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Gun control group actually performing a useful function for once?

September 30, 2005

The Brady Campaign, a prominent gun control advocacy group that has long been rightfully reviled by supporters of gun-rights is now engaging in a campaign to attempt to educate foreign tourists and others about a new Florida law that gives citizens greater latitude in defending themselves.

The new law, which can be reviewed here, does away with the "duty to retreat" that previously required an individual to retreat from, rather than shoot, an attacker if feasible. The Brady folks, being hysterically anti-gun rights, are understandably upset by the passage of this law, and are predicting doom and gloom for Florida. They have since begun a major campaign to inform foreign tourists and others about this law. As reported in The Scotsman here, the Brady campaign has issued a statement saying,

Warning: Florida residents can use deadly force," says one of the adverts. Another reads: "Thinking about a Florida vacation? Please ensure your family is safe. In Florida, avoid disputes. Use special caution in arguing with motorists on Florida roads..." Peter Hamm, the communications director of the Brady Campaign, said: "It's a particular risk faced by travellers coming to Florida for a vacation because they have no idea it's going to be the law of the land. If they get into a road rage argument, the other person may feel he has the right to use deadly force."

Imagine that, someone standing their ground with an attacker, rather than running away! What is this, America? It seems then that this ad campaign effectively does what lawmakers/lobbyists were arguably trying to do with this law: let potential attackers know that there is now the possibility of a reckoning at the hands of everyday folks. Could this gun control campaign then actually help to reduce the incidence of attacks?

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