Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Visit Florida - If You Dare

"This law sends a message to people who are potentially unstable and have an itchy trigger finger that as long as they can make a reasonable case they were in fear, they can use deadly force against somebody."

-- Peter Hamm, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, in the Orlando Sentinel
The always interesting and occasionally quirky Majikthise reminds tourists everywhere that "Florida's 'shoot first' law goes into effect on Saturday."

The first-in-the-nation Florida state law allows "citizens the right to use firearms to defend themselves at home or in public places if they 'reasonably believe it is necessary to do so'." [emphasis added] The new statute is the evil spawn of Northwest Florida state senator Durrell ("I seem to have misplaced my Hypocratic Oath") Peaden and the National Rifle Association.

The other 49 states and civilized foreign countries around the world -- all of which also have tourist attractions -- observe the centuries-old common law doctrine that people should "make every attempt to avoid danger before using deadly force."

But beginning October 1, Floridians in places like football stadiums, parks, streets and highways, bars, and other public places where alcohol often is consumed, no longer will be legally obliged to walk away or otherwise avoid violence if they can safely do so. Instead, they can shoot you dead with complete immunity.

So, go ahead. Visit Florida. Make our day.

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