Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Give your piece a chance.

Despite opposition from Democrats who believe armed criminals should have an advantage over the common citizen, the Florida legislature passed a law that allows Floridians to meet force with force, instead of having to give retreat a chance:
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday he will sign a bill that critics have said threatens to turn Florida into the OK Corral.

Passed 94-20 by the House Tuesday, the bill does away with the legal duty to retreat from an attack and allows a citizen to meet force with force, including deadly force if necessary. Proponents, including the National Rifle Association, say it's about protecting law-abiding citizens. The governor agreed.

"I'm comfortable that the bill is a bill that relates to self-defense," Bush said. "It's a good, common-sense anti-crime issue."

The bill, which would take effect Oct. 1, puts into law the so-called "castle doctrine" that allows Floridians to shoot if they're attacked in their home or cars. It also extends those rights to public places so that people who feel threatened can use deadly force to protect themselves rather than try to flee or avoid a conflict. People who shoot in self-defense could not be arrested without probable cause.
First Florida had to pass a law that made it okey-dokey to shoot someone threatening your family in your own home. Before that law, you had to make an honest-effort retreat or find yourself as a defendent in a wrongful death suit if you planted a slug between the eyes of an intruder. However, until today's law, if you got mugged at your mailbox and fought back resulting in your assailant's death, you'd be a freshly minted Manslaughter defendent. And you'd lose.

You see, common sense can prevail. It only takes a dead judge, court reporter, two sheriff's deputies, a custom's agent, the murder of a husband and mother of a judge and a school shooting resulting in another dozen deaths - all within 30 days - for a state to pass a law that allows victims to apply the same force their attackers so willingly use.

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