A lot of discussion in the media these days about Florida’s “Stand your ground” law. As EVERY CCW permit holder is provided a copy of the relevant statutes along with their permit, it is presumed they have read and understand the law about when the use of deadly force is authorized. Now would be a good time to for all permit holders to review the statutes and if they are unsure as to what it means, seek advice and not carry until they do understand it. This is the ONLY time I would ever advocate for someone not to carry. If you don’t understand the law, don’t carry. Pretty simple. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse especially since they are on-line and I am sure your local county sheriff would be more than happy to help you understand the law and how it applies to you. For those that are a bit challenged, here is the relevant portion of the Florida Statute on the Use of Deadly Force:
Florida Statute 776.013 (3) states:
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.
Pretty self-explanatory I believe.
Let’s break it down by the numbers:
- First, you must NOT be doing anything illegal. If you are, you are NOT protected
- You must have a RIGHT to be there. Whether a sidewalk, store, or city park, etc
- You have to be attacked. To me the biggie. Without an attack, nothing else matters
- There has to be the possibility of death or great bodily harm. While this section does not define great bodily harm, IMNSHO to me “great bodily harm” would require a stay in a medical treatment facility (i.e. hospital) and not just a trip to the ER or
- Prevent commission of a forcible felony (i.e. rape, assault, etc)
Now, as to the tragedy of young Mr. Martin and Mr. Zimmerman. I do not have all the facts in this case so I can only provide an opinion on what has been published in the media and what has been played on the air from the released 911 tapes. And my opinion is this, If Mr. Zimmerman failed to follow proper procedure and violated F.S 776.013, then he needs to be charged and tried and if found guilty, sentenced appropriately. However, with all of the media attention now being given to this tragedy, I am afraid if he is charge, Mr. Zimmerman will not get a fair trial. Win or lose, he will be on the losing side.
As to the presence of the likes of Al $harpton, he will only exacerbate the situation. I don’t even have to hear him speak on this to know he is riling people up. He is a self-appointed leader of the African-American community and does nothing to actually lead. A true leader would stand up and encourage the community to remain calm and work with the Sanford PD, the FDLE, and other law enforcement agencies to find the truth. He should work to keep the likes of the New Black Panthers and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan away.
Also, it seems Senator Schumer (Dimwit-NY) has called for the Justice Department to “investigate” stand your ground laws. Senator, with all due respect, BUTT OUT! You stopped believing in freedom a long time ago. Since this is not one of the enumerated powers of the Legislature, that makes it a state’s issue under the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Pick it up and read it some time, you might be surprised how easy it is to understand.
Agree or disagree, comments are welcome. Just play by the rules.