There are two laws passed recently that I think never should have been. One is the so-called self-defense law, which essentially legalizes the proliferation and use of side arms. The other is the recent legalization of fireworks, heretofore forbidden in the state.
They will create far more problems than they solve.
The former law is supposed to prevent anyone from endangerment from potentially dangerous intruders or from assault. If a person approaches you and clearly has murder on his mind, then either he is a madman, is somehow mistaken or perhaps you deserve it. It probably would be a man, for a woman wouldn’t be so desperate that she sees murder as the solution to her problems, despite anything Agatha Christie might have written.
Of course, a gun will protect you if you value your life above all others.
The first two reasons are very rare, despite the sensational headlines that occur in the papers from time to time. The fact that they are sensational alone makes is an extremely rare event.
The primary reason for breaking and entering is not murder but robbery. I’m not a very wealthy man, but if anyone is so desperate so as to enter my home that he needs to take my possessions, he is welcome to them — for he is much more destitute than I.
In short, I feel that there is no need for me to be armed.
As for the trouble that it might cause, the Zimmerman-Martin affair is a prime example. I’ll bet that both families wish that Mr. Zimmerman had not been carrying a gun that fateful night. Not only will it cause both families a lot of money and grief, but it will cost the state of Florida millions of dollars to try the case.
I wonder if Mr. Zimmerman will ever carry a gun again.
The case is complicated from the fact that Mr. Zimmerman appears to be the aggressor and was looking for a person to "protect" himself from.
After all is said and done, this "stand our ground law" is a bad idea and should be repealed. Also, the disturbance this gun law causes simply by brandishing the guns by licensed individuals. The trouble caused by a man in Fruitport by brandishing his gun at a sporting event is a good example. Such bravado of people wearing their guns in public is just a nuisance and can lead to lawsuits.
As for the fireworks law, it appears to have been the wish of a few lobbyists for the fireworks industry, who have been very successful indeed. It appears to have been implemented for the primary reason of raising funds through sales taxes.
It will backfire, for it will cost the state much more from personal injuries and property losses due to fires. They have already been blamed for numerous grass fires and a few house fires in the state. I’m sure that firemen all over the state fear the additional expense and trouble due to the implementation of this inane and insane law.
I’m also sure that emergency-room denizens don’t look forward to the injuries that are bound to occur due to the mishandling of fireworks, especially because of the fact that the victims of such accidents will probably have very little medical insurance.
The cost of these disturbances will surely outweigh the benefits of any taxes gained. Such expenses were probably never mentioned by the lobbyists for the fireworks industry and were not considered by the legislators.
Besides, fireworks are, for the most part, just downright annoying.
— By Ralph Wiltse, Tribune community columnist