Florida legislators should rethink law

Florida has a new gun law. Anyone who’s not a convicted felon or “incapacitated” can acquire a concealed weapons permit. A provision prohibiting the carrying of weapons in plain view was left out of the new law, supposedly as an “oversight.” Change does not appear to be forthcoming.

The crime rate in Miami has skyrocketed since Fidel Castro decided to make the Florida city an extension campus of Cuba’s prisons. There can’t be much doubt about the effect the new gun law will have—especially since only felony convictions are a bar to obtaining a permit. Felony arrests and cases where charges were reduced or dropped don’t count.

Florida storekeepers are understandably unhappy about the new law. A spokeswoman from the Metro-Dade police said jewelry store owners “are a little bit antsy about people carrying guns on their premises.” Well now, no one can say they’re really surprised by that.

Though it’s hard to believe, Florida legislators clearly did not consider the possibility that store owners might decide to arm themselves. A person who’s either openly sporting a firearm or clearly wearing an occupied shoulder holster is going to make an armed store owner very nervous. It’s certain that law-abiding citizens are going to get killed.

The police in Florida are also “a bit antsy” at the thought of a predicted 60,000 private citizens carrying concealed weapons. Not that anyone can blame them.

Police departments all over Florida are issuing special warnings telling officers to be especially careful. Police officers must now try to discern the difference between the average law-abiding—but armed—citizen, and a criminal who might kill to avoid arrest.

And the officers must decide which is which in enough time to prevent their own death and the death of an innocent civilian. Now that’s “quick thinking” personified.

The question now is how many innocent citizens and police officers will have to die before the Florida legislature admits its monumental idiocy in passing this law in the first place.