Since the shooting of Trayvon Martin the "Stand Your ground Law" has come under extreme criticism.
Earlier this week I wrote another blog about this before it gathered nationwide steam.
There is a movement a foot to have George Zimmermans concealed gun permit revoked.
There are other voices demanding that Stand Your Ground be repealed.
CBS NEWS REPORT
Most states have a version of the Castle Law. Basically it says your home is your castle. If an intruder forces you into a position in your own home where you have no place to flee, and you fear for your life, you are justified in shooting them.
STAND YOUR GROUND
The Stand Your Ground law operates on the same premise as the Castle Law except it is applied outside the home. If you are being attacked out in the open, like a parking lot in a mall, and have no way to escape, and no help is available, and you fear for your life, you are justified in shooting the perpetrator. The onus is on the shooter to make a case that they indeed feared for their life or safety. The threat has to be real.
Florida is an open carry state. In other words. Any citizen may wear a holster and carry a gun as long as it is in plain sight at all times without a special permit. Many states are open carry. Virginia and Pennsylvania are two that I can think of off hand.
CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT
Every state has a provision for a citizen to apply for and if qualified receive a concealed weapons permit for personal protection. The gun may be carried in a holster or other device hidden from view. Qualification varies from state to state.
- Every person who carries concealed should know the law and the definition of personal self defense. It is not a license to be a vigilante or run around like Charles Bronson righting the wrongs. I have and do carry concealed from time to time since the 1980's. I have an obligation when I carry to use discretion with deadly force and not be a hot head.
If I am in a Convenience store and one or more people come in and attempt to rob the clerk, I cannot whip out a gun and shoot them. They can be beating the tar out of the clerk and as long as they do not threaten me or point a weapon at me I have to stay out of it. Unlike an off duty police officer, I have no protection under the law if I act. I can only resort to using that gun if I FEAR FOR MY LIFE.
- I do not have a license that allows me to defend another person (other than a family member) nor does it allow me to use it to defend property which belongs to another. They can rob the Convenience store and I have no right to interfere with them.
FLORIDA G GUN PERMIT
In Florida all security personnel either employed by an agency or directly by an employer to be armed must carry a "G" gun permit.
What's the difference from a concealed or personal carry? Mandated security training and proof of proficiency. Extensive background checks and finger printing. Why do they need a special permit? It's the law in Florida if you are acting in the capacity of a guard or security officer. Only the G license issued in Florida gives an individual the right to use deadly force to protect the property or employees of the company or employer.
Additionally those persons licensed with a G permit carry openly. They are not undercover police - the public sees their weapon in full view.
- George Zimmerman had a personal concealed weapons permit not a G permit.
Consider this: From all reports George Zimmerman was either a self appointed neighborhood watch commander or he was a volunteer. He was not in the employ of the HOA. He was not charged with the duty to defend and protect with deadly force.
- His concealed permit did not allow him to use his weapon EXCEPT for personal protection.
What was George Zimmerman doing that night? He took it upon himself to patrol the grounds of a complex he did not own, to protect property he did not own. He was not licensed property to perform those duties.
- In my humble opinion, when faced with the murder of Trayvon the only defense George Zimmerman could use to attempt to save himself was Stand your Ground.
I believe that his actions and his intent, prior to the shooting clearly show he put himself in a situation where he did not have the right to be carrying a fire arm - concealed permit or not.
- If George Zimmerman was walking through the complex minding his own business and Trayvon Martin attacked him that's an entirely different matter. That would be a case to use Stand Your Ground if Zimmerman felt his life was in danger.
It is not the law that is the problem in this case. It is more than likely a convenient legal attempt to save Zimmerman's neck. Should Zimmerman be arrested and made accountable for his actions? In my opinion YES.
- I am hoping that this distinction with weapons licensing is brought to the attention of the Grand Jury. I am astounded that the media has not researched this and investigated licensing laws.
- I also hope the Grand Jury charges Zimmerman with murder.
Loose cannons like George Zimmerman make it bad for those of us who are conscientious gun owners.