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The Knife Plunged Into My Side

April 04, 20216 min read

What Can You Do According to Florida Concealed Carry Laws?

What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.

On January 7, 2018 Samantha decided to stop at Publix to pick up some groceries after a long day at work. Everything about her trip to Publix was normal — that is until she got into her vehicle. As Samantha was attempting to close the door, a man ripped the door open and reached over Samantha's lap to grab her purse, which was sitting on the passenger's seat. Samantha and the would-be robber were fighting over the purse when a good Samaritan arrived. The robber let go of Samantha and attacked the good Samaritan, stabbing this man several times in the chest. Samantha was in shock as she watched the attacker violently stab the good Samaritan.

It was at this point that Samantha realized she had also been stabbed repeatedly in the side. She had been so focused on protecting her purse that she had never noticed the blade in the attacker’s right hand plunging deep into her side.

As the would-be robber was plunging his knife into the good Samaritan, a concealed carry permit holder noticed what was happening and decided to lunge into action.

But first, he would have to run back to his truck to retrieve his firearm. This man didn’t think he needed his firearm that day because he was only going to Publix, which he has done without incident thousands of times before. 

By the time he had arrived back at the vehicle, the attacker had fled, and Samantha and the good Samaritan were clinging to life.

What is Samantha legally allowed to do according to Florida Concealed Carry Laws? Let's ask ourselves the big questions.

The Big Questions

How Could This Situation Have Been Avoided? 

I learned about this story from Samantha's sister, Jennifer, during one of my courses shortly after the incident. As Jennifer shared the story with the group, we discovered that Samantha grew up in a very safe environment and that she had never been the victim of violence in the past. I personally believe this led Samantha to lack the basic skills necessary to be aware of her surroundings, identify a person with violent intent, and then respond. 

I also believe this entire situation could have been avoided if Samantha had been aware of her surroundings. While she was putting groceries in her trunk, she would have noticed an individual who was displaying odd behavior, and she could have kept an eye on him, ensuring he did not get close enough to launch an attack. 

The second way this attack could have been avoided would have been for Samantha to allow the attacker to take the purse. I understand that no one wants to allow a thief to steal a personal belonging, but was fighting over the purse really worth it? By allowing the attacker to take the purse, what would Samantha lose? Maybe her wallet, phone, credit cards, and a small amount of cash, but that’s it. However, by fighting over the purse, Samantha almost lost her life. I personally don’t think the cost is worth the reward. 

What Self-Defense Options Could Have Been Used? 

If Samantha had been aware of her surroundings, she would have noticed the attacker moving in for the attack, much like a wolf will stalk their prey waiting for the right moment to attack. The wolves in society must wait for the right moment to attack, and before they can do that, they must get close to their prey. I call this closing the gap. As the attacker made his final approach, Samantha could have gotten ready to use pepper spray or locked herself in her vehicle extremely quickly. 

Once the attack began, Samantha would have been well within her rights to spray the attacker with pepper spray. After the attacker entered Samantha’s vehicle unlawfully and by force while attempting to commit a robbery, in my opinion all self-defense options were on the table, including the use of deadly force.

Does This Scenario Fall Under the Justified Use of Force Statute? 

Florida Statutes 776.012 (2)   A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

Do you have a reasonable belief of imminent death?
Yes, Samantha and the good Samaritan could have easily been killed during this incident. 

Are you or someone around you going to become the victim of great bodily harm? Yes

Are you or someone around you going to become the victim of a forcible felony within seconds? Yes, in my opinion the attacker is committing a robbery and aggravated battery, both of which are forcible felonies under Florida law. 

Is the use of deadly force reasonable? Yes

Is the use of deadly force necessary? Hell yes. 

Where Is the Line in the Sand? 

The line in the sand is the point at which you would have no other option but to pull out your firearm and shoot. From Samantha’s point of view, as soon as the attacker forced his way into my vehicle, I would have pulled my pistol and fired from a position of retention. 

As a bystander, if I was walking through the parking lot and noticed the attacker on top of a woman inside of a vehicle, violently fighting, I would immediately yell the command “STOP!” while simultaneously presenting my firearm from concealment. 

In this case, the attacker had a knife in his right hand. As soon as I had identified the weapon, I would shoot. 

What Would You Do? 

When getting into or out of your vehicle are you aware of the people who are around you? When you get inside your vehicle, do you immediately lock your doors? If someone grabbed your purse or wallet, would you fight them for it or would you let it go? Do you carry your firearm 100% of the time you are legally allowed to, or only when you think something bad is going to happen? What would you have done in this situation? 

What Mistakes Were Made? 

In this scenario, several massive mistakes were made. First, Samantha was clueless about her surroundings. Second, she chose to fight over her purse, which almost cost her her life. No one wants to allow a criminal to steal from them, but you also have to balance the risk with the potential reward. The risk is that Samantha was almost killed, and the reward would have been not losing her purse. Is it really worth it? If Samantha's purse was stolen, what would she lose? Maybe a few hundred dollars, and the frustration of canceling credit cards and getting a new driver's license, but that's it. Personally, I don't think the risk is worth the reward. The third mistake was on the part of the good Samaritans who arrived to help but lacked the skill and the ability to stop an armed attacker. Hopefully this situation was an eye opener for the concealed carry permit holder that you never know when the wolf is going to present itself, so you must be ready at all times. 

That's all I have for today. So until next time keep training and stay safe...

Ryan G. Thomas

P.S. You’re one step away from getting your Florida concealed carry permit….FAST & EASY…

And for a limited time you can watch the concealed carry course online for free... Click here to get started...

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Ryan G. Thomas

Ryan believes a trained and aware citizen is the best way to minimize crime, victims and senseless acts of violence. Ryan is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a father of three beautiful children. Ryan and his wife Tiffany met while doing inner city ministry for Operation Explosion in Tampa 12 years ago. He is passionate about God, his family, and his community. Ryan has a passion for the 2nd amendment and believes all Americans should have the right and ability to protect themselves and their families.

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