Kentucky’s had a streak of bad luck with armed robbers lately. That might be enough to leave some folks shaking in their boots, but store clerks and business owners are taking matters (and guns) into their own hands.
Garry Thornsberry, the owner of Meta Mart in Pike County, Kentucky, was doing paperwork in the back of the store late one night. Meanwhile, two hooded would-be thieves walked into the mart, with at least one of them carrying a weapon. The clerk working at the front of the store immediately tipped Thornsberry off by saying his name in an odd voice. The robbers weren’t able to piece together that the clerk was calling for help, but of course robbers aren’t known to be the sharpest tools in the shed (but they are definitely tools).
Thornsberry looked at the surveillance feed, spotted the robbers, and immediately went into action. He grabbed his legally-owned firearm and went to the front of the store to confront the robbers. Thornsberry recalls, “I came out and pointed my gun at the one who had a gun. [The robber] raised the gun, and I shot my gun. I know I hit him in the shoulder.”
The robber probably thought that his luck ran out when he felt the bullet pierce his shoulder, but the fact of the matter is that things could have gone much, much worse. First of all, sharp shooter Garry Thornsberry could have easily landed a kill shot with his laser-guided revolver. The shot to the shoulder, as opposed to dead-center mass, probably saved the thief’s life.
It’s also worth mentioning that Thornsberry could have grabbed the rifle or the shotgun that he kept in the back of the store. If Thornsberry had shot the thief with either of those, then the bad guys probably would have left the store strapped to a gurney that night.
Thornsberry added, “I did not shoot to kill but to protect my store, my employees. And to protect myself.”
The thieves ought to write Thornsberry a thank-you note. “Dear Store Owner, I’m sorry for trying to rob you. Thank you for not shooting me with a shotgun. I really appreciate it.”
This story presents us with an interesting case study because the whole ordeal is almost like a multiple-choice quiz. Suppose that you were in Thornsberry’s shoes last night. You spot one hooded figure with a gun, but you can’t tell if the other person is wielding a gun. Your employee is also standing a few feet away from the robbers. What would you have done?
First of all, what would you grab?
a) The rifle
b) The shotgun
c) The handgun
d) None of the above
e) All of the above, plus the AR-15 you keep for emergencies
And then what kind of shot would you make?
a) A non-lethal shot on the gun wielder
b) A lethal shot on the gun wielder
c) Any shot you can manage on the gun wielder
d) Non-lethal shots on both robbers
e) Lethal shots on both robbers
f) Any shot you can manage on both robbers
Extra credit: In your own words, share with the class what you would have done differently. And don’t forget to finish your homework assignment about gun safety!