A friend of mine, who is a professor of computer science at a state university here in Florida, one that is situated for the most part in our capital city of Tallahassee (and not the garnet and gold one of Bowdenesque fame), posted the following, um, treatise in his sort of blog thing. Because his blog told me that I lacked permission to comment on it, I feel obliged to post my comments here, where all are welcome to comment, whether in support or in scorn. (That’s how we do things in the U.S.A., Komrade R.)
What’s wrong with this picture?
In testimony before a recent hearing Florida Gun laws a certain Mr. H. gave an impassioned personal anecdote as to the necessity of having the right to ‘stand your ground’. It contained the following assertions (admissions?):
Floridians need to protect themselves.
They are sometimes in remote places with no other help.
Those remote places are near at hand(!?)
He was in the woods and met someone who “did not belong there”(!)
The man did not approach him, did not hinder him and fled before H. could reach his weapon.(!)
The man was arrested the next day on Marijuana possession.
He should not have to defend his (planned) actions in such cases. (!!)
This ‘argument’ is absurd on so many dimensions. The more amazing thing was that no legislator even gently addressed the shortcomings of this turgid, illogical mess! How could one find a worse basis or even atmosphere for law than such arguments?
I don’ need no steenking permission to add my comments!
I particularly enjoyed the screwball exclamation points and question marks, Che— I mean, Roger.
What you consider reductio ad absurdum from a logician’s viewpoint doesn’t cut it with me. Frankly, I don’t get the anti-gun thing at all. In the words of Ron Dutton 30 years ago, “You haven’t proven anything, Roger. Sit down.” [Sorry, readers, for the inscrutable reference. This is an inside joke alluding to a classroom episode involving the object of my scorn here back when we were both doing graduate courses in computer science and discrete mathematics. —TNT]
I spend lots of time in the woods, and there are all kinds of scary situations afoot there — a few involving animals, but most involving humans of the nefarious sort. Do you know how many meth labs there are in the Ocala National Forest? The people running them aren’t nice people at all, and they’re certainly anything but law-abiding citizens. Life is cheap. Do you recall that guy who assassinated a couple of teenagers camping in the ONF — in a very popular area — a few years back? The ONF is huge, replete with poachers and other law breakers of all shapes, sizes, colors, and mentalities. A plethora of recreational users, families and outdoor types, who aren’t looking for trouble and don’t expect to find any, makes for some unholy situations when the two subsets of humanity intersect.
I’ll defend myself and my family, and I’ll damn well carry the armament necessary to achieve tactical superiority over those who would imperil us, in spite of the philosophical waxings of you anti-gun pussies. The bad guys will always get the guns they crave in spite of those who would compromise our right to bear arms. The law doesn’t apply to them, least of all in their minds, so what the hell kind of disadvantage would you like to impose on the good guys? Nah, keep the “stand your ground” law. The good guys, like me, will benefit. The bad guys will get what they deserve.
Occasionally, someone will make a mistake, like perhaps the Zimmerman case. I say perhaps because no one knows what went on there. The broad assumption among the common folk, abetted by none other than the continually race baiting Reverend Al Sharpton, seems to be that Zimmerman was a racist prick bent on offing a nigga, and of course, that crap has attained a life of its own. The mob mentality that created and propagated that story, in my humble opinion, is much more dangerous than a law that enables a man to simply defend himself with lethal force if necessary. The threats are out there. Overreacting to a single incident is a dangerous and naive precedent, Professor Pontificator.
And by the way, “remote” areas in Florida are indeed close at hand. You know that. It ain’t even paradoxical. I’ll show you homeless camps where life is cheap a couple hundred yards from major roads. You go there, you feel like you is in a remote outpost, fer sure, good buddy. Stop using simplistic overliteralization in feeble attempts to absurdify that which you cannot seem to fathom.
Stop supporting those who would compromise our right to defend ourselves and stop polluting the minds of those impressionable youths who are subjected to your tutelage.
The Turkey supports Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.