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  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    Hit this poll


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    Just hit it. It stands 68% for, 32% against.

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    Regular Member sharkey's Avatar
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    The bill, HB 1047, would also add protections for people who fire a warning shot to scare away an attacker.

    Warning shots are dumb; they endanger the innocent.
    Last edited by sharkey; 02-28-2013 at 12:07 AM. Reason: spelling
    "Public opinion and votes have nothing to do with this. The challenge of the Court is not what they're going to do with votes. The challenge-- of the Court is are they going to protect people's rights." - Al Sharpton


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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Hit this poll

    Done. Good to see such a high majority of supporters in light of the Martin/Zimmerman debacle.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Fuq?

    How about a fair use quote, explanation of what it's about, etc.?
    So far, all I know is:
    The bill, HB 1047, would also add protections for people who fire a warning shot to scare away an attacker.
    Which I think is a bad idea.
    You don't fire unless you think your life or well-being (or that of an innocent other person) is in danger.
    If you're not in danger, you don't fire.
    If you have time for a warning shot, then obviously you don't feel endangered, so you're not justified in using deadly force.
    Any gunshot is deadly force, and that bullet has to go somewhere.

    So I'm inclined to go vote no.

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    I voted a "CHRISTI" .... expanding is good

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    The question is overbroad, so I took it to mean expanding the law as proposed in the bill. Since the bill includes warning shots, I cannot support that expansion. I voted NO.

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    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    Warning shots are usually a bad idea, but they are not the use of lethal force when d

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The question is overbroad, so I took it to mean expanding the law as proposed in the bill. Since the bill includes warning shots, I cannot support that expansion. I voted NO.
    So, what you are saying is that you think that people who shoot the ground rather than their attacker when they come under a violent criminal attack, that that person should go to jail for 20 years... Because that's the current law in Florida.

    Warning shots are usually a bad idea, but they are not the use of lethal force when done defensively. People who are defending themselves should not face 20 years in jail for shooting the ground rather than their attacker.

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    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    So, what you are saying is that you think that people who shoot the ground rather than their attacker when they come under a violent criminal attack, that that person should go to jail for 20 years... Because that's the current law in Florida.

    Warning shots are usually a bad idea, but they are not the use of lethal force when done defensively. People who are defending themselves should not face 20 years in jail for shooting the ground rather than their attacker.

    Read the Bill, not the Article. As usual, the press is misrepresenting the legislation. http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/1047

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    So, what you are saying is that you think that people who shoot the ground rather than their attacker when they come under a violent criminal attack, that that person should go to jail for 20 years... Because that's the current law in Florida.

    Warning shots are usually a bad idea, but they are not the use of lethal force when done defensively. People who are defending themselves should not face 20 years in jail for shooting the ground rather than their attacker.
    If you need to draw the attention of a person to the fact that you are presently armed and ready to put a hole in them, shooting into the ground is IMHO a poor way to do so. Verbal warning? Yes. Warning shot? No. - If for no other reason than I've just wasted a round I might find out too late I needed.

    Self defense should not be a game of bluster and "muscle flexing". I'm a short, pudgy, old cripple who got that way by not going around telling everybody how mean and bad I could be. Most stuff was not worth the effort of fighting over, so I walked away. When I could not walk away I did not announce what I was going to do and demonstrate I had the capability and capacity to do it - I just did it.

    If I can get you to stop 30 or even 50 feet away (or back up that much) I'll be happy to take the risk that you will then try to rush me. I think (hope) I can get a shot off, and that it will be somewhere COM, before you wrap me up and overcome me.

    OTOH, if we limit the bill to protecting the defensive display of a firearm, I would support it.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    So, what you are saying is that you think that people who shoot the ground rather than their attacker when they come under a violent criminal attack, that that person should go to jail for 20 years... Because that's the current law in Florida.

    Warning shots are usually a bad idea, but they are not the use of lethal force when done defensively. People who are defending themselves should not face 20 years in jail for shooting the ground rather than their attacker.
    Have there been any cases when someone was prosecuted for a 'warning shot' when deadly force was authorized?

