Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Beware, Florida Tourists!

Florida's new "stand your ground" law went into effect Saturday, loosening self-defense restrictions to include the public arena. A person no longer needs to retreat or actively defuse a threatening situation before using deadly violence. What once applied only to the defense of the home now applies anywhere, providing that person is in a place "he or she has a right to be."
Stand your ground!

The Brady Campaign decided to inundate Miami airports with flyers that read as follows:
Thinking about a Florida Vacation?

Please ensure your family is safe. A new law in the Sunshine State authorizes nervous or frightened rsidents to use deadly force. In Florida, avoid disputes. Use special caution in arguing with motorists on Florida roads.

Police and prosecutors are concerned about the potential for unnecessary violence.
I am certainly not a big proponent for gun control. But this law seems ludicrious. Especially in the public arena, there must be some level of civility and control. The ability to carry concealed weapons is broad enough to bring guns into many public situations, but legally condoning unconditional use of that gun is insanity.

I may not always agree with the Brady Campaign, but I salute their tactics here. I wonder if it will really impact tourism as much as hoped.


At 3:32 PM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice. The law doesn't promote "unconditional use" of a firearm. It gives citizen's the opportunity to defend their lives when their lives are legitimately in danger. You anti self-defense bigots need to stop listening to your own lies.


At 7:09 AM GMT-5, Blogger the prisoner said...

I don't like being pigeon-holed, but if I am in the "anti-self-defense bigot" group, then tell me where this law helps reduce judicial activism? Anyone that thinks this will do anything but slow down an already over-worked and failing legal system has fallen for the political stunt.

If someone attempts to kill you and you kill them, even without this law, you can claim and easily defend self-defense. If however, one has an opportunity to diffuse or evade the situation, what possible justification can an individual have for shooting anyway?

I am not a gun control advocate. But I am certainly not in agreement that guns should be used more often than they already are. Police or an organized militia is one thing, but individual Florida residents getting trigger happy is another.


At 7:55 PM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the name calling. I shouldn't use such language in a debate.
I'm from WA. My understanding of the law is that people no longer HAVE TO run from a lethal threat if they are in a place they have a right to be. I'm less concerned with tying up the courts and more concerned with governments recognizing that we the people have a right to defend our dignity and sovereignty from those that would take them from us.


At 7:58 PM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, you should realize that by assuming the residents are "trigger happy," you are applying labels to gun owners reminiscent of those applied to other groups- blacks, women, etc.


At 8:03 AM GMT-5, Blogger the prisoner said...

I made no assumption about Florida citizens. This law does not enourage responsibility however by allowing "trigger-happy" Florida citizens to justify their actions even if there is no justification. Not all Florida residents are "trigger-happy", but those that are will utilize this statute. I surely hope they are only an isolated few.

Listen, you don't have to agree with me, but I'm not screaming in the dark here. Many law enforcement officers and lawyers (this link is very balanced) disagree with this law.


At 12:53 PM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. There was some good information there. I would agree with the lawyers assertion that life is more valuable than property. There is potential for the law to be misused.
I would disagree in this respect: the people of Florida (or any State) should be given the benefit of the doubt. In Florida, as it is in most states, one must pass a rigorous background check, get fingerprinted, and receive instruction before one is allowed to carry firearms in public. So that means that from the start, most of the non-law enforcement folk who have guns in public- the CCW license holders- have clean backgrounds and a tendency to comply with the law. It is unlikely that these same people would gun down a teenager for spraypainting their car.
CCW license holders are not criminals. Quite the opposite, we have a hightened sense of responsibility and go out of our way to comply with the law.
A person who commits a senseless, disproportionate act (i.e. brother who shoots brother in house merely for looking for drugs) is a criminal. Criminals don't obey laws. They don't intend to behave any differently with or without this law. However, with this law- with the criminals knowing that people don't have to run in the face of their aggression- the hope is that criminal aggression will be dissuaded.
I don't know if that makes sense. I'm not the smartest guy in the world. Maybe we'll just agree to disagree


At 4:08 AM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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