I am proud to be a member of this forum!
Much good advice given.
All I'll add is that the decision to drive away, or get out of the car and fight on foot, is not an easy one. If you think you can drive away, then do so. BUT - you don't want to get into a situation where this nutjob might follow you with his own car, and try to run you off the road, follow you home, etc.
If you decide NOT to drive away for this reason, then getting out of the car is a wise tactical move. A car is not cover - it will not stop bullets, unlike on TV. A car will not even protect you from a knife - it is really easy to break the side glass on a car with a pointed tool. Get away from the car, so you can move, and get to some real cover.
OP - get some training, and listen to the wise advice you have been given.
Most on these forums carry a weapon for decades and never need it - you carry for one day and had to draw already...what are the odds?
Glad it turned out ok - but it isn't over. Report the incident to the police.
Go find a gun store that sells Jon Gutmacher's book Florida Firearms.
Then, read it cover to cover.
We all make mistakes, and there are always ways to improve our responses.
Take this as a learning experience, and hopefully it will be a catalyst to:
1. Get the book and do some serious study, and
2. Get some quality professional training.
You came out OK, and your mistakes only cost you a bit of ribbing on an internet forum. This time. Use the opportunity to learn, OK?
Glad you and your girlfriend are OK. That's the most important thing.
Originally Posted by RRizzo
getting out of the car was a mistake. The car is a sanctuary and a weapon. Stay there.
Call 911 and report the guy and his tag number.
do NOT talk to him or further antagonize him. Drive away as you report the incident.
Think of all the ways you could avoid the conflict.
Your gun is the last resort to be used only in the gravest extreme. Read M. Ayoob.
Originally Posted by Secret Spuk
LEO's have told me and will tell you, "The first one to call the police is considered the victim until proven otherwise".
Originally Posted by DoctorBob
Extremely wise words...about the lawyer...and about what you can, and will, learn if you hang around here and participate...
Originally Posted by Sticks
Everyone else has pointed out the errors you made...
We are all glad you are alive and can share your experience with us....now, some of the smarter folks here want to keep you alive and free so that you can become the "one" handing down advice and good information to a 21 year old some day...
"The first one to call 911 wins!" This according to my CHL instructor & former LEO.
We were taught to call 911 ASAP anytime you have to draw your firearm in public, describe the threat & state that you want to press charges, even if the BG is long gone. If he calls 911 & goes on record first that he was threatened with AMWAG in a parking lot, it's your word against his, especially if there are no witnesses willing to stick around & support you with the truth.
Granted, most of those willing to pull this garbage are also not those that are willing, or can afford, to call & interact with LEO's, but you never know. Even if he splits & has his girlfriend call 911 anonymously ... "I just drove by McDonalds & saw a crazy man in the parking lot standing outside his white Chevy pickup waving a gun at everybody, the license plate is ... ", then suddenly you're the one in the hot seat explaining yourself. Just because there are witnesses, doesn't mean they are on your side or willing to come forward. You have to assume you are always & totally on your own in that regard. Simply put ... "CYA"
I am sorry to say it but from this response I am not sure you should have a concealed carry permit. We, as concealed carry holders, have an obligation to try to avoid the fight if at all possible. We have the responsibility to rise above petty B.S. and walk away from a confrontation. He drew a knife, you drew a gun. That is a level of disparity of force. When he got out of his car you could have driven away (If you were blocked in by another car, using your car to force that car back OR driving over a lawn would be a ton better than the type of confrontation that happened), called the police and filed a complaint for assault 3rd, and called McDonalds to get your food on a return visit. (let us not forget the food - i still haven't had breakfast)
Originally Posted by Florida
I have had many people attempt to start a fight with me. I do ANYTHING I have to to avoid using deadly force. I am not going to live on my knees, but I sure as hell would rather drive away from a fight than shoot someone over the exchange of juvenile words.
Robert Heinlein said it well: "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
Didn't it just recently drop to 21 here?
Originally Posted by Bark'n
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bit of a hothead when it comes to this kind of thing, but you have to control it when carrying. Before I started carrying, I would've done the same thing, but now I know better. Think about it for a minute, what happens if he manages to knock you out, and then notices you have a gun? He grabs YOUR gun and shoots you, then turns around and shoots your gf. However unlikely that is, it is possible.
Originally Posted by Florida
SA and avoidance are your best tools when CC'ing, not your gun or your fists. I'd suggest some more reading and a reevaluation of your reasons for carrying. Hopefully it puts things into perspective.
All that aside, I'm glad you came out of it OK. It may seem like everyone here is beating a dead horse, but we're trying to help you understand what you did wrong and how you can prevent these kinds of situations in the future.
Unfortunately, I have learned on this board that if you make a mistake and post about it, even a self-admitted mistake, prepare to be crucified by the masses.
Originally Posted by Florida
I, for one, appreciate your story. Every time I hear a story, even when a mistake was made, it helps me be better prepared for when a similar situation may happen to me. I have to admit in a case like this I may have not bothered to call the cops either since nobody was actually injured and it appeared to be ended by the sight of the gun. However, after reading some of the possible outcomes pointed out here, I think in the future if it happened to me, I'd probably go ahead and call. That way my side of the story is recorded before anyone elses.
Oh.. and I might also add, I would have probably gotten out of the car too. It appears most people on this board would disagree. But my reason is that if somebody is approaching me with the intent to beat me up, I feel very vulnerable in the car. I've had martial arts training but most of that is useless when I'm pinned inside of a car. So if there is going to be a fight, I'd rather be on my feet. Also glass can be broken easily. Now, on the other hand, if I im in a position where I could just drive away before he got to me, that is another case entirely.
I think in many cases it is simply the tact used when relaying tips and advice. It is hard on the Internet to relay inflection, so always take things accordingly. From my experience on this forum most of the people here are here to get and give advice from their life experiences, then there are others... Keep in mind that there are those on this forum who have never fired a shot in aggression and they only think they know what they will do when/if the time comes. No one truly knows until it happens, myself included.
Originally Posted by adric22
From what I can see, IMO, many agree that a 911 call should have been made as soon as possible. Some disagree on getting out or staying in the vehicle. All while others question his right to carry based on personality traits.
Florida, you handled yourself pretty well from my vantage point. Yes, there are things that you may want to work on if there is a next time, just as Matt stated "we all make mistakes". The important thing is you and your GF are alive and the hot head left with only the holes God gave him.
I personally think that, based on how McDonald's drive ins are in my area, I would have stayed in the car because if this guy comes at me I can pull forward and take off. This may be different based on the parking lot configuration, but you could still throw it in reverse and catch the guy off guard a bit until you can go forward. 10thmtn is dead on, a car will not stop a bullet, but then again neither will standing toe to toe in a parking lot. This is a call you, and only you, have to make at the time of the incident.
Is FL a Castle Doctrine state as TX is, point is in TX your car is considered a part of your home just as a bed room is?
By staying in your car call 911 and letting him attack you, you may have a justified self defense situation if you have to use your firearm?
Hope you enjoy your Glock and maybe marry the girl friend, she knows you will stand up when the trouble is there, just do it as wisely as possible!!!!
It's kind of ironic isn't it?
We carry a firearm to protect ourselves, saying we are not one of the sheep.
Yet carrying that firearm has us avoiding situations we normally might not.
I know I am a much calmer person when I have my firearm with me.
Yes, FL law treats your occupied vehicle like your home.
Originally Posted by searcher 45