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notalawyer View Post
    Have there been any cases when someone was prosecuted for a 'warning shot' when deadly force was authorized?
    A warning shot it not the use of deadly force. It is a lesser display of force. That's all that this bill clarifies about warning shots and other defensive displays. Warning shots are actually a small part of the bill. But, there have been many cases:

    Orville Lee Wollard III

    Orville has worked his entire life to better himself. After earning an Associate’s degree, he got a Bachelor’s degree in Business. He attended night school while maintaining a full-time job to earn his Master’s degree in Business Management and Organizational Behavior. He has been employed as everything from being a computer technician with the Home Shopping Network to managing a photo processing lab. In all of his positions, Orville was quickly promoted because of his strong work ethic.

    In 2008, 53-year-old Orville was living happily with his wife, Sandy, and their two daughters in Florida. He held a steady job as a human resources specialist at Sea World. Unfortunately, Sandy became very ill with serious heart problems. Their youngest daughter began acting out, using drugs and running away with her older boyfriend for days at a time. The boy was known for his lengthy criminal record and violent outbursts. It wasn’t long before he began to abuse Orville’s daughter, punching and yelling at her, and stealing prescription pills, jewelry and money from the family’s home. Orville did his best to try to help his daughter while caring for his wife and maintaining his job. He called the police repeatedly and issued Amber Alerts when his daughter would disappear. Unfortunately, the authorities told him they could not do anything to stop the boyfriend, as he was a minor.

    On May 14, Orville received a panicked call at work from his wife, who reported that the boy was at their home causing trouble. He hurriedly returned to the house, where he found the boy on the porch and his daughter with a black eye. When Orville told him to leave, the boyfriend attacked him, ripping out stitches from Orville’s recent surgery, and ran off with his daughter. The two returned several hours later and the boy began shoving Orville’s daughter around the Wollards’ home. She cried as Sandy and the eldest daughter screamed for Orville to help.

    Angry and scared for his family’s safety, Orville felt helpless. The boy had already outmatched him in a physical fight and the police had said multiple times they could do nothing about the situation. Orville took his legally registered pistol and confronted the boy in the living room, again asking him to leave. The boyfriend stopped assaulting Orville’s daughter and came into the living room. He punched a hole in the wall, smiled at Orville, and began moving towards him. Orville, who had firearms training as a former member of the auxiliary police force, shot a bullet into the wall next to the boyfriend to scare him. No one was hurt and the boy finally left. Orville’s daughter was later admitted to a hospital after attempting suicide. Several days later, Orville was arrested - the boyfriend had called the police to report him for aggravated assault.

    Orville spent a year in county jail on a $285,000 bond. Believing he was within his rights to defend his family with a legal firearm, Orville rejected a plea deal for five years of probation and pled not guilty. At trial, Orville was not allowed bring up the many problems the Wollard family had experienced with the boyfriend; he was only permitted to say the boy was “no longer welcome” at his home. The jury rejected Orville’s self-defense claim and found him guilty of possessing and discharging a firearm, triggering Florida’s 20-year mandatory minimum for aggravated assault with a weapon.

    The officer who prepared Orville’s sentencing score sheet begged the government to recognize the extenuating circumstances of the case. Additionally, the investigating officer stated that he believed Orville’s daughter and the boyfriend had used this incident solely to get back at Orville for trying to keep them apart. Unfortunately, Judge Donald Jacobsen had no choice but to sentence Orville to two decades behind bars.
    Judge Jacobsen said:
    This [sentence] is obviously excessive…if it weren’t for the mandatory minimum…I would use my discretion and impose some separate sentence, having taken into consideration the circumstances of the event, but I think I am duty-bound to apply the law as it has been enacted by the legislature.

    After Orville’s incarceration, the Wollard family split up. Sandy and Orville’s younger daughter were forced to move in with relatives in Wisconsin after their home went into foreclosure. He has not seen them once since his imprisonment. In an interview with a local paper, Sandy said, “I am just crushed. I depended on him for a lot of things. He is my best friend.” Both of Orville’s daughters, now 18 and 20, and even the victim, have written letters to Governor Rick Scott begging him to overturn Orville’s 20-year mandatory sentence.

