Edward Vaught is studying to become a math teacher, and he works at a 7-Eleven to put himself through college. He was working the overnight shift one night with a co-worker when a man came in and tried to steal gift cards. Vaught confronted the man, and a bit of a scuffle ensued. Vaught called the police, but the man violently knocked the phone out of Vaught’s hand. The would-be thief, Christopher Munson, pulled what Vaught thought was a gun out from his waistband and held it to Vaught’s head, threatening to kill him. The store clerk was able to wrestle the gun away from the man and hold him in position outside the store until the police arrived to arrest him.
Now, as it turns out, Munson didn’t have a real gun. He used a fake gun to threaten Vaught. But there’s no way Vaught would have known the gun was fake. All he knew was that his life was being threatened, and this crook had something that he thought was a gun pointed to his head.
But because Vaught chose to defend himself, his employer decided to fire him. The 7-Eleven corporate office issued this statement:
“A dismissal was in order because the employee’s action violated our policy of non-confrontation and posed a danger to himself and a co-worker.”
What if the guy had a real gun? Was Vaught just supposed to lie there and let himself be attacked? It’s not even like Vaught had a gun and shot the crook. He had nothing but his own body mass and bare hands. I think corporations like 7-Eleven would rather their workers die at the hands of an armed robber than try to defend themselves and other co-workers.
Just a few weeks ago, a 7-Eleven clerk was shot in the back, and he died in the hospital. What would the corporate office’s response be to that? Would they say something along these lines?
“Well, we’re sorry that he died, but at least he didn’t put up a fight, because that would be a violation of our non-confrontation policy. If he had managed to defend himself successfully, he’d be alive today, but he’d also be out of a job, because we’d fire him.”
Where’s the common sense?