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Wednesday, April 27

Was That a Threat?

We had a discussion here yesterday that really packed some heat about packing heat. Several commenters cussed and discussed the Florida “Wild West” law. Many opinions were shared and many with merit. Some felt that I along with others were blowing the possible consequences of the law all out of proportion. Okay, everyone gets his or her say and I appreciate all the comments.

This morning a reporter for ABC news translated the law to mean that even if someone just “touches you in Florida, you have a right to shoot that person”. Hummm, that could be serious, huh?

It would seem this all comes down to the definition of the word “threat”. What constitutes a threat? Is a threat someone pushing you while standing in line? Is a threat someone speeding up behind you on a highway? Maybe it’s someone giving you the finger. If you are gay, and someone says they hate gays, is that a threat?

See, that’s one of the problems with this law. It’s all about emotions. What might feel like a threat to one person might just be an irritating remark to another. A hot temper could result in a cold body and no one will be able to say for sure the intention of the person who is now dead.

No, not every gun owner in Florida is going to go human hunting, but it only takes one to cause a funeral. Let’s face it, there will be at least one, and due to this new law the shooter will go free. Is there a bag limit on feeling threatened? Until “threat” is clearly defined we won’t really know the repercussions of this law. As for now, it would appear everyone in Florida has the potential to be fair game if someone else finds them to be threatening.

Although a few snakes are deadly, many harmless snakes are killed just because people feel “threatened” by them.. “Better safe than sorry”, these people will tell you. Does that apply to human beings too? It just might.

More about this law from the New York Times.

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