Wild, Wild, Florida

Victims fight back
Victims fight back

A new year has certainly started off on a different foot in Central Florida.  Just over a week into the new year and Orange County, along with the cities included have had almost a half-dozen violent deaths already.  But what separates a couple of them is the fact that the victims refused to be victimized.  Within the past week in Central Florida there have been three incidents where criminals engaged in criminal activity have been met with gun fire from threatened citizens.

Earlier this week in Ocoee, a city just west of Orlando, a gas station customer just left the store to later hear the attendant crying out for help.  He would then retrieve his gun from his vehicle and went back in the store to find her being beaten by an attempted robbery suspect.  The customer then fatally shot the suspect.  Friday night in south Orange County, two men attempted to rob another at a local car wash.  The robbery didn’t go down as planned for the suspects as the victim pulled out his handgun instead of his wallet and shot one of the robbers.  A third incident the next day found a man coming home where two others just forcibly entered his house.  He retrieved his gun, confronted the suspects and a shootout between the two parties ensued. 

The three separate incidents resulted in two deaths in two in the first two incidents, but no one injured in the third.  We’re less than two weeks into the year and this is already an alarming rate of self-defensive shootings.  The victims have the law on their side, with them legally carrying conceal weapons licenses and using deadly force to protect themselves or others.  But to what end will this result?  A new sheriff has taken office in Orange County.  In his speech in the change of command ceremony he said that he needed the help of the people to fight crime.  Well, the people are literally taken him up on that advice.

Not for nothin’, but would you rather sacrifice a high homicide rate for a lower crime rate?  Well if what has been happening in the Orlando area continues to happen, that’s exactly what we’ll see.  A new brand of vigilante justice.  But how many more citizen’s will began to take up arms?  And should they be the dangerous ones, because they legally have the right to use deadly force?  In this day and age, criminals and citizens both wielding guns, shooting at each other?  What’s next, the classic “draw” we’ve seen in dozens of westerns?

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