Disclaimer: This article may contain the viewpoint and opinion of the author.
Florida has self-defense laws that include what is known as the Stand Your Ground law. The statute grants individuals the ability to use deadly force if they reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another person.
It also pertains to the reasonable belief as to the necessity of force in the context of defending dwellings, residences, or vehicles. It is not the Castle Doctrine adopted by other states which requires the individual to retreat to a safer space if there is one.
After Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida this week, there are fears of looting in the places where law enforcement is focusing on search and rescue and recovery. Cities and towns experience a temporary breakdown of law and order.
First responders have their hands tied with helping people survive the damage wrought by the storm. Florida residents will defend themselves, their families, and their property against those who choose to loot.
Looting is the action of stealing items in a time of mass hysteria, panic, and disaster. People who loot, feel like they deserve the property they are stealing. America is experiencing a dramatic increase in people who already feel this way let alone after a devastating hurricane.
Florida’s Governor Ron Desantis has made it quite clear to people who intend on taking advantage of the damage and chaos Hurricane Ian inflicted on the Sunshine State. Do not even think about looting or there will be clear consequences for your actions.
“Florida is a law and order state. Looting and lawlessness will not be tolerated. The other thing that we’re concerned about in areas that were hard hit is that we want to make sure that we’re maintaining law and order.
Looting is already occurring in some of the harder-hit areas like Fort Myers. Law Enforcement has made several arrests in these places and there will likely be more.
Local people aren’t the only ones who will seek to capitalize on suffering. During and after hurricanes that leave tragic flooding behind, people will come into the impacted areas on boats of all kinds knowing the police’s ability to stop them is limited.
“You can have people you know bringing boats into some of these islands and trying to ransack people’s homes. I can tell you, in the state of Florida, you never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home,” DeSantis said Friday at a news conference.
As the fears rise throughout the areas, it is common to see signs start popping up with the phrase, “You loot we shoot”. It is not just a threat either. Florida is a Second Amendment state, nobody knows how many guns there are.
It is one of the states that only track concealed carry permits. “I would not wanna chance that if I were you, given that we’re a Second Amendment state,” DeSantis added. If people sink so low in this day and age in Florida, they are taking their own lives into their hands.
DeSantis is not the only one warning people. Florida has some tough Sheriffs leading their county law enforcement. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno made it clear to potential looters who would try and hurt those suffering from the storm.
“For any of those individuals that think they are going to go out there and loot or prey on people during this horrific event — you better think twice,” Marceno said. “When I say zero tolerance, zero tolerance means we will hunt you down, track you down, and you’re going to jail. If you’re lucky.”
The writing is on the board and the message is crystal clear. Don’t loot. Don’t hurt people. If you choose to, there will be a price to pay and it will be of your choosing. So, people out there who see Florida as an opportunity right now, good luck! You are going to need it.