In Seminole, Florida, “good samaritans,” including one armed with a handgun, took down a knife-wielding suspect, according to local Deputies. Three people were stabbed during the encounter and the count could have been higher if an armed citizen had not intervened.
The incident began when 49-year-old Bobby Martin Watson attempted to rob Rosanna Lynn (44). He opened her car door and grabbing her purse in the 113th Street Publix parking lot. Lynn was stabbed twice while trying to fend off her attacker, once in the thigh and once in the abdomen. A witness to the crime, Christopher McMann, tried to help Lynn, but was stabbed in the back by Watson.
A second witness, Travis Jones, joined McMann and tackled Watson; he was then stabbed in the in the chest, narrowly missing his heart according to doctors. Another witness, Donald Rush, retrieved his gun from his vehicle and intervened.
Rush disarmed and held Watson at gunpoint until the police arrived and took the suspect into custody. None of the victims had life threatening injuries despite what many would describe as potentially fatal stabbing attacks.
Watson has since been charged with “armed robbery and three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.” Why the aggravated battery is not an attempted murder charge is unclear.
Though not widely reported, this case has been touted by many as a “good advert” for the carrying of firearms. Many commentators suggest that if more of those involved had been legally armed, then less people would have been injured.
It has of course renewed the Second Amendment debate about citizens defending themselves adequately. The position from some in the media is that, if guns were more freely available, Watson may have ended up shooting people instead of stabbing. This argument has been refuted by others, due to the fact that Watson is already a convicted Felon.
Arguments that if more people had guns, there would be more shootings did not play out in this case. Under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Donald Rush arguably could have legally shot Watson, but he chose to disarm instead. In fact, homicide, violent crime and gun crime in general have been steadily dropping for the last 20+ years. Despite the fact that over the same time period, more states have been allowing more citizens to carry. In this case, the pro-gun, pro-carry argument played out. A responsible armed citizen protects society as a whole.
Pinellas County Sheriff, Bob Gualtieri, made news in 2015 with his open opposition to concealed carry.