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New Law Could Make It Legal To 'Shoot First, Ask Questions Later'

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Links here:

http://www.nbc6.net/news/4312393/detail.html

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/...ly-force_x.htm


There is a campaign to start a petition to keep this law from being passed in other states. You can find that info and more on this site:

http://www.shootfirstlaw.org/

Opinions?
post #2 of 23
Oh yeah, this is quite the conversation starter lately! The theme usually being something like "those crazy Americans and their crazy laws"....oh boy, I'm not going to Florida any time soon, that's for sure.
post #3 of 23
It's really sad when criminals get more rights than law abiding citizens. We have a "Make My Day" law in Colorado that allows citizens to protect themselves, their family and their property with force if necessary. It hasn't been used many times, and when it has been used it was under the "proper" circumstances.

Contrary to popular believe, the police cannot protect you from most crimes. They respond during or after the crime has been committed, not before. Most times it is well after. Now that's not anything derogatory against the police - they do their jobs to the best of their ability, but they can't be all places at all times. Why should I, as a law abiding citizen, have to decide between being prosecuted for protecting myself and being hurt or killed by a criminal?
post #4 of 23
And I was so naive to think that self-defense only applied when your life was immediately in danger.

So under this new law people would be able to plead self-defense for killing anyone who is committing a crime? I'm not sure I fully understand what the law says...
post #5 of 23
I think the new Law in Florida is great. Go Florida. Gotta love that Jeb Bush
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
And I was so naive to think that self-defense only applied when your life was immediately in danger.

So under this new law people would be able to plead self-defense for killing anyone who is committing a crime? I'm not sure I fully understand what the law says...
My understanding of it is that you still have to reasonably believe your life is in danger. However, the previous law only protected you if you defended yourself in your own home. If you were outside your home, too bad.

The USA Today article is so incredibly biased I'm surprised it's still labeled as news. It should be an editorial. The "pamphlet" they cited is so assanine. The law may or may not be politics, but that pamphlet from the anti-gunners definitely is! The vast majority of those who own firearms are law abiding, responsible citizens, NOT people who would jump at the chance to shoot someone. I very much resent those types of stereotypes, becuase there is no truth to them at all!
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
My understanding of it is that you still have to reasonably believe your life is in danger. However, the previous law only protected you if you defended yourself in your own home. If you were outside your home, too bad.
Ok, I had only read the first article.

From the second article:
"Florida's "stand your ground" law, which took effect Saturday, removes a duty on the part of citizens to retreat in the face of an attack as long as they are in a place they have a legal right to be, including a public street or their place of business."

That's scary. I say if someone has a way to retreat from the attack and then call the cops, then they have no ground to kill the person in self-defense.
So if I get into an argument in a bar, the person I'm arguing with punches me, I can pull out a gun and kill him? That's insane!

I'm all for self-defense, but to me it only applies to cases when there is no other way for a person to safely avoid harm and get the law involved. Or else we're back the the Far West.

Seems to be like another example of excessive fear of crime.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
That's scary. I say if someone has a way to retreat from the attack and then call the cops, then they have no ground to kill the person in self-defense.
So if I get into an argument in a bar, the person I'm arguing with punches me, I can pull out a gun and kill him? That's insane!
That is going on the assumption that everyone who carries a weapon is a sociopath with an itchy trigger finger. Stupid stereotype! That's NOT how it is at all!

You example is also not relevant. Someone punching you does not give a reasonable person the idea of imminent and life-threatening danger. If you shot someone in that instance, you would be charged with something - probably Murder in some degree (as opposed to Manslaughter).
post #9 of 23
I'm a female, gun-owning Floridian who lives in a bad neighborhood. I'm glad we have that law. Maybe it'll help knowing that I may not go to jail if I have to use lethal force to defend myself. Maybe criminals will think twice about trying to take peoples' lives & take the things we care about & work hard for.
post #10 of 23
"I'm all for self-defense, but to me it only applies to cases when there is no other way for a person to safely avoid harm and get the law involved. Or else we're back the the Far West." Quote from another member.

Well say what u want but on the whole people were a lot safer and society was more respectful of your rights in the "Far West" I think we should all be packing.
post #11 of 23
Arizona has had a similar law, for a number of years. IF i have the REASONABLE fear that I or someone near me, is in imminent danger of harm or death, I can legally shoot the attacker.

Some months ago, a young woman was kidnapped from a Texas WalMart, murdered and dumped by the road. Her murderer attempted to rob a convenience store, in Bowie AZ, with a gun. The store owner shot and wounded the murderer/kidnapper/armed robber. No charges were filed against the the storekeeper and the bad guy was apprehended. He is now awaiting trial, back in Texas, with a death penalty hanging over his head. If not for that storekeeper, who knows how many other people could have been killed?

Every year, numerous criminals are stopped by armed, LAW-ABIDING citizens.
post #12 of 23
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. Robert A. Heinlein

I think it is a great law, I hope it goes to every state. I am sick of criminals having all the rights. If people are not out committing crimes, they should have nothing to worry about. If they are, they should be ready to accept the consequences. If the consequence is a bullet from their intended victim, oh, well.

