Citizens make a stand against crime

A lone gunman who tried to hold up a McDonald’s restaurant in Melbourne got more than he bargained for. Despite wearing a menacing balaclava and brandishing a gun, diners at the restaurant tackled him to the ground.

Just before 1am this morning, the man entered the restaurant in Mulgrave and pointed his weapon at staff, demanding they put cash in a bag and then told two customers to hand over their wallets. As he bent over the counter to ensure staff were doing as they were told, a group of customers tackled him to the ground.

The man was held for 10 minutes until police arrived. He has since been charged with three counts of armed robbery.

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Opinion: Too great a risk

Customers who foiled a robbery at the McDonald’s restaurant in Mulgrave are, of course, to be commended on their actions, but surely tackling a man brandishing a gun is foolish?

Despite figures released by the Minister for Justice in April this year showing a decrease in violent crime, many Australians still fear they will be the victims of crime. Every weekend we hear reports of young men bashed in the street for looking at someone the wrong way, or older people attacked in their own homes.  Yet when confronted with a man trying to hold up a fast food restaurant, a group of customers decided enough was enough and tackled the man. This goes against everything we are told to do when faced with such a situation, which is to simply comply and hand over what you are asked to.

No one in that restaurant would have been aware of the state of mind of the assailant, and given that the attempted robbery took place at 1am in the morning, the chances of such an ambush going wrong were surely quite high.

Perhaps those who tackled the man had weighed up the situation; maybe they were acting purely on adrenalin, or maybe they had just had enough of living in fear of attack and assault.

Yesterday was 11/11, the day on which we remember those who fought so we could live our lives freely and not in fear of conflict, violence or oppression. Yet everyday we face situations which could result in us being harmed. Yes, we do live in a free nation, but it is not a nation free from conflict, violence or oppression.

Not many Australians when faced with a gun-wielding assailant would have the courage to attack their foe; I know I wouldn’t, would you?

Have we become a nation living in fear of attack and assault? Would you act against an attacker?

Read the crime figures released by the Minister for Justice.