I have a word of caution for those considering a visit to Florida and even those of us who live here: the NRA is winning.
As most everyone is aware, Florida has a “shoot first ask questions later” law. This law allows people to shoot someone if they feel threatened. This new “warning shot” bill is another victory for the NRA here in the Gunshine State. As a society, we seem to be accepting of mass murder as mere collateral damage to our perceived right to have guns.
Our culture accepts these events. It’s unfortunate. But, as Joe the Plumber so eloquently said, “your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.” Well said, Mr. the Plumber, well said.
People are carrying guns everywhere and not being shy about it. They’re walking into Chipotle with assault rifles. They’re walking into Chili’s proudly carrying their weapons over their shoulder. We live in a society that celebrates this type of activity as truly patriotic. Should these actions be legal, much less patriotic?
Florida has a famous “stand your ground” law. Stand your ground allows you to respond to fear of imminent great bodily harm or death with deadly force. You don’t have to be on your own property. This law applies anywhere. Before the law was passed, you had a duty to retreat first. Most of us were brought up to avoid physical confrontation, to use our words and walk away when things got heated. Apparently, many legislators did not receive that same upbringing.
If I’m carrying a weapon at a Chili’s and a bunch of Duck Dynasty looking men walk in with assault rifles over their shoulder, I would fear imminent great bodily harm or death. I could shoot to kill.
So, is this what we want with our society? Is this what we have come to expect as routine? Everyone gets a gun and we all just start shooting each other? You laugh, but that’s precisely what is happening. Just yesterday, in fact, there was a shooting at an Oregon high school. Even our younger generations have acquired our society’s acceptance of guns and the related collateral damage.
The NRA and gun control opponents may not intend for these scenarios to transpire, but the policies they support permit such occurrences. Action must be taken to prevent future atrocities. The time for discussion has passed. The time for action is now. No need to wait for the next mass murder. Although, the wait probably would not be very long anyway.