Want The Craziest Florida Gun Law Of All? Here It Comes.

Now that Florida legislators are once again debating how and where state residents can and cannot go carrying a gun, a new wrinkle has been added to the discussion by a bill just filed by a longtime, pro-gun State Senator named Greg Steube.  He’s been in the legislature for six years and this year chairs the Judiciary Committee where pro-gun bills died in 2015 and 2016, but he’s going to really lead the fight for SB 140, which would allow guns on college campuses, as well as in airports and public meetings.

pulse             The bill has attracted the usual attention from both sides of the gun debate, particularly in the wake of the Fort Lauderdale shooting in January which killed five and injured a dozen more. But lost in the controversy over this piece of legislation is another bill filed by Steube himself, SB 610, which if enacted, would allow someone who voluntarily left his gun behind when he entered a ‘gun-free’ establishment to sue the owner if they were injured by someone who entered the same location with a gun and proceeded to blast away.

Now the way this crazy law would work is that if an owner decided that his establishment should be free of guns, he could always avoid litigation after a shooting if he elected some kind of reasonable strategy to keep his disarmed patrons out of harm’s way, such as hiring an armed guard or maybe installing a metal-detector at the front door.  You may recall, incidentally, that there was an armed guard at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, who traded gunfire with the shooter before the latter then barricaded himself at the rear of the club.  Fat lot of good the armed security guard (an off-duty cop) did for the 102 club patrons who were killed or wounded in that attack.

Know how all the really crazy stuff like half-and-half and Ronald Reagan first appears in California and then spreads nationwide?  When it comes to the worst laws for encouraging gun violence, they start in Florida; i.e., laws that promote CCW and Stand Your Ground (SYG.)  But this law is the craziest and worst sop to Gun-nut Nation of any gun law that has ever been introduced, because you can make the argument that under certain circumstances and with proper training, a responsible individual might be allowed to walk around with a gun.  As for SYG, while those laws have exacerbated gun violence when the alleged assailant happens to be black, the law itself doesn’t speak to the issue of what kind of weapon might be used to make it easier for someone to remain in place against an attack, it just makes it easier to claim self-defense.

This crazy law, on the other hand, is built entirely around the idea that a person who voluntarily gives up access to a gun should therefore expect the individual whose establishment has a no-gun policy to protect him if he suffers an injury due to an “unlawful or reckless act.”  Now let’s say I’m standing in a bar and someone next to me jiggles the drink I have in my hand and the contents of the glass spill out and soil my new shirt. The whole point of gun-free zones is that if I’m armed and slightly drunk, there’s a good chance that I might pull out my gun.  In the brilliant words of Lester Adelson: “With its peculiar lethality, a gun converts a spat into a slaying and a quarrel into a killing.”  This is what a gun-free zone is designed to prevent – the all-too-often escalation of an argument into a horrific injury or a death because someone had a gun.

Gun-nut Nation’s obsession with ridding the country of gun-free zones is based on no credible research showing that armed citizens make a difference in protecting us from crime.  But tell that to Senator Steube and the other gun-nut supporters from the Gunshine State.

5 thoughts on “Want The Craziest Florida Gun Law Of All? Here It Comes.

  1. Of course, we had a hearing on an expanded background check bill Friday night in front of the House Judiciary Committee of the NM Legislature. I joked with a reporter afterwards that I didn’t realize that Godwin’s Law applies to legislatures as well as the Internet. Sure enough, someone equated background checks to Hitler confiscating guns.

  2. It is settled law in the US that law enforcement never has a “duty to protect” anyone. Even, for example, if they had just issued a restraining order against a violent associate of yours who has made explicit threats. Actual defense against violent attacks is primarily the responsibilty of individuals. The Cops may or may not choose to show up, even if it is easy and convenient for them to do so. The Supreme Court has recently re-affirmed this. One of the reasons that dis-arming law abiding people will always be on shaky ground is related to this. I see that you solve this conflict by asserting that armed self-defense is not a real thing, even when an armed security guard is involved, so nothing meaningful is really being taken away when folks are comprehensively disarmed. In this view, being defenseless is no more of a risk than being able to fight back. The thing is, very few people believes this in practice. Mainly, it is just posturing.

  3. You make a very persuasive argument about something which isn’t relevant to the argument about concealed-carry. I have no issue with anyone who wants to defend themselves with a gun. But I don’t understand how anyone can truly believe that they could use a gun properly or safely for self-defense without putting in at least the time required of law enforcement officers before we give them a gun. The issue isn’t whether we should allow armed citizens to walk around; the issue is whether we should allow armed citizens to walk around who don’t know the front of a gun from the rear of a gun. Which happens to be the NRA position on this issue because the last thing they would ever do is admit that concealed-carry training should be mandated. In my state the license to carry is given out without any live-fire requirement at all. That’s absurd.

  4. Here I go: It is agreed that self-defense situations that involve actually discharging a firearm are exceedingly rare. Therefore, the real-life capabilities of permit holders are irrelevant. It “should” be agreed that the single best asset that law enforcement has is the acceptance by and cooperation of the law-abiding people of the community they protect and serve. Therefore, laws should be crafted in a way that minimize conflict between LE and the habits and folk-ways of ordinary law abiding people — even if that means they like to carry pistols (which they may or may not be competent with.) It “should” be agreed that the most valuable commodity in the modern IT based world is digitalized information. Therefore, LE is going to cheerfully give out CHLs to anyone who passes a back-ground check because the CHL means they can continuously run back-ground checks on all permit holders and use that information anyway they want. The capital of Texas is in Austin. The Texas Rangers are headquarded in Austin. The modern Rangers are the uber-elite forensic experts of LE. Dell, Compact Computer, and Samsung all have their US research centers in Austin. Let me put it this way: The issuance of CHLs is “also” about allowing some people to carry guns.

  5. Pingback: Another Dope Shoots His Mouth Off About The Alexandria Shooting. | mikethegunguy

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