Skip to comments.Gun foes warn Florida tourists about new law
Posted on 10/04/2005 4:33:31 PM PDT by proud_yank
Gun foes warn Florida tourists about new law
By CURT ANDERSON
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 Posted at 8:30 AM EDT
Miami — Clark Ramm sees shades of the Wild West in Florida's new law giving greater legal protections to people who shoot or use other deadly force when threatened or attacked.
"It seems like everybody ought to be packing a piece," said Mr. Ramm, a visitor from Ukiah, Calif., who found out about the law Monday from a gun-control group handing out leaflets at Miami International Airport. "I don't know if that's the right thing to do."
The leaflets begin with the words "An Important Notice to Florida Visitors" in bold red type by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
"Do not argue unnecessarily with local people," it says. "If someone appears to be angry with you, maintain to the best of your ability a positive attitude, and do not shout or make threatening gestures."
Florida's "stand your ground" law, which took effect Saturday, means that people no longer must attempt to retreat or defuse a threatening situation before using violence in order to later claim they were acting in self-defence. People already had that right in their homes, but the law now allows them to meet "force with force" in any place they have a legal right to be.
The right does not apply if the person is confronted by a law-enforcement officer.
Proponents of the measure, pushed by the National Rifle Association, say it will make Florida a safer place, not more dangerous.
Governor Jeb Bush has repeatedly pointed to a 34-year low in state crime statistics to demonstrate that Florida is not a haven for violence.
"It's pure, unadulterated politics," Mr. Bush said last week of the Brady Campaign's tactics. "Shame on them."
The Florida tourism industry, however, is taking the campaign seriously, with Visit Florida — the state's official tourism-marketing arm — issuing a statement calling Florida "a very safe and secure destination that excels in caring for its visitors."
"We believe that Americans and international visitors are smart enough to understand that the Brady Campaign is one group's political agenda and not a real safety issue," the statement said.
Florida greets more than one million visitors on any given day, with nearly 80 million tourists visiting the state in 2004, Visit Florida said.
The Brady Campaign leaflets, which the group intends to hand out for about a month at the Miami and Orlando airports, call the measure the "Shoot First" law and urge people to "take sensible precautions" while visiting the state.
"There is no other state in the nation — and no other civilized nation on Earth — that has a law like this," Brady Campaign spokesman Peter Hamm said. "It could cause the most aggressive people in society to overreact."
The group also has taken out ads in major Detroit, Chicago, Boston and London newspapers about the new Florida law.
Several people who got the leaflets at the Miami airport on Monday appeared taken aback by the new law.
"It's a little scary," said Melissa Vosberg, on her way home to the Chicago area after a cruise in the Bahamas. "It's 'shoot first, ask about it later."' Latest Comments in the Conversation
Editor's Note: Globeandmail.com editors read and approve each comment. Comments are checked for content only, spelling and grammar errors are not corrected and comments that include vulgar language or libelous content are rejected. Frederick Bardega from Montreal, Canada writes:
Dear Rikki Bharadwaj (from Toronto),
Posted Oct. 4, 2005 at 5:35 PM EDT Link to Comment Frederick Bardega from Montreal, Canada writes:
Dear Mr. Jason Mansell (from Vancouver),
I do not concur. Posted Oct. 4, 2005 at 5:37 PM EDT Link to Comment PAULA BONACCI from Toronto, Canada writes: Next time I'm in Florida I'll be careful to not cut any one off!!Thanks for the warning!
Posted Oct. 4, 2005 at 5:40 PM EDT Link to Comment Meredith Nachman from New York, United States writes:
Andrew Iacobelli's comment (# 99) is incomplete.In order to have the defense of self-defense you must try to retreat, but only so long as it is safe to do so.You never had to risk your own life.The new law just makes it unnecessary even to evaluate the option.
The general America-bashing in the comments on this article is annoying.The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is an American organization.And all you have to do is read the comments above to see that your own country also has a not insignificant number of wackjobs.Can we please not lump everyone together?
As for comment #17, Noah Klar, the "right to bear arms" is what we have in the United States.The "right to bare arms" is what women don't have in coutries governed by repressive fundamentalist ideologues.But according to the women in Saudi Arabia, that's how they like it.
Posted Oct. 4, 2005 at 5:49 PM EDT Link to Comment Chris McLeod from Edmonton, Canada writes:
There have been several comments on here using the saying "a society that can protect itseft, is a safe society" or some derivative of that saying. One must ask against whom are we trying to protect ourselves and what is the best way of doing that?
Is a gun on the hip of every person necessary to protect society? Or do we need to eliminate guns and all hold hands? There is much opinion on each side but we need to ask ourselves how do we create a civilized society. We are not living in the wild west or on some new frontier where we are threaten by the people form whom we are stealing their land. We have to move forward and learn how to deal with problems in a civil manner instead of in a forceful manner. Crime is not something that will be eliminated by people carrying guns as criminals will still commit crimes. Now if a criminal committing a crime feels threatened and there is now a greater chance that the victim wil be armed, they will simply be more willing to shoot the victim off hand.
The united states has the highest rate of deaths by guns in the world. A gun makes killing someone much easier than stabing them, strangling them, or killing them by other means.
An ordinary citizen should have no reason to need a gun when living in a civilized society. Hopefully we can eliminate gun ownership in the future including for recreational purposes (why give yourself such an overwhelming advantage over the animal anyway, are you not skilled enough to kill it in a more primitive way?).
We should be spending the money spent on guns on art, literature, science and other things that would advance our society instead of stagnate it.
Need we say more, an armed society is a polite society!!
I personally like the last comment the best. Numskull.
