I’m an experienced suburban practitioner, and I work with a lot of small businesses. Many of my clients are shop owners, and they struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet. They tell me how hard it is in the current environment to keep their doors open. Margins are low, the cost of living keeps rising, and many of them have been impacted by crime. But the politicians just don’t seem to care.
I have avoided commenting on political matters during the election campaign, and not just because Law Society disciplinary proceedings have kept me so busy recently. It’s important that my clients feel they can approach me, no matter what side of the political divide they may be on. That’s why I don’t usually take sides when it comes to politics. I’m just not particular about which politicians I bribe, blackmail or threaten.
But I have to take my hat off to the ACT Party this time. They have just announced a new policy that would allow shopkeepers to arm themselves. When things go pear-shaped our local retailers will be free to deploy their pistols, swords, bats, tasers, grenades, knuckle-dusters, mortars, sabres, muskets, hammers, daggers, shotguns, cluster bombs, howitzers, machine guns and other weapons. This policy will put the power back into the hands of our retailers. What could be better than a frightened shop owner waving a gun around?
It’s a good and sensible policy, and nothing could possibly go wrong. But what will it mean in practice for shopkeepers if this policy becomes law?
I have put together a few guidelines to assist my retail clients, and to keep them on the right side of the law. If you’re a retailer and you follow these simple rules, you really cannot go wrong.
- If some young kid comes into your shop and starts giving you lip, be like the wind and blow them away.
- If one of your customers argues with you about whether they gave you a ten or a twenty dollar note, ask Messrs Smith and Wesson to arbitrate the matter.
- Bob Smith, the bread guy, is always late for his daily deliveries. But you don’t have to put up with that shit any more. It’s disrespectful. If that delivery guy likes being late so much, why don’t you turn him into the late Mr Smith?
- You just caught a shoplifter, but the judge is only going to give this kid a telling off. It’s time for you to step up. You be the judge. And jury. And executioner.
- Some heavy-looking dude is in your shop, swaggering around like he owns the joint. Why don’t you turn that swagger into a stagger? Stick the bastard in the eye with a knife, and then finish him off with a baseball bat when he falls to the ground.
- The guy from the council is here to inspect your premises. This little creep is going to walk around your shop and decide whether it is fit for the serving of food. Are you going to let some jumped up local bureaucrat tell you what to do? What if he discovers the secret to your homemade meat pies? Are you sure you disposed of all the clothes of those homeless men you abducted? You don’t want an E food rating, do you? If this officious little Hitler starts sniffing around your food serving area, offer to serve him up some lead, in small pieces. I guarantee he’ll give you an A rating.
- Some lazy arsehole just dropped litter outside your shop door. He probably expects you to pick up after him, but are you his mother? Hell no! Are you going to let him disrespect you like that? Get your sword out and cut his head off. Let’s see if anyone picks that up.
You may want to wait until ACT’s policy becomes law before shooting your customers between the eyes, disembowelling them with a knife, or throwing live grenades at them. But it’s ultimately your call. Do whatever it is you need to stay safe. If that means climbing up to the top of your local clocktower and taking shots at passers-by with a sniper’s rifle, then do it. ACT’s policy doesn’t appear to include a spree-killing defence, but I’ll be lobbying hard to see one added if ACT forms part of the next government.
If you do take the law into your own hands and the cops decide to do you for murder, you know who to call. Just don’t plead guilty. Never plead guilty!