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  • Compare and Contrast: Responses to Florida’s Self-Defense Laws

    Posted by Jonathan on October 6th, 2005 (All posts by )

    An alarmist minority gets uncritical media attention:

    Washington DC – The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is beginning a public education effort to educate Florida tourists and potential Florida tourists that effective October 1, they face a greater risk of bodily harm within the state of Florida.

    That is the date that the state’s new “Shoot First” law also known as the “Stand Your Ground” law, goes into effect.

    Individuals who are unfamiliar with Florida’s roads, traffic regulations and customs, or who speak foreign languages, or look different than Florida residents, may face a higher risk of danger – because they may be more likely to be perceived as threatening by Floridians, and because they are unaware of Florida’s new law that says individual who feel their safety is threatened or their possessions are at risk are legally authorized to use deadly force.

    “We think people visiting Florida should be aware of this law, and act accordingly,” said Sarah Brady, Chair of the Brady Campaign. “Visitors should be very careful about getting into an aggressive argument with anyone during their stay.”

    [. . . ]

    Yeah, that’s it. Everbody knows Florida is a racially and ethnically homogeneous place where no one speaks English with an accent or looks like he comes from somewhere else. And everybody knows those Floridians will shoot you if you even look at them cross-eyed. Because unlike us they are subject to hysteria and irrational prejudices. And this new law makes the situation even worse! Because now all those hot-headed Floridians who were ready to murder you over a parking spot will get really mad or something! And by the way, please send a check to the Brady Campaign which has only your best interests at heart.

    Jerks.

    I like the response from these guys better:

    CHICAGO, Oct. 5 /U.S. Newswire/ — The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

    The ISRA is encouraging Illinois citizens to acquire Florida Concealed Weapons Licenses before visiting the Sunshine State. This bit of advice comes only days after Florida reformed the state’s deadly force laws to eliminate “retreat” provisions found under the former statute.

    [. . .]

    “Florida is a wonderful vacation destination for the entire family,” said ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “The Florida vacation experience is made even better when the law- abiding tourist knows that he or she can carry a defensive firearm as a means of protecting the family against robbers, rapists and murderers. Florida’s progressive views on the right of self defense are reflected in the state law that allows qualified persons from outside the state to obtain a Concealed Weapons License.”

    (Related post: Here)

     

    22 Responses to “Compare and Contrast: Responses to Florida’s Self-Defense Laws”

    1. James d. Says:

      Speak foreign languages puts you at danger? Is that one language for the whole state, or am I going to have to switch from English to Spanish the moment I approach, say, Miami?
      Man, you’d think NYCers would be killing each other left and right with the dozens of languages spoken there. Oh wait — people learn how to get along.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      James,

      If you are fundraising, everything is a crisis.

    3. Shannon Love Says:

      The utter contempt towards the average citizen that the Brady campaign evinces in their statement is truly shocking. The idea that the majority of Floridians are xenophobic wannabe murders restrained only because they fear the wrath of the nanny state is just vile.

      All gun control advocates are elitist snots.

    4. Ginny Says:

      This is like abortion; I used to be on one side of the issue. I still would just as soon have some limits on guns and legalized abortions – but do I want to stand with people who favor partial birth abortions or are capable of sending out insulting, demeaning fund-raising letters like this? They can only be described, in my opinion, as assholes. Clearly respect, true liberty & life are on one side – and when the other isn’t even willing to acknowledge the big issues, I lose all respect for them. (As, apparently, they have lost all respect for people of rational and reasonable positions.)

    5. Ken Says:

      The ad reads “Thinking about a Florida vacation? Please ensure your family is safe. A new law in the Sunshine State authorizes nervous or frightened residents 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.”

      Sounds like the law’s working, to me. Anything that discourages fellow motorists from chasing you down and forcing their way into your car(which is pretty much what it would take to cause a “reasonable” fear for one’s safety) if they don’t like the way you drive is all to the good, as far as I’m concerned.

      Once someone has started forcing his way into your car, some sort of violence is clearly about to occur. The only way to prevent unnecessary violence at that point is with necessary violence.

    6. Sigivald Says:

      Ginny: ‘sokay, we already have some limits on guns, and are likely to for the plausibly conceivable future.

      I mean, I can’t just go out and buy a machinegun (stupid tax stamps and ATF approval). More’s the pity, really. Think of all the commerce it’d generate!

