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Florida Bill Locked and Loaded

Thursday, April 07, 2005

(SNN) Florida Governor Jeb Bush said he will soon sign into law the so-called “Castle Doctrine” giving Floridians expanded opportunity to legally shoot people in their homes, vehicles and in public places. The bill passed the Florida Senate unanimously and the Florida House overwhelmingly. Governor Bush described the bill as "a good, commonsense, anti-crime issue".

Governor Bush described the bill as "a good, commonsense, anti-crime issue"

Proponents say the law restores a sense of balance to Florida. "Before, if you got a 6ft 3in, 200lb rapist with a nylon stocking who was going to choke you, you couldn't use a gun on him - you could only use a stocking, and only if you could convince a jury that you were in fear of death or great bodily harm," argued Marion Hammer, a former national director of the National Rifle Association, and a prime force behind the measure. It is hoped that rapists will no longer choke their victims now that it is so much easier to shoot them.

While many found the NRA sponsored bill overkill, they also found the bill difficult to vote against. Representative Richard Machek favored the ability to shoot people in the privacy of your own home, but was hoping to prevent shootings from spilling out into the streets. Machek said that the bill was difficult to vote against because the writers of the bill used the American Pie strategy. After the bill’s package is slipped into mom’s apple pie, it is extremely difficult to avoid completion.

The bill will return Florida to the days of the Wild West

Some are saying the bill will return Florida to the days of the Wild West - all but giving 6 million registered gun owners a license to kill in what is already one of the most violent states in America. But others argue that the bill will turn Florida into more of an Escape from New York, a zone ruled by gang violence where only the strong survive. In either scenario, it is the children who will be the real winners, as the education system is expected to improve greatly.

But there is a downside to the bill. Randy Scloman is a locksmith and birdwatcher from Miami. Randy plans to move out of the state if the law is passed. “I just look suspicious. I have all my life.” Randy told us. “I’m always getting stopped by police. Whenever I walk down a dark street, women are always running away from me. For me, bird watching is a dangerous sport. I once had a Korean woman yell at me for an hour because I was ‘skulking around with binoculars’. If that bill passes, and I stay in Florida, there is no way I will survive.”

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