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7 things people said about Florida's Stand Your Ground law in today's Tampa Bay Times



1. Stetson Law professor Charlie Rose: "It has opened a very large can of worms, and we're getting results that society at large doesn't think makes sense."

2. Mark O'Mara, George Zimmerman's attorney: "The reality is, from 2005 to 2012, before the Zimmerman craziness, there were 216 'stand your ground' cases. I've got to imagine that we are having a significant number more 'stand your ground' arguments, because now every Tom, Dick and Harry says, 'I shot him because I was afraid.' And it's a get out of jail free card."

3. John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Dennis Kenney: "Unfortunately, since the state is now heavily armed and has decided to remove the obligation to retreat, I would imagine that you can expect a good deal more of this. For a free society to work, the police have to have a monopoly on legal violence. That requirement is now doubtful in Florida."

4. University of Miami associate professor of law Mary Anne Franks: "It reinforces this misperception that you … don't have to think twice about shooting someone. That's the real danger."

5. Tampa's Joan Lund: Florida has become a war zone, where daily one risks life and limb out in public because of the mentality of residents and the NRA on concealed weapons and "stand your ground." There are people with guns everywhere: in the malls, gas stations, movie theaters, educational institutions, professional offices, parking lots and, yes, churches. If I hadn't lived in Florida for 40 years, I certainly would not visit here now. Florida has gone bonkers, round the bend and back again. We embrace violence and have made it a tradition, as homemade as apple pie. And for the life of me, I cannot comprehend why anyone needs to carry a concealed weapon, a true sign of insecurity and paranoia.

6. Dade City's Bob Dodd: So Michael Dunn was not convicted of killing a young man, however he was convicted of "trying" to kill three others. The jury, after considering the blatantly coached fear phrase, "clear and present danger," grappled with reality vs. Florida law, and then couldn't agree on murder but could agree on attempted murder. Applying that logic, had he killed all four occupants, he would have walked. So the lesson to all the insecure, trigger-happy sociopathic gun bearers out there is to kill everyone in the SUV or theater or mall or school, to ensure that you are covered by the law. Welcome to the Sunshine State. Hope you brought your body armor.

7. Mary Martell, mother of Joe Martell, killed by Max Wesley Horn: "This law is a license to kill."

[Last modified: Thursday, February 20, 2014 4:16pm]


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