On one hand it's a nice perk for VIP's and potential business partners visiting your location. On the other hand, having a handful of guys running around in the parking lot provides a measure of security without having to pay for armed or unarmed security personal. People in the parking lot parking cars provides a upscale impression and an extra set of eyes.
I'm sure those two potential benefits were part of General Motors decision making process when they decided to have a contractor provide valet services at their tech center in Warren MI. While 12 Mile and Vandyke isn't the worst neighborhood in south east Michigan, it isn't too far away from them either.
Meet Didarul Sarder. I don't know much about Mr. Sarder. He's in his 30's, married, has a job supervising some guys who park cars at the GM Tech center in Warren. One other thing we know about Sarder, he passed a criminal background check, mandatory firearm safety training and registered a handgun with the state of Michigan. See in Michigan, like most communist countries, you have to get a special permit from the police to own a handgun.
Mr. Sarder is an upstanding citizen who can hop through all the hoops to get and carry a handgun legally in Detroit. Which if I was in his shoes is what I would do too. He's got a job parking cars. He has an obligation to look out for the safety of his betters and the security of their property. So he carries a gun at work.
This week Sarder used his gun at work. In his own words:
"The lady kept saying 'I'm dying, someone help' and it was just natural reaction," says Sarder. "I just see this lady getting stabbed. I only had like half a second to think and I unholstered my firearm and pointed it at her to drop the knife."Like most gun owners Sarder didn't actually shoot his gun, just having it was enough to protect the victim of an attempted murder. How did GM react to having the life of one of it's employee's saved? Did they give him a new car or truck to say "thanks"? How about a raise or a bonus? Did the guys in the shop at least pass the hat to give him a couple extra bucks? Hell no! They said thank you by throwing him off the property and firing him.
Here is how that went down:
Police and Warren’s mayor, Jim Fouts, said Sarder should be praised as a hero “for his quick action and quick thinking,” but the bosses at General Motors didn’t see it that way.
“He said, ‘You shouldn’t have had a firearm here. After this is done he needs to be escorted off the property. He’s not welcome back here.’ I was really bummed out,” Sarder told the Fox affiliate. “I got a little emotional. I would do it all over again if I could save this woman’s life over a job. I can get another job.”Warren's mayor, Jim Fouts stepped up and did some good on Facebook of all places.
I would like to commend Didarul Sarder who probably saved a 52 year old woman from being murdered by quick action. Outside the GM Tech Center this morning he observed a 52 year old female repeatedly being stabbed with a kitchen knife in her back, neck, and abdomen. His quick action using a licensed hand gun on the attacker undoubtedly saved this woman's life. Had he not legally exercised his second amendment rights this woman would probably not be with us today.That's not all. It seems that in very short order Didarul Sarder had his job back. The details about how that happened are a little unclear. As of now GM's official position on the matter can be summed up as, "Who us?...we never fired him and we don't know anything about it, we think he's still employed with the vendor".
Apparently that's the best they can do. It's also a far cry form, "Mr. Sarder is a great guy and he and his gun are welcome here anytime".
Kudos to Mayor Jim Fouts and the folks at the Free Press, and all the local news stations that ran the story saying that they fired him. GM probably would have let the decision to throw Didarul out stand if it hadn't been for the potential bad press.
There has to be a better way of handling this kind of incident. Utilizing a review policy where the person involved is given time off with pay while the incident is written up and investigated is a reasonable response. GM is well within its rights to wait for the police report in this kind of situation. They could have said that they wanted to investigate and gather all the facts before doing anything. That would have been responsible and prudent. Instead they have a policy and some middle management flunky enforced it without thinking.