Category Archives: Florida

Some Accidents Are More Accidental Than Others

Law & order, Florida-style v.1:

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Police say a 2-year-old boy was killed after a Florida woman who was drunk crashed an SUV loaded with passengers.

The Florida Highway Patrol says 24-year-old Shameka Jones of Winter Haven drove her vehicle onto a shoulder in Manatee County on Saturday afternoon. The vehicle went airborne, overturned several times and struck several trees.

The accident killed Isaac Solomon of Winter Haven, who police said was not wearing a seatbelt or child restraint. Jones, two adult passengers and a 6-month-old boy were seriously injured. Seven other children suffered minor injuries.

Jones was charged with DUI manslaughter and other counts.

Law & order, Florida-style v.2:

On July 26, 2014, William DeHayes was showing off his gun collection to Carson Hoover and his wife, Katherine, when DeHayes’ antique revolver fired, fatally striking Katherine in the temple. At the time of the shooting, DeHayes—who had just taken opiates and a muscle relaxer—used a Western-style draw (“like a cowboy would” he told police) to unholster his grandfather’s hand-me-down firearm. DeHayes didn’t know that the 65-year-old gun—which had a history of misfiring—was loaded.


Despite the family’s pleas to try DeHayes for negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter, state attorney Brad King declined to press charges—stating that DeHayes’ “conduct, no matter how outrageous, does not constitute a crime.” In a letter denying Bryan’s case, King wrote that in Florida, an accidental discharge of a firearm that kills someone—even if it is the result of gross negligence—cannot be prosecuted.

Aside from the fact that Shameka Jones is African American and William DeHayes is white, what the hell is the difference between these two cases? One is a DUI, one is someone fooling around with a gun after taking drugs.

DeHayes says he feels terrible about what happened, he’s contemplated suicide, his life has been completely ruined, he’d “give my life to take it back,” he won’t go near guns anymore, blah blah blah. Yeah I’m pretty sure Shameka Jones feels the same way. As does every other idiot who does something stupid which results in the death of an innocent person. And no, I’m not saying Shameka Jones shouldn’t be prosecuted — she should. And so should William DeHayes. Because that’s how law and order works in this country.

Gun negligence needs to be prosecuted. Every time, every case. If “feeling really bad” about what happened isn’t punishment enough for any other crime, it shouldn’t be punishment enough for gun negligence. Get a fucking clue, people.


Filed under Florida, gun control

Responsible Gun Owner, Extra Stupid Florida Edition

This has got to set some kind of record:

Man accidentally fires gun twice, hitting girl in passing car and then himself


Orlando police said Ventura Mateo, 50, said he was showing a friend how to clean his SIG Sauer handgun. Mateo told investigators he pulled back on the slide and put his hand on the trigger, accidentally firing the weapon.

“She’s a sweet kid, that’s a damn shame,” said neighbor Sandy Driver.

Police said the girl was in the front seat of the car and as they drove by the neighbor’s house, the bullet pierced the passenger door and lodged in her tricep. She didn’t realize she was shot until arriving home, moments later.

Mateo told police that around the same time he became flustered and fired a second round, hitting himself in the thigh.

Police are “taking a closer look to determine whether to press criminal charges.” C’mon, it’s Florida. What do YOU think is gonna happen?

Also, someone take this man’s guns away from him. He’s a public nuisance.

And finally, we can haz liability insurance pleeze?


Filed under Florida, gun control

Most Responsible EVAH etc. Number Eleventygazillion

A Florida CCW holder is too scared to go to the emergency room without his handgun, I guess, and of course who wouldn’t be, with all of that rootin’ shootin’ going on in Tampa, where anyone can fire a gun in the air to stand his ground, etc. And of course the predictable happened:

TAMPA, Fla. — Deputies say a man accidentally fired a handgun while he was being treated for a medical issue at a hospital emergency room.

The 67-year-old Tampa man arrived at Town & Country Hospital around 1:20 a.m. Friday.

The Tampa Tribune ( reports that after being placed in a bed, the man removed a Glock 36 from his back pocket and took out the magazine. Deputies say that as he tried to clear the chamber his finger accidentally pulled the trigger.

Deputies say a .45-caliber round was fired through a chair and into the tile floor.

The man has a Florida concealed weapons permit. Deputies say the man immediately put the weapon down. There were no injuries.

Sheriff’s officials say the state attorney’s office was notified and no charges are planned.

No charges? Whyever not? Why do permit holders get a pass when they do something stupid with their guns? Aren’t we always told permit holders are the safetest, bestest, most wonderfullest ever? And when they’re not, the state’s just going to look the other way?

The state of Florida is unleashing these gun loonz on an unsuspecting public at an alarming rate. Expect to see more idiocy like this.