    On the day of his sentencing, Orville spoke before the Court:
    "I’m amazed. I’m stunned. I have spent my life pursuing education [and] helped the community. [T]hen one day this person breaks into my house…he continues to do this, he assaults my daughter, he threatens me, I protect myself. [N]o one is injured in this whole thing and I’m going to prison and the drug dealer’s on the street. And again, with all respect to [the Court], I would expect this from the former Soviet Union…not the United States."
    Erik Weyant

    22-year-old Erik worked long hours renovating homes and pouring concrete. As the manager of his own business, Erik’s work schedule kept him busy with little time for socializing. In early 2006, Erik was introduced to Amy (name changed) through mutual friends. They began a relationship, often meeting at a local bar at the end of the day to talk and unwind with friends. On one occasion, a man approached the group and began to flirt with Amy. Every time Erik and Amy went to the bar afterwards, the same man would show up to talk to her. The man made his interest in Amy clear and grew increasingly aggressive toward Erik.

    One night, the man followed Amy in his car and begged her to go home with him. Frightened, Amy repeatedly declined and quickly left to meet Erik. Several days later on April 6, 2006, the man showed up at the bar and threatened Erik. It was already late and Erik decided to go home to avoid any further trouble. He exited the bar alone. Walking out to his truck in the parking lot, Erik was confronted and threatened by the man along with a group of five others. As Erik moved to his car, the group rushed toward him. Fearing a beating or worse, Erik jumped into his vehicle and scrambled to start it. He attempted to pull out of the parking lot but the group moved in front of the vehicle to block his exit. Erik frantically pulled his handgun from the console and fired warning shots. The men dispersed and he was able to drive away.

    Several months later, Erik was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm without intent to kill. He went to trial to prove that he had acted purely in self-defense. However, one of the men testified that Erik had pointed the gun at him, instead of in the air. The entire group admitted they had been drinking heavily all night.

    Though no one was hurt in the incident, Erik was found guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm without intent to kill, a charge that carries a mandatory 20-year prison sentence under Florida’s “10-20-Life” law.

    Judge Neil Roddenbery looked for a way out of the mandatory minimum in Erik’s case but was ultimately forced to impose a 20-year term on a young man with no criminal record. At Erik’s sentencing, he stated:

    " [U]nfortunately the legislature has mandated a particular sentence in this matter…the legislature has taken away any consideration by the Trial Court of the merits of a case…the history of a person…The only sentence I can impose in this matter is a 20-year prison sentence. It does not matter whether I agree with that…I don’t find that I have any room to deviate from what the legislature has said that the sentence has to be."

    Erik has now been incarcerated for nearly six years. He writes, “Everything I have worked for, all my hopes and dreams, goals and ambitions, have been destroyed. I was a productive, 23-year-old member of society…I had no criminal record, not even an arrest, and my firearm was registered and legal here in Florida.”
    Erik’s imprisonment has been especially hard on his family who live almost seven hours away from the facility where he is incarcerated. Erik’s dad compares his son’s incarceration to “a slow cancer” that “eats away at you a little more each day.”
    Ronald Thompson

    Ronald Thompson is a 100% disabled veteran who spent 14 years in the Army (1966-1980). After his service, Thompson remained active in veterans’ affairs. In addition to acting as a Deputy Representative for AMVETS, Thompson accumulated 5,532 hours volunteering at the VA hospital in Lake City, Florida, primarily acting as recreational therapy coordinator at the VA’s nursing home.

    Thompson was 62-years-old in September 2009 when he visited a friend of his, an elderly woman in Keystone Heights, Florida, at the woman’s daughter’s home. During his visit, his friend’s 17-year-old grandson, who had been violent toward her in the past, came by with three friends, and wanted to go into his mother’s home. Having been instructed by her daughter not to let him into the house, Thompson’s friend refused them entry. Her grandson began yelling and cursing at his grandmother. Events escalated to the point where Mr. Thompson felt his friend was in danger. He grabbed his pistol (for which he had a conceal-carry license) and fired two warning shots into the ground to scare off the 17-year-old.
    Thompson was charged with four counts of aggravated assault by State Attorney Angela Corey. He turned down a three-year plea offer, believing that, due to his failing health, he would be dead in three years. Mr. Thompson has diabetes, high blood pressure, and he'd had a heart attack. He also believed that if a jury heard all the facts they'd acquit him, particularly in light of the grandson’s history of violence toward his grandmother.

    Thompson was convicted. However, the sentencing judge in his case, Judge John Skinner, refused to impose the 20-year mandatory minimum required by Florida’s 10-20-Life law, calling the sentence unconstitutional and a "crime in itself." Judge Skinner imposed a three-year mandatory minimum instead. The prosecutor appealed the sentence and the appeals court overturned Judge Skinner's sentence, ruling that the 20 year mandatory minimum must be imposed.

    Since his incarceration, Mr. Thompson’s health has continued to deteriorate. He is apparently nearly blind, seeing only shadows. He walks with a cane and has had prostate surgery and surgery to remove two tumors from his face. He continues to struggle with diabetes and high blood pressure, neither of which is under control.

    In June 2012, Mr. Thompson's sentencing judge reviewed the case and concluded the jury instructions were incorrect at Mr. Thompson's trial. The judge ordered Mr. Thompson to be immediately released from prison. Since his release Mr. Thompson has received treatment for various ailments at a local VA hospital, and his health has improved. He was originally scheduled to be retried on the same aggravated assault charges in November 2012, but his trial has been postponed at least until April 2013.
    Last edited by StogieC; 02-28-2013 at 09:21 AM.

  13. #13
    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    I don't think firing a warning shot is a good idea. I would say that showing the firearm is just as good of a warning with out having to fire. I know everyone has their own opinion but I think it would in danger people

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    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conandan View Post
    I don't think firing a warning shot is a good idea. I would say that showing the firearm is just as good of a warning with out having to fire. I know everyone has their own opinion but I think it would in danger people
    Agreed, the bill is not endorsing warning shots. They are usually are a bad idea. But they should not force a judge to give an automatic 20 years.
    Last edited by StogieC; 02-28-2013 at 10:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    A warning shot it not the use of deadly force. It is a lesser display of force. That's all that this bill clarifies about warning shots and other defensive displays. Warning shots are actually a small part of the bill. But, there have been many cases:

    But I asked specifically about anyone being charged when deadly force was authorized.

    Aggravated Assault is not self defense, as these agenda driven stories show. These individuals failed to offer any facts in trial that would show a self defense, or defense of another person, counter-claim to the assault charge.

    The laws we have in place now are perfectly adequate, IMO. (We would be better served to focus on the minimum mandatory sentence law instead.)

    Also, at first glance, this bill looks to have been hastily written by someone unfamiliar with proper statutory construction.

    I seriously doubt it will be successful and it it does pass will bring with it, a bunch of unintended consequences.

  16. #16
    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    Absolutely they need to address these blanket laws and allow them to take into account the situation. There's no question every situation is different and should allow consideration of the facts before applying a sentence.

  17. #17
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Did not vote at all. Accepting the fact that the news article may be misrepresenting the current law.

    Right now a Stand Your Ground defense can only be claimed if a person uses deadly force to protect themselves.
    Here is the pdf

    bill http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill...Text/Filed/PDF

    It reads very well and seems to cover the bases. It is not crystal clear as to whether or not a "warning shot" could be lawful if defending a member of the family. It is not crystal clear in current law that you could not be liable for defending a family member. There are references to "another" or "others" but I am not well convinced that the act of defending the family member is not prosecutable.

    Never claim a warning shot. I missed with my first shot and the perp ran away. No law against being a poor shot.....is there?
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    He is saying that firing a warning shot into the ground instead of into an attacker when it would have been justifiable is a better option for many people. I don't want to kill anyone, and I am sure most others don't either. If I am being charged by a guy with a knife or a ball bat, it should be my choice to fire my gun into the ground instead of into his chest if I have the time to do so and try to ward off the attacker. I can assure you that the sound of a gun-shot is much more threatening than just the gun. If the shot into the ground doesn't stop the attack, then you can fire at the attacker.

