Posts Tagged ‘robbery’

Armed and… Tasty? The Push to Arm New York’s Bodega Workers

November 28th, 2010 by Jonathan Vit

If some bodega workers have their way, they’ll be packing a lot more than relish and pickles.

Hispanics Across America provided handgun permit applications to thousands of New York bodega workers in late October. The group, which, in the past, has fought to get illegal guns off the street, is now pushing to arm many of the state’s 24 hour bodega workers, people, activist Fernando Mateo calls “sitting ducks.”

It’s an argument that has gained traction across America; arm normal citizens and watch crime rates drop. New York state has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The state, like many others, allows a limited number of people to carry a loaded weapon; and then only under very specific circumstances.

But would guns make bodega workers safer? Gun rights advocates argue that states with lax right to carry laws have lower crime rates. But academic studies have often shown otherwise. The National Consortium on Violence Research found the only impact lax gun laws had on crime rates was an increase in assaults. Philip Cook, an economist at Stanford University, wrote in his book “Gun Violence: The Real Costs,” that any impacts of right to carry laws were statistically insignificant.

Still, in a city where bodega workers are robbed, or even killed, with startling frequency, scared citizens are looking for something that will provide even a kernel of safety. Hispanics Across America argues that bodega workers should, at least, be given the option to arm themselves.

The question is, are bodega workers comfortable packing heat while stuffing sandwiches? According to CBS 2, not likely.