Between several recent events in the usually quiet community where I live and the wisdom of an NRA friend who constantly reminds me that “an armed society is a polite society,” it’s clear that the time has come to join the ranks of the ready-aim-fire set, and get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Underscoring that are statements made in connection with those events by our local Sheriff and State Attorney that would seem to indicate that, under certain circumstances, it’s OK for us to shoot each other.
The events, which took place within a few weeks and a few miles of each other, were as follows:
On 3/17, a 29-year-old disabled Army veteran shot two homeless men who had been fighting under a causeway bridge, because they charged at him after he attempted to intervene on behalf of the girlfriend of one of them.
Following this incident, the State Attorney said, “Law enforcement, based on the current state of the law, is actually discouraged from making arrests in cases like this.”
On 3/31, a 53-year-old man shot his live-in girlfriend’s estranged husband, who apparently was trying to enter the shooter’s home.
On 4/4, another 53-year-old man shot a 40-year-old visiting fisherman from Central Florida, who got upset after the man ran over his fishing lines at a public dock (twice, admittedly) and shoved him.
In an interview after that shooting, the Sheriff told a reporter: “It’s a lot more dangerous today to go after someone with your fists than it was in the past.”
No arrests were made in any of the three incidents.
Of course, the foundation for all of this is Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which gained national notoriety after George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin and was allowed to walk free.
For anyone who might have been off the grid for the last few years, here’s how “Stand Your Ground” is explained by the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action: “Under Florida law, there is no ‘duty to retreat’ if you are attacked in any place you have a lawful right to be. Instead, you may stand your ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others.”
Bottom line: “Stand Your Ground” essentially says that you can shoot people who scare you.
(Note: This law should never be discussed without mentioning the ironic fact that the prime sponsor of the bill that became the law is an undertaker.)
What with lone-wolf free-lance terrorists running around loose these days, not to mention how violent people can become when you make an innocent mistake like running over their fishing lines, you never know where or when you’re going to get attacked. So you really need to be prepared — meaning armed — at all times.
I’m already in fear for my life. Under Florida law, I can own as many guns as I want, and they don’t have to be registered. I can even buy cases for them in pink animal print! Now all I need is the carry permit…