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Want to get a concealed weapons permit in Florida? Cash strapped Florida lowered the fee from $85 to $70 and extended the period from five to seven years to make it cheaper and easier to have a concealed carry permit in Florida. The Florida legislature has become the NRA's laboratory for expanding the envelope of gun freedoms. These new innovations happen first in pliant Florida and then the NRA exports the prototype Florida Gun Laws to other states like they did with these idiotic "Stand your Ground" laws.

Florida now has a mind boggling 900,000 people licensed to carry concealed weapons, and that total is climbing rapidly.  

Florida: fertile ground for pro-gun laws

BY TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA

Yet the controversial 2005 law was just one of dozens of pro-gun laws that have gotten their start in Florida — forging the state’s “Gunshine” reputation — before spreading to other parts of the country.

“The NRA has been a victim of their own success,” said Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach attorney who fought many of the gun expansion laws as a legislator in the 2000s. “They’ve won every big issue, so they’re left trying to fight over fringe issues. Lots of elected officials are afraid to cross them.”
From bring-your-guns-to-work laws to all-out bans on local gun restrictions, Florida has become a haven for Second Amendment enthusiasts. Statistics show the pro-gun agenda has triggered more gun sales, more permits and a sharp rise in justifiable homicides.

Florida has about 900,000 licensed concealed weapons carriers, far more than any other state and nearly twice as many as Texas.

•  The number of annual applications for concealed gun licenses has grown from 26,800 to 123,000 since 1998 (February was a record month for application requests, with 53,835).

The number of “justifiable homicides” — typically shooting deaths deemed legal under Stand Your Ground — has tripled in the last seven years.

..., murders by firearm have increased 45 percent since 1999, despite an overall drop-off in violent crime, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
I am a gun owner and the idea of so many citizens of a state carrying lethal force with them everywhere they go backed up by a law that encourages them to shoot first and ask questions later scares the living shit out of me. I'm just glad to be living in a saner corner of the country far from Florida and its army of armed and dangerous citizens.    

A Blistering Editorial about Stand Your Ground Laws at CNN:

My Ethics: 'Stand your ground' laws are invitation to kill

Editor’s note: Edward L. Queen II directs the D. Abbot Turner Program in Ethics and Servant Leadership at Emory University’s Center for Ethics.

By Edward L. Queen II, Special to CNN

(CNN) – The true architects of the Trayvon Martin killing not only will not go unpunished, they also will go unnamed.

Those who created the conditions for Martin’s killing – those who, one might say, invited it – were the Florida legislators who voted for a law that undid not only decades of positive law regarding self-defense but also centuries of legal tradition.

In promoting “stand your ground” laws, self-proclaimed conservatives become grossly irresponsible radicals, drastically and dramatically undoing centuries of accumulated wisdom in their evisceration of the traditional formulation of self-defense.

They rip apart the traditional understanding of the legitimate use of deadly force in self-defense and invite people to kill.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's because the real intention of these laws is (10+ / 0-)

    to arm right wing fanatics who are easily manipulated by the corporatist propaganda, and to use them for intimidation.  It's basically an extension of the useful idiots manipulation.

    •  See my edit from CNN (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden

      Republicans take care of big money, for big money takes care of them ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 12:16:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's bullshit. (7+ / 0-)

        All stand your ground does is remove a requirement to retreat.

        What does it mean, required to retreat? It means you have to expose yourself to getting shot before a prosecutor will believe that it would be reasonable to fight back.

        Hell of a choice, right? A person attempting to abide by The Law either has to fight back or TRY to turn and run before fighting back, and we all know none of us are faster than a speeding bullet. Superman is not real.

        "I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool." - Republican Congressman Allen West (FL-22) Rawstory Source

        by JayFromPA on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 08:11:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of legal scholars who should know better (5+ / 0-)

        have been making hyperbolic statements like that. You'd almost think they had an agenda. The law does not protect anyone engaged in a felony, or fleeing from the scene of a crime they'd committed. And it doesn't protect individuals who initiated or provoked a confrontation, unless the force used against them has suddenly reached life-threatening levels, and even then the instigator of the conflict still has the old "duty to retreat."
             If there's a problem with the law, it's been in how it's been applied by the police & prosecutors, as in the decision of the prosecutor in this case to overrule the homicide investigator, who thought Zimmerman should be prosecuted.

