Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Florida Not the Wild West

Jacksonville.com: Metro: Story: Deadly-force law has an effect, but Florida hasn't become the Wild West 07/10/06 Well what a surprise... a lawyer who predicted that the sky would fall, now admits he was wrong.
"We expected the larger impact to be in trials, with people jumping into court because of shootings and lots of shouting from the rooftops. That's not happening," said Jacksonville lawyer Russell Smith, president-elect of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "The real impact has been that it's making filing decisions difficult for prosecutors. It's causing cases to not be filed at all or to be filed with reduced charges."
People who were upset about this law always ignored 2 things. It was never a "shoot first" law in the sense that you could shoot anyone at anytime for any reason - like the Brady Bunch claimed. You still needed to face a reasonable threat of death or grave bodily injury. What changed was what prosecutors could do. They could not arrest you, bring you to trial without some solid evidence. (Yes, they were doing this before.) It also changed the lawyers ability to sue. Even if I defended myself legally, I could still face a civil suit. No longer.

The other big change was in my home or vehicle - in my case, my boat (a vehicle) is my home. Someone breaking in is legally assumed to be here for purposes of committing a violent crime and I can defend myself. What this means is that at 3 o'clock in the morning, I don't have to try and figure out why this goblin is in my home. I just have to aim carefully.

Don't expect all the Big Media outlets that claimed Florida was going to erupt in violence to write stories like this one... It might undermine their anti-gun bias.

No comments: