A Maryland pharmacist recently thwarted criminal druggies intent on robbing his store by firing a warning shot with his own handgun.
By Mark Anderson
While mainstream media aren’t always keen on reporting it, armed citizens, including business owners, often exercise their right to self-defense simply by wielding their weapon and thereby avoiding bloodshed.
Pakistan-born Wasim Amir—who arrived in the U.S. in the early 1990s, became a citizen in 1999, and owns Karemore Pharmacy in Princess Anne, Md.—is living proof of this reality.
On the afternoon of Aug. 13, Amir, a licensed pharmacist, for the first time ever used his .38-caliber revolver in self-defense when two would-be robbers, wearing ski masks, entered the store, as he described when contacted by AFP.
Amir—who was sitting in the back of the store in his office when the two young men entered the pharmacy—heard some commotion about 3 p.m., prompting him to act. Amir grabbed his licensed revolver from a drawer and confronted the men, firing one shot, which left a hole in the front window, to scare them. Meanwhile, other staffers called the police.
One of the men had an especially powerful AK-47 military rifle, as Amir recalled for AFP, while adding that his review of surveillance video footage later showed the other man fiddling under his clothing, possibly because he had stashed a weapon there.
“The man with the rifle ordered everyone down on the ground,” Amir told local media right after the incident, “including one customer, a woman, who happened to be in the store.
“But when they saw my gun, they were scared and ran away through the door they came in, and then around outside to the back of the store,” Amir told AFP, while noting that he believes a third person had driven to the store and dropped the young men off for the robbery attempt.
On Aug. 14, Princess Anne police charged Cody Allen King, 22, and Justin Michael Bull, also 22, both of whom are from Princess Anne, “with armed robbery, robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery,” local press accounts say. There were no injuries and no property was stolen.
Asked about their apparent motivation, Amir agreed with this AFP writer hat the opioid epidemic may have been a factor. Highly addictive opioid prescription painkillers will motivate people to take extreme measures for profits and to feed the widespread addiction to such drugs.
“If they steal these drugs from pharmacies, they’ll end up in the wrong hands, and there will be more addictions and more deaths,” Amir said.
“And more armed robberies?” AFP interjected.
“That’s a possibility,” Amir replied, while noting that stolen drugs either end up being sold on the street or the robbers are addicts themselves, or both.
Although Amir, who built his pharmacy business from scratch, is not outspoken about the Second Amendment, he expressed appreciation about having a constitutional right to self-defense.
He remarked: “My pistol is for store use. I used to have a concealed-carry [permit], but not anymore.”
As this story shows, whenever the principle of the defense of oneself, loved ones, employees, and property is rationally exercised, there are lessons to be learned in this age of reported deadly shootings at schools, churches, and other venues where armed defense is strongly discouraged or illegal.
While venal politicians scramble to get headlines, campaign donations, and votes by calling for more firearms regulations, examples such as this one stand out as a clear indication that school and church officials who truly want to protect those under their wing cannot look the other way if they’re serious about safety. Call it “principle before politics.” Let’s hope it catches on.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. He invites your thoughtful comments and story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.