SAUK RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — A gas station convenience store that has been robbed twice in the past three months is taking an aggressive new action to thwart would-be robbers. The Shell station in Sauk Rapids is offering a 10 cent discount per gallon for law enforcement and those who can prove they have a valid concealed carry permit. As much as concealed carriers don’t like to flaunt their licenses about, that’s a pretty big enticement.
The offer, according to the Associated Press, is only valid after 7 p.m. When it gets dark, the owner wants to encourage those who are in a position to help to fill up their tanks. This discount effectively eviscerates retail gas profits at the pump but this owner seems to think the measure will make it much more of a hardened target for would-be robbers seeking to use the cover of darkness.
When lawless thugs don’t fear the night, it’s time to take new measures to protect your business. As a business owner, making patrons feel safe is important. If people are worried about getting robbed or being stuck in the middle of a robbery-in-progress, they’re less apt to want to stop and shop.
Concealed carriers aren’t vigilantes roaming the streets looking for a gun fight. They’re paying customers, honest people, and follow the law. Placing them into a position where they could be compromised seems less than honest at first glance but then we have to admit the type of society we’re shifting towards one — one that seemingly gives criminals more incentives and law-abiding citizens fewer. Actions like what’s happening at this Shell station may be a taste of how private citizens begin to tip the scales.
And for ten cents off the cost of a gallon of gasoline, that’s a pretty good enticement. Just make sure if you’re going to cash in on this type of offer, you bring more than just your permit.
Where is the fine line between co-opting law-abiding gun owners’ business and placing them into harm’s way?
To argue against that, it’s a fair assumption that armed robberies don’t happen all the time. If anything, this is a visible deterrent to criminals who can read. For the countless criminals that fell through the cracks of the public education system and learned basic math from behind bars, that warning may not pose as a deterrent.
From the reports we’ve cycled through in the news, we also see a lot of teenagers and kids getting pushed up into volatile criminal enterprises where the hardened crooks dare not go. Let’s just hope this isn’t another one of those.