The Shotgun-Wielding Store Clerk With a Heart of Gold

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This story is but a simple reminder that, despite the recession-fueled fears of societal breakdown, there is an inherent good in people — an empathy for their fellow man, if you will — that cannot be broken. When a convenience-store clerk on Long Island recently outwitted a bat-wielding thief by pulling out a shotgun from underneath the counter, he could have shot him right then and there if he wanted to — or, to avoid a messy cleanup, simply chased him out of the store. But then the robber dropped to his knees and apologized, telling the store clerk that he had no job, no money, and couldn't feed his family. The clerk lowered his shotgun, gave the man $40 and a loaf of bread, shook his hand, and sent him off — a small act of genuine compassion that will stay with the would-be robber, deep in his heart, until he's wasted off of $40 of Mad Dog later this evening.