A frightening take-over armed robbery over the weekend at a restaurant in Sea-Tac, a suburban area south of Seattle, Washington, has raised an interesting question on social media: Should this change one’s view about the defensive carry of a concealed handgun?
Bob’s Burgers ‘n Teriyakis is not a large place, and there were customers inside, along with employees. Two masked thugs—at least one armed with a handgun—came in, tied up customers and employees and in addition to robbing the place, the suspects allegedly sexually assaulted two women. Liberty Park Press spoke with King County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott, who said details are a bit sketchy about the nature of the assault, and also that the getaway vehicle—a pickup truck stolen by the suspects from one of the patrons—had not been recovered.
But the question is valid, especially when one considers that in Washington State, more than 631,000 active concealed pistol licenses are in circulation. That translates to a lot of potential hardware in any given location, a situation that could turn bad for criminals in a split second.
In a new book co-authored by Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman—Good Guys with Guns, published by Merril Press and available at Amazon.com—scores of incidents involving legally-armed private citizens are discussed. The authors note in their Foreword, “As the number of armed citizens continues to expand, the odds increase exponentially that there will be confrontations pitting good against evil, usually much to the surprise of the bad guys.”
This story is not unlike any number of other incidents involving takeover robberies or criminal assaults, some of them detailed in the Gottlieb-Workman book, which observes early in the first chapter, “Legally-armed private citizens have become the first responders in a number of incidents, publicized more in recent times because it is something of a recent phenomenon.”
For decades, the notion of going armed to a restaurant, movie theater, grocery store or some other public place was pooh-poohed by “experts” who maintained that people should not resist and wait for police to arrive and save the day. Cases like the Bob’s robbery demonstrate the faulty thinking in that strategy.
Could an armed citizen have intervened and prevented the brutality?
In October 2018, an armed citizen dining with his children at a McDonald’s in Birmingham, Alabama fatally shot a gunman who entered the establishment and opened fire. According to CBS News, this incident occurred late one Sunday evening, and the good guy and one of his children were not seriously wounded, but on the upside, they’re still alive and the gunman isn’t.
In May 2017, an armed Texas man was called a hero by Arlington police after he killed a gunman who stormed into a restaurant there, murdering the manager before he was fatally wounded. The Dallas Morning News identified the dead killer as James Jones, 48. Police said the armed citizen, who was not identified, probably prevented a mass shooting.
King County Sheriff’s deputies got the license plate of the stolen truck and immediately circulated that information far and wide.
Over the past few years, gun prohibition activists have tried to push all manner of gun control through the Legislature and by citizen initiative. Invariably, according to critics, all of these measures were explained as ways to prevent the kind of crime that happened to the Sea-Tac diners, but they haven’t. Since pushing through Initiative 594 in 2014, the so-called “universal background check” measure, homicides have actually gone up in Seattle, where the anti-gun movement is based.
Last year, the same anti-gunners pushed another gun control scheme, I-1639, which deals with so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles.” But as the Bob’s robbery demonstrates, criminals still use handguns for most of their dirty deeds.
Increasing numbers of people across the country are “arming up.” It may be time for the gun control crowd to admit their schemes aren’t working, giving self-defense activists an opportunity to try different strategies, including carrying guns to places that one might never expect trouble.