Which is why I stay the hell out of Florida. It’s time everyone stays out of Florida. Conventions, concert tours, you name it.


Filed under Florida, gun control, gun violence

Horrible Idea Du Jour, v. Eleventybillion

A Florida “entrepreneur” has launched a “gun-themed” fashion line for women and kids because c’mon, it’s Florida and why the hell not?

Kushlin loves shooting guns — and loves looking good — and she got tired of leaving gun trade shows empty-handed. She wanted to be able to purchase something feminine to show off that she’s a shooter, but never saw anything to buy.

Susan Kushlin decided to take matters into her own hands.

She created Gun Girls Inc., a fashion line offering an array of apparel and accessories designed exclusively for women. Her assortment includes $35 gold-toned bullet belts, $20 dangling gun earrings, $76 pink concealed-carry handbags and $21 rhinestone-studded tank tops bearing her company’s logo (with tanks in kids sizes to match mom), a gun in a holster belt.

As if we didn’t glorify guns enough already in pop culture as it is! But yes, do tell me how Hollywood is responsible for gun violence, I’m all ears. And as long as our kids are shooting other kids, I think offering “gun-themed fashion” for said kids is extraordinarily tone-deaf.

Then again, it’s Florida. What do you expect. The idiot state.

BTW … anyone shocked to learn this lady lives in a place called The Plantation?


Filed under Florida, gun control, gun violence, pop culture

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

A Tale Of Two Vacation Spots

Like most people in this part of the country Mr. Beale and I used to spend a week or so at the beach every year — Florida, to be precise. We’d go to a place near Appalachicola, and rent a house for a week or two, usually in September when we could take advantage of “off-season” rates. It was cheap, we could bring our dogs, and it was a relaxing, quiet way to spend the days. We’d bake ourselves in the sun, eat lots of shrimp, go for long walks on the beach, throw a tennis ball into the water and watch the dogs chase after it.

We haven’t done that in about 10 years. Back in 2002, the last time we were down there, I was shocked to see a green pickup truck on which someone had spray-painted in gigantic letters: “Nuke The Ragheads.” They were proudly driving around town with their bigotry and intolerance on display for all to see, somehow thinking it was “patriotism.” I told Mr. Beale I couldn’t go back to Florida. So we haven’t.

Not once. Not even when we’ve been invited by relatives and friends, even though my mother-in-law goes down there every year for a month and temptingly offers a spare bedroom. I know my in-laws think I’m being nutty, a bit capricious; my friends think it’s stupid, there’s lots of wingnuttia all over the country and for god’s sake, I live in freaking Tennessee. Some of my family thinks it’s because of the stolen election in 2000 and while that may be part of it, really what pushed me over the edge was that “Nuke The Ragheads” pickup truck.

Since 2002, I’ve had lots of reasons to reinforce my Florida boycott: the statewide ban on adoption by gays and lesbians, Hillsborough County’s 2005 ban on gay pride events, the Koran-burning pastor, the Republican Party fundraisers involving shooting at effigies of prominent Democrats, the wackadoodle Governor Rick Scott, who by all rights should be in jail for ripping off the American people when he was head of Columbia-HCA. I’ve not been tempted to rethink my Florida ban, not even once. Sure I may live in Tennessee, but when I’m thinking about where to spend my vacation time and my vacation money, that ain’t it. There’s lots of coastline in the world and I don’t want my money going to support what’s coming out of Florida, even indirectly.

So that’s just me. And then we have Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who for over 30 years has apparently regularly visited a hunting camp with friends, family, donors, and other political allies. And that hunting camp was named “Niggerhead.”

I guess that’s the difference between Rick Perry and me.


Filed under 2012 presidential election, Florida

It’s Republican Rules

Welcome Crooks & Liars!


I love it when Republicans have hissy fits over people like Charlie Rangel yet their own crooks–cough*cough*Rick Scott*cough*cough–always wear Teflon.

So now Rick Scott is Florida’s Republican candidate for Governor. How is this possible? How did the hustler who let the largest healthcare fraud case in U.S. history go on right under his nose, who left Nashville’s Columbia/HCA in such tatters that they had to change the company’s name, who escaped with a $10 million golden parachute, manage to sell enough free market snake oil to make people forget he’s (in my opinion) a big, fat crook?

Only in Florida and only in the Republican Party. How can Democrats get that deal? If Mark Sanford can hike the Appalachian Trail with his South American mistress and not have to resign the governorship, then so can Eliot Spitzer. Oh I forgot, there’s always a higher standard for Democrats. IOKIYAR.

