By: Teresa Mull
Robert Morrison has been delivering pizzas in Colorado for years. He estimates that he’s been involved in 15-20 attempted robberies on the job, eight of which have involved Morrison drawing his concealed firearm to scare-off aggressors.
Morrison is a fifth-degree black belt and former U.S. National Champion in Taekwondo. The pizza place he delivers for does a tremendous amount of business (he says an average of three to five Pizza Huts or Dominos combined do the volume of business his restaurant does), and sometimes drivers are sent to sketchy parts of town.
“If [a call sounds] suspicious, they usually send me out,” Morrison told Gunpowder Magazine. “I’m a fifth-degree black belt…but more importantly, I have a permit to carry concealed, and I always carry a gun on me.”
A Random Incident Led Him to Carry
Morrison hasn’t always carried a gun, and it was a non-work-related incident that inspired him to get his concealed carry permit.
Morrison was driving home one night and pulled up beside a vehicle full of rowdy young men who yelled at him and started switching lanes and driving erratically in front of him. The men followed Morrison home and pulled up right behind his car in his driveway. Morrison had no weapon, but got out of his car and stood there, waiting for the worst. The men ended up throwing a beer bottle at him and peeling away.
“Before, if I had any sort of situation, I always thought I would use my Taekwondo first, just because I did not want to deal with any of the legal issues that may come from pulling a gun, or, God-forbid you actually shoot someone and have to deal with that, not just the emotional toll it may have, but the legal trouble you may have to contend with,” Morrison said. “But I remember it dawned on me how random something can be.
“You’re doing everything right, you’re not in a bad neighborhood, you’re not running with the wrong crowd, but just like a roll of the dice, all of a sudden, you’re in this situation, and you’re having hope, for me, you can defend yourself against four or five people, which realistically is very, very difficult, even for someone who is very well-trained. It’s not like the movies. [Defending against] two people is probably ten-times harder than taking on one person. Your chance of getting out of that, even if you’re trained, is not very good. If you have a gun, it’s a different situation.”
Plenty of Training
Morrison purchased a gun after that frightening night and dedicated hours to practicing with it.
“I went to the range one or two times a week for about two years to make sure I was really comfortable with the gun, and I was a good shot and could do it accurately and quickly,” Morrison said. “And then I started the process to get the carry concealed permit. At the time [Colorado] was a may-issue state instead of a shall-issue state. Some counties were relatively easy to get a permit in, and some were almost impossible. My county was one of the ones where it was almost impossible, and it took almost a year to get the process done. I had to have every gun I owned taken to a gunsmith and completely disassembled and reassembled. I even had to go to a doctor to get a full physical to show that I was able to safely carry and operate a gun, and the doctor was just as confused as I was by this.
“From that point forward, I always carried at work and places I went,” Morrison said.
The First Time He Brandished His Weapon
Morrison says the first time he was nearly robbed at work, he didn’t see it coming.
One night, Morrison attempted a delivery at an apartment complex in a rough neighborhood, but no one answered. He was putting the pizzas back in his car when he was approached by two men, one of whom carried a cutoff hockey stick. They demanded Morrison’s money and separated from one another, circling his car.
“They flipped up my fanny pouch, which had my gun in it, and said, ‘We want this, too,’” Morrison said. “And obviously I wasn’t going to part with that.”
Morrison threw a punch at one of the men, kicked him, and broke his hockey stick. He said the men seemed too nervous to attack him and just stood there.
“One of the things I took out of that first experience was if there’s even a five percent chance that you’re going to lose a fight or be in a situation where you could end up dead, because you really are at someone’s mercy – you don’t know what’s going through their head – there’s a survival instinct that instantly kicks in,” Morrison said. “That’s the point where I thought, ‘I’m not going to take a chance in losing this,’ and I pulled out my gun. And as soon as they saw it, they took off running as fast as they could. I was a pretty good sprinter when I was young, but in my prime, there is no way I could have caught these two guys.”
‘Something Will Click Inside of You’
Morrison says he’s learned a lot about human nature through his brushes with danger.
“When I’ve pulled the gun, every, single time, [the assailant] just instantly took off running,” Morrison said. “I never had to point it at someone. I would just hold it down by my side and look at them, and that was sufficient.
“Another important lesson I learned is most people, whenever they’re trying to make the decision to buy a gun, the thought that’s foremost in their head is, ‘Could I kill someone?’ Because it’s always said that you do not draw a gun unless you’re willing to fire it or kill a person, and that stops a lot of people, because they’re not sure they can emotionally do that; they’re not sure if they could ethically deal with that or the consequences, and they think, ‘If I’m not sure about that, then I’m just not going to carry a gun,’” Morrison said. “What I found out is if [something life-threatening] happens, you are definitely going to have it inside you to defend yourself and others, especially if they are a close family member or a child. Something will click inside of you, where if you do need to pull the trigger, you will not need a second thought about it.”
‘It Adds a Lot of Confidence’
Morrison says simply knowing his gun is there helps him think more clearly in high-stress situations.
“It adds a lot of confidence that, worst-case scenario, you have options,” Morrison said. “And that does free-up the mind to think a little bit, knowing that you do have an alternative if using words or being observant doesn’t get you out of the situation.”
‘The Gun Is the Ultimate Equalizer’
Morrison says his experiences have inspired in him a renewed appreciation for the Second Amendment.
“There’s no way a cop could have gotten to me in any of these situations,” Morrison said. “There is no way someone with a cellphone could have prevented what happened to me or rescued me. To say to someone, ‘You have no right to save your own life, or those you love,’ it’s an incredibly cruel thing to do to someone. When it happens to you, you really do appreciate that you do have a right not to have horrible things happen to you or be traumatized. And to take away the single best tool anyone can have in defending themselves is just absolutely wrong. The gun is the ultimate equalizer.”
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.