Florida’s new law allowing people to meet “force with force” in public places is prompting a fierce debate over the availability of guns in society, says the Christian Science Monitor. The 1987 Florida law allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons in public places led to dozens of similar laws in other states. The National Rifle Association will try to take the new measure nationwide. Sarah Brady of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence calls it “a license to kill.” Rep. Irv Slosberg, one of only 20 state lawmakers who opposed the law, said it would promote vigilantism, “sell more guns, and possibly turn Florida into the OK Corral.”
Marion Hammer, a former NRA president, responded that the new measure “puts the law on the side of the victim. For too long, the law has been protecting criminals. Law-abiding people only want to be able to protect themselves, and they are sick and tired of our court system saying they can’t.” Florida records 11.3 deaths by firearms per 100,000 people. The national average is 10.5. “In 1987, the gun-haters said all the same things as they are saying now – that there would be blood in the streets, that Florida would become the Wild West. None of that happened then and it isn’t going to happen now,” says Hammer.