An EPJ reader emails:
I am a huge fan...and there's a shameful news story involving my employer I think should receive some more attention. AutoZone fired an employee for stopping an armed robber that had hit over 30 stores in the area. He ran out to his vehicle and came back into the store with his legally obtained and owned firearm and ordered the robber to freeze.
Here's the link to the story: http://wtkr.com/2012/11/30/autozone-employee-fired-after-taking-action-against-fake-beard-bandit/
Could you please share this with your readers and make sure more people quit doing business with my employer?This story is a little more complex than it appears on the surface. First, I am all for a private business hiring or firing any person for any reason. It's their damn business.
Second, my guess is that the company has decided that they don't want individual employees playing Clint Eastwood when confronted by bandits. Sort of like the way bank employees are trained to give up cash during a robbery. The liability if someone gets hurt is far greater than any money lost in a holdup.
By firing the employee they are trying to make a company-wide point, we don't want you in shootouts. The firing, though, is an over-the-top namby-pamby, politically correct reaction in the current anti-gun environment, but again, it's a private company and they should be able to set any employee policies they want. In reality, though, if there was a crazed killer in an AutoZone, I wouldn't mind having a bunch of AutoZone employees packing.
Guns are really the great equalizer. It is only given current attitudes that carrying a gun is viewed by many as a negative. But, in fact, they really put a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 300-pound rapist. In a different society, people carrying guns wouldn't be a big deal. But in the current environment the bad guy has the edge. He knows that government makes it difficult if not downright illegal to carry guns---and that corporations generally take the same anti-gun view. With different attitudes in society, the AutoZone robber would never have been able to come close to robbing 30 stores.
As for boycotts, they are a complex issue that I plan on discussing in a future post.
The EPJ employee policy on robbers (Chris Rossini take note) is as follows: Any employee is free to plug a robber trying to rob EPJ, with as many bullets as he has on him. You won't get fired, you will get a bonus.