Florida Going All Medieval Texas on Your Ass

The folks who proudly faced down the “culture of death” that would have allowed someone in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years to pass into the next world are at it again. This time, they’re protecting your right to kill anyone you feel threatens you.

The Daytona News-Journal reports on a new law that passed the Florida Senate yesterday that says Floridians no longer have to get all bowed up, arm themselves, and then not shoot anybody. Now they can blast away.

The Florida Senate passed a bill 38-0 Wednesday that removes the legal expectation that a person should back down or run away in face of a serious threat. They can open fire without fear of criminal charges or civil liability.

The bill also enshrines the castle doctrine, or the right to defend a home against an intruder, in state law. It extends the castle doctrine to the automobile so drivers can shoot carjackers.

And don’t you just hate it when you want to shoot somebody but you’re in a crowd and you know some do-gooder lawyer will sue you if you miss? In Florida, your worries are over.

The only debate about the bill was whether to continue to require a person to retreat if attacked in public. It is a principle that’s taught in the classes required for carrying a concealed gun permit.

Because it sounded too much like the Wild West, Sen. Steven Geller, D-Hallandale Beach, tried to amend the bill so people still had to retreat. But his amendment was killed on voice vote Tuesday.

The bill does have its limits. While the police will now have to show probable cause before arresting anyone who claims it was self-defense, it’s still not O.K. to shoot the cop who comes to your door with an arrest warrant. And don’t any of you hip-hop looking people go getting any big ideas.

Marion Hammer, a lobbyist with the NRA and United Sportsmen of Florida, said some opponents are exaggerating the possible consequences of the bill. It would not allow gangs to engage in street warfare, she said, nor does it protect “mutual combatants.” A duel in the street is still a crime, she said.

The Republican sponsor of the bill says it’s all about life.

“People who lawfully own firearms don’t shoot to kill,” Baxley said. “They shoot to live.”

One House Democrat wasn’t entirely sold.

During a debate in House Justice Council meeting on Wednesday, State Rep. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, said she fears people will overreact in such tense situations and make bad decisions.

“We’re getting away from the culture of life,” she said.

Ya think?


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