A giddy media is reporting that Governor Rick Scott’s decision to sign Florida’s so-called “warning shot” law will result in Marissa Alexander going free.
Thirty-three-year-old Marissa Alexander of Florida is “grateful” that she will likely not have to serve 20 years in prison after reportedly firing a warning shot at her allegedly abusive husband, whom she thought was about to attack her.
Alexander stood trial for firing a warning shot against her husband on Aug. 1, 2010.
Florida Governor Rick Scott signed new guidelines into law Friday, inspired by Alexander’s case, ABC News reported. The law allows Floridia [sic] residents who threaten to use a gun or who fire a warning shot to protect themselves the chance to avoid criminal prosecution.
“We are of course grateful for the governor’s actions,” read a statement from Alexander’s legal team.
ABC News couldn’t be further from the truth, as we explained in April. The law does not justify warning shots, and instead denies justification to any “warning shot” that “poses a threat to public safety,” which essentially all of them except in very rare cases, and certainly doesn’t excuse the shot Alexander fired in the direction of two small children.
What the new law actually does is correct an oversight in existing self-defense law in Florida.
Under the pre-existing law, if you pulled a gun in self-defense and shot at someone attacking you, you were legally protected. Due to an oversight in the law, however, if you pulled a gun but held fire because the threat saw the weapon and then halted their attack, you could be charged with aggravated assault. This new law corrects that flaw, and allows citizens to use the threat of force as well as the actual use of force to stop an attack. This is a very good thing, as the mere display of a firearm typically ends most conflicted before shots need to be fired.
Now, let’s go back to the specific criminal act in question, Marissa Alexander’s attempt to shoot Rico Gray.
While Alexander’s case inspired the law, she doesn’t benefit from it in the slightest, as her case was not remotely one of legitimate self-defense.
After getting in a fight with Rico Gray, Alexander left his home, went into the garage where her car was parked, and retrieved her handgun. At this point, she chose to reenter the home, and gave up her right to claim self-defense.
Once Alexander reentered the home, she pointed the gun at Gray and his children and fired a shot that entered the wall behind Gray’s head, head high.
Nothing in this law can be misconstrued to justify Alexander’s attempted killing of Gray, which was clearly not self-defense under the castle doctrine nor stand your ground laws.
The media have long attempted to excuse and cover up Alexander’s actions—which includes her violation of a judge’s order to stay away from Gray and a second assault on him by Alexander—in order to dishonestly portray her as a sympathetic victim.
Marissa Alexander isn’t a victim and never has been. This new law does nothing to change that fact.