Advocates of the Second Amendment often speak of the dangers of “gun-free” zones. The only ones obeying those regulations are law abiding citizens. The bad guys who look for unarmed victims are rarely dissuaded by posted signs that say “no-guns-allowed.” It is safe to assume that a gun store, though, is not going to be a gun free zone. So why would robbers seek out a hard target?
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We can’t ask one of them. He’s dead. The incident happened after Christmas at the Dixie Gun & Pawn in Cobb County, Georgia. Cobb County is a conservative stronghold on the northwest edge of Atlanta. Dixie Gun & Pawn is a modest shop, but the store’s owner, Jimmy Groover, is proud of his store.
When two armed robbers entered the store, they quickly made demands. Their objective was clear enough. They were there to steal guns and money. Groover, though, wasn’t going to knuckle under.
Security footage of that incident shows just how poorly planned the robbery was. It also shows Groover’s rapid response. When one of the thugs shoots at him, Groover draws his gun and returns fire.
Scholars of these types of events will note something most may not see. The robber has one gun drawn, and he’s using as one might use a laser pointer in a powerpoint presentation. As he is making demands, he is pointing with the barrel of his gun.
When Groover assess the threat, he reaches for his gun. This motion seems to momentarily confound the robber. He shoots one round as he fumbles at his waistband to draw a second gun. Now he’s got two guns! Hollywood would be proud. This is how you gain a tactical advantage in a music video, and in some video games.
The robber has two guns, yes, but he also has a mortal chest wound. Groover, rather than attempting to draw another pistol, shoots the one he has. He drops into what appears to be a well practiced stance, grips his gun with two hands, and uses one gun to dispatch two threats.
His shot drops the closest threat immediately. The man, again obeying the edicts of Hollywood, drops like a stone. He’s dead before he hits the floor. There’s not even any gratuitous twitching.
The other man, who is still on the loose, is lucky to be alive. Groover fired at him, but missed. The man left in a hurry.
And a note for those keeping score at home: watch what Groover does next. He doesn’t put down his gun. He asses the situation and moves forward to make sure he and his employees and customers are no longer in danger.
As Bearing Arms notes in their write-up of the incident, it all happend very quickly: “Four seconds was the difference between Groover’s utterly routine morning doing paperwork, and having to use a weapon to take someone’s life to save his own.”
“[…] In this incident at Dixie Gun and Pawn, the robbers had the advantages of surprise and numerical superiority. They still lost because Mr. Groover had solid training, good skills, and a plan that his mind automatically loaded and executed when the threat presented itself.”