Last Friday, the Tampa Bay Times published an absolutely asinine editorial in which it claimed the NRA and companies like Delta Defense are prepping gun owners for the legal ramifications of shooting someone.

The state has created such a Wild West atmosphere that gun owners are signing up for coaching and legal help so they can be prepared when they shoot someone.

…An emerging industry that offers instructions to members for responding to police after they shoot someone, liability coverage and legal advice fuels a shoot-first mentality.

Of course, this liberal newspaper is attempting to say that there are SO many guns that gun owners need to be coached on how to handle the legal ramifications that are associated with shooting someone.

If someone comes into MY home and attempts to harm MY family, you can bet I’m going to use my handgun to defend myself and my family. Knowing what justifies self-defense doesn’t mean that I’m going to shoot anybody for any reason. It simply means I’m more knowledgeable in the event I should ever need to use my firearm in a defensive situation.

Why is being prepared so wrong?

Apparently the Tampa Bay Times missed the memo: gun owners are among the most law-abiding citizens. People who take the time to go through a background check and waiting periods (where applicable) are the type of people who know and follow the laws.

Florida’s 2005 “stand your ground” law changed the legal landscape and opened the floodgates. It eliminated the duty of armed citizens to retreat from harm’s way before using deadly force, extending the so-called castle doctrine beyond one’s home

Translation: run away and hope your attacker doesn’t catch up to you or pull out their own weapon on you. If someone is trying to hurt you, you owe it to that person to run away like a good little victim!

*eye roll*

This editorial board is so out of touch with reality. At what point do these people think it’s justifiable to use deadly force? Is it when someone points a gun at your head? Or is it when someone threatens to kill your kids? How far do you have to let a situation escalate before it’s “okay” to defend yourself with your firearm?

Despite overwhelming evidence the “stand your ground law” is loosely applied in all sorts of avoidable situations, state legislators, under the watchful eye of the NRA, have repeatedly refused to repeal it.

There’s soooo much evidence that they just couldn’t seem to provide a shred of it.

Add to that a 2008 law that prohibits businesses from firing workers with concealed weapons permits who keep their gun locked in their car in the company parking lot.

Let me get this straight. I should be fired for having a firearm locked in my car, despite having a CCW permit? Even if I passed a background check and underwent firearms training? Last time I checked, my gun hasn’t killed anyone. Especially not while sitting. Locked. In my car.

Add to that the NRA’s efforts to persuade the Legislature to allow the open-carry of firearms everywhere and firearms on college campuses, which both passed the House this year and, thankfully, died in the Senate.

Another memo the editorial board missed: violent crime is actually 23 percent lower in states that allow open-carry. But then again, that narrative doesn’t fit their agenda.

Want to let the editorial board know how you, as a gun owner, feels about the issue? Write or call the following editors:

Paul C. Tash, Chairman and CEO – email him at [email protected] or call him at 727-893-8887
Jennifer Orsi, Managing Editor – email her at [email protected] or call her at 727-893-8245
Tim Nickens, Editor of Editorials – email him at [email protected] or call him at 727-893-8532