Courage, Training and Instinct, Our Second Amendment is Essential 

Courage, Training and Instinct, Our Second Amendment is Essential 

By Jim Bratten – 7/25/22

A would-be robber was shot dead by the man he was trying to rob on Saturday, July 16, in Houston, Texas. The intended victim was using an ATM around 10:30 p.m. when the thug walked up and pulled a gun. In a quick turnabout, the man at the ATM pulled his own weapon and shot the wannabe thief, killing him. 

On the same night in St. Charles, Mo., another thief was shot dead before he could finish his planned high-profit evening. A 26-year-old homeless man from St. Louis began his robbery spree at 3 a.m. early Saturday morning with an armed robbery at a Mobile On The Run convenience store in St. Charles, reported KMOV-TV in St. Louis. 

The thief emptied the store’s cash drawers, holding a 43-year-old female clerk at knifepoint, his blade to her neck. He fled the store in a stolen black SUV, leaving the clerk behind with lacerations on her left wrist, right hand, and neck. He was then suspected of hitting a Phillips 66 gas station in St. Charles, police alerted to the robbery by the gas station’s alarm and broken glass at the store, according to KMOV-TV. 

The homeless thief finally attempted to rob a QuikTrip convenience store, according to KSDK-TV. But a concealed carry customer had stopped at the store to use the restroom and make a purchase. As the customer was returning to his vehicle, he saw a black SUV pull up in front of the store’s door. The driver entered the store with a backpack and dragged the 26-year-old female clerk to the front counter as she was screaming, the thief’s knife to her throat, according to KTVI-TV. The customer reentered the store to question the man, but the thief grabbed his bag, came around the counter and ran toward the customer, who drew his firearm and fired four times from his 9mm handgun. The thief was taken to a hospital, where he later died of his wounds. The armed customer said he didn’t have a choice – the thief’s knife was at the clerk’s neck, and the criminal charged at him. He said he had experience with firearms and acted upon instinct. 

The next day, Sunday, July 17, Elisjsha (Eli) Dicken, 22, had taken his girlfriend shopping at Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Ind. As they headed toward the food court, a shooter who had previously entered a restroom off the food court left the restroom with an AR-15-type rifle and began shooting, killing three and wounding two. 

When he heard the first shot, Dicken told his girlfriend to “get down and stay down.” Then he pulled his 9mm Glock, steadied himself against a pole, and fired ten rounds at the shooter, about 40 yards away, hitting him with the first shot. Of the ten rounds used by Dicken, eight hit the shooter, who fell to the floor as he tried to escape to the restroom. After he dropped, Dicken slowly approached him, motioning people to get behind him to safety as he advanced. The shooter was dead. 

The time between the shooter’s first shot into the food court as he exited the restroom and Dicken’s shots in defense of the food court customers was 15 seconds. When questioned by police after the incident, Eli Dicken said he had no police or military training – he learned to handle a gun from his grandfather. Dicken carried legally under Indiana’s constitutional carry law, effective July 1. 

In a public announcement after the incident, Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison stated that, even though law enforcement had arrived quickly, the “real hero of the day is the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as he began.” Ison said of Dicken, “His actions were nothing short of heroic. He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun. Was very proficient in that, was tactically sound and as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him.” On July 18, Ison told WRTV, “I am 100 percent certain that many more people would have died last night if it wasn’t for his heroism.” 

Then there’s the madman who allegedly assaulted people in at least four households in Lincoln County, Mississippi, around 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning, July 19. He was also stopped thanks to the decisive action of a responsible gun owner. Hearing one shot ring out, police made their way to the fourth house and found the criminal had been shot while allegedly attempting to run over a homeowner with his vehicle. 

These heroic, courageous acts by armed citizens, all within a few days, resulted in perhaps dozens of lives saved. Actions such as these happen every day in our nation but are seldom reported. Yet 376 armed police officers stood idle for 70 minutes while 19 children and two teachers were executed by a deranged teen in a Texas grade school. This was also finally ended by one armed, courageous man. 

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