Case in Point
Lest anyone still is wondering how it is that Democrats appear to be getting rolled at every turn and wonders why it appears there is no opposition to the radical right in this country, I submit the following story.
TALLAHASSEE - A bill permitting the use of deadly force during a home or car invasion or when an individual considers himself threatened passed the Florida Senate unanimously Wednesday.
The measure (SB 436) eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who uses deadly force as self-protection in his home or vehicle and some other circumstances.
The open-ended language on the bill sponsored by Sen. Durell Peaden Jr., R-Crestview, concerned some lawmakers.
"Under the wording of this bill, somebody could go onto any of the streets and if they think somebody is walking toward them in a threatening fashion, they can pull out a gun and begin blasting away," said Sen. Steven Geller, D-Hallandale Beach, who sought unsuccessfully to amend the bill on Tuesday.
"We're heading towards a "Wild West' mentality," Geller said. "I am concerned that you could literally have two guys standing on the street, both of them ready, the guns at their side, and then say, "Well, the other guy threatened me so I pulled a gun and shot him in self defense.' "
Peaden scoffed at that.
"You have to be within the confines of the dwelling as described in this bill," Peaden said. "You just can't shoot anybody on the street and drag 'em in."
Besides mentioning home and vehicle intrusions, the bill says, "A person ... who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm ... or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."
Geller voted for the bill anyway. Otherwise, "We'd be seen as Democrats soft on crime," he said. (emphasis mine)
A similar proposal (HB 249) was approved 8-2 Wednesday by the House Justice Council.