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.The ads read:
"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.
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.