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We Need New Gun Laws
Cynic Stares straight down a .45

By the Cynic


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My sister asked to me to fill in last Thursday at her convenience store for an employee of hers who had a family matter to attend to. I really didn't want to do it because, of course, Thursday is Survivor night (shut up...I'm hooked). Being the good brother that I am, I agreed to help her out and I devised an elaborate plan to tape Survivor and avoid any media on Friday and watch it when I got home from work.

I've filled in there before, and this night seemed no different from the rest. It was somewhat slow business-wise, and I got to thinking about her business. I thought about how she had owned this store for a while and unlike most convenience stores, she has never been held-up. The neighborhood was not particularly what you would call a high crime area, but it's had its share of holdups. I began to wonder what made her store so special.

Ahh, the irony...

I was robbed.

A young black man walked in at about 9:00 PM and held me up. He purchased a lottery ticket and then he pointed a .45 at me and he asked for the money from the drawer and for the cash I had laying off to the side. I gave it to him and he quickly fled (dropping about half the money on the way out). I then tripped the silent alarm and the police were there in minutes (as of this writing they have yet to catch the guy, although they got him on video). It was over as fast as it began.

My views on guns are forever changed. We need new gun laws. We need to make sure this never happens again. We need to ban handguns. We need to ban all guns. I need to sue the manufacturer of that .45 to recover my losses due to emotional trauma. I need to sue my sister for asking me to work. We need to catch that guy and send him into see trained government approved therapists, so he can understand how he has hurt me and the community as a result. We need to do something, and we need to do it now.

So you are now asking yourself, "Is he serious?"

Yes, the robbery happened, but I would never resort to that type of knee jerk alarmism. I don't blame the gun for what happened, I blame that worthless piece of crap who decided he would rather steal than to get a real job. Why some in our society would see it otherwise is beyond me.

The criminals in our society are criminals because (hope this doesn't go over your head here) they break the law. No new gun law would have prevented this from happening. Does anyone really believe that any criminal would think, "You know I really want to knock over this convenience store, but this gun I have isn't legal. I think I'll go and volunteer at the community center instead."

Some folks will argue that a handgun ban would reduce the chances of these occurrences and to that I say: How would you know, were you ever robbed? (Woohoo, I have credibility now) There will always be guns on the street. Most of the gun crimes that are committed are committed with guns that are already illegal. How does making a new law change anything? Other then making some of us feel like 'we are doing something.' It wouldn't deter crime, prevent crime or even make a nick in the number of guns on the street. It would just be another wheel spinning exercise that we Americans seem to love to do.

All in all, I would describe the event as enriching. I've often wondered how I would act in a high pressure situation and I was impressed with my ability to stay pretty cool through it all. Although nervous, I wasn't shaky. I knew insurance would cover the losses, so I wasn't worried about the money. I was able to analyze the situation as it happened. I knew that I could not have tripped the alarm while the robbery was occurring by watching his eyes follow my hands. I knew that the criminal really wasn't sure what he was doing (he didn't have me open up the lottery cash drawer, even though he saw me put his money in it a minute earlier). I knew that I would come out of the situation unscathed.

On a scale of 1-10 I would give this experience a 7. I had to take 4 points off for the whole threat to my life thing, but I added a point because I was able to invalidate his lottery ticket (I'll be damned if he's going to win anything off that ticket). Adrenaline is an amazing thing. I was able to think more clearly in that minute and a half, than at any other time in my life. If there was a drug which would allow that clarity of thought at all times, Heaven knows I'd be hooked. You never truly understand this feeling until you have experienced it for yourself.

The funny thing is that the robbery wasn't even the low point for me that night.

Earlier in the evening, a man walked in and bought a pack of cigarettes and before he left he said," Hey, they kicked that tall kid, Mitchell, off the island on Survivor tonight."

Now there is something we need a new law for.

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The Cynic, 2001

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