Florida's new "Stand Your Ground" law goes into effect at midnight. According to the new law, any citizen under attack “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.”
Apparently, this means we can shoot people when threatened. I thought we already did that. Oh, "legally" shoot them. Now it makes sense.
I'm all for self-defense. We Floridians used to have to wait until someone broke in to shoot to kill. Of course, everyone knew that if you accidentally shot a burglar before he fully entered, (yes, "he" is a sexist comment) you had to drag the carcass over the threshold into your house and put a baseball bat or candlestick in his hand so you could show you were in mortal danger and not have to mess with a trial, only the civil suit the surviving burglar would surely bring against you. Therefore, it paid to shoot straight. But now, we no longer have to flee, avoid, or pose the attacker before popping a few rounds into them. Now, we can shoot first and ask questions later.
If we hear a sound at the window late at night and feel scared, it's okay to shoot. Note to Kids: Make sure you take your keys with you when you go out. Don't do like my daughter did when she was a scatter-brained teenager and would forget her house key and scale the veranda, slipping in the upstairs bedroom window because she didn't want to awaken her parents.
We can now shoot potential car jackers, if threatened. I wonder how many window washing bums earning their daily beer stipend will get plugged? "Officer, he was coming right at me with a weapon that was disguised as a squeegee. I was scared and threatened."
Rush hour could become a fiasco. What if I flip someone off for driving like an eejit and they pull a gun? Should I shoot them before they try to shoot me for my threatening gesture? What if some near-sighted, old raisin takes the parking space I am waiting on at Target? Can I put him out of his geriatric misery? What if I rear end some yuppie kid's Beemer when he slams on his brakes without warning? Oops. Bad example. The kids don't even know that their cars come with brakes. Okay, what happens if someone crunches into my beloved Carmela? Can you say "road rage," with live ammo?
There's some extremely intense state rivalries in Florida among our college football teams. I hope that rivalry doesn't escalate to Deadwood-like proportions. Shoot-outs at the interstate games could cause the loss of dozens of Gators, Semi-noles and Miami Hurricanes every football season. And think of the Referees at those games.
"Get some glasses, Ref." Bang!
"Go back to pickin' apples." Pow!
"Like hell he was out of bounds." Blammo!
"Do not threaten our chance at a National Championship run."
"Kill the Ref" could take on a totally new meaning.
I live out in the country where everyone already owns a shotgun or two. The law now allows us to use a knife or pepper spray in addition to our guns. I'm in the market for a Bowie knife like Dan'l Boone wore and a few hairspray-sized canisters of pepper spray. I am going to have to get a bigger handbag. If I were you, I'd just stay away from Florida until the gunsmoke clears. I'm armed and dangerous.
Silly? poster obtained from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence