Florida’s New Gun Law Aims to Save Lives of First Responders
While the left digs in deeper every day, we see legislative battlegrounds that boggle the mind. New York is fighting desperately for the right to infanticide. At the same time, Democrats are going after private citizen’s guns in every creative way they can imagine. It feels like a war zone out there.
Still, it’s not all bad news all the time. In some cases, state governments make real progress and push changes that are sure to make their states safer or better. A new state-level gun law aims to do exactly that.
Florida Leads the Way
Florida essentially won the lottery in 2018. They narrowly avoided electing a crazy, devastating governor and legislation that would have left the state in ruins. Instead, they have a remarkable crew leading the nation in innovative ways. Their new firearm law is a perfect example.
The new law took effect July 1. It is designed to give paramedics, EMTs and other first responders the right to carry (and use) firearms in dangerous situations. The bill specifically lists active shooters, armed suicidal declarations and drug dens as such situation.
Plenty of others are covered by the bill as well. The basic idea is to empower first responders with the means to defend themselves when their jobs take them into danger.
Naturally, the law comes with some caveats. Any first responder who wishes to carry will have to pass an annual safety and competency check. Lawmakers justify this by asserting it will reduce the risk of accidents and other safety hazards.
As cool as this sounds, it forces us to ask the obvious question. Do paramedics really need firearms? Sure, we could make a generic 2nd Amendment argument, but in this case, there are some compelling data to consider.
According to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), paramedics suffer more violent deaths than any other domestic profession. That includes police and domestic military service. It does exclude service members in active war zones.
This makes EMS the most dangerous work that exists in our country (and Australia, of all places). The primary reason EMS personnel face so much danger is that they aim to be the first on the scene any time someone suffers a violent injury. Sure, police strive to secure areas as often as possible, but every day, our brave EMS heroes rush headlong into danger. It’s long past time we acknowledged their basic human right to self-defense.
Good Guys With Guns
Ultimately, this is an extension of something gun owners have known for a while. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That isn’t just a catchy slogan. CDC research has thoroughly confirmed this notion. If you recall, they did a study under Obama’s orders that showed defensive uses of firearms in this country dramatically outnumber criminal uses.
More to the point, they found that armed citizens save 5 to 50 times as many lives as criminals take with guns. The large range on that number is because the majority of defensive uses of firearms go unreported. In many cases, they prevent a crime before it happens, so the police aren’t involved.
Still, if we extend these statistics to paramedics in Florida, we can expect them to save a huge number of lives in the next few years. For starters, we might expect one to two fewer paramedic deaths in the state each year. That might not seem like a huge number, but considering this program doesn’t even cost the state money, it’s easy to justify saving even one life, ever.
More than that, having armed first responders could save a lot of civilian lives in the process. Conservative estimates show that up to 500 Floridians a year will escape dangerous situations simply because paramedics might be carrying. That’s a clear win.
Once Florida’s law has been in place long enough to generate some new statistics, we can expect a number of states to follow suit. Sure, the deep blue states will fight against progress tooth and nail, but 20 to 30 states are likely to pass similar legislation in the next few years and save many thousands of lives every year.
Even if it doesn’t solve every problem in our country, it’s important to celebrate this huge victory. Florida got it right, and we should all be happy about that.