Wednesday, November 2

Blowhard County Sheriff's Pressers Invite Behavior He Condemns

I get this Florida sheriff in my news feed who likes to tell the stories about the stupidity of his constituents. Criminals who get caught by the police or shot by responsible homeowners. He's all about the consequences. If you break the law, you'll get caught or killed, and you'll deserve it. He had even said it was good that one burglar looked like grated cheese after being shot by a homeowner, and that's a weird description, though it goes to show how far he wants to take the heroism of defending your property.  But what happens when swift vigilante justice meets misinterpreted neighborly neighborliness? Pretty much what you'd expect. Also, it's complicated.

So a father and son, who may generally love the sheriff for berating criminals, decided to chase down a neighbor who had merely dropped off a misdelivered package. Instead, they fired shots at a woman parked in their apartment complex with dark tinted windows and the engine running, assuming she was the getaway driver for whatever was stolen by the neighborly neighbor from their front porch (or from other apartments he'd successfully burglarized). She was not associated with the good neighbor at all.

The sheriff, in his typical manner, lumped this father and son dream team along with other criminals because they left their homes with guns to shoot at suspected criminals, whereas he said that staying at home and shooting criminals is a-ok. Or if the lady had exited her car and threatened bodily harm on one of the gunmen. Or if they see a shoplifter at Walmart.

Problem is, if you keep missing the porch pirates while they are robbing you, you're eventually going to take your guns to town. In any given situation in Florida, there's a 50/50 chance you have the right to shoot someone around you. In the situations where it's perfectly legal, 2nd Amendment supporters are quick to point out the effectiveness of the laws. That's great, but there are also tons of really stupid people in Florida, and I bet most of the stupidest own guns. Probably multiple guns. Fear-mongering by local the news, county sheriffs, politicians, gun shops, and fathers-in-law leads to vigilantism. As a nation, we've bought into the notion that guns save as many lives as they take and prevent as many crimes as they commit. 

I live in Jacksonville, so I know the stories of getting no response from the police for minor incidents. Broken car windows, porch pirating, etc. And I can probably legally shoot someone dead on my porch or driveway, but what if they are riding off on my bike or running down the street with my catalytic converter? Or if I catch them wearing my stolen Reggie White jersey a week after a burglary? Just like we get hurricane awareness packets, local governments in Florida should send out shoot-your-neighbors-dead awareness packets that detail when we can and can't kill people. I bet Pops and Junior thought they had every right to shoot at people on their shared apartment complex property who were suspected of stealing, hoping to be highlighted as local gun heroes by the sheriff if they took out the local porch pirate syndicate.

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