Thursday, April 28, 2005

"Go ahead, make my day, Sonny!"

In a nod back to the good ‘ol ways of the Wild West, where one could simply “shoot first and ask questions later”, Gov. Jeb Bush signed a law Tuesday to make it clear that people have a right to meet “force with force” to defend themselves out on the street.

Oh, great – suddenly everybody is transformed into James Bond!

This measure, which passed the Legislature overwhelmingly earlier this year, says that people who are under attack do not have to retreat before responding. They have the right to “meet force with force”, including deadly force even if they could have fled instead, if they reasonably believe it’s necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm.

This “Castle Doctrine” – the notion that enemies invade personal space at their own peril – that Florida residents already have in their homes; will now be allowed to extend to public spaces, such as the street, in their cars, or at their businesses.

That’s just fucking swell! The one state that’s most full of grumpy, paranoid, conservative, seniors is also granting the “right of might” in handling their own personal territorial disputes.

There are some days that I am just SO proud to be a Canadian!

To my mind, it’ll be like the geriatric ‘Beyond Thunderdome’ by the end of the year as timid and overly suspicious senior citizens will take to packing heat when they trundle off to the Bingo Hall, or maybe end up mowing down the foreign neighbor with a machine gun when he happens to step foot on their property to steal the newspaper.

Jeb Bush further supported the bill by stating: “When you’re in a position where you’re being threatened – to have to retreat and put yourself in a very precarious position, you know, it defies common sense”.

Perfect. We’re taking advise on “common sense” from a member of the Bush family. It’s a crazy world sometimes folks.

The bill is publicly backed by the National Rifle Association who is hoping that this passed bill will snowball over into other states currently governed by more conservative approaches to gun control.

There’s another real fucking surprise; the bill is supported by those who have all the guns in the first place!

It’s not likely that somebody who doesn’t own a gun is going to employ lethal force and bludgeon an intruder to death with a banana, is it?

NRA members would support the use of nuclear weapons for private home security if it gave them an excuse to make a big bang in their front yard!

In the mid-80’s, the NRA chose Florida to launch a push for “conceal carry” or “right-to-carry” laws which allow states to issue permits for the residents to carry firearms.

Fuck, even Mickey Mouse has a loaded firearm strapped to his thigh when he strolls around the Magic Kingdom!

Opposers to the bill argue that the measure is so broad that it will encourage disputes between neighbors, parents at soccer games, drinking buddies, or those waiting for hours in line at the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ amusement ride in the 107-degree heat to escalate into 'Shootouts at the O.K. Corral'.

I know that if I were ever to carry and use a loaded firearm, there would inevitably be a wake of corpses behind me as I made my way down the street. Anybody who I didn’t like the looks of, got in my way, or looked at me the wrong way would end with a bullet between the eyes! The people at the deli who are too slow to make up their mind, those who wear WWE wrestling shirts with wristbands, , people who throw elbows instead of excusing their way past politely, people who clearly have more than eight items at the Express Aisle checkout, the dipshit who keeps putting pickles on my Big Macs, the lady who continually allowed her poodle to shit in my garden, or some slow moving senior who didn’t make it across the street with the crosswalk in time:


Suddenly the stakes jus became a bit higher for Mormons and door-to-door salesmen.

I can see where this could be a very valid concern. I understand perfectly that this bill intends to give the power in a crisis situation back to the victim as opposed to the criminal. However, how do you prove that a crime was committed in the first place, particularly one that required deadly force, when one of the parties involved is sixteen feet underground?

That’s kind of a one-sided case isn’t it?

Shit, everyone will be claiming “self defense” – dead men don’t object in court! Confrontations would be settled over who had the better aim, instead of applying ones common sense.

I think that this bill assumes that moral and law-abiding citizens will just simply know when the appropriate time to use deadly force is necessary. Although, when the adrenaline “fight or flight” impulses are released into your system in a single heartbeat, I’m not so sure that even decent law-abiding citizens will always be able to deny their itchy trigger fingers %100 per cent of the time.

Florida NRA lobbyist, and former NRA ex-president, Marion P. Hammer*, dismissed cristics by suggesting that the current law forces Floridians to make split-second decisions about a criminals intent, which NRA lobbyists like to note was deemed impossible generations ago by legendary Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. “Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife”, Holmes said in one of his most oft-quoted pronouncements.

What the fuck does that mean exactly – “detached reflection”?

It hardly sounds like anything that’s going to get Dirty Harry’s panties in a bunch, does it?

Besides, we’re not talking about uplifted knives here – we’re talking about loaded fucking weapons that leave holes the size of a cherry-pot pie in your chest! At least with knives there’s going to be some form of serious thought and evaluation processes taking place before somebody willingly commits themselves to defending their space in a “mano-e-mano” combat; or else retreat in a flurry of panicked screams and tears like a sissy little school girl.

With a gun one only needs to flex a single digit. Somehow, I find that a little more disconcerting.

So, in lieu of this new bill being passed, I have decided that I can officially add the State of Florida to my list of places that I will NEVER go to on vacation.

By the sounds of it, I’d be safer vacationing in downtown Beirut!

* With a name that was perfectly apt for such a NRA position, Marion P. Hammer went on to solidly defeat election rival Chester Q. Pussystick.


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