Real Evil…

Have no doubt, there are evil people doing evil things out there:

Members of a multi-agency task force and a Texas Ranger are trying to develop leads in the shooting Wednesday of an Alvarado store clerk who died late Thursday at a Fort Worth hospital.

Karen Burke died at 11:04 p.m. Thursday at John Peter Smith Hospital, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

Burke, 52, of Alvarado was shot early Wednesday while mopping the floor at the Shell Travel Center off Interstate 35W in Alavardo, police said.

The robber, whose features were concealed by a dark hooded sweatshirt, followed her through the door to the store after she had gone outside, possibly to empty the mop bucket. And then she was shot.

From the TV coverage I kept getting the feeling that this place was somehow familiar.  I finally realized that I had stopped there a couple of times on my way back from Austin. 

Anyhow, this case really brings home the idiocy of the advice to “just give them what they want and they’ll go away” that we often hear when there is a robbery.  In this case, there was absolutely no chance for the store clerk to give this guy anything.  Further, what he apparently wanted was for her to die.  Which also illustrates the moral bankruptcy of the idea that everyone can be reasoned with if we’d just have enough ‘empathy’ or ‘compassion.’  How do you reason with someone whose first act is to shoot you?

Or, as Cowtown Cop puts it:

There is, and all ways have been, a portion of the human race who will use whatever weapon comes to hand to further their selfish ambitions. These folks are evil. They don’t feel any empathy or compassion for their fellow humans. They just don’t care, and there are a lot of them.

Would the clerk having a gun have prevented this?  It’s impossible to say for certain.  However, owning one and carrying it promotes situational awareness and preparedness for these sorts of situations.  From what I saw on the video I would have pegged this guy as squirrelly from the get-go.  It’s late July and the temperature is still in the high 80’s at 1:00am and he’s wearing a long-sleeved hoodie with the hood up.  More than that, though, he appears to be wearing gloves, which would have set off all sorts of alarm bells in my head.  He’s also acting suspicious by trying to shield his face from the video cameras. 

Practicing good situational awareness is probably the most important part of all this, and even if one chooses not to carry a gun, it’s still important.  In this case there wasn’t a lot of time to react, but there were still warning signs in the suspect’s dress and behavior. 

It should be noted that I do not want this taken in any way as blaming the victim in this case.  All responsibility for this incident belongs with the shooter.  He’s an evil bastard and he deserves to be squashed like a bug.  But we can learn from the incident and remind ourselves that violent encounters are often unexpected and they progress extremely quickly (i.e. it’ll be over before you can even get to your phone, much less dial 911).  You have to always be on alert and prepared to react. 

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