A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, February 08, 2009

An Old Friend

I took a couple of 1911s and a MKII to the range today. I wanted to work on reholstering the gun. Often we spent beau coup time with a 1911 building muscle memory with the draw, snicking off the thumb safety on presentation, acquiring the front sight and squeezing off the shot.

Click to enlarge
Yet we often fail to build muscle memory to make the weapon safely stowed again under stress. So I worked at drawing the weapon, squeezing off two shots, snicking on the thumb safety and reholstering.

At the range, I was happy to bump into an old friend who runs a pharmacy on the seedy side of town where I used to work. On a cold December afternoon few years back, Roy (not his real name) was dispensing meds when an armed teen burst into the store with a bandanna over his face.

The teen demanded money, and the cashier emptied the till for him. The bandit pocketed the cash while waving his chrome Lorcin wildly. When the teen began to exit the store, he swung the pistol towards the cashier who was cowering behind the counter. "Die bitch!" were his last words.

Roy shot him center of mass with a .357 revolver. The slug blew apart the masked teen's aorta, and shattered his spine. The criminal managed to crawl outside the pharmacy to bleed out and die in the parking lot. The shooting was declared justified, and Roy was never charged.

45 on the left, 22 on the right. Click to enlargeThe community that Roy's drug store was nestled in split into two factions, one which accused him of murder, the other ambivalent and uncaring. Little did it matter that many of those people obtained medications for their family on a tab from Roy. He became ostracised in the community he supported, a community Walgreens would never invest in.

I asked Roy how he was doing. He said fine. I told him it was good to see him shooting again. Roy said he never stopped. He just continued to shoot privately. He related that he had lost some sleep for a couple of years, and he still thinks about the shooting every time the bell on his drug store door jingles. He still watches customer's hands closely, but business is good again, and the threats of retaliation have stopped. He has no regrets, although he still occasionally asks himself "What if....."

Thankfully, Roy does not carry the burden of "If only I had a gun......."

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Blogger Old NFO said...

Excellent post and glad to hear he is still in business.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"'Die bitch!' were his last words."

Alas. Pride goeth before the fall.

6:16 PM  
OpenID hsoi said...

Good story. Thank you for sharing it.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Mr.Potato said...

great story Xavier. Thank You for sharing.

6:49 PM  
Blogger DouginSalcha said...

Like a lot of other people, I wonder at what influences a young man or woman to be so devoid of feeling, caring, or compassion as to decide to kill a stranger. This woman probably did not know him and had done nothing to warrant his ill feeling (not to mention his anger or enmity).

He decided to kill - apparently on the spur of the moment - and he decided to kill someone who had complied with his demands for money.

There is no "understanding" to be gleaned from the actions of a psychopath; there is only the decision of whether or not be willingly allow oneself (or a friend) to die.

I'm glad he (and the young woman) is alive and I'm glad he is shooting 'still'.

Thanks for the story...

7:57 PM  
Anonymous OrangeNeckInNY said...

God bless "Roy."

10:42 PM  
Blogger El Sid said...

Roy is a fella that will never fall into my Should Have Had a Gun, give him a pat on the back for defending himself for me.

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad your friend did what he had to. I hope I never have to but in the world as it is today, one can never be sure. Keep ready for a day we hope will never come!

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

glad your friend is well. There is no such thing as muscle memory, just so you know. Love the site!

6:51 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Jason, "muscle memory" is a layman's term for building nerve pathways to elict complex motions the same way, every time, through repetition. The muscle does not remember, but the brain does.

2:11 PM  

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