There’s been a veritable ton of bullshit spread around about the ‘stand your ground’ section of the chapter on the justifiable use of force in the FL statutes. I thought I’d clear it up a bit. First, here’s the real text of that section.
§776.013(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Notice that this gives no warrant to attack without cause, chase with a weapon, or while doing anything else that is considered illegal. This only allows you the basic, fundamental human right to protect yourself in any location you are legally allowed to be while carrying. Previously Florida law required you to retreat before using deadly force on an attacker. This gave the attacker the advantage in an altercation. It also gave the attacker the ability to threaten your life without any recourse other than retreat. In other words, you, a law-abiding citizen, had to alter your behavior in the face of a criminal threat. You had to be afraid of being some place without the ability to protect yourself unless you were pursued like prey. You were required to be a coward in addition to fearing for your safety. Now you can stand your ground and meet force with force if need be. You don’t have to be afraid to be some place. And if someone attacks you and you are afraid for your life, they just picked the wrong person to end their criminal career with.
In a civil society there should be no one striking your body—even with a fist. People must be responsible for their actions. And sometimes the consequences are huge. Maybe it’s a mistake, but it’s one that should never be made by anyone other than children or a mentally handicapped person. I don’t care if you’re inebriated, have a headache, or are stone cold sober, you have no right to strike another human.
Anyone attacking or threatening anyone is a criminal. Why give criminals any additional protection? Many say that the Trayvon Martin case could have been settled as only a fist fight (a witness and police report determined that it is likely that Martin was on top of Zimmerman punching him in the face). But you are still a criminal even if you only punch someone in the face. So let’s call it like it is. If that’s the case then Martin committed a criminal act and was a criminal.
What I really don’t understand is how anti-gun liberals can live with denying law-abiding citizens with a concealed carry permit the fundamental human right to self-preservation. You don’t feel safe with us because you think that if you carry a gun you could easily end a life on a whim. And because you think that’s true of us you are afraid of people with guns. But when you actually have that power in your hands, that’s simply not the case. In fact, I’m generally more calm while carrying a gun than when I don’t have one.
But you have it in your heads that we’re just itching to shoot someone. I assure you that that’s not the case. I hope I never have to kill anyone. Anyone who legally carries a gun realizes that when you can end a life in a moment you have a huge responsibility and it’s not something you take lightly.
I know you all think that we could get angry enough to shoot someone. I know that because someone else told me that in an argument. But that argument holds no water in the face of facts. Again, you think that of us because you think that it’s possible that you would. Why just today you wanted to shoot that idiot in traffic, right? Fortunately, you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m not going to end my life in a jail cell because I was angry at someone in traffic. There’s nothing worth killing someone over unless they are trying to seriously hurt me or another person.
In short, you’re just projecting. Numbers don’t lie. Only .01% of CCW permit holders commit any sort of gun crime (which may not even include discharging a firearm). So why is it so hard for you people to trust us? We’ve proven it. And those aren’t even just the numbers for Florida. Those numbers are national. In Florida, from 1987 to 2005, 1,104,468 permits were issued. Only 157 were revoked for a gun-related crime. (WPRI study)
You also take issue when the person who is shot is unarmed. An unarmed man who is six inches taller than me has a distinct advantage in a fight, especially because I’ve only been in two in my life. The last time I was 12. They might just get a lucky punch. They might come in close and stab you with a knife you didn’t notice. You can die just from being knocked out, or from the resulting fall. Sure, one can brandish a weapon to deter an attacker but they’d also face legal action. You are taught not to draw a weapon unless it is your last resort. You are taught not to draw or point your weapon at anyone unless you intend to shoot them.
You just don’t understand the ramifications of any of this unless you go through the process to get a permit or own a gun. All you know is what you see on TV, in the movies, or read in the paper. You don’t know a thing about safety if you’ve never handled a weapon and you don’t know a thing about the laws unless you’ve actually studied them (as in a permit class). You just think you get a gun, a permit, and you have a license to kill, but it doesn’t work that way.
If you want facts, look for them. The WPRI study is an excellent piece on the matter. If you know a gun owner, especially one with a permit, talk to them. I’m sure they’d welcome the opportunity to teach someone about guns and gun safety. As with anything, get educated on the matter and keep an open mind.