    He isn't talking about firing a warning shot when there is not immediate danger of severe physical harm, or just firing a shot so that someone knows you're armed.

    If someone wants to shoot the dirt instead of their attacker that should be their choice, although it wouldn't be wise most of the time because by the time you shoot the ground your attacker could already be on you beating you to death or stabbing you.

    I think warning shots are a bad idea, but when you shoot the ground when someone is already charging you with a lethal weapon, then that really isn't a "warning" shot anymore (warning someone that you are armed with a loaded firearm), that is a "last chance before you get shot" shot.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

  19. #19
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    Agreed, the bill is not endorsing warning shots. They are usually are a bad idea. But they should not force a judge to give an automatic 20 years.
    Of course the new bill endorses a warning shot. The mere mention that a warning shot is a defensive display instead of employing lethal force is endorsing a warning shot.

    40 776.001 Legislative findings and intent; defensive display
    41 of weapon or firearm; defense of life, home, and property.—
    42 (1) The Legislature finds that it is unreasonable to
    43 prosecute a person for acting in a defensive manner. The
    44 Legislature intends to clarify that the defensive display of a
    45 weapon or firearm, including the discharge of a firearm for the
    46 purpose of a warning shot,
    does not constitute the use of deadly
    47 force
    and is a valid method of preventing or terminating an
    48 imminent or actual violent criminal attack.
    49 (2) It is the intent of the Legislature to immunize a
    50 person from prosecution who acts in defense of life, home, and
    51 property from violent attack or the threat of violent attack by:
    52 (a) Defensively displaying a weapon or firearm, if the
    53 person reasonably believes that it is necessary to warn an
    54 attacker to prevent or terminate an imminent or actual violent
    I am not opposed to this bill. Stating that the bill does not endorse a warning shot is not true in my view. The discharge of a firearm in a self defense situation is not and should not be considered nothing more than merely displaying your weapon. Now, do you deserve prosecution if you "take" a warning shot? No. But do not lessen the act of discharging your weapon in a self defense situation. As was posted earlier, that round went somewhere, even if it is toward the ground near your feet.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  20. #20
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KYGlockster View Post
    He is saying that firing a warning shot into the ground instead of into an attacker when it would have been justifiable is a better option for many people. <snip>
    I know what he is saying, but what he has to say is irrelevant. It is what this bill states now and how this bill's language survives the process to become law that is relevant.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  21. #21
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    I would NEVER fire a warning shot. It is possible that I may miss the target at some point.

  22. #22
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    Done. Hit the poll.

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    I have had to actually pull my gun on two occasions in my life. Both times, it was enough to deter the attacker. If either one of them had not backed down, I would have fired a warning shot IF there was sufficient time to do so. I never want to kill anyone, but would without hesitation if conditions warranted it. Someone once asked my wife if I could kill a man. Her reply was simple, "Without any doubt"! I am a firm believer that if a person pulls a gun, then that person is willing to use it. And you never pull your own unless willing to use it.

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Of course the new bill endorses a warning shot. The mere mention that a warning shot is a defensive display instead of employing lethal force is endorsing a warning shot.

    I am not opposed to this bill. Stating that the bill does not endorse a warning shot is not true in my view. The discharge of a firearm in a self defense situation is not and should not be considered nothing more than merely displaying your weapon. Now, do you deserve prosecution if you "take" a warning shot? No. But do not lessen the act of discharging your weapon in a self defense situation. As was posted earlier, that round went somewhere, even if it is toward the ground near your feet.

    I'm pretty clear about the bill's intent. I wrote it after-all...

  25. #25
    Regular Member 77zach's Avatar
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    I voted yes, but....

    In many cases where a warning shot would deter a criminal attack, deletion of certain language within 790.053 would have the same effect without any discharge needed, you know what I'm getting at. I like the bill, Sean, but it's bold in light of the slaying of the thug Treyvon Martin. How is it that this bill can be brought forward at this time but OC cannot, especially in light of CWFL holders continuing to be abused and other red states getting rid of their prohibitions? In fact, wouldn't 790.053 have to be amended anyway to make it consistent with your bill?
    Last edited by 77zach; 02-28-2013 at 10:28 PM.
    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

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