Friday, September 30, 2005

The Wild West?

According to some critics, Florida is either having a "Wild, Wild West" revival or a return to the days of "shoot first and ask qestions later".

On October 1, 2005 Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed into law a bill giving residetns the right to shoot in self-defense anywhere they feel threatened by would-be assailants.

Floridians already have some of the most gun owner friendly laws in the nation. They have the right to carry concealed weapons after a background check but can actually get around that background check by purchasing firearms at gun shows.

The new law lets people "meet force with force, including deadly force." This new law expands an existing statute that allows residents to use deadly force inside their homes.

Anti gun groups plan to issue leaflets letting tourists know: "do not argue unnecessarily with local people - don't pick a fight or you could be shot.
If you get into a road rage argument the other person may feel he has the right to use deadly force."

What is likely, police and prosecutors say, is that people involved in violent clashes - ranging from criminal activities to domestic disputes that escalate - now have another justification for killing.

One of my peers made a very good point when discussing this with a group of us during lunch today. If you feel threatened and are carrying a gun, do not take it out unless you intend to use it. Any hesitation could cause the other person to overtake you, take your gun, and take your life.

Personally, guns terrify me. I ask for your comments on this blog.... I just have to know how Floridians and non-Floridians feel about this. THANKS~

View the bill HERE!


Hikaru said...

Having grown up with guns in my house, they certainly put me ill-at-ease.

In respect to this law, I honestly have to say I'm of two minds. No one has the right to assault someone unless they are seriously and truly threatened (and I'm certain there's a legal definition). If indeed, I was in a situation where my life was at stake, I would like to be able to defend myself without legal persecution.

However, to extend this right to self-preservation to guns is completely dangerous as well. It may seem like splitting hairs here, but why do guns have to be included? Anyone who has taken a martial arts or self-defense class (or even seen a Jackie Chan movie) knows that the human body is an effective weapon.

Not to mention taking a self-defense course at your local Y is most likely cheaper.

Personally, outside of hunting, skeet shooting, and law enforcement there is no need to have a weapon on your person. Those who carry a gun in the name of self-defense disturb me as much as the criminals who do as well.

This law could very well lead to many needless deaths caused by both hysterical gun owners as well as those by sociopaths.

dondon009 said...

I've now included a direct link to the Florida House of Representatives Bill SB 436 Protection of persons/Use of Force at the end of my BLOG.... The defense lawyers will have a field day with this... thanks Hikaru!

CrackerLilo said...

I guess I'd disturb Hikaru--I sometimes carry a gun in self-defense. So does my wife. NYC's got some neighborhoods that aren't nice.

I hate that ad campaign! It seems to imply that the ones who are really scary aren't actual criminals, but people who want to defend themselves!

From what I've heard and seen, people who had been getting carjacked, robbed at home, about to get raped, etc. were being doubly violated because they were punished for shooting in self-defense. I think this is an attempt to correct that imbalance.

But Florida has historically been very gun-friendly, you're right. I can also see lots of places where people would take advantage, and I could just imagine what someone who'd had a very bad day and had a gun on their person might do. I understand why people might be scared of this new law.

I hope it helps people who are just trying to live their lives rather than hurting them, that's all.

sttropezbutler said...


Don't get 'em. Never did.

I suspect we might see this happen in Texas soon.


ConnieJane said...

Just when you think Florida is over looking stupid... Jeb pulls this one. We have enough trouble with road rage and the like to throw guns into the mix.

I don't like guns. In fact, I hate and fear them. Most people who have them don't bother to become educated in their safe use. We have to pass all kinds of tests to drive a car but to buy a gun all you do is fill out a form and pay the money.

CrackerLilo said...

I do want to say that I believe a gun, which is made *only* to kill and/or hurt, should be treated like a car, which can kill or hurt. It should be the same principle as a driver's license--confirm that you're mature enough, reasonably mentally fit, know how to handle it, etc. I would think that was only sense; unfortunately, that's not considered sense to many Floridians.

Incidentally, L'Ailee and I saw a label on a chainsaw today that said "Operate only if you are mentally stable." We figured that would avert a lot of tragedies--"Oh, well, I was going to take this out and cut down all the trees in my neighbor's yard, but I'm not feeling mentally stable today, so I think I'll just have a glass of lemonade."

dondon009 said...

We have a tremendous amount of road rage here in Florida.... and a tremendous amount of tourists... who do not know where they're going! Together, that could potentially be a very dangerous situation. The director of maintenance at my former job was involved in a road rage incident. He got out of his truck, tried to pull the gun out of his pocket and the fool accidentally shot his own toe off.... we were rather amused. He was an asshole! My personal fear, the local gay bar is within walking distance from my home. Because I might have a few drinks, I walk there. When I come home late sometimes there are rather unsavory characters on the street. Let's say they start calling me a faggot, and start approaching me. Do I shoot? After all, I do feel my life is being threatened...... As of today, I have the right to shoot! SCARY......