Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 5/7/2002 12:15:21 PM EDT
http://www.richmondtimesdispatch.com/news/bearingarms/MGBAWWS3X0D.html [b]Near-dead with a toy gun in hand Store owner almost pulled trigger on robber[/b] Hard decision: Even though R.E. Watkinson had been robbed and shot before, he did not want to pull the trigger on the armed man in front of him. If you keep on going out U.S. Route 33, out past where the burger joints turn into cattle, out past where the road peters out, all the way out another 10 miles or so to Beaverdam, you'll cross the railroad tracks and get to Steve and Pat Webb's little store. The Beaverdam Quick Stop is the kind of store where you can get everything from fishing gear to fish sticks, where you can pull up and leave your truck cockeyed in the lot with the motor running. It's not the kind of store where you would ever imagine a young man would show up one day wearing a hood to cover his face, holding a gun in his hand and demanding money from the cash register. But that is what happened April 10, 1999. Unlikely as it was, Steve Webb was ready. He had been practicing for just that event. Webb pulled his .45-caliber pistol and shouted at the young man at the top of his lungs that he was about to die. The would-be robber winced, twisted away, pulled his head back, threw his gun in the air and hit the floor. It wasn't until Webb had come around the counter to stand over the gunman that he saw the weapon was a water pistol, a squirt gun. That young man had come a breath away from dying with a toy in his hand. In the days and weeks that followed, Webb had to face a certain amount of ridicule. Three or four times a day, people would drop into the store, pretend they were going for a gun and say something like, "I got a squirt gun, this is a holdup!" "It wasn't funny," Webb said while sitting on his front porch recently. "When this guy pulls a gun on me and says this is a robbery, what do you think I'm going to do? . . . He did everything he could to make me think it was a real gun." Newspapers and radio talk show hosts from all over the country called after Webb's story was reported in The Times-Dispatch. Webb was called a vigilante, a nut case. He is neither of those things. He is a quiet 47-year-old who moved to Hanover County from Northern Virginia 12 years ago. The family keeps horses and shoots targets. He wears a cap with "International Defensive Pistol Association" on the front.
Link Posted: 5/7/2002 12:16:05 PM EDT
He recalled the day of the attempted robbery as scary. For those few seconds that he was face to face and 3 feet away from the would-be robber, he thought he might die. "You just kind of feel a cold chill go down your body." He did not know whether the man was alone, and he certainly did not know the gun was a toy. "Once you pull a gun on someone, whether it was life or death a second ago, it is now," he said. Webb didn't hesitate. "I was going to shoot him. I was squeezing the trigger." But his gun had an 8-pound trigger pull, which is unusually stiff. And the man flinched and went down immediately. That probably saved his life. Webb shook for three days after that, and he thinks about it still. "It always did bother me. I did come close to taking a life." Webb and his wife had practiced for different scenarios before the robbery attempt, and they still practice. He thinks of gun ownership as a responsibility. He does not think everyone should carry a gun, but he has advice for those who do: "Go to the range. Get involved in shooting. Take lessons." As bad as the event was at his store, it could have been much worse. "Not a shot was fired; that's a good scenario. We were lucky," he said. The Webbs also were trained and had practiced. "If I couldn't have firearms, I'd shut that store and walk away." Contact Gordon Hickey at (804) 649-6449 or ghickey@timesdispatch.com
Link Posted: 5/7/2002 12:19:36 PM EDT
A few observations: Rule #1: Don't bring a squirt gun to a real gunfight. Rule #2: Don't pick a fight with a guy wearing an IDPA hat :) The articles are working hard to portray these situations accurately. I'm impressed. Some of you may have noticed the articles are gaining Nationwide exposure. They're linked from some of the major news sources in addition to NRA and others on our side. I hope it makes a difference. Again, please let the authors know if you appreciate their article. I believe Gordon in particular is considering other stories in the future. Black Fox
Link Posted: 5/7/2002 12:41:02 PM EDT
Already done. I started a thread over in DemocraticUnderground using this article, and e-mailed the author of the article to thank him. Unfortunately, the pro-gunners have chased the average DU'er out of the Justice/Public Safety forum. The environment is now not so target-rich.[:(]
Link Posted: 5/7/2002 3:27:51 PM EDT
Thanks, Kbaker! Sorry you're not going to have too much fun over there. I wander over to DU from time to time to see you guys taking names! Thanks for the e-mail to the authors, too. I suppose I could like to the original two threads for those of you that didn't see them: [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=114353[/url] [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=114693[/url] Black Fox
Top Top