10.10.2005

sunshine state

As the state of Florida continues to devolve, Canadian snowbirds are warned to fly low.

You may have heard about Florida's new "shoot first" law, which immunizes anyone who "feels threatened" (nice precise term, eh?) and responds to that feeling with a gun. Florida law has always permitted people to shoot home intruders - or anyone thought to be a home intruder. The new law extends that right outside the home, and allows people to carry a concealed weapon.

In response to this lunacy, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence launched a public education campaign warning tourists that they now face a greater risk of bodily harm within the state of Florida. Good strategy, considering Florida's dependence on tourism. From the Brady Campaign:
Individuals who are unfamiliar with Florida's roads, traffic regulations and customs, or who speak foreign languages, or look different than Florida residents, may face a higher risk of danger - because they may be more likely to be perceived as threatening by Floridians, and because they are unaware of Florida's new law that says individual who feel their safety is threatened or their possessions are at risk are legally authorized to use deadly force.

"We think people visiting Florida should be aware of this law, and act accordingly," said Sarah Brady, Chair of the Brady Campaign. "Visitors should be very careful about getting into an aggressive argument with anyone during their stay."

The Brady Campaign is placing advertisements to educate these tourists and potential tourists in key U.S. gateway cities feeding tourists to Florida, starting with Chicago, Detroit and Boston, and in selected overseas markets beginning with the United Kingdom beginning Sunday, October 2. Educational materials about the law were shipped to more than 120 leading U.S. and international journalists as well as trade publication editors in the travel industry and editors at consumer travel magazines.
The ads read:
Thinking about a Florida vacation? Please ensure your family is safe. A new law in the Sunshine State authorizes nervous or frightened residents to use deadly force. In Florida, avoid disputes. Use special caution in arguing with motorists on Florida roads. Police and prosecutors are concerned about the potential for unnecessary violence.
You'll soon see these ads in Canadian newspapers: the majority of international visitors to Florida are from Canada. An estimated 1.9 million Canadians visit Florida every winter. Let's hope they don't need directions, especially the ones with brown skin and those funny accents.

12 comments:

Sass said...

You know, I live in Florida, and I can tell you that this 'shoot first' thing really hasn't entered the local discourse at all. I read about it online and have not since heard anyone I come across on a daily basis discuss it once...bear in mind I avoid local tv news like the plague.
It's funny that you bring up how many Canadian tourists are here, because whenever some punk bitch wants to tell me that the Canadian economy is so reliant on the US, I ask them what FL would do without the snowbirds...unemployment is bad enough here as it is...

L-girl said...

Sassycat, I was thinking of you while I was posting this. :)

Expat Traveler said...

Just one more hole for the US/Florida to dig themselves out of. I do hope it puts a damper on tourism. Sorry to the Floridians, but the US isn't exactly a "great" role model for the world. You won't catch me visiting soon. I'd rather visit somewhere with less risk on my life. Visit Europe, at least they welcome you there...

Liam J said...

Didn't the florida legislature think this bill through at all? By this definition, gangs can take their turf battles to the street with impunity. Imagine gang shootings with no convictions. Why? Because the shooter felt "threatened".
My appologies to those of you from florida; but did you elect a bunch of inbred hill-billies to run your state, or is there a maximum IQ limit there to run for office?

L-girl said...

By this definition, gangs can take their turf battles to the street with impunity. Imagine gang shootings with no convictions. Why? Because the shooter felt "threatened".

You can be quite sure that gang members - i.e., people of color - will enjoy no such immunity when they shoot at non-gang people.

But mostly, they're ignored. Brown people killing each other.

L-girl said...

I'd rather visit somewhere with less risk on my life.

I can't imagine why anyone visits Florida at all. We went for spring training, but other than that, why bother. There are plenty of warm places that also have actual cultures and things to do.

David Cho said...

Hey, my home team Angeles beat the Yankees. Are you happy?

Watched it with friends. It was pretty exciting even though I am not a baseball fan.

L-girl said...

It was an exciting game! I'm glad you watched it, David!

I am happy the Yankees lost. I really really really really didn't want them to go farther into the post-season than the Red Sox.

However... I have an aversion to the Angels for other reasons. I would like to see the White Sox win this year. Not in a huge way, I'm not invested at all, but I'll watch and enjoy it, and I'll be happy for them if they win.

RobfromAlberta said...

There are plenty of warm places that also have actual cultures and things to do.

I can't speak about any other part of the state, but my wife and I visited Miami a few years ago and the Cuban culture there was quite vibrant. It's a great party town.

This "shoot-first-ask-questions-later" measure seems ill-considered to me, especially for a state that depends so much on foreign tourism. I don't think it would necessarily factor into my decision about whether or not to visit Florida, but I have no doubt many Canadians would consider it.

L-girl said...

Miami is nice, it's true. And I'm sure there are other nice things in Florida. The Everglades are amazing - great birds, alligators, lots of wildlife. So I'm not being entirely fair.

Plus I have cousins in Florida who are excellent people.

But in general, you can't blame a liberal for hating Florida!

David Cho said...

It would be nice to see the Angels win, but I am not stressing over that. Just have to watch out for wild mood swings in the next few days here in Orange County.

Will have to blog about the first time I attended the Dodgers' game just a few weeks after arriving in the States as a teen. I was absolutely mesmerized even though seated in the cheapest section of the stadium. Geez, those guys have huge asses, I was thinking. Yeah and that was a view from the upper deck.

Didn't turn me into a baseball fan though. Got way too fascinated with American football and still can't get enough of it. But the Dodgers game was a magical experience.

Now is it really true that people in Brookly still have not gotten over the Dodgers moving west?

L-girl said...

Will have to blog about the first time I attended the Dodgers' game just a few weeks after arriving in the States as a teen.

I would love to read that!

I was absolutely mesmerized even though seated in the cheapest section of the stadium. Geez, those guys have huge asses, I was thinking.

ROFL!!!

Got way too fascinated with American football and still can't get enough of it.

Wow, that's cool. Something I didn't know about you. What's your team?

But the Dodgers game was a magical experience.

I'm so glad. I adore Dodger Stadium and the L.A. game experience - although I've heard it's changed drastically in the last year or two. I'm glad I was there while it was quiet and purely baseball.

Now is it really true that people in Brookly still have not gotten over the Dodgers moving west?

No, not really. It's more like something older people say as a nostalgia trip. In truth most people now in Brooklyn never knew the Dodgers as a home team. I mean, it's been 50 years.