Fired, for doing the right thing: the “Culture of Sheep” strikes again

By Tim Inwood

On a chilly December night, John Schultz had just clocked out for a break at the Whole Foods store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He heard the manager yell there was a shoplifter trying to exit the store. Having been a US Marine, with a sense of duty, John was not about to let this miscreant get away with his crime. Despite being unarmed, John chased the man and caught him outside, trapping him between cars in the parking lot. The thug made a dash and was on the street with John fast on his trail. John caught up to the man and grabbed him by the coat; this was of course off the Whole Foods property. Making a citizens arrest, he held the man for the police, but within moments the manager arrived and ordered John to release the shoplifter. He complied and the thug ran away.

The next day, Christmas Eve, John was called into the office. For doing the right thing, the “sheep” at Whole Foods fired this fine young man. It seems they have a policy against “touching” a customer…As I read this comment, I thought, “the crook is a customer?” It never ceases to amaze me how many corporations in the United States have adopted the moronic attitude of let the criminal have their way, lay down and submit. I suspect liability lawyers have convinced them to embrace this rubbish. Anyway, company spokesperson Kate Klotz said the policy was clear and that
employees had to sign a statement that they understood the rules before employment. So they sacked this young man, who had shown his initiative and loyalty to the store, the day before Christmas.

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In my view this is flat out wrong, not to mention awfully stupid, as it will encourage more crime. What is the company policy to deter crime? This is how they protect their employees and the public who patronizes them? By saying they can’t touch a thief, they might as well put up a big banner that says: “Thugs, come in and do what you want, we won’t stop you”--pure idiocy. It is as stupid as all the private companies in Ohio and other states that put up the little no handgun signs on their doors.

Ohio’s concealed carry law was born of a lawsuit that was spawned by such an incident. Had a pizza delivery driver, Patrick Feely, not been penalized for carrying a handgun for protection, we might still be walking about disarmed by our laws. Thank goodness the case, Klein Vs. Leis, fell into the hands of Judge Robert Ruehlman, a man of logic who could read the plain language of Ohio’s Constitution and make the correct ruling, starting the battle that ended with Ohio finally getting a concealed carry law passed in January 2004.

The right thing sometimes comes from such episode, so I hope the story of what happened to John Schultz is picked up by a national talk show like that of Neal Boortz, who also has great disdain for the “Culture of Sheep”. I hope this will not be the last we hear of this or Mr. Schultz. I expect if this gets wider coverage Whole Foods will deservedly pay a heavy penalty for this ineptitude by folks taking their business elsewhere.

I for one will always stand up and decry the stupidity of laws that disarm civilians. I can also be counted on to name the companies that put their employees and their patrons in danger by volunteering to be Criminal Protection Zones. Until companies like United Dairy Farmers, 5th 3rd Bank and Whole Foods come to their senses and adopt policies that will deter criminals and not endanger the rest of us, I strongly urge all to not do business with them. When you see that little sign with a handgun with a red slash turn away as it is not a safe place to be. Take your money and patronage to someone who cares about your personal safety.

As for John Schultz, the fine man who exemplifies the spirit of Semper Fi, I hope you will find better employment with a firm who will appreciate your bravery and talent. I am sure you will land on your feet, as good men always do.

Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA, Life Member of OGCA, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association in Ohio.

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