Many wonder how they might react in the face of crisis but few are able to prove their courage under fire as effectively as one AutoZone employee recently did when just before closing, an armed robber burst into the retailer and forced the worker — a U.S. Air Force veteran — into a back office with his manager.
After the gunman and store manager left to open the safe, this brave employee escaped through a side door to retrieve a handgun from his vehicle. He returned and demanded the robber drop his weapon, at which point the timid criminal took off on foot.
“I watched him run down the street,” the employee said. “I came back inside and made sure my manager was OK and he called the police.”
If I owned this company, this employee would have been instantly promoted and his heroism celebrated at a corporate level. Instead, AutoZone claimed the young man and father-to-be violated the company’s gun policy and fired him — two days before Thanksgiving.
AutoZone won’t comment on the matter but the employee certainly will.
“I did the right thing,” he said. “I saved the company $2,000. I saved one of the manager’s lives. And you’re letting me go? It was a slap in the face.”
Local law enforcement even considers the employees actions heroic. “He put himself in jeopardy in an attempt to make sure his friend was safe,” said the county sheriff. “He did a very brave thing.”
The employee said his instinct took him to military training, not the training he received as an AutoZone worker. “Never leave a man behind,” he said, explaining his first thought upon seeing the gunman was “I want to make it home to see my family. I want to have the opportunity to meet my son and for my son to meet his dad.”
Needless to say, the controversy has led to criticism of the company’s policy and decision by many who support gun rights. The same sheriff who praised the employee’s actions had harsher words for the message sent by AutoZone. “The company has now sent a message to every would-be robber out there: ‘Hey, we’re open for business and unarmed. Come on in and take our money,’” he said.
An NRA spokesperson also criticized the decision, even if the worker technically violated corporate policy. “He came to the aid of a fellow employee threatened by an armed robber and was canned,” the spokesperson said. “They should have named him employee of the year.”
Many in support of the employee have started an online Facebook petition to rehire him, though I hope he’s able to find a much more rewarding position to replace his previous position.
The gall of gun control nuts is truly limitless. To believe a potential double-murder scene is preferable to a quick-thinking, prepared employee retrieving a gun from his vehicle shows a thought process at odds with reality.
B. Christopher Agee founded The Informed Conservative in 2011. Like his Facebook page for engaging, relevant conservative content daily.