RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEHIND IT
The “four rules” of gun safety have been drilled into my head since my first hunter safety class decades ago, but apparently they’re easy enough to discard for others.
According to Gawker, former NRA President Marion Hammer [note: see update at end the article. - ed.] is responsible for authoring Florida’s CS/HB 89 “Threatened Use of Force” bill, which will enable citizens to brandish firearms and even fire warning shots in instances where deadly force would not have been justified under the law previously.
The bill would allow someone to draw a weapon when facing less than deadly force, and even fire warning shots when facing less than deadly force, all quite legally.
Where that bullet ends up—in the sky, in the dirt, through a wall, in a child’s head—doesn’t seem to have been given a second’s thought in the bill, which states that “the discharge of a firearm for the purpose of a warning shot, does not constitute the use of deadly force…”
A fired bullet is suddenly not deadly just because lobbyists and legislators declare it so?
I’m merely a humble scribe, so I must be unaware of how the laws of physics are changed by the proposed legislation. It must exist, however, since the bill says that a bullet fired as a “warning shot” isn’t deadly force, while an identical bullet picked from the same box and fired at the same trajectory at a slightly different azimuth or altitude is deadly force.
This is bad legislation, written to address the shortcomings of previous bit of bad legislation (Florida’s “10-20-Life” law) that came under fire (again) after Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years for firing a “warning shot” at her husband’s head that missed.
This is bad legislation piled up on top of bad legislation, instead of legislators admitting that they made a mistake.
Sadly, both Democrats and Republicans seem motivated to move this steaming pile of legislation into law, as the inertia of idiocy outweighs basic intelligence in politics once more.
Update: According to Free Beacon, Hammer is disputing Gawker’s claim that she wrote the bill.
Gawker reporter Adam Weinstein wrote Friday that Marion Hammer, a former NRA president and lobbyist for the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, was responsible for writing and pushing the bill.
In an interview with the Free Beacon, Hammer said that was not the case.
“We did not write it,” Hammer said. “It’s Families Against Mandatory Minimum’s bill, and my understanding is that Greg Newburn and his staff wrote it. They just came to us and asked if we’d endorse the bill.”
Greg Newburn, the Florida director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), corroborated Hammer’s story.
“Marion is correct,” Newburn said via email. “I asked for her help in reforming 10-20-Life, and she’s been tremendously helpful in that effort. But the NRA had nothing to do with writing the original bill.”
In other words, the authorship of the bill is disputed, but the stupidity of the law itself is not.