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Florida’s Stand Your Ground Bill

The Florida legislature has approved by a 39 – 0 vote in the Senate and a 94 – 20 vote in the House a bill which, after being signed by Governor Bush, will make it the law that deadly force can be used in self-defense without an attempt to flee or escape from harms way. As a general rule, I am not a “gun blogger” although I have recently met a couple. This post is not about guns. Nor is it about the soon to be signed law either. So what’s the point you ask? The point is that the Florida legislature, quite unlike many recent Florida court rulings, have established as law a position that is morally a more acceptable position for the state. As for the individual, well, read the rest of the post.

For a state to require that the individual flee or take no action to defend life or property it codifies two forms of immoral action. The first being that it limits the rights of the individual to defend life, and secondly it makes a moral man, who under attack defends himself or his property, a criminal. Far too often our state and federal laws make criminals of those who should not be seen as such. This, whether by over legalization or by restrictions on personal liberty, has become for many an inescapable norm that is seldom noticed or recognized as such.

Florida’s new stance will instead place the moral burden on the individual under attack. That, I believe, is the proper place for the decision-making. If your faith, ethical standard, moral compass or what have you, permits the defense of life and limb with deadly force the law will now acquiesce. If you are the sort that believes that under no circumstance should you act to defend yourself or those around you, you will, as always, remain free to flee or seek alternative means to end the situation. As for me, I’m pleased to see Florida take this position, and can chalk it up as yet another reason to consider Florida one of the more liberty loving of our states.

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Comments (2)

It sounds a bit like Colorado's Make-My-Day law. Good.

Actually, James, you're about right.

Generally speaking, east of the Mississippi you are required to warn an intruder and retreat (in your house, that is). West of the Mississippi you can shoot immediately if you preceive a threat.

What makes Florida important is that it is the first state east of the Mississippi to enact this law (unless I am mistaken)

Of course, ultimately it's up to a jury of 12, who can pretty much decide what they want. The issue regarding the law is whether charges will be brought against you in the first place and what cards the prosecution will be able to play.

Beyond the legal stuff, I'm with you, Marvin, and for two reasons. The first is along the lines of what you said; as free people we have the right to defend our homes. The second is practical; I guarantee you that home burglaries will plummet in Florida.

In the UK, where it is pretty much illegal to defend yourself, burglaries are up. It's not a wonder why.

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This page contains a single entry posted on April 6, 2005 6:25 PM.

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