Pizza Hut: No work for those who defend themselves?

posted at 11:55 am on April 2, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

A Pizza Hut deliverer fired shots at an armed robber who threatened his life, wounding him and leading to the criminal’s capture by police. What kind of reward did James Spiers get for his self-defense? Unemployment:

A Des Moines pizza driver who was suspended from his job after he shot an armed robber said today he has been overwhelmed by support from people who cheered what happened.

“But no one had contacted me directly about a job offer,” said James William Spiers III, 38, who was sent home by Pizza Hut managers after he fired multiple shots at a man who put a gun to his head Thursday and demanded money …

Spiers, who has a valid handgun permit, said he’s been “pretty much in the dark” about his job since the incident. Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut’s corporate offices in Dallas, said last week that employees are not allowed to carry guns “because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.”

“I just know that, given what happened, it’s not likely I’ll have a job anyway,” Spiers said. “Right now, I’m just taking some time off, trying to cool things down.”

Pizza Hut has every right to set its employment conditions. If they think that their corporate image is better served by having their deliverers die on doorsteps around this nation than to have the ability to defend themselves, that’s entirely their decision. People can choose to work for a company that routinely puts them in harms’ way while insisting that they remain defenseless even though legal recourses for their self-defense exist. And they can fire a man who saved his own life and perhaps those of other deliverers by ending the career of a would-be robber and potential murderer.

That’s Pizza Hut’s prerogative. Of course, Pizza Hut’s customers and employees have choices in the matter as well. The deliverers can find work elsewhere for an employer who doesn’t require martyrdom over a ten-dollar delivery. Their customers can opt out by purchasing their pizza elsewhere, from pizza shops that understand that deliverers have the right to defend themselves.

Here’s one story that ended with two dead deliverers. Here’s another from earlier this year. Pittsburgh had one two years ago that remains unsolved. Badger Blogger reports on one from December in Wisconsin, where earlier another deliveryman wound up prosecuted for defending himself. A Chicago woman got murdered in 2006 while delivering pizza. Almost three months ago, another pizza-delivery murder occurred in South Carolina. A Google search turns up 574,000 hits for pizza delivery murder.

Which is more unreasonable: Spiers’ concern for his safety, or Pizza Hut’s lack of concern for it? Make your choice and let Pizza Hut know your decision. Call 1-800-948-8488 to offer your opinion on Spiers’ employment situation.


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Speaking of savages as I did earlier, we’ve had the second wolfpacking incident in the subway here in Philadelphia. Last night they beat the crap out of some woman, 7.30pm. Last week a few stops away at 2.30pm they attacked and killed someone. They’ve been doing this since the 70s. Goes in cycles. I guess the cycle is returning. Wonder where they learn this.

John Cunningham on April 4, 2008 at 5:43 AM

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