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.
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