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Marissa Alexander Is About to Get Screwed by Florida's Ridiculous Gun Laws

Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman who was arrested for firing a warning shot to ward off her abusive estranged husband, may now be looking at 60 years in prison because of a weird law that would add 20 years to each charge.

The Florida Times-Union is reporting that the Office of State Attorney Angela Corey will try to put Alexander in prison for what amounts to life.

Why? Because this is Florida, where it's totally cool to shoot and kill an unarmed black kid walking around with a bag of Skittles.

But totally NOT cool to fire a warning shot, harming no one, so that you don't get beat up by a serial domestic abuser. THAT'S WHERE WE DRAW THE LINE DOWN HERE.

See also: Florida Legislator Wants People to Be Allowed to Fire Warning Shots

Alexander is a 32-year-old African-American mother of three who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a gun into the air to ward off her abusive husband.

She tried to use the Stand Your Ground law to defend herself. Hell, it worked for George Zimmerman!

Her conviction was thrown out by an appeals court and a new trial is scheduled for July.

But now, if she's convicted again, the original 20-year sentence could be tripled.

The Alexander incident happened in her home back in August of 2010. She and her then-husband, Rico Gray -- who has a documented case of domestic abuse -- got into a heated dispute.

Frightened for her safety, Alexander fired a warning shot into the wall to ward him off.

Alexander then cited Stand Your Ground, which is probably the first time the law was actually used for what it was intended for -- to use force to protect oneself if a life-threatening situation arises.

But then something called the 10-20-Life law derailed her defense and a judge ruled that Alexander was not eligible to use Stand Your Ground as a defense because he saw her as the aggressor.

We're no forensic experts, but we're pretty sure shooting a wall is very much different from shooting a black kid carrying a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea.

So, evidently those defense rules apply only to a dude who attacks and shoots an unarmed teen boy even after the cops ordered that dude to stand down, and does not so much apply to a frightened mother who shot at a wall because she was trying to protect herself and her sons from an admittedly abusive husband who was ordered by a court to stay away from her.

And so, as Alexander waits to see if she's going to get screwed by Florida's assbackward gun laws, the 2014 legislative session will be revisiting Stand Your Ground and other gun legislation.

 

A bill that was brought up last year is looking to make it OK to fire warning shots to protect oneself. It would, in theory, save a person from the state's "10-20-Life" law if that person shows the gun or fires a warning shot to detract an attacker.

Of course, those who oppose the bill argue that this will just give people excuse to fire off guns willy-nilly and claim that it was a warning shot. Much like with Stand Your Ground, it's a law that could inevitably lead to abuse.

But as we who live in the Sunshine State know all too well, it doesn't matter what the law says or does. Someone, somewhere, is going to get shot for no real reason, and then the shooter will try to hide behind Florida's ridiculously loophole-riddled laws.

Like this ridiculousness.

Or this one.

The problem isn't so much with the Legislature (although, it is). This dipshittery starts with the fact that Florida loves the crap out of its guns.

People in Florida are really in love with the Second Amendment. But since you can't marry an amendment, the next logical thing to do is abuse the shit out of it and get yourself a piece of paper that says it's totally cool to walk around Winn-Dixie with a hand cannon hidden inside your pants.

Just last year, Florida was found to have the most concealed permits in the U.S. -- more than a million and counting.

And by the end of last year, around 800,000 background checks for guns were conducted in Florida.

Hey, it's not like Florida gun deaths are a thing that happens a lot or anything.

Oh, but if gun laws were stricter, Marissa Alexander might not have had that gun to protect herself from her abusive husband, you might say.

That's probably true.

But here's the bottom line: If you're going to carry and fire a gun in Florida, you're better off not being black.

Otherwise, you're royally screwed.

At the very least, let's hope Florida gets the Alexander case right and let's her walk.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter




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