    7. Bill Says:

      As a Floridian, the only change I forsee with the new no retreat law is it now clarifies who is responsible for the injuries sustained by perps in the execution of a crime. Personal injury lawyers will now have to try to get them covered by workers comp if they want see the cash stream continue

    8. JSinger Says:

      What I find particularly offensive here is the notion that blackmailing local tourism to support some minor point of domestic politics is a clever strategy that no one has ever thought of before; not a nihilistic race to the bottom that decent people on the right and left have always had too much sense to use.

    9. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      What is frightening is the psychological defense of “projection” that is shown by gun control advocates. They are quite sure that owning firearms and having permission to use them in self-defense is a recipe for escalating violence. In contrast, gun owners are pretty much aware that putting your hands on a firearm does not make you become violent, neither immediately nor gradually. Why do anti-gun advocates think that this transformation is normative? Are they telling us something about what they would do if they had a gun in their hands? Is their fear of what in our hearts just a projection of what is in theirs? The dangerous and inflated rhetoric of their publications would suggest that is the case.

    10. B's Freak Says:

      I especially love the use of the word progressive in “Florida’s progressive views on the right of self defense are reflected in the state law….”.

    11. RebeccaH Says:

      For cryin’ out loud! You’re more likely to get your wallet lifted by that stupid Mouse, than you are to get shot in Florida. Have some perspective, people!

    12. Ginny Says:

      JSinger has a point – the Bali bombings, attacks on tourists at the pyramids are just more violent.

    13. Kralizec Says:

      Everything starts from the existence of so many criminals against which people feel this need to protect themselves by carrying weapons. It seems if federal, state, and local governments made it established practice to destroy violent criminals while they’re still juveniles, the felt need to carry weapons around in civil life would be greatly decreased, so that perhaps we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    14. Jonathan Says:

      The Bradys’ problem is that they achieved their objective — a modest and popular, though I think clearly ineffective, waiting-period law — early and then decided to turn their activism into a perpetual business. This has been difficult to do, since violent crime, and support for additional gun restrictions, have continued to decline, and the Bradys now resort to an increasingly shrill, extremist agenda and the cheapest kind of intellectually dishonest publicity stunts as a way to generate donations. I suppose it pays the bills.

    15. incognito Says:

      Another reason to love Florida. Criminals should move to California, especially Northern California. Plenty of easy picking there.

    16. Anonymous Says:

      “It seems if federal, state, and local governments made it established practice to destroy violent criminals while they’re still juveniles, the felt need to carry weapons around in civil life would be greatly decreased, so that perhaps we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”

      !

    17. JSinger Says:

      JSinger has a point – the Bali bombings, attacks on tourists at the pyramids are just more violent.

      Ginny, there’s an enormous difference in degree there that would keep me from making that analogy, myself. But I do get your point.

    18. John Says:

      As a Floridian, I like the idea of being seen as a derranged and heavily armed psychopath. So let’s not fight the image.

    19. Mike Cunningham Says:

      Apart from being a guy living in a country which has outlawed the legal posession of guns, and at the same time seeing the rise in gun-related crime go up by almost four-hundred percent, what would you campaign for, a return to legal gun ownership in Britain, along with a rise in gun-related deaths from 0.4 per thousand population to an estimated equivalent to the United States of 13.4 per thousand population?
      Given the choice, I would carry, as I did when living overseas, and take my chances! I would echo the N.R.A. slogan, guns don’t kill people, people kill people!

    20. Andy Freeman Says:

      > The Bradys’ problem is that they achieved their objective

      Sarah was a gun ban advocate before Jim got shot. She’d been pushing for a national waiting period as a first step long before then as well. The only thing that changed when Jim got shot is the name of the bill and the organization.

      As to the “effectiveness” of Britain’s gun control laws, feel free to provide before/after stats. US with-gun murder rates exploded in the 60s, coincident with major federal gun control laws. And, US with-gun murder is not uniform. We’d be happy to provide Britain with the relevant sub-population.

    21. Jonathan Says:

      Andy,

      I didn’t know Mrs. Brady was an anti-gun activist before her husband was shot.

    22. Stephen Says:

      and because they are unaware of Florida’s new law that says individual who feel their safety is threatened or their possessions are at risk are legally authorized to use deadly force.

      I’m all for this. I want it broadcast throughout the US that if you come to Florida and threaten our safety, you stand a good chance of being shot. Does the Brady campaign accept PayPal?