Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunshine State’s Permit Holders Fight Crime

One million Floridians are now licensed to carry concealed weapons…
by Robert A. Waters

In my home state of Florida, approximately 1 in 16 residents have concealed carry permits.  Most any place you go in the Sunshine State, law-abiding citizens are likely packing heat. Nationwide, more than eight million Americans legally carry firearms.

What with the drug-crazed walking dead roaming our streets, protection is vital. 

In Ocala, Sam Williams stopped two armed robbers dead in their tracks.  When Davis Dawkins and Duwayne Henderson attempted to rob an internet café, Williams, a customer, shot them.  He became an instant hero after police published a surveillance video of the shooting.  The video, which went viral, showed the robbers scampering to get away like rats on a sinking ship as Williams fired at them.  Dawkins was sentenced to four years in prison—Henderson is still awaiting trial.  The heroic patron, who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, was not charged.   

In St. Petersburg, Raven Smith took his girlfriend to Applebee’s one night.  As they got out of the car, a masked gunman raced toward them.  Smith, who has a license to carry, pulled out his .380-caliber semiautomatic and fired four shots.  The assailant went down.  His bravado gone, Anthony Hauser begged Smith not to shoot him anymore.  A clear case of self-defense, the shooter was not charged.

In Hialeah, Jason Arnoldo Bonilla attempted to rob a fruit stand vendor.  Instead, he got six bullets for his trouble when customer Ivan Menendez pulled his own gun and opened fire.  Bonilla, hit in the cheek, neck, body, and leg, spent some time in the hospital—now he spends his time behind bars.  Police said Menendez was licensed to carry and would face no charges.

Concealed carry laws are among the most successful statutes ever enacted.  Few licenses are revoked, and most of those for minor offenses.

Because of the law, innumerable lives have been saved. 

Oh yeah, did I tell you about Taquanda Baker?  The owner of Baker’s Mini Mart in Tampa knows the value of concealed carry permits, since she has one.  While working in her store, a robber entered and held a gun to her face.  Baker pulled out her own weapon and opened fire.  When it was over, the thug lay dead on the floor.  The store owner’s mother said, “It's dangerous out there. You've got to protect yourself.” 

Then there was the Jacksonville grandfather who stopped an armed robbery in a Dunn Street Dollar General Store.  Two men, Rakeem “Fresh Boy” Odoms and Aundre Krishna Campbell, burst in and ran straight to the counter.  There they held “look-alike” guns to the head of the clerk.  The grandfather, who has not been identified by police, pulled his handgun and killed Odoms.  Campbell escaped, but was tracked down by police and arrested.  The shooter has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Then there’s this story from the St. Petersburg Times: “Jason Bennett, the manager of a Florida pizza shop, had closed up the restaurant for the evening and was heading out to his car when he saw something move out of the corner of his eye.  Suddenly, Bennett saw a man holding a gun to the back of his coworker’s head, demanding money.  Bennett moved quickly, knocking the gun out of the attacker’s hands.  Bennett’s coworker, a concealed-carry permit holder, grabbed his .38-caliber revolver and held the would-be robber at gunpoint until police arrived.”

And so it goes. 

Now if the hurricanes, sinkholes, alligators, and Burmese Pythons don’t get us, maybe we can survive down here. 

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