Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

After store clerk Craig Cope, 80, defended his shop against multiple armed robbers on Sunday when they attempted to enter his store in Norco, California — leaving one suspect screaming, “He shot my arm off!” — the worker is now hitting California politicians for their lack of action and current agenda, which further facilitate such armed conflicts. 

When asked by Fox 11 Los Angeles what he was thinking when the armed robbers came into the store, Cope said, “There wasn’t much time to think about it. The guy pointed a gun directly at me.”

“I’m not going to give him the chance,” he continued. “If I recognize the weapon that’s a semi-automatic gun, the faster you can pull the trigger, maybe someone converted it to automatic, the equivalent to a machine gun, I’m not going to let him get the first shot off at that point.” 

The interviewer also brought up the recent crime surge in Southern California, leading to increased burglaries and violent crime in the state — while also telling Cope that local residents were glad he stood firm to defend his business.

“I don’t know that I did anything… somebody else wouldn’t have done, but two things — We need more people to stand up but more than that, probably get on the wrong side of somebody here, but the politicians,” Cope explained. “There’s people out there that are not the best of people… these people that continually get let out now. It’s been really bad the last year — those people, the majority of them, go right back to what they used to do.

“So, the crime rate is escalating,” he proclaimed. “And it’s gonna continue to escalate until they start putting the people away that are doing the bad things.”

ELDERLY MAN USED SECOND AMENDMENT TO STAND HIS GROUND, DEFEND STORE: ‘SHOT MY ARM OFF!’

Cope went on to attack the practice of bail reform, which was implemented in California, and has been criticized for allowing criminals to go back out on the streets — as they await their sentencing.

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“So these people are continuing to get let out now. It has been really bad the past year,” the store owner explained. “Those people, the majority, are going to go right back to what they used to do. So the crime rate is escalating and it’s going to continue to escalate until they start putting the people away that are doing the bad things.”

“As far as here and my place, it wouldn’t do any good to call the local sheriff’s they can’t get here that quick… I’m not waiting. When you point the gun directly at me and you’re that close to me and I see what you’re carrying, I’m not waiting.”

“You can do what I did, but what you really need to do is put some pressure on the politicians, because they got no clue what’s really going on out here in the real world,” Cope said. “I could start naming names, but there are a whole lot of them that are creating major problems for business owners, but for local law enforcement, they’re creating problems for them. I’m sure they’re risking their lives, taking people into custody to see them get let out with no bail. A lot of these guys are career criminals … they need to be locked up.”

California politicians might want to take Cope’s advice. Just last month, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon (D) reportedly assisted in the decades-early release of a gang member and convicted murderer, who went on to evade police after illegally possessing a firearm, according to Fox News.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) signed Assembly Bills 1842, 2156, 2239, and Senate Bill 915 which all limited a Californian’s ability to use their Second Amendment rights, including limiting the number of guns a person can manufacture without a license, forbidding guns or gun parts from being sold on state property, forbidding those convicted of child or elder abuse from buying a gun for ten years, and barring gun sellers from charging certain fees if a buyer backs out before the end of the waiting period.

While Newsom continues to push gun control in Sacramento, and conflicts with an Amendment which, “shall not be infringed,” it’s brave men like Cope in Norco who prove that maintaining the right to keep and bear arms is essential — to defend against tyranny and dangerous criminals who’ve been re-released out onto the streets. 

While the rest of California might not be safe, Cope’s store in Norco certainly is. And for those still stupid enough to try to rob him, Cope has only one message: “This isn’t a good place to pick.” 

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