How NOT to Stop a Robbery As a Gun Owner

Let it never be said that I don’t support the justified and legitimate use of firearms in order to defend oneself.  Be that gun owner some citizen with a CCW, an open carrier, a cop or a little girl at home alone fending off a home invasion robbery.

Let it also never be said that I blindly give a pass to dumbasses or trigger happy cops when they do something boneheaded.

This next story falls into the former category.

Heather Burkinshaw-Stanley is a gun owner and also a waitress at a Waffle House in Newnann, Georgia.

Last Thursday at around 2:30am three men came to the Waffle House and ate a meal, upon completion of their food 20 minutes later, instead of paying they gave the cashier a note saying that everyone in the building would be shot if all the cash in the registers wasn’t handed over to them immediately.   The cashier admitted that she never saw a gun but gave the three robbery suspects got $200 from the cash drawer and left.

That’s when Burkinshaw-Stanley decided to be a hero and does everything wrong.  First she runs out to her car and gets her gun.  Ok, not wrong per se but its what she does after that things go cuckoo for coco puffs.

Remember, these guys are LEAVING peaceably without hurting anyone after stealing $200 from a cash register of a chain restaurant.  Yes, they are criminals who just committed robbery and yes if they were shot at any point in this story I wouldn’t feel bad at all.

But Burkinshaw-Stanley  wants to have the last word in or wants to pretend she’s a hero for a second because she runs after them with her gun.

Does she tell them to stop?  Give the money back?  Does she shoot them because she is afraid they might hurt more people?


What she does is shoot a round off in the air.

She wasn’t trying to hit the robbers but her reckless and idiot…warning shot?!?!?!…might have killed some innocent bystander.

Apparently Burkinshaw-Stanley wanted to scare off the robbers.  The robbers who I just mentioned were LEAVING anyways.

Even when she was trying to rationalize her idiotic actions she stumbled upon how unnecessary it was:

“I safely fired a round in the air in an attempt to scare the robbers who were in the process of getting in their vehicle”

First of all, there is no such thing as “safely” firing a gun into the air in a populated area.  And if, as she later on would say, she was in fear for her life, why not actually SHOOT the robbers?

“I was in fear for my life, my co-workers’ lives, and I did what I thought was right.”

What she thought was right was actually stupid.

Like I said I fully support bad guys getting gunned down when they are committing a crime, I’d even give Burkinshaw-Stanley a pass if she followed them out and she shot them because she was afraid that her cavalier action put her in a bad and dangerous spot.

But little Miss Mall Ninja here just wanted to play cops and robbers and shot off her gun for absolutely no purpose whatsoever other than doing it and THAT is what I take so much exception to.

Her actions violate Rule 2 and Rule 4 of Jeff Coopers rules of gun saftey:


  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

By shooting a round in the air (not sure at what angle she did it) she didn’t identify a target and as such didn’t know that she might have had the muzzle pointed at someone.

And still, WHY?

Regardless of the reasons, Waffle House would fire Burkinshaw-Stanley as they have bought into the dangerous notion of gun free zones which basically allowed them to be victims of robbery so easily to begin with.

Now, if Burkinshaw-Stanley had stopped the robbery, killed the bad guys and saved the day for everyone and STILL got fired I would be rattling sabers and defending her passionately.  But in truth, people like Burkinshaw-Stanley are what give gun owners a bad name.

What she did was the equivalent of taking Joe Bidens advice and shooting a shotgun through a door without knowing who was on the other side.  Burkinshaw-Stanley is lucky that the bullet she fired didn’t come down hard and injure of kill someone.  True, shooting a bullet straight up in the air has little chance of harming them but from the account it seemed that she fired in their direction in the air so the arc of the bullet very well could have killed someone 1800 meters away.

I find her actions reckless and needlessly endangering to innocent people.  If I ran Waffle House I also would have fired her.

To look into my previous question as to WHY she did what she did, perhaps it is all part of a long con.

You see, I’m not saying that she was in league with the robbers or was complicit in the robbery in any way, I’m saying she probably wanted a little fame for being a hero and perhaps in the back of her mind realized that Waffle House would fire her for it.

And when they did fire her she could make it about the 2nd Amendment and not about how idiotic her actions actually were.

Why is this important?

Because upon getting fired she made a GoFundMe page and has more money now than she would have in about 3 months of working at the Waffle House.

Even in her GoFundMe page she admits that her actions were basically trying to scare robbers who were all ready leaving by recklessly shooting a scaring round:

In the heat of the moment, as the robbers left, I ran to my car and retrieved my gun. I safely fired a round in the air in an attempt to scare the robbers who were in the process of getting in their vehicle.

My shot must have gotten their attention as they rapidly drove off. Due to this action of firing a round safely in the air I have lost my job.

Again she says she “safely” fired a round in the air.  That’s just not a real thing.  And then she claims that doing so made the robbers “rapidly” drive off?  Like what, after robbing the Waffle House they were gonna sit in the parking lot and talk about how good the syrup is?

I wish people wouldn’t get suckered in to supporting bad behavior simply because it has to do tangentially with the 2nd Amendment.  But it’s a free country and if people want to support Burkinshaw-Stanley doing stupid things so be it.  Just remember this when the next time someone does something as idiotic and their “safe shot into the sky” ends up killing someone and the gun controllers swarm.

Heather Burkinshaw-Stanley is no hero, nor should she be rewarded as one.

As Longfellow so eloquently said:

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.


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