Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Culture of No Life

News from republicans up in arms for the culture of life. Jeb Bush signs a murder bill. Maybe next time he leads the national guard to commit crime, he can murder local police officers in self defense? It's up to the courts to decide!

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed a new anti-crime law on Tuesday that allows people to kill in self-defense without first trying to flee.

Supporters say the law is a logical extension of common law that allows homeowners who fear for their lives to use deadly force to defend themselves from an intruder in their homes.

The new law expands that doctrine to include people in public places who feel threatened and could be subject to death or great bodily harm.

"To suggest that you can't defend yourself against a rapist, who's trying to drag you into an alley, or against a carjacker who's trying to drag you out of your car is nonsense," said Marion Hammer, a former president of the National Rifle Association.

"The ability to protect yourself, your children or your spouse, is important, no matter where you are."

Critics of the new law, called the "Stand Your Ground" bill, have few objections to allowing people to protect themselves in their homes but say the bill will create a "Wild West" mentality in public, where residents may shoot first and ask questions later.

"There are going to be a lot of repercussions," said Rep. Eleanor Sobel, a Democrat. "You could have someone reaching into their pocket and if the person felt threatened he could shoot."

Like many states, Florida courts have ruled that homeowners have a right to defend themselves in their homes. Florida courts have expanded the doctrine to include employees in their workplace and drivers who are attacked in their automobiles.

Outside the home, however, courts have ruled that most victims must at least attempt to escape before using deadly force, a provision gun advocates say puts victims at greater risk. The new law removes that requirement if a person has a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.

"All this bill will do is sell more guns and possibly turn Florida into the OK Corral," Rep. Irv Slosberg, a Democrat, said during recent debate on the bill.

full story