CCW Weekend: Robbery Vs. Theft
By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
Naturally, the person who is carrying a concealed pistol is concerned with crime as part of their personal defense. You don’t want to be robbed, and you don’t want anyone else to be robbed either. You don’t want any violent crime to happen to you or anyone else, and you carry in order to put a stop to it in case it does happen.
Not only that, but you have a certain amount of legal authority to do so, as state laws normally define circumstances under which an armed (or unarmed) person may use force in a justifiable manner, including stopping certain crimes in progress.
Granted, this is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer. Additionally, laws vary from state to state. Therefore, it behooves you to know the law in your state.
With that out of the way, robbery is one of the classes of crime that people seem to be the most concerned about outside of assault. Robbery can include mugging, the taking of goods or cash from a store of some kind, or the related crime of carjacking, where a criminal deprives a person of their vehicle.
Now, the crime of robbery is where one party forcibly deprives another party of money or property, either by using force or with the threat of it. That can be with a weapon or manual physical harm.
This is different from the related, though different, crime of theft, which is taking somebody else’s property without permission or without paying for it. The difference, of course, is that former involves the use or implied use of force and the latter does not. That distinction separates the two acts from each other. While related, they aren’t the same thing.
Why does that matter, and why the heck is this guy blathering on about it?
This matters because neither the Second Amendment nor your concealed carry permit is a badge. Granted, this isn’t to say you should look the other way due to fear of liability; this is to say you need to understand that real life isn’t like the movies. The “good guy” doesn’t just simply shoot the bad guy and ride off into the sunset or what have you.
For instance, a city commissioner from Lakeland, Fla., according to NBC News, is currently facing second-degree murder charges for shooting a shoplifter in Oct. 2018 in the military surplus store that he owns and operates. The shoplifter was stealing a hatchet, but did not appear to make any threatening movements and was shot in the side and the back.
On Dec. 2, according to CBS Los Angeles, a security guard at a Walgreens in Hollywood, Calif., shot a man trying to shoplift an item of small value. An update from CBS Los Angeles on Dec. 12, indicates that charges are being considered by area prosecuting attorneys and the family of the slain man have lodged a $525 million lawsuit against Walgreens.
We’ve probably all heard the term “shoot/no shoot,” meaning there are situations in which it is justifiable to use force and others in which it is not. This is important both for police but also for civilians as well. The former have an entire industry of experts and trainers that are available to teach them about the judicious use of force within the purview of their office.
We do not. Therefore, it behooves us to understand these things.
Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.