There is a book, Armed and Female, by a woman named Paxton Quigley, author and firearms expert that I read a few years ago. It is kind of dated now, but one of the things that stayed with me from the book was something that also took place in Florida. There was a serial rapist operating around Tampa, and the cops could not catch any kind of break in apprehending him. Women were afraid, so the police offered a firearms safety course for women and advertised it in the newspaper. Crimes agains women dropped nearly 40% immediately, and the rapist never struck again, not a shot fired. Something to think about when wondering if this is a good law.
post #13 of 23
Well the civil libertarian types say that we should be rehabilitating Rapists and child molesters and killers... I don't agree. If more people were educated in the proper use of firearms. Ie. "shoot for center of mass." Those criminal types might not get rehabilitated but most of them would be dead and wouldn't be raping or molesting any more women or kids and I for one could live with that just fine. We also would be saving a hell of a lot of tax money too.
post #14 of 23
I am happy with the new law here in Florida. It used to be if someone broke into your house you had to first "retreat" before you could shoot. IMO that's ridiculous. If someone breaks into MY house they are threatening the safety of myself and family and I should be allowed to shoot. I don't think I should be obligated to retreat when they are invading my home.

Also, I think that people are automatically assuming that people are just going to shoot people for the heck of it. What an assumption to make! If someone punched me in the face at a bar during a fight that doesn't constitute a threat against my life.

I am so tired of reading the articles regarding this law in Florida trying to make us all out as thugs.
post #15 of 23
I was robbed at gun point about 7 years ago. Ever since then I have a huge fear of someone breaking on the house and I am afraid to be home alone at night, ridiculously afraid at times. I wouldn't care one bit about the persons situation or intentions at the time. I don't care if their plan was to just steal what they could and not hurt me. They step foot uninvited into my door I wouldn't think twice about shooting them.... Errr well that's if I could ever figure out how to shoot the gun. I joke with my fiance all the time that if someone breaks in while he isn't home I would have to ask the perp for help on getting the safety off and such. I plan to take a gun course soon. It's something I think everyone should do if they have a gun in their house.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKittenDaddy
Well the civil libertarian types say that we should be rehabilitating Rapists and child molesters and killers... I don't agree. If more people were educated in the proper use of firearms. Ie. "shoot for center of mass." Those criminal types might not get rehabilitated but most of them would be dead and wouldn't be raping or molesting any more women or kids and I for one could live with that just fine. We also would be saving a hell of a lot of tax money too.
AMEN!
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirtle
Absoultely agree!
I was robbed at gun point about 7 years ago. Ever since then I have a huge fear of someone breaking on the house and I am afraid to be home alone at night, ridiculously afraid at times. I wouldn't care one bit about the persons situation or intentions at the time. I don't care if their plan was to just steal what they could and not hurt me. They step foot uninvited into my door I wouldn't think twice about shooting them.... Errr well that's if I could ever figure out how to shoot the gun. I joke with my fiance all the time that if someone breaks in while he isn't home I would have to ask the perp for help on getting the safety off and such. I plan to take a gun course soon. It's something I think everyone should do if they have a gun in their house.
Take the gun course. If you don't know how to use a weapon, leave it alone. If you DO pick it up, be prepared to use it. If you don't, the bad guy WILL.
post #18 of 23

If you are inexperienced with handling a gun, I highly recommend a revolver for learning to shoot. They are much easier to handle.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2

If you are inexperienced with handling a gun, I highly recommend a revolver for learning to shoot. They are much easier to handle.
I agree. Please take the course, and spend some time at the range. In order to be effective with a firearm, you have to be completely familiar with it, and confident in your ability to use it. When push comes to shove, you cannot hesitate or make a silly mistake (like forgetting where the safety is). You also must be familiar with it so that you don't have an accident with it.

I've never been a fan of spray and pray (for home protection), whether with a P.O.S. Uzi or the like, or a shotgun. Too much room for error and taking out someone or something you don't want to. How horrible would you feel if the buckshot hit the cat hiding under the bookcase or chair? Besides the fact that a wide angle spray has much less effective killing power except at close range. The wider the spray, the shorter the range.
post #20 of 23
Oh I definately need to take a class. I am waiting until we get a smaller gun though. My fiance took me to the range with him the day he bought his 45. I was terrified to shoot it. I didn't feel comfortable at all and it was all I could not to turn around and leave. He thinks the first problem is that the gun is just to big for me to shoot. I couldn't even pull the slide back on my own. I think having the gun in the house at the moment gives me a false sense of security... When he is home I am not worried, but when if I end up home alone at night having the gun there (even though it is put away) makes me feel a little more secure. I know that might seem silly because I know that I couldn't shoot it, but it does. Like I mentioned before, I think my fear comes from the robbery I went through. It probably isn't likely someone is going to break in my home with a police officer living next door who parks her car on the street in front of our house... but my imagination gets carried away with me.
post #21 of 23
I would agree that learning the nomenclature is important. I used to work in a gun factory long ago as a shipping clerk, but during my time there, I learned all about guns and safety. I was captain of the women's shooting team. And although I believe that if someone is breaking into your home with the intent to harm you, you should protect yourself. You should do so with reasoning and knowledge and not just pick up a shotgun and spray whatever is coming after you.

There are home protections systems, guard dogs and other ways of deterring criminals without getting a gun, not knowing how to use it and maybe in a panic shooting off your loved ones foot in the process.
post #22 of 23
I live in Florida and I guess I'm in the minority. The law bothers me. I've already read people on a local forum "joking" about the opportunity to "get even" with people. For instance, when there are no witnesses, can people get away with murder now? I have a feeling that there are bugs that will need to be worked out. Lets just hope and pray that innocent people don't lose their lives in the meantime.
Peace.
post #23 of 23
Only criminals need to be afraid to go to Florida. I think I will be safer, since the bad guys won't know if I have a gun or not. I don't, because as a sissy it is more likely that someone would grab the gun from me and kill me, than that I could kill someone. But if I had a gun, and my kids were in danger, I'm pretty sure I could shoot someone!

There is a guy in the Chicago area who got in trouble for shooting a man who had broken into his home twice. He got more time than the thief! It is only right that we can defend ourselves!
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