Even more amazing are all the Freepers claiming Scott was brought up on “trumped up charges,” which totally makes sense when you remember that a) Rick Scott actually wasn’t brought up on any charges, and b) Columbia/HCA paid $1.7 billion — yes that’s right, billion with a “B” — in penalties and fines and pled guilty to various criminal charges. Sure, corporations would rather plead guilty and pay nearly $2 billion to make “trumped up” charges go away. Man you guys are pathetic.

So this week I hear a lot of folks wondering why Rick Scott is not in jail. Why wasn’t he charged with any crimes, anyway? Good question. For that you can thank President Clinton’s Attorney General Janet Reno. Last year one of my readers posted a link to an interview with Reno (or maybe it was a news conference transcript, I don’t remember) where she said something to the effect of, “Scott’s public humiliation was punishment enough.” I can’t find the link now to save my life, and losing all of my old comments to the demise of Haloscan didn’t help.

That Reno let Scott go always stunk to high heaven to me. Remember: Scott and Reno are both from Florida. Janet Reno ran for governor of Florida in 2002 but lost the nomination to Bill McBride. Bill McBride is married to Alex Sink, who is currently running for governor of Florida against …. Rick Scott. You know, Florida politics looks like one of our Kentucky family trees: no branches.

Anyway, Rick Scott was supposedly chastened by his “ordeal” and public humiliation. Oh wait, maybe not:

The man leading the Governor’s race on the Republican side was deposed just days before he got into the Governor’s race in one case and accused of medicare fraud by a former doctor.

Now Rick Scott is refusing to answer questions about the case against his current company.


Scott went on to call the ploy desperate and “Chicago style politics” but refused multiple times to release his testimony in the case. He’s also been accused by a former doctor at Solantic of Medicare fraud and that case is now in the hands of the FDLE. No charges have been brought. Wednesday was supposed to be the final debate, and the only one to be broadcast statewide. Scott decided to skip that final debate. Bill McCollum will be here in Orlando today for the forum anyway.

Of course, we all saw Scott subpoenaed at a press conference.

I remember when politicians tainted by an ethics cloud were forced to set aside their political ambitions. Nowadays it’s part of a Republican candidate’s resume — even for Vice President of the United States. Hmm.

I remember when Ronald Reagan was first labeled “Teflon Ron” way back in 1984. After more than 25 years of this, I guess we’re just supposed to accept that Republicans are made of rubber and Democrats are made of glue.


Filed under Florida, Republican Party, Rick Scott

>Summer Of Oil

>Lovely Destin, Florida, June 23, 2010, 3 p.m.:

I’m watching a toddler get this crap on the bottom of his/her feet and have to wonder at the people letting their kids play in this stuff. Do they not know that it’s toxic? Their great solution is to pack Goo-Gone with them? Are you people insane? Goo Gone is petroleum based, for crying out loud. Even the manufacturer says to avoid repeated and prolonged exposure to the skin.

Is Florida’s tourism business more important than people’s health? Why in God’s name has Destin not closed its beaches? This is incredibly irresponsible.


Filed under Florida, Gulf oil spill

>Is Charlie Crist Dumping GOP?

>The rumor is that Charlie Crist is going to try to pull a Lieberman:

Two highly placed and independent sources, speaking strictly on background, tell me that Gov. Charlie Crist is preparing to leave the Republican Party and run as an independent in the race for the U.S. Senate.

Well, isn’t that interesting.

It would be a smart move — it seems to me this would be Crist’s only chance of winning the Florida Senate race.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we had a Senate comprised of Democrats, Republicans and a healthy percentage of Independents? Seems to me that’s where we’re headed.


Filed under Charlie Crist, Florida

>Right Wing Hate, FL GOP Edition

>It’s the Republican Party way. Even among their candidates for congress:

Fla. GOP members shoot Muslim targets at gun range

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — South Florida Republicans held a weekly meeting at a gun range, shooting at targets including cut-outs of a Muslim holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

The GOP candidate to replace U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz fired at a full-body silhouette with “DWS” written next to its head.

Wasserman Schultz declined comment, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called the Tuesday event “extremist” and “sexist.”

Robert Lowry, who’s vying for Wasserman Schultz’s seat, initially described his target as a joke. Minutes later, he called it a mistake.

Others refused to apologize for the Southeast Broward Republican Club event, featuring assault rifles and handguns. A conservative activist said they should stand up for their beliefs in the heavily Democratic county.

This is a sick bunch of puppies, that’s all I can say.

It was bad enough when a healthcare reform protester hung a Congressman in effigy. It was easy for groups like the GOP-supported Americans For Prosperity to distance themselves from the act (though that’s debatable).

But there’s no backing away from this. None.

Comments Off on >Right Wing Hate, FL GOP Edition

Filed under Florida, GOP, right-wing hate