For those employed as convenience store clerks, the threat of a robbery is always a concern. Shannon Cothran, who works at a gas station in Nashua, N.H., said he knew it was “just a matter of time” before he was face-to-face with an armed criminal.
Citing a sting of robberies in the area, he decided to prepare himself for such an eventuality by bringing a firearm to work with him. That forethought paid off recently when a masked man entered his store and threatened him with a knife.
Cothran immediately drew his weapon to diffuse the situation, noting that he was thinking only about getting out alive to see his family.
According to his account, along with footage captured by the store’s security cameras, the intruder waved his knife at Cothran before spotting the gun.
“He just said, ‘Alright, alright,’ and backed off and made his way out the door,” he said.
The 10-year employee, who was licensed to carry the weapon, was applauded by local law enforcement for his quick thinking. His employer, on the other hand, was not impressed.
Informing Cothan that he was in violation of the company’s no-firearm policy, instead of giving him a warning and a much-deserved pat on the back, his employer promptly handed him a pink slip.
Though he is now embarking on an unexpected job search, he is sticking by his decision to act in the face of danger.
“I would rather find a new job than either be in a hospital bed or in a coffin,” he reasoned.
This nation’s current preoccupation with restricting gun rights is evident in various capacities. In this circumstance, however, the company is basically mandating that its employees be nothing more than sitting ducks in the event of a robbery.
Such shortsighted zero-tolerance policies ostensibly exist to reduce the threat of violence. In reality, they ignore the countless instances — including this one — during which a person with a firearm is able to gain control of a situation without firing a shot.
Even the criminal, who is still at large, left the scene unscathed. Furthermore, the convenience store lost no money or merchandise.
As a reward for his heroism, though, Cothan finds himself out of a job.
Hopefully, as word of his actions spread, he will find a position that will reward him for his decisive action. It might even prompt his former employer to re-examine its employee handbook.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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