Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stand Your Ground

Oh, those Floridians (Floridans?  Florins?  Floridae?) are at it again.  This time a middle aged white man drove up to a van full of black teenagers and started arguing with them about the volume of their music.  He decided that rap is really that bad, got a gun out of his car, and fired 8 rounds into their vehicle, killing one of them.  Of course afterwards he concocted a story about how he was defending himself from a bunch of unarmed teenagers who 'threatened him' so the only reasonable action he could take was to open fire.

It seems, from what I have read, that the perpetrator's chances of actually getting off under Florida's Stand Your Ground law is pretty slim.  It is telling though that a man drove up to somebody, yelled at them, gunned them down, and now there is a real chance that he will walk free because he can say he 'felt threatened'.  Well obviously, I mean black people, they must have had sawed off shotguns in that SUV somewhere, right?  Madness.  This should not be a case of 'maybe he will get off, but probably not'.  It should be a case of 'open and shut, 25 years unless he pleads guilty for a bit less.'

How can people in Florida not notice that if this man had not had his gun that *nobody* would have gotten hurt that day?  The primary function of hand guns is to turn disagreements that would otherwise end with somebody getting called a jackass and somebody else giving the finger into a visit from the coroner and prison time.  Hell, maybe someone would have gone hog wild and given somebody else a black eye... but in Canada nobody but the people involved and maybe a couple gawking passerby would even know it had happened.

It seems an unbelievably myopic viewpoint to imagine that the world will be a better place for having guns and laws like this.  Even if for some reason you end up in a place where the law comes up you stand a damn good chance of being the corpse, not the defendant.  This law gives other people the right to gun *you* down just because you have a gun in your possession.  I suppose that never comes up though, in gun fantasies.  I have daydreams about being a crazy ninja fighting bad guys and in those daydreams I always win.  When it comes to actual decisions though I don't let my daydreams convince me that I am actually a good shot nor that being a good shot has any significant impact on my ability to survive a real firefight.

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