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Planning A Florida Fishing Trip?

Don't Worry About Gun Laws

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I wrote the aritcle below for Georgia Outdoor News magazine - note the section about the new Florida gun law giving citizens the right to protect themselves before deciding on a fishing trip to Florida.

Play pretend with me for a minute. Don’t close your eyes, but imagine terrorists have set off a dirty bomb in Atlanta. From downtown and out east everyone is running, trying to evacuate before the radioactive fallout hits. Law enforcement is tied up trying to control the evacuation.

Some of the less respectable elements of our society take advantage. Where you live is safe, but you see pictures on TV of looters and rapists invading homes, stealing everything they can carry out and destroying everything else.

What do you do? I would load my guns and prepare to protect myself. You probably would, too.

Late one afternoon a sheriff’s department cruiser pulls up and a deputy heads to your door. You are relieved - he is checking things and making sure you are ok. Some law and structure is returning to your area.

BUT - when the deputy gets to your door he demands you turn over all your guns to him. Although it will be dark soon and there will be no one around to protect you, the deputy wants to confiscate all your guns.

Never happen, right? But it did. When order broke down in New Orleans, rather than controlling the law breakers and protecting honest folks the local police confiscated law abiding citizen’s guns. That took away the only means of protection they had, leaving them to the tender mercies of criminals. The criminals still had guns - and knives and clubs. They hid them from the police and had them illegally so the police did not know about them.

This confiscation of guns of law abiding citizens was finally stopped by a federal court order issued after the NRA and other gun owners groups sued.

It is amazing how many folks do not want you and me to have a gun, no matter what. They don’t care if you want it for self protection, hunting, target shooting or collecting. When law enforcement joins them we are in trouble.

Gun registration schemes don’t seem so bad. So what if you are on a database showing all the guns you own. You have the right to own them. That is, you have the right until laws change or someone in power, like the police in New Orleans, come to take them. Being registered just gives those wanting to take your guns a way to know who has guns and how many they need to take away from you.

This may sound silly, but not as silly as the gun ban fanatics sounded in Florida last week. They have their panties in a wad because the state of Florida passed a law saying you don’t have to run away from someone threatening you, you can protect yourself. Gun banners do not want you to have the means to do that.

In response to the new law some members of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence passed out flyers at the Miami airport. According to USA Today it said: “Do not argue unnecessarily with local people. If someone appears to be angry with you, maintain to the best of your ability a positive attitude and do not shout or make threatening gestures.”

I travel a good bit. That seems like good advice no matter where you go and who you are dealing with. Does the Brady Bunch think it is normal for visitors to argue unnecessarily with local people? Do they condone visitors starting fights as long as the local people are not allowed to own guns?

Florida is doing some other good things about gun ownership. Some companies like Weyerhaeuser have fired employees for having guns in their vehicles in company parking lots. The guns were legal but, in response to a letter from me, Senior Vice President Ernesta Ballard said their policy was “about the SAFETY of our employees.” So they think an employee going deer hunting after work threatens other employees? And they think an employee headed to their workplace to shoot fellow workers would not go because of a company rule?

The state of Florida is making this practice illegal. In an online opinion poll at The South Florida Sun Sentential, almost 98% of 30,000 votes agreed with the law and disagreed with Weyerhaeuser.

It seems the majority of folks in the poll know better about guns than Senior Vice President Ernesta Ballard, the Brady Bunch and the New Orleans police put together.

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