A man was robbed or his gun by an unarmed suspect in New Orleans after three men followed the man and his date to a car after they left a bar Saturday night.
A man had a pistol taken from him while a woman who was with him had another handgun aimed at her during a scuffle in a Mid-City bar parking lot early Saturday.
Following the incident, New Orleans police booked two men on suspicion of armed robbery.
Police said Kendall Gardner, 26; Lionel Howard, 21, and a third unidentified man approached a couple as they were leaving the Shamrock at the corner of Tulane Avenue and Ulloa Street about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Gardner said “what’s up” to the male victim, who helped the woman accompanying him into the passenger seat before going to the driver’s side and drawing a registered black handgun out of fear for his safety, according to police.
Police said Howard grabbed the male victim from behind and took his gun. The woman at that point started yelling, prompting Gardner to pull out of his own gun, point it at her and demand that she “shut the f— up.”
The story above was brought to our attention by self-defense expert William April of April Risk Consulting. April is based in New Orleans and keeps a close eye on the crime there. He noted late last year in a closed Facebook defensive firearms instructor’s group that he knew of nine incidents in New Orleans alone last year where armed people were robbed of their weapons. There are no known statistics kept of how many people are robbed of their guns, but it would probably be reasonable to assume that the figure is somewhere in the low triple-digits every year.
How does this keep happening?
I think that it keeps happening because many people remain under the delusion that merely possessing a firearm will give them a better chance of resisting violent crime. They think if they open carry, concealed carry, or carry a firearm in their vehicle or home that a violent criminal will run at the first sight of the gun or otherwise alter their plans. For some criminals looking for an easy score that may work, but hardcore crimes typically live in a culture where violence with weapons is their idea of normal. Many have been shot and survived or have fellow criminal friends who have been shot and survived. They know handguns are inherently weak, and they will pick up on subtle visual queues in their victim selection process that may see the presence of a firearm on a person they feel fits their victim profile not as a detriment, but as a target.
After all, a weapon is a high-value commodity, and wearing a gun while looking like a victim is like waving a “rob me” sign if they otherwise think they can take you.
We’ve covered numerous instances of open carriers and poorly-concealing concealed carriers being targeted for robbery by opportunistic criminals that saw unaware gun-owners as easy pickings… and since their targets were surprised, often distracted, and generally had poor training, the criminals were almost always successful.
In this specific instance, the victim gun owner shows signs of being poorly trained. He drew a weapon he wasn’t psychologically committed to using, clearly allowed the suspects to dictate the course of events, and somehow even let the bad guy get behind him, which is no easy feat in a parking lot.
The gun owner was viewed as such a low risk that the second robber didn’t even draw his own weapon until after the gun owner had been stripped of his weapon.
Having good tactics and developing competence matters much more than the mere presence of a firearm. That is why we constantly stress the importance of getting good self-defense training so that you can avoid getting into situations like this in the first place if at all possible, and so that if you do find yourself in an event where using a firearm is indeed the appropriate reaction, you’ll employ it competently and prevail in the encounter because you’re simply running a pre-loaded software routine that you merely have to execute.