Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dear Florida,

Dear Florida,

I am writing this to inform you that I will not be visiting you. I have enjoyed gathering shells on the shores of Sanibel Island, watching anhingas dry spread wings on Captiva, watched glorious sunsets along the Gulf coast and pelicans gliding over the surf on the Atlantic coast. I've watched and photographed gators and manatees, herons and storks. I've enjoyed visiting much of your state and looked forward to visiting more. I have friends who live there in two different cities.

When I visit, I spend money in your state. I tend to rent cars, buy gas, stay in motels, eat in restaurants, visit attractions, buy souvenirs. Once back home, I tell others how wonderful my trip was.

But no more. I no longer feel safe in your state. You have the most extreme "stand your ground" law in the country. Anyone can think I am a threat to them and get away with murdering me. Who can tell what somebody else thinks is threatening? It doesn't require a "reasonability" test, just a perception. No one in your state should feel safe with that law in effect. And lest you think it may have benefits in the case where somebody may really need to defend themselves, let me remind you that in the same county in which George Zimmerman murdered a child due to his skewed perceptions and walked away, a woman who really needed to defend herself against an ex-husband invading her home to do her harm is now spending 20 years in prison.

You are insane, and I do not feel competent to cope with such insanity. So say good-bye to any future money I might have spent in your state. There are other places in this country to visit. Yours is no longer on my list.

Most sincerely,

etc. etc.

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Dear Texas,

I am writing this to inform you....

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