Today I turned 70! I think as we move along through the years, personal security takes on additional meaning. We become a little more cautious and analytical. Many of us are willing to expend the time and effort required to maintain a comforting level of security, whether financial or personal.
Well, I can tell you that my own level of comfort took a little hit after reading chapter two of Self-Defense Laws of All 50 States by Mitch and Evan Vilos. This chapter lays out the unpleasant true story of one Larry Harmon and his problems with Utah’s gun laws. Mr. Harmon’s story had a nasty ending. Larry’s doing a life sentence for defending his neighbors’ property. Larry went from neighborhood watch to life in prison. For me, it was another reminder of how important it is for me to thoroughly understand the gun laws in my own state as well as surrounding states and states I intend to travel to or through. I have sought to educate myself and cannot emphasize how strongly I believe you should do so too, whether you are a gun owner or not.
I have owned a Winchester rifle for 55 years and have made it a point to understand and fully appreciate firearms safety and practice. I am a life member of the NRA. And both Debbie and I participated in the excellent NRA-sponsored handgun safety course to obtain a concealed weapon or firearm license in the state of Florida. The NRA does a good job in first and foremost educating you about the law. I have gone far beyond the basics, however, by building a mini library of information on the laws of all 50 states. Over the next few months, I plan to dig deep into the gun laws and roll out a report of some the most important legal points I uncover. A full understanding and appreciation of the law is far more important to you and your family’s personal safety than is Billy Waugh-AK-47 capability (though there are few as experienced as Billy!).
Today, I am pleased to recommend to you Self-Defense Laws of All 50 States, which presents excellent information, state by state, in plain English. Among the laws it describes are some shockers. The unfortunate and disappointing fact is that the gun laws of most states do not offer citizens anything remotely like a solid level of comfort. This failing is truly scary.
There is, however, really good news about my defense-first home state of Florida. Florida is what is labeled a Castle Doctrine state (click to Dick Young’s Liberty & Freedom map for the complete 50-state rundown). Florida’s gun defense law is referred to in the industry as the “Go Ahead, Make My Day” law. The law has serious teeth. Woe to the intruder on your Florida property. As the Viloses explain, the lawyers at Harvard’s Journal on Legislation nearly choked on their caviar with the passing of this law and urged Florida to repeal it. Florida’s law is indeed the model of the “Mother of All Self-Defense Laws” that Vilos and Vilos envision in their great book.
New York, on the other hand, is a sad case, and I would not be comfortable as a New York resident. Here is a direct quote from the book: “Even though you may have the right to defend yourself and others with deadly force, you may not have the right to possess or carry certain deadly weapons to exercise that right.” Terrific.
On to Virginia for a double shocker. Virginia, according to the Vilos team, has no self-defense law statutes and relies solely on case law. Yuck! A powerful citizens’ revolt may be in order in defense of all Virginia’s citizens.
Finally, a special surprise once again courtesy of the Viloses: “Anyone who is not prohibited by federal law can legally carry a firearm openly or concealed in Vermont as long as it is not for the purpose of committing an illegal act.” I will have some more neat stuff for you from Vermont in part two of my “Make My Day” series.
My goal with all of my personal posts is to let you know what I am up to myself in terms of my own and my family’s personal and financial security. I hope that the info I give you will encourage you to conduct your own rigorous research. What is just right for Dick Young may not be the most suitable attack for you. Good luck as you seek to improve your own personal and financial security.