know where they stand on individual rights to self-defense and safety.