Folks who work at convenience stores probably think a fair bit about what to do if they’re faced with an armed individual. After all, their stores are common targets for armed robbery, regardless of the relative safety of a community.

For one cashier at a Circle K in Albuquerque, that meant a trip to the hospital for the bad guy who came into her store looking for trouble.

“I grabbed my gun from my pocket, I cocked it, and I shot,” said Jennifer Wertz, who shot the robbery suspect. “I’m sick and tired of being a sitting duck.”

In front of the Circle K near Eubank and Candelaria, Wertz said on Tuesday that she didn’t hesitate to shoot a man who ran into the store on Monday. “He like stepped into the door and pointed the gun at me. I reacted,” she said. Police say she hit 23-year-old Ferron Mendez in the chest. He’s expected to live.

Wertz says she had the gun at work clearly visible on her hip because it’s become a dangerous place to be. “Robberies have been going on like this for the past few weeks. They have done nothing to protect me. And I felt the need to protect myself,” Wertz said.

She says Circle K suspended her for two weeks for shooting the suspect. She’s quitting and now looking for a new job. Wertz doesn’t like company policy in these types of situations.

I don’t think any reader of Bearing Arms is going to blame her for that one.

I’m not a fan of saying, “There ought to be a law,” or anything, but I do think policies like this are horribly wrongheaded. They put law-abiding citizens at risk simply because they can’t carry their legally-owned firearms for their personal protection.

Wertz is far from the first person to have job difficulties because of defending themselves, but I can’t help but want to ask these companies which they prefer: An armed employee shooting someone in self-defense or a dead employee? Because those are your alternatives.

Unfortunately, policies such as Circle K’s are based on the media-perpetuated myth that lawful gun owners are somehow a danger to society. They’re not, unless by “society,” you mean “violent criminals.”

It’s my hope that Wertz gets a far better job with a company that sees no need to turn their employees into potential victims due to a misguided policy powered by anti-gun ideology more than real-world statistics. She did what she needed to do, and that also includes quitting a job that wants to punish her for not allowing herself to be shot.

Anyone who can’t see how idiotic that policy is needs to get their head examined.  No one in their right mind should see an employee not being shot and killed as a bad thing under any circumstances, yet that’s what Wertz and others have encountered. They are either disciplined or lose their jobs for the “crime” of not rolling over and being a victim.

That should never be the case. Not in this country.

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