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Old January 25, 2010, 05:23 AM   #1
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Join Date: January 23, 2010
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Jewellery store owner fights back ... in Canada

OK, this is Canada for you. Two guys walk into a jeweler's and one points a gun at the jeweler's wife's head. Then they start smashing the display cases.

The guy goes into the back of the shop and opens his safe, where he has a 9mm stored according to the Canadian laws, inserts a 10 round magazine and starts shooting. One guy escapes, the other is paralyzed.

The gun was ( I think ) a Beretta M951 and I'm not sure how many shots were fired.

Then he is charged with careless use of a firearm and improper storage of a firearm. He DID store it properly!

By Quintin Winks, Canwest News Service November 16, 2009

Dennis Galloway shows a vase that took a bullet while he was shooting at armed robbers who were trying to rob Dievert's Jewellery in 2008.

Dennis Galloway shows a vase that took a bullet while he was shooting at armed robbers who were trying to rob Dievert's Jewellery in 2008.
Photograph by: Quintin Winks, Canwest News Service

PORT ALBERNI — Little more than a year ago, Dennis Galloway shot an armed robber in his jewelry store in an incident that left one man in hospital with life-threatening injuries. It is just recently that the man has recovered sufficiently to speak with police and face his charges.

Galloway himself was not hurt nor was his wife Sharon who was also in the store. The RCMP recommended charges but they were dismissed by crown prosecutors. On Saturday, Galloway was presented with an award for bravery by the Canadian Association for Self Defense.

That's not sitting well with some.

Port Alberni resident Jacques Savard, who has expressed interest in the case, wants answers. He said Mounties haven't been forthcoming with information about the robbery and the aftermath of the shooting. He wants assurances that innocent bystanders won't be hit by stray bullets in future shootouts between shopkeepers and robbers.

Savard called Galloway's action vigilantism and he wants police to address "our public safety concerns."

RCMP Staff Sgt. Lee Omilusik said he couldn't comment on a case that's still before the courts, but emphasized that police in no way condone vigilante behaviour.

In the meantime, not a day passes when Galloway doesn't replay the shooting in his mind.

Shortly before dark on Oct. 22, 2008, Galloway was sitting in the back office of Dievert's Jewellers on Johnston Road.

Two men burst through the front door wearing gloves, sunglasses and were pulling on hoods. One took a gun from his hip, walked up to Galloway's wife Sharon, the only other person in the store, and pointed it in her face.

"He said 'I'm a robber, this is a gun and I'm going to rob you,'" she said.

Galloway said "something in me took over and I just knew what I had to do. I wasn't scared. There was no adrenaline."

Galloway keeps a registered and permitted 9 mm handgun in his store vault. He retrieved it and loaded it with a 10-round clip. By that time, the robber had begun smashing jewellery cases with the butt of his pistol.

"I stepped out and started shooting," Galloway said. "Both robbers turned and started running for the door. The first guy made it out. The second guy collapsed in the entrance. I guess I was aiming because I hit him, but I don't really remember."

Galloway emptied his clip. Police told him he hit the robber twice. They recommended charges of unsafe storage of a firearm and careless use of a firearm.

"It was really the community response to what I went through that it was decided not to be in the public interest to charge me," Galloway said.

In the year since the attempted robbery, Galloway has had people come into the store to shake his hand and tell him they support his actions. Groups have approached him offering financial assistance with legal fees. And he has appeared on television and the radio to explain what happened during the shooting, including a phone interview with Edmonton radio personality Roy Green.

"Roy is for the rights of Canadians to defend themselves in situations like this," Galloway said. "He doesn't believe we should roll up on the floor and just take whatever these criminals want to perpetrate against us."

That way of thinking is aligned with Galloway's own train of thought.

He said he'd like the current laws to be amended so that someone with adequate training, appropriate background checks and with a licensed and permitted weapon can defend himself against harm.

"I think I should have the same right as a police officer to defend himself against grievous bodily harm," Galloway said. "Why should I be any different?"

There are plenty of people who agree including Norman Lapierre, head of the Quebec-based Canadian Association for Self Defence, the organization behind Galloway's award for bravery.

Lapierre said he believes Galloway did the right thing.

"Mr. Galloway did not comply with the aggressors only to become another sad statistic," Lapierre said. "Mr. Galloway stood up and confronted the criminals and defended the life of his wife Sharon, as well as his own life. We at CASD feel that such a noble act should not go un-noticed and hence forgotten as some byline on page 43 of a newspaper right under an ad for winter tires."

Savard could not disagree more. He said the "promotion of vigilantism in Canada by rogue organizations like the Canadian Association for Self-Defense is in fact a promotion of violence that undermines true, Canadian values.

"This award gives new meaning to the term blood diamond. It's a slick propaganda campaign honouring Mr. Galloway's macho bravado while covering up his complete disregard for public safety. Parents beware which stores your children frequent. There's a new Wild West consciousness in town and stray bullets tend to be non-discriminatory."
Here's the local CHEK News take on the whole thing:

This is why I want to move to Washington from the Island. But then I learned you cant have an SBR in Washington. Now I want Oregon.
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