Saturday, December 1, 2012

Boycott Autozone?

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: 
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.


  1. It is their right to fire whomever they want but it is also their customers' right not to buy things from them when they do something the customer doesn't like.

  2. While I wouldn't participate in an Autozone boycott, I would have given the armed employee a bonus or raise, just like Robert.

    Life is risk. Autozone management should have that in mind. They should also have in mind that the store's money was less at risk than the lives of everyone in the store. Only the assailant knows his own mind. Who knows whether he would have taken money and then killed X number of unarmed people in the store.

    I'm in favor of absolutely no gun control laws, as well as unregulated hiring and firing. The good people who are armed will be able to take care of any crazies that initiate violence. In a free market, it will be much easier to secure a new job after being fired for defending people.

    Of course, most sheep would think my views crazy and radical. But I know freedom works. I don't have it, but I can taste it anyway.

  3. Autozone is trying to enforce its gun "zero tolerance" policy even during an armed robbery? Sure, they are within their rights, and I wouldn't support any gov't intervention such as say a wrongful termination suit to reverse Autozone's firing, but I believe the reader is right that Autozone's decision to fire their hero employee was stupid, and there is nothing wrong with people who feel similarly exercising their right to transact with whom they please and boycotting Autozone for their stupid decision.

  4. Do companies purchase "theft insurance" that reimburses them in the case of burglary/robbery?

    I'd think that the company values the employee's life more than the money out of a cash drawer; not because of sentimentality, but because the value of the employee's labor exceeds that which can be taken from a cash register, and it is thus in the firm's interest that its employees remain alive and healthy.

    Plus, there is the potential legal liability if an employee unintentionally hurts someone else or causes property damage.

  5. Hey, Autozone!

    If you fire for heroic behavior, what behavior will be left by default?

    Watch your till, and count your receipts!

    What kind of guy is your customer?

    Will he prefer you? Or will he prefer the guy you fired?

    Car guys don't like hand-wringing zero-tolerance pc wusses!

  6. Robert, I made the "guns as equalizers" argument months ago and just continue to do so because it is so effective.

    Just last night I had a conversation with a couple of lefty friends who are life-long gun-haters.
    The most enlightening argument was how it is more empowering to the powerless than the already powerful. As long as there are bad guys in the world, the good guys need to be able to defend themselves. One of the lefties is going shooting with me in two weeks. The conversation was quite a success.

  7. Yeah... I never bought from them before and I am not gonna buy from them again!

  8. AnonymousDecember 2, 2012 2:58 PM
    Yeah... I never bought from them before and I am not gonna buy from them again!
    So no loss then, do people read what they are going to post?