Florida Won’t Protect Right to Bear Arms During a Zombie Apocalypse

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Firearms, that is. 

It is illegal in Florida to carry a concealed weapon without a license, but the law does not apply to self-defense chemical sprays or electric stun guns. (The electric stun guns have to be "designed solely for defensive purposes," and maybe there is a difference between an "offensive" and "defensive" stun gun but I don't know what it is.) Senate Bill 296 would have provided a third exception, allowing anyone to carry a concealed weapon on his or her person "while in the act of complying with a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the Governor."

The bill didn't pass, but as with any gun law there was a lot of wrangling over the language. Fifteen separate amendments were proposed—one of which would have helpfully defined "the act of evacuating"—but of course this is the one I'm most interested in:

2014-05-05 at 12.47 PMSen. Dwight Bullard proposed the "zombie apocalypse" amendment, which unfortunately proposed only a change to the title. Bullard opposed the bill and said this was his way of suggesting that it was unnecessary and in fact a bad idea. "I'd argue a crisis is probably the last instance in which you want someone who is not a concealed permit holder to carry a weapon," he told the Huffington Post. Personally I can think of a lot of instances I would put further down that list, so I'm not sure his argument follows.

I am a big fan, though, of the sarcastic-amendment strategy, as I proved by putting two or three examples of it in my book. (Which, by the way, I will be talking about at this event in Kansas City tomorrow (May 6) if you are both there and interested.) I also wrote about another example that I somehow forgot to put in there. See "Wyoming to Consider Buying an Aircraft Carrier" (Feb. 28, 2012) (they didn't go through with it). Maybe there will be a second edition (but buy the first one).

I hope this amendment's failure (or withdrawal—doesn't look like it got a vote) will not be interpreted some day to argue there is in fact no right to bear arms during a zombie apocalypse. Not that it will matter for long, but still.