Enough is enough. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is introducing new laws allowing citizens to shoot looters and rioters. Learn more about it below!
Florida Citizens May Be Allowed to Shoot Looters and Rioters
In September, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he was going to get tough on violent protestors and looters.
This is in line with his need to amend and expand Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Now, he has unveiled his “anti-mob” proposal.
Florida has not seen the same violent protests and rioting that have occurred in major cities across the country.
However, Gov. DeSantis aims to take early action in preventing peaceful protests from turning dangerous and destructive.
In a year wrought with interruptions to businesses, DeSantis has sought to provide “business certainty” for Floridians.
Even in the face of mainstream media’s backlash, DeSantis is standing up for what is right.
DeSantis Calling for Law and Order
DeSantis’ draft legislation includes an aggressive agenda meant to address all manner of interruptions:
- Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law will soon include looting, criminal mischief and arson “that results in the interruption or impairment of a business operation” as justifications for using physical force, including lethal options, against a person. Looting “means committing burglary within 500 feet of a violent or disorderly assembly.” These illegal activities will join murder, robbery, sexual battery and aggravated assault as reasons to use force against an attacker.
- DeSantis also proposes that throwing an object that hits someone, destroying public property, toppling a monument, or blocking traffic during an unlawful protest, would constitute third-degree felonies.
- A driver who “unintentionally causes injury or death to a person who obstructs” traffic might also be immune from liability under the proposed law.
- The new law would make local governments ineligible for state funds if they vote to “defund the police.”
- The removal of a $200,000 cap on lawsuits against local governments that don’t take appropriate action to protect people and property, which allows that number to go as high as deemed appropriate by a judge or jury.
- It will be a misdemeanor to harass people at places like restaurants during a disorderly protest.
- DeSantis is also proposing a mandatory minimum of six months in jail for anyone who strikes a law enforcement officer during a protest.
- There will be no bail for people arrested during a violent protest until at least their first court appearance.
DeSantis is serious about keeping Florida safe.
“We need to do more in terms of a strong legislative response so we do not always have to play whack-a-mole any time you have situations like this develop,” DeSantis said.
Critics Slam DeSantis For ‘Criminalizing’ Public Protest
DeSantis’ has always supported peaceful protests.
But, critics are claiming that the drafted legislation will actually reduce public safety.
Caroline Light, a senior lecturer at Harvard University who is the author of “Stand Your Ground: A History of America's Love Affair With Lethal Self-Defense,” said amending the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law could open up scenarios in which armed people would shoot or kill based on the claim that they were protecting a business or private property from “looters” or “mobs” and needed to defend themselves — even if it wasn't their property.
Kelly Benjamin, co-founder of Tampa for Justice, said that, “The right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. This is an attempt to chill legitimate dissent and somehow equate protests against police killing Black people with criminal activity despite the clear evidence that the protests occurring in Florida are overwhelmingly peaceful.”
And former Miami-Dade prosecutor Aubrey Webb told the Herald, “It dangerously gives armed private citizens power to kill as they subjectively determine what constitutes ‘criminal mischief' that interferes with a business. Someone graffiti-ing ‘Black Lives Matter' on a wall? Urinating behind a dumpster? Blocking an entrance?”
But what right does any “peaceful” protestor have in defacing a private business or intimidating anyone from entering the establishment?
And Yet, Logic Prevails
Logic tells us that peaceful protestors will remove themselves from a situation as it escalates into violence and destruction.
Creating very real consequences for participating in rioting, looting, and arson will help to keep destructive individuals from becoming repeat offenders.
DeSantis has spoken on multiple occasions about what kinds of behavior will not be tolerated in Florida.
His legislation seeks to address every type of administrative failure seen around the country in response to violent and disruptive protests:
“We are going to impose criminal penalties for violent or disorderly assemblies. That’ll be a third-degree felony,” DeSantis has said. “We will also require a felony if you incapacitate any of the roadways. We see people take over interstates. That is absolutely hazardous. It’s not fair to motorists who may get caught up in that. So, that will be unacceptable.”
“You see these videos of these innocent people eating dinner and you have these crazed lunatics just screaming at them and intimidating them,” DeSantis said. “You’re not going to do that in the state of Florida.”
He has also addressed the ongoing protests in Portland, which he said involved the same people getting arrested and released.
“They get their mugshot taken and then they get released, and it’s like a carousel. On and on it goes. Now that’s not going to happen here in Florida,” DeSantis has said.
Florida Remains Firmly Republican
The majority of Floridians stand with DeSantis on this and other polarizing issues.
Florida turned bright red on Election Night, giving its 29 electoral votes to Donald Trump by a margin of over 350,000 votes.
The State Senate and House of Representatives both hold Republican majorities after the November 3 election.
As many mayors and governors step aside to let rioters and mobs take over their streets, DeSantis is showing an unrivaled commitment to the safety of his citizens.
In a year when law and order are hard to come by, Ron DeSantis is making Floridians proud.
What do you think of this new proposal that allows citizens to shoot rioters and looters? Can this solve the problem or make it worse? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section!