Friday, November 17, 2006

Easy Prey

I have often thought that thieves, robbers, rapists, murderers, et all are like predators out of a Discovery channel show looking for easy game to and from the watering hole.

The parallels are obvious; the watering hole is the ATM or other area where we need to queue up in isolation, the weak are those that are not physically intimidating (big, strong, young or armed) or are in small numbers.

This was clearly evidenced in an robbery outside a Wal Mart in Connecticut.

As people lined up to purchase their Playstation III they were robbed by two armed men.

The one individual who resisted was shot.

Two armed thugs tried to rob a line of people waiting to buy the new Playstation 3 gaming console early Friday and shot one who refused to give up the money, authorities said.

The two confronted 15 to 20 people who were in line outside a Wal-Mart store shortly after 3 a.m. and demanded money, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the state police. The new Sony consoles are selling for around $500 to $600.

This could have been avoided had there been a fear on the part of the criminals of an armed presence. A group of geeks queued up for their latest gaming fix was no deterrent to the predators at what was obviously the modern equivalent of the watering hole. Had any of these gamers been armed they might have prevented the situation. It likely would have been easy to spot the criminals from their behavior on the approach to the line.

one was wearing a ski mask and brandishing a handgun, and the other had what appeared to be a shotgun.

Another possible resolution would have been from WalMarts side:

Had WalMart provided armed security outside the store for its patrons. I sincerely doubt the expense would have been exorbitant to provide its customers with security regardless of whether the burden to do so was on them or not to do so. I would think the loss of commerce represented by the sales missed would have at least covered the expense, especially so if you add the fact that the individuals would have purchased multiple games and other accessories.

It would be interesting to know if WalMarts in Connecticut or this WalMart in particular had a no firearms policy.

One store did have a unique approach to safeugarding the welfare of their employees and customers:

A Best Buy in Boston, aware it had only 140 of the consoles, got smart - its employees gave out tickets to the first 140 people in line so everyone could go home.

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