Florida Isn’t Safe

I found this editorial by the managing editor of a Boston-area community newspaper which I thought deserved some wider attention. The headline says it all:

Let’s be clear: Florida isn’t safe for our families

I couldn’t agree with him more, in fact: this is a major reason why I haven’t visited Florida in years, despite the fact that it’s “where you go” if you live in Tennessee and want to hit the beach. I just refuse to put myself and my family at risk. I have for years. I just don’t feel safe in a place where anyone can shoot you for any reason they cook up later to avoid prosecution. The fact that “justified killings” have tripled since the “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” law was passed says it all. Plus, the law represents a completely immoral worldview. What constitutes “a threat”? Someone wants to steal your purse? Take the fucking purse. Purse-snatching isn’t a death penalty crime. Deadly force is never justified to protect property. Stand your ground to protect a flat-screen TV? What the hell for? Get some fucking insurance. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Anyway, it’s obvious that Florida law protects no one. So, I stay away.

Forry writes:

Americans of all backgrounds – particularly black Americans – must mount a campaign to make Florida an outcast state based on the dangers inherent there to black children and teens that have been laid bare by this case. Until the state legislature and the governor repeal the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, there should be a national boycott on tourist travel to Florida by popular entertainers, cruise lines, convention planners, and all others who have come to see that state as a premier destination for fun and relaxation under the sun.

Florida has declared open season on black children. It’s time for the rest of us to reciprocate by sending a message with our feet and our wallets.

But it’s not just black children. It’s everyone. A gay couple kissing? “I FEEL THREATENED!” *BAM* Someone with a pro-choice bumper sticker on their car? “Baby killer!” *BAM* A Muslim woman wearing a hijab? “TERRORIST!”*BAM* No one is safe in Florida, or any of the states with these NRA-crafted “shoot first” laws.

Do yourselves and your loved ones a favor, stay away. I have. There are thousands of miles of coastline in the lower 48. It’s not like Florida is the only place with a beach.

Back when Arizona was targeting Hispanics with its “show your papers” law, a few artists boycotted the state. That didn’t last long, unfortunately (and predictably), so I wonder if a boycott of Florida will get any traction now. I suspect it will, because we’re dealing with an actual case of the law resulting in an innocent teenager’s death, and the killer is still walking around free — and armed. That’s a danger to everyone, because if a 17-year-old kid with Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea is a threat under the Florida law, then anyone can be a threat.

I’ve boycotted Florida for years for a lot of reasons, my personal safety being a big one. Maybe it’s time everyone else joined me.


Filed under boycotts, Florida, gun control

14 responses to “Florida Isn’t Safe

  1. When you live in a state such as Florida, as I do, thoughts of the “Make-My-Day” law do not enter into your daily thinking insofar as one tends to live life as routinely as possible. Nonetheless, I hate this DAMN law. It offends me. It violates every notion of what it means to live in a so-called civilized nation … turning us into a “half-savage” country.

    If there are folks who want to boycott Florida due of this law, if economic and commercial pressure will help change the law, frankly I welcome it. Not that it will necessarily make a difference: The bigots of Arizona did not change their anti-immigration law after conventions were cancelled. There are all too many Floridians of the same mentality (but please do not judge me by the neighborhood I happen to live in).

    • …thoughts of the “Make-My-Day” law do not enter into your daily thinking insofar as one tends to live life as routinely as possible…

      But you’re white. I bet a lot of non-white folks feel differently. But yeah, I hear you, and in fact I believe Tennessee has a similar law, though I’m not sure it’s exactly the same as Florida’s and I don’t believe law enforcement or the courts have interpreted it as liberally as Florida law enforcement and courts have interpreted it.

      But hey, anything the rest of America can do to make Florida better, we’re happy to do it. You can thank us later.


  2. The law is hideously stupid. But there is a completely separate issue. It does not protect someone who acted as Zimmerman did. The police botched this totally. There was no investigation, no evidence gathering, They simply took Zimmerman at his word.

    This is, on the one hand, bad, and on the other hand, really, really bad.


  3. Southern Beale:

    First, to your point about her AZ artists’ boycott. Nothing like that will work unless the artists (or other persons) are of great stature and have a large audience OR huge numbers of them get involved and effectively shut down an industry–think AZ and their refusal to honor Martin Luther King Day. When GOP.O.S. Evan Meacham honored his campaign promise to NOT recognize MLK Day and the AZ tourism industry took a hit. Meacham was impeached and canned, supposedly for political cronyism–the real reason is that he was hurting the tourism industry’s bottom line.

    As for FL laws being fucked up in that rerard, they’re not the only ones.
    Mikeb302000.blogspot.com has a similar story about a black man being shot while on a homeowner’s porch. Again, the police and the DA can’t find enough evidence to do anything but wring their hands over what looks to be a cowardly moron with a gun killing someone who was not actually posing a threat.

  4. Once again, my comments are disappearing. This seems to be a problem on all of the wordpress blogs that I go to. Maybe it’s something in their software that doesn’t like my computer?

    • I don’t know what to say, sorry you’re having trouble. No comments of yours are showing up in the Spam or Trash folders so I don’t know what’s hapening, and no one else has complained so I’m going to guess it’s something with your browser or browser settings maybe? I occasionally have trouble with blogspot commenting though so I know your frustration.

      One thing I learned from Balloon Juice is that WordPress’ spam filter is weird and will see a word like “socialist” and only see the “Cialis” part of the word and assume it’s penis enhancement spam and automatically trash a comment. But that might just be a Balloon Juice thing.

  5. Zimmerman is a murdering piece of shit. He’s hardly the only one, in FL or elsewhere. Castle Law Doctrine is a hunting license for assholes who like to be big men.

    • “Stand Your Ground” is different from “Castle Doctrine” though. Castle Doctrine allows you to protect your home, your “Castle.” “Stand Your Ground” applies that principle anywhere and everywhere. It’s horribly vague and militia nuts needs to know that it also protects cops who shoot at people, so if you want a police state, well you just allowed cops to get off scott-free shooting at civilians. They can claim they felt “threatened.”

  6. Randy

    “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”-Geraldo Rivera

    Is it possible that it was just a horrible accident?”- Sean Hannity

    I’m thinking one could create an exciting board game in which Fox News Hosts race to see who could first get the Mark of The Beast.

  7. R. Manhammer

    I’m noticing that even among the teajadists, black people (a tiny minority among the lily white Goopers) have a totally different reaction than the Sean Hannities and Geraldoes of Gooper-World. Check what teabagger Allen West is saying.

  8. Southern Beale:

    Yeah, stand your ground laws were cooked up so’s that the NRA could have a new slogan, “Perpblastin, it’s not just an activity for shut-ins” or, perhaps, “Paranoia, now it’s portable!”

  9. I’m pretty sure we’ve got a stand your ground law here in Tennessee as well. After all, if we didn’t, wouldn’t that be on this year’s agenda already?