NH Store Clerk: “I Just Wanted To Go Home To My Family,” Fired For Self-Defense–UPDATE! Cothan On Today’s Show 1pm

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 UPDATE!  Shannon “Bear” Cothran scheduled to join us live at 1pm today.

Bear Cothran works–or rather, worked–at a Shell station in Nashua, NH. Over the weekend, in the wee hours of the morning, a large guy with a knife entered the store, demanded money and, according to Cothran, threatened to kill him if he didn’t cooperate.

Cothran is a lawful New Hampshire gun owner, he had his gun on him, so he drew the gun and the robber left post-haste. Yay, the good guys win!

Uh…no.

At 11:20 [Monday] morning, Bear received a phone call from his boss, informing him that, in spite of his status as a 10-year employee in good standing and both the store and district managers going to bat for him, he was being terminated. Nouria Energy (http://www.nouriaenergy.com/), the franchise owner of the store (as well as the majority of the other Shell stations in the southern NH area), has a policy prohibiting employees from carrying weapons while on the clock. Bear was let go without any manner of severance for violating this policy.

Boo, the “your guns scare us!” crowd wins.

For his part, Bear seems to have the right perspective:

“I have a fiancee who I love very much, step-children I love, our first grandchild is due in December. Given the situation, and the way the man who tried to rob me was acting, I truly believe if I didn’t defend myself I wasn’t going to be coming home to see my family,” said Cothran. 

“I can find another job, one way or another. I may be out of employment for months, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Nobody’s hurt, everybody gets to go home, that’s what matters to me,” Cothran said.

The store has the right to set policy. The store has the right to enforce that policy. And the store also has the right to overlook/temporarily suspend/change its policy.

I’ll say this: If I’m a robber with a knife, I’m headed to that Shell station.  Management has done the hardest part of my job for me.

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Michael Graham
Radio talk show host, columnist for the Boston Herald, stand-up comic and former GOP political consultant. Learn more about Michael here.

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