Miami Police Chief John Timoney is quoted in the article:
What you’re going to see is drug dealers using this [i.e., the new law] to settle scores, and the Legislature has basically given them permission
Timoney should know better. Perhaps he does. This quote reflects poorly on him in any case. The Herald plays along, because the reporters and their editors are either too lazy to do a little research or because they like what Timoney is saying or both. The fact is that no matter the changes in the law, anybody who shoots another person is going to receive full investigative scrutiny and be prosecuted if the shooting was not in self-defense. That’s as it should be. (To its credit the article provides a quote from the NRA’s Marion Hammer, who reasonably points out that criminals have claimed self-defense since long before the new law was enacted. However, Hammer’s one quote is offset by numerous quotes from opponents of the law, most of whom ignore the law’s substance.)
In particular, the article’s emphasis of State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s comment that the new law complicates prosecutions misses the point, and the authors mislead by not providing more background on the law. The very reason the law exists is that prosecutors like Fernandez Rundle had gained a reputation for being too willing to prosecute otherwise-law-abiding individuals who defended themselves against violent attacks. The new law exists in part to clarify the legislature’s intent that good-faith attempts at self-defense not be punished. The law would not have been proposed, then easily passed and enacted, if there were no problem with prosecutors who abused their discretion.
UPDATE: A follow up by SWLIP.