CO, from North Dakota, writes, “I run a convenience store/gas station and have for many years. I know that they have often been called a “stop and rob”—a terrible moniker, but not inaccurate. To thwart that stigma, many nearby stores have gone to great lengths to install security systems, cameras, identification systems and lighting. For those of us still not satisfied, and after one too many guns has been pointed at us, many have gone to keeping some type of weapon in the store. I know some stores keep baseball bats; others keep a gun. In my store, I keep a Smith & Wesson J-Frame .38 under the counter by the cash register. I told my wife, ‘I’m not just going to stand there and let someone shoot me. I at least want to be able to fight back and defend myself.’
“This one evening, it had been pretty quiet for a while. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it seemed like a bad sign. I just had a bad feeling that something was going to happen. I found out soon that I was right. A guy walked into my store and was clearly agitated and seemed very nervous. His actions automatically made me feel nervous, and my guard immediately went up. He wandered back and forth through the store a few times, almost like he was looking to see who was around.
“As he approached the counter, he asked for some cigarettes and, after turning away for a second to retrieve the pack, I turned back around and found a gun pointed at me. The guy told me to give him all my money or he was going to kill me. Thankfully, I know guns, and the one the bad guy was pointing at me was a 1911 with the hammer down. I realized that it would take him a second or two to shift his grip to cock the hammer, and he was looking around and over his shoulder the whole time to make sure no one sneaked up on him.”
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