If the tourists are criminals -- maybe they should just stay in Detroit.
The Brady Bunchs' time would be better spent informing Florida car-jackers that their behaviour will no longer be tolerated.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
1. Makes me proud to be a Floridian.
2. Far from his assertion, it will cause the most aggressive people to tone it down or end up as worm bait.
RE: "It seems like everybody ought to be packing a piece," said Mr. Ramm, a visitor from Ukiah, Calif., who found out about the law Monday from a gun-control group handing out leaflets at Miami International Airport. "I don't know if that's the right thing to do."
GOP_1900AD, who hates all the Communist carpetbaggers who have taken over California said "I can't wait for my next vacation in Florida - I'll be packing well for my trip. And I look forward to the day when I'll be packing well for grocery shopping here at home!"
furthermore, who gives a damn what some Canucks think unless it's for betting odds on the Stanley Cup.
The kids are on fall break and we are taking them to Florida tomorrow. Take THAT leftist weenies! I'll be sure to wear my NRA shirt that says " the second amendment, Americas original homeland security."
In Oklahoma, the Democrats tried to pass a stealth gun control bill that prohibited any type of gun in a public park. The bill had a hidden amendment next to a bunch of funding for new hookups for RVs, golf course funds, etc. My buddy, State Senator Clark Jolley who also happens to be a fellow NRA member, went around frantically telling all that would hear that this bill would absolutely kill their NRA rating. In 5 minutes time this bill was DEAD.
"When I hear the word 'pistol', I reach for my culture." - Herman Goering (more or less).
Darn, what a shame. I just had my heart set on going to Tampa next month to pick fights with random strangers :-(
"The united states has the highest rate of deaths by guns in the world. A gun makes killing someone much easier than stabing them, strangling them, or killing them by other means."
Another twisted facts comment. The US has the highest rate of death by guns in the world, BUT, take away suicides and its ranking drops dramatically.
Homicide deaths by guns in the US is significantly lower than many other countries. Take those homicides committed in inner cities away, and its a whole other story.
Florida just became a safer place for tourism is the message I see in the story.
I guess the anti gun people feel safer in places like Detroit, Chicago, LA, and NY where criminals have all the guns? Should be a boom for tourism yes?
The most aggressive people in society are the criminals and hopefully, someone will put a cap in their ass...
I would submit that tourists are now safer in Florida than they used to be.
That was my thought when I heard the "warnings."
I really do not see them as warnings. I see them as advice about being polite that should be given to incoming foriegn tourists not matter what their detinastion state is.
The next step would be easy reciprocity with other states on CCW. CCW holders in good standing should be able to rent a piece while in FLA, just like a car. Then all of the good people will be on equal footing with the bad guys. Might cut down on bump and rob of rental cars by restless native felons.
I'm surprised no Freepers have yet mentioned Switzerland ........everybody has a gun....(mandatory military reserve) ....lowest crime rate in the world
Since NC and Fla are reciprocal states, I don't see this as a problem. I go to Fla I'll enjoy the same protection that the citizens of that fair state. I just hope that one day we can get the same change to our laws here in NC.
Way to go Florida!
Maybe we should start telling them there is "no duty to retreat" in Arizona and they will stay away from here too.
If we are lucky, people from Kalifornia and New York will stay away too. I don't travel to those states simply because they DO NOT allow citizens to carry firearms.
Question: How do you tell the difference between Democrats, Republicans and Southern Republicans?
The answer can be found by posing the following question:
You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges. You are carrying a Glock .40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.
What do you do?
Answer in the Extended Section...
Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
Does the man look poor or Oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about the kids? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand? What does the law say about this situation? Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it? Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children? Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me? If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me? Should I call 9-1-1? Why is this street so deserted? We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
This is all so confusing!
I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
Southern Republican's Answer
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips?
Just be sure you don't go to Disney World on "Gay Day" or you might have a lot of explaining to do.
Welcome to FR by the way!!
First, all Florida Freepers should counter the brady-bunch with fliers of their own. Second, we should start our own, freepworld-wide, campaign to champion tourism in Florida.
Thank God. The new law is working already.
Last I heard (10 years ago?), every male between certain ages (something like 18-50) was a member of the military reserve. Each has his battle rifle (true assault rifle) and basic load of ammunition stored in their residence.
Never heard anything about this changing. Not sure about private firearms but most European countries require extraordinary storage requirements at home or keeping them at a range.
However, interestingly enough, military personnel in Germany were (are?) allowed to keep private firearms in their residence if they lived off post, including semi-auto rifles and handguns. Always wondered if this was common knowledge among the Germans since it was very difficult for them to purchase/own/possess firearms.
last I heard (approx. 2yrs ago) Swiss citizens(sp?) do 2yrs mandatory military service starting at age 18 .....reserve after that until retirement age (55-65?)........required to keep their issue weapon in good working order w/ammo (at home) .......also required to keep up profiency with same (every town has a public rifle range)......I spent a weekend in Switzerland when I was in Germany in the army(U.S.ARMY 1972) after RVN......wasn't unusual to see young kids on bicycles with rifles slung over their shoulder going to the range ..........P.S. thanks for the welcome ....only been here a couple weeks....having fun so far
Might just be me, but doe sthe Brady bunch travel with this show?
We could sure use them along the Texas border warning the illegals about the possibilties in Texas. I mean advertising is expensive and if these folks are willing to get teh word out for free... I mean,, Ya'll come now, hear?!
Long Island, NY, is currently in a plague of "push-in" robberies and could benefit from such a law. It's my understanding that pump shotguns are flying off the shelves in local gun shops there. LINY Freepers contact your state assembly rep and Congressman Peter King. Perhaps the time is ripe!