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Update to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later in the Sunshine State

Since publishing the original post on this I’ve done a little more research on the law – read the actual text of the law, a few legal opinions, both yea and nay. Predictably, the ‘yea’ stuff comes from the NRA and other gun groups.

The jargonistic name for the law is the “Stand Your Ground” law. Seems in keeping with the current political climate vis-a-vis Iraq, North Korea etc. It is difficult to say how this will actually work in real-life scenarios.

It sounds like a risky proposition – how threatening something seems vs. actually is can be a very subjective measure. As a woman, I know I have felt “threatened” in situations in which a man would never feel threatened, although I didn’t need to kill the person.
There is one situation in which I think this law could be beneficial, and I am quite sure the NRA and other pro-gun folks didn’t think of it…

Battered women. Yup. We all know the stories of women beaten, put in the hospital, stalked by ex-boyfriends, shot even in courthouses. Some of these women end up being prosecuted for murder – even if they have lived in terror for years and could not get the support or sufficient protection from local law enforcement.

Now they will have a way to defend themselves. The ex shows up and defies a restraining order. She tells him to leave – she is in terror. Tries to call the police, but just like the last time, thirty minutes later they show up and he is “gone.” He shows up again an hour later, she calls the police again. They are fed up with her calls – the guy is never there, she is just hysterical.
Well, finally the guy kicks in her back door to teach her a lesson for calling the police on him.
BOOM! He’s dead. No more restraining orders. No more terror.

I shouldn’t be amused by this – but I am quite sure the type of “shoot first ask questions later” men who pushed these laws through never thought of how useful it will be for women victimized by a system that often assumes they brought it on themselves. Now these women do not have to retreat, hide at shelters, or fear driving alone. Unintended consequences – solved was seemed to be an intractable problem?

Battered Women Stand Your Ground Law?

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