        -5.12, -5.23

        We are men of action; lies do not become us.

        by ER Doc on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 09:45:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Therefore the left should arm too! (12+ / 0-)

      Why should we volunteer to be the only ones who don't have guns, therefore?
      Gun rights work for liberals too!
      Or are you trying to say that, since the purpose of this is to arm the right wing, liberals shouldn't be armed? That the  way to cmbat armed "useful idiots" is through non violence?
      Got news for you, someone who turns the other cheek to an armed conservative is someone who gets both cheeks slappped!

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:14:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Title problem? (5+ / 0-)

    Did you mean to write tripling, as in three times as many - and not "tripping"?

    Because otherwise, it's a really good post.

    But if they're just falling to their deaths somehow...

    :) - a bit of funny about an truly unfunny subject

    * * *
    I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
    * * *
    "A Better World is Possible"
    -- #Occupy

    by Angie in WA State on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 11:34:12 PM PDT

  •  Lefty Coaster (12+ / 0-)

    This might seem common to some but when I first came here to the USA I had no idea about prejudice nor racism.
    I was working at a machine shop in the aerospace industry in Southern California & a coworker showed me his gun in his toolbox.
    I asked him what the hell he was doing with a gun at work.
    He said, "You don`t think we`re going to keep the jungle bunnies around for long do ya"
    At first I didn`t know what he was talking about, then I realized, Holy Fuck, this is what a racist is.
    It bothered me for a long long time. It still bothers me that he thought I wouldn`t be aghast at his disclosure.
    Here`s an image I came across recently.
    Telling

    racism

    I`m already against the next war.

    by Knucklehead on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 12:23:19 AM PDT

  •  Target the Tourist Industry (6+ / 0-)

    that's the way to get some leverage with the politics and business community.

  •  I'm tired of these pussy gun laws. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swampyankee

    If we're really serious about the First Amendment then I should be able to own my own fucking nuclear weapons. A full nuclear deterrent is necessary because my neighbor is giving me the stinkeye. I will bury that motherfucker.

    Winning elections is great, but building movements is better.

    by Alvin K on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 01:09:39 AM PDT

    •  Psst... (10+ / 0-)

      It's the Second Amendment. Which covers arms (personal weapons) but not ordnance (land mines, grenades, hydrogen bombs).

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:42:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Arm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ehrenfeucht games
        arm 2  (ärm)
        n.
        1. A weapon, especially a firearm: troops bearing arms; ICBMs, bombs, and other nuclear arms.
        2. A branch of a military force: infantry, armor, and other combat arms.
        3. arms
        a. Warfare: a call to arms against the invaders.
        b. Military service: several million volunteers under arms; the profession of arms.
        4. arms
        a. Heraldry Bearings.
        b. Insignia, as of a state, an official, a family, or an organization.
        v. armed, arm·ing, arms
        v.intr.
        1. To supply or equip oneself with weaponry.
        2. To prepare oneself for warfare or conflict.
        v.tr.
        1. To equip with weapons: armed themselves with loaded pistols; arm a missile with a warhead; arm a nation for war.
        2. To equip with what is needed for effective action: tax advisers who were armed with the latest forms.
        3. To provide with something that strengthens or protects: a space reentry vehicle that was armed with a ceramic shield.
        4. To prepare (a weapon) for use or operation, as by releasing a safety device.
        Idiom:
        up in arms
        Extremely upset; indignant.
    •  Of course (0+ / 0-)

      ... I meant the SECOND amendment. But I will continue to pursue this line of reasoning, regardless of what "settled law" is. My God-given right to nukes shall not be trod upon by mere earthly authority.

      Winning elections is great, but building movements is better.

      by Alvin K on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:31:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone remember Joyce Kaufman? (9+ / 0-)

    She was the Florida radio talk show host that Rep. Allen West (R-FL) wanted as his chief of staff.  He ended up with someone else after there was enough backlash over Kaufman infamously saying, "If ballots don't work, bullets will." Kaufman has also said we should hang undocumented immigrants who commit crimes, send their bodies "back to where [they] came from" at the financial expense of their families.  She also called Nancy Pelosi "garbage."

    There seems to be far too many people who think like she does.  That's what I see in these pushes for lax gun laws: hatefilled people with a desire to shoot people.

    •  The problem isn't that too many people (7+ / 0-)

      think like she does it's that too many people have allowed these hateful bigots to command the microphones and control the narrative in this country. Speech may be free in the US but that doesn't mean it is always socially acceptable or has to be tolerated let alone broadcast across the airwaves. It's way past time to push back and make these people suffer the consequences of their divisive and corrosive hatred no matter how many flags or bible verses they wrap it in. Do we want to live in a civil society of mutual respect and dignity or their fear-based racist version of society with vigilante justice running amok?


      Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

      by jayden on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:20:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, with a healthy caveat: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaveinBremerton, jayden, PavePusher
        it's that too many people have allowed these hateful bigots to command the microphones and control the narrative in this country.
        I must correct the notion that 'too many have allowed'--too FEW have allowed. Those who allow access to the microphones are in the one percent, and they OWN the microphones.

        All six of them.

        The Media is being manipulated by its six owners to fill peoples' heads with bullshit. And far, far too many of us listen to it and take it to heart.

        Like this business with the "stand your ground" law. None of that was relevant to George Zimmerman. It was the biggest, fattest red herring of this whole episode. It never covered this asshole. NEVER. You were punk'd if you believe that law is somehow at fault.

        It was not. It was the fault of the shooter and of the shooter's racism. Period.  And it is being used to divide us further.

        And too many of us allow those divisions to multiply without correcting the bullshit feeding them. Like this diary's basis of so-called "facts", for example. Which is why I'm posting this.

        It is time to #Occupy Media.

        by lunachickie on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:23:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The law is a problem according to many prosecutors (0+ / 0-)
          You were punk'd if you believe that law is somehow at fault.
          ..including:
          Former US Attorney Kendall Coffey tells NBC, “The ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is a license to kill.”
           
          “The ‘Stand Your Ground’ law has become a huge obstacle to preventing exactly this kind of self-appointed vigilantism—this kind of vigilante justice,” says the veteran federal prosecutor. “It used to be if you shot somebody in quote-unquote ‘self-defense,’ you were protected. But in 2005, Florida decided to become the pioneering state to extend this kind of self-protection to wherever the heck you go…”

          Florida, under Jeb Bush, was the pioneer. But, now, thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council, it is just one of many states that offers gunmen that license to kill.
          The Nation
          In those states, as in Florida, the number of so-called “justifiable homicides” is on the rise. Florida Department of Law Enforcement suggests that the number of justifiable homicides in the state have tripled since Jeb Bush signed the “Stand Your Ground” law.
          Laws so loose and full of holes that they can be "misinterpreted" more easily than broken in order to get around  them and requiring interpretion by honest people in order to function favor the the criminal and crime increases as a result.
          More prosecutors:
          Five prosecutors warned of the law that protected Trayvon Martins killerhttp://mediamatters.org/...
          .........................................................................
          Thx Lefty Coaster -  for laying out the facts on this
        •  Zimmerman acted with a BOLD sense of... (0+ / 0-)

          ...privilage and entitlement.

          He didn't stalk his victim under cover of darkness, hiding in the shadows, and running away after the kill.

          Instead, he called the police, and gave them his name, prior to stalking and murdering his victim. And he made no attempt to even run away. He just casually waited for the police to arive.

          Like this business with the "stand your ground" law. None of that was relevant to George Zimmerman. It was the biggest, fattest red herring of this whole episode.
          It is not unreasonable to ask just where that BOLD sense of privilage and entitlement came from, or to suggest that  STAND YOUR GROUND might have contributed to it.

          "If I can't dance, then I don't want to be in your revolution"--Emma Goldman

          by ehrenfeucht games on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:42:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That bold sense of privilege (0+ / 0-)

            comes from the fact that he's had scrapes with the law before and gotten off scott free.

            Any wonder why the local LEOs were covering for him? Gee, let me think about what's more empowering: knowing the cops are going to back you (or having suspicions that they will) or possibly being covered by a SYG law?

            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

            by KVoimakas on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 12:16:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Got a link? (13+ / 0-)
    murders by firearm have increased 45 percent since 1999, despite an overall drop-off in violent crime, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
     You'll have to use your calculator, but according to the source you cite, in 1999 the murder RATE was 5.7 per 100,000. In 2010 it was 5.2 per 100000. That's almost a 10% reduction in murders.

    There's nothing close to a 45% increase in any sort of crime to be found.

    The number of “justifiable homicides” — typically shooting deaths deemed legal under Stand Your Ground — has tripled in the last seven years.
    Yet in absolute numbers we're talking about a few dozen cases over seven years, in a state with a population of 18 million people. Not exactly an epidemic.

    There also seems to be an implicit assumption by many people that none of these shootings would have taken place but for this SYG law, a shaky notion at best.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:05:44 AM PDT

  •  i wonder what the stats are (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, Iberian, KVoimakas, PavePusher

    on the other SYG shootings there have been since 2005?  any patterns in terms of race or who goes to trial?

    Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

    by Cedwyn on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:44:53 AM PDT

  •  But what about (5+ / 0-)

    Before Florida's Stand your Ground (SYG) law, you were required to retreat before using deadly force. That resulted in innocent crime victims being killed or seriously injured.

    So what about them? Why aren't you people worried about them?

    Before this law passed, innocent victims generally went to jail for defending themselves. If you were threatened and used deadly force, YOU went to jail. Where's the outrage over that? Completely innocent people going to jail simply because they were accosted.

    Also, while you people make a case against guns, a huge number of the Stand Your Ground cases, do not involve the use of guns.

    Indeed, the very first test of the SYG in Hillsborough county involved a stabbing death. The paralegal (victim of the crime) who defended himself against an attacker, was convicted of manslaughter, and went to jail for two years.

    His conviction was overturned when it was determined that evidence of the attacker's state of mind was not allowed into evidence. It turns out that the attacker, just prior to the encounter with the victim, had just beaten his roommate and a woman to a pulp.

    Prosecutors not only left that out of testimony, but they portrayed the attacker as a kid who was "having a bad day."

    The Appellate court overturned the manslaughter conviction, and determined that the stand your ground law applied.

    Without the SYG, this innocent victim would still be in jail.

    Read about it here:

    http://www.sptimes.com/...

    •  Got any proof for these dubious claims? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, ehrenfeucht games
      Before this law passed, innocent victims generally went to jail for defending themselves. If you were threatened and used deadly force, YOU went to jail.

      Republicans take care of big money, for big money takes care of them ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 08:25:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read the link? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, hagagaga, PavePusher

        FL has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. If you use a gun in the commission of a crime, jail time is mandatory. A third offense will get you mandatory life without the possibility of parole.

        If you have a carry permit, and someone even gets a glimpse of your gun, you go to jail for three years.

        Case law has one fellow who was walking his dog, when he was confronted by a gang of 5 thugs, who demanded his wallet. Fearing for his life, he pulled his handgun, for which he had a permit.

        Before using it to kill any of them he decided to fire a warning shot into the air. Convinced that the victim was serious, the thugs ran away, and the fellow called police to report the incident.  

        He's doing 8 years. REAL bad move.

        The decision to pull a concealed weapon is not to be taken lightly. The instructor of my concealed carry permit class, said very simply, If you even expose your gun, figure you're going to jail. Make sure that it's worth it.

        But seriously, the reason the SYG law was enacted was because victims who legitimately used deadly force were going to jail.

        If someone is beating you to a pulp, all it takes is one shot to the temple and you are dead. It's kinda tough to "retreat" first.

  •  Got any proof for these dubious claims? (0+ / 0-)
    Before this law passed, innocent victims generally went to jail for defending themselves. If you were threatened and used deadly force, YOU went to jail.  

    Republicans take care of big money, for big money takes care of them ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 08:23:14 AM PDT

  •  "Gunshine" (3+ / 0-)

    OMG.....that word NAILS IT!

    As of 02/22/2012 in Washington State pharmacists can exercise their "religious freedom" by denying women access to Plan B because the judge thinks there aren't any bigots in this state.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 11:36:50 AM PDT

  •  Those posters are creepy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Lefty Coaster

    They remind me of an early experience here at Daily Kos that nearly made me soil my pants when I logged in and the comment popped up.

    "If I can't dance, then I don't want to be in your revolution"--Emma Goldman

    by ehrenfeucht games on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 01:27:04 PM PDT

  •  Some issues: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hagagaga, KVoimakas

    1. "murders by firearm have increased 45 percent since 1999"    

    Your cited/claimed stats on murder, and method of presentation, are grossely misleading.

    http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/...

    2. "The number of “justifiable homicides” — typically shooting deaths deemed legal under Stand Your Ground — has tripled in the last seven years."

    A meaningless stat.  Can you cite to any study or particular data that indicates these incidents should not have been deemed legal?  Because the attempted implication is that they weren't.  Evidence, please.

    3. "I am a gun owner and the idea of so many citizens of a state carrying lethal force with them everywhere they go backed up by a law that encourages them to shoot first and ask questions later scares the living shit out of me."

    Then you are worrying about the wrong demographic.  

    http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/...

    Note the number of licences revoked for crimes commited after licensing, since 1987.  Note the number of those crimes commited with firearms.  The sky is not falling.

    4. The next time you feel the overwhelming need to post an agenda-driven diary, I suggest you look up the facts first.  This will help your credibility.  Fact.

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