Should pizza delivery drivers carry guns?

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Pizza Hut delivery driver John Moore had delivered to the apartment building before with no problems.  But when he walked up to the door in the 6600 Block of East 46th Street around 11:30 Tuesday night, the young man at the door greeted him with a gun.

“Give me the pizza and the money,” the man said, according to a police report.

In the seconds that followed, the man got all of John’s tip money from his pocket.  John threw the pizza at the man and started to walk away.  He heard at least one gunshot, but was not hit.  By the time he got to his car, somebody else had taken the other pizza from inside it.

John escaped with his life.  For that, he is very thankful.  But he also lost all the money he had worked all day to make.

“I worked hard all day,” John told Fox59.  “And at the end of the day somebody’s trying to take away from me what I’ve put all this effort into trying to get so I can take care of my family.”

After the initial fear from the incident, came the anger at the people who stole from him.

“Just trying to get something for nothing,” he said.  “With no regard for anybody else’s feelings or safety or life.”

After the robbery, John said his thoughts turned to the recent killings of pizza delivery drivers John Sullivan and Daniel Jaffke. Jaffke was also remembered as a talented local musician.

Moore also told Fox59 that the Sullivan and Jaffke cases had prompted discussions at his Pizza Hut store about driver safety prodedures.  They include calling ahead to new customers before arrival.  Looking for a porch light after dark.  If there is no porch light, calling the customer and asking them to turn it on.  Drivers are encouraged to avoid delivering to homes that appear abandoned and avoiding any situation that makes them feel unsafe.

But what about drivers carrying guns?  That question is tougher to answer.

Fox59 reached out to several large and small pizza restaurant companies Wednesday. The overall sense was that drivers carrying guns could do more harm than good by escalating robberies into shootouts.

But at least one local store owner said he would consider letting his drivers carry guns if they asked to.  Manny Lanoire, who owns Napoli Pizza on Shadeland Avenue, said he would prefer his drivers not carry guns.  But he can’t rule it out completely.

“For that question, it’s really more of a personal choice,” said Lanoire. “For my point of view, I’m really against carrying a gun because they can be used against you.”

A spokesman for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said the department only asks that if somebody is going to carry a gun, they do so legally.

John Moore doesn’t know if a gun would have helped him Tuesday night.  Would it have deterred the robber from taking his money, or prompted more violence?  He’s not sure.  He just wants to be able to do his job in peace.

“They can get their food that they’re wanting and I’m just trying to make some money and provide for my family,” Morre said. “I shouldn’t have to be worried about my life.”