It was late December, 1971, and tensions in the city were high. While everyone was used to a certain level of crime being perpetrated throughout the 5 boroughs, one rash of incidents had many on edge. For several weeks, two men were out targeting diners, coffee shops, and just about any other place where a full cash drawer could be found. Upon entering an establishment, without saying a word, one would shoot the person behind the counter and the other would empty the till. This one night, they selected their next target…and this is what happened next.
Their target was on Flatbush avenue in Brooklyn. A nothing-special “greasy spoon” that just happened to have great Cheese Cake. In the diner that night was the manager, a short order cook, and a waitress, 5 months pregnant, and working what was supposed to be her last shift of the year.
Just before closing, the manager took what cash was in the register, and went down to the basement office to prepare the deposits for the next morning. In the back, the cook was cleaning up the griddle, and being finished with clearing off the last of the dishes, the waitress headed into the kitchen to get her “side work” started.
No sooner did she step into the kitchen that the two men, that were the cause of so much concern throughout the boroughs, entered the front door of the diner…guns drawn and looking for cash. In what would have been just one more in a string of violent crimes… This time, the outcome would be different.
What the two shooters didn’t know was that there was a fourth person in the diner that night. Sitting in the corner of the dimly lit dining room, drinking a cup of coffee, was the waitresses husband…a patrolman with the NYPD. As fortune would have it, he was there to pick his wife up, but this time, he was a little earlier than usual.
From his position, the husband could see the shooters enter the diner, while remaining unnoticed himself. Getting up silently, he began approaching the shooters, drawing his off-duty revolver and preparing to engage the two gunmen.
Just as he was about to make his move and confront the threat, his wife exited the kitchen…directly between himself and the the would-be assailants. In that instant, the shooters began training their guns in her direction, still unaware of the presence of husband. Seemingly from out of nowhere, the husband grabbed his wife with his left hand and pulled her behind himself.
Now, with his wife shielded, the brief, and bloody battle began.
The husband managed to fire first, finding his intended target, dropping one gunman instantly. The second, third and fourth shots hit the other gunman in the torso, causing him to drop his gun and stumble backwards through the front door. Amazingly, the second gunman managed to get to his feet and flee, only to die hours later in the lobby of hospital emergency room. In the aftermath, it was clear that the husband reacted so quickly, that neither gunman managed to return fire, and nobody else was struck
Unlike the previous nights that these criminals struck…THAT night, one man made a difference. Not only was he able to save the life of his own wife, and unborn child, he was able to put an end to a string of violent crimes, that if left unchecked, would have certainly cost more lives.
This story, and many like it are rarely told in the pages of the papers, and less frequently broadcast on the news…maybe because it flies in the face of an agenda driven media, but this and stories like it must be told. This story in particular is the one has a very significant meaning for me because there is another chapter that I have yet to tell. You see, the waitress is my mother, her husband is my dad, and I was the child that was born 4 months later.
Had it not been for my fathers quick thinking, training, and willingness to put himself in the line of fire, neither myself or my mother would be here today. My father passed some years ago, and I miss him every day…but I am here to tell his story, because on that night, Bad Guys with guns were STOPPED by a Good Guy with a gun.
So when people ask me why it is that I am so passionate about the Second Amendment, I am able to tell them …”My very first breath of life was secured by virtue of the Second Amendment, and I will defend it until the day I draw my last”.
“This is my fathers Off-Duty Colt Detective Special…the gun that saved our lives”