Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The New "Kill Bill" Law in Florida

People are now allowed to kill in self-defense on the street, instead of being forced to turn and flee (or face the consequences).

Critics are crying out that this will create a 'Wild West' mentality here. As if we aren't already being painted in the press as morons (i.e. 'hanging chads'), with a high number of deviants (i.e. all the latest child rapes and murders), illegal immigrants (i.e. Cubans and Mexicans), and with an overly large population of senile old people and bikini-clad tourists. To sum it up, America sees Florida as the Pamela Anderson of the United States.

Unless you live in Florida, you probably stand a good chance of buying into these stereotypes. And, granted, we have a little of all of the above. But we also have a huge population that has grown astronomically since the 1970s. When a population grows extremely fast, its very difficult for the infrastructure to grow to keep up with it. The weirdos are the exception in the state of Florida, not the rule.

But, let's address this "Stand Your Ground" law. What does it entail? Basically, if you are attacked by someone on the street, you have the right to defend yourself first. You don't have to run away, and risk a knife or a bullet in your back. It makes the criminal think twice. It's much easier to pluck a pigeon than it is to take on a tiger.

Critics complain that it will make gang fights legal. It won't, although it might make them lethal. But, weren't they anyway? I've never heard of gang fights that use, say, foam baseball bats when knives and guns are available. And the law would not have made a difference to them. It's not as if gangs check with their lawyers and the local police department before they rumble.

Only time will tell if this law will be a disaster, or if it will serve the purpose it was intended to serve. I firmly believe in our right to bear arms, and I also believe that we have the right to defend ourselves. It will be interesting to see what cases this new law may generate.