FL Woman Arrested For Shooting at Water Moccasin at School Event

Who would have thought that it would be illegal to defend children from a venomous snake? But this is where the insanity of extreme gun restrictions has brought us. In Florida, a mother was at a football practice when a water moccasin was discovered on the field. Attempts to kill it with sticks weren’t successful. Yes, that’s right . . .

From newsherald.com:

April Dawn DeMarco, 30, was arrested for discharging a .380-caliber handgun on the practice football field of Bay High School, 300 E. 15th St., during practice last week for the local Pop Warner football team. Demarco apparently borrowed the pistol from Miren Gregory, 31, to protect nearby children after a group of parents found a water moccasin on the field, police reported.

Coaches and parents told the children to get out of the area after finding the moccasin. Gregory told DeMarco she had a concealed carry permit and a handgun after some of the coaches tried to kill the snake by hitting it with sticks.

Snakes can be difficult to kill. As this was a football practice field, the snake may have been hiding under equipment on the field. From personal experience, I can say that a firearm is often the only means to stop the threat from a venomous snake in a semi-concealed position.

Here is where the law gets crazy. Even if a person has a concealed carry permit, it’s illegal to possess a firearm on school grounds during a school-related event. The penalty is a misdemeanor.

From statute 790.06(12):

(d) Any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree,

It’s also illegal to discharge a firearm on school grounds, but there is an exception for using a firearm in defense of self or others.

From statute 790.115 2.(d)

(d) A person who discharges any weapon or firearm while in violation of paragraph (a), unless discharged for lawful defense of himself or herself or another or for a lawful purpose, commits a felony of the second degree,

If I were Dawn DeMarco’s attorney, I would certainly be pleading that this was a clear case of defense of others. It does not matter that Dawn missed the snake with the borrowed firearm.

One parent forewarned the women that having a firearm on school grounds was against the law when DeMarco said, “I will take the blame,” the parent told police.

This might be a good test case for reform of the silly gun-free school zone law in Florida. Even the federal gun free school zone law has an exception for those with concealed carry permits. The person who DeMarco borrowed the pistol from was also arrested. It isn’t known if DeMarco had a concealed carry permit.

Gun free school zone laws have been a disaster from the beginning. It is time to stop the idiocy.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar JSIII says:

    Moc’s are mean lethal snakes and I think the woman did the right thing; Moc’s are no freaking joke and I hate the damn things. Either kill or capture them or else you are liable to be dealing with a bite later on.

    1. avatar Icyou says:

      You don’t mess with them with anything outside of a machete or a gun. As a Floridian I’ve killed dozens of them. They will chase people, and they are quite fast.

      1. avatar sacorey says:

        What about a nice sharp shovel

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          If it’s unwise to be within 21 feet minimum of a knife-wielding attacker, and it is, then it’s perhaps a skosh less prudent to be within shovel-stabbing distance of a water moccasin, don’t you find?

        2. avatar DJ9 says:

          Throw or drop a piece of heavy, sharp-cornered/edged equipment on it to limit its mobility, then close and finish it off.

          No injuries (except to mister no-legs), no arrests, no bad press for gun owners.

          Rural area? Yeah, bust a cap in it. Urban/sub-urban? Use something else.

          Could also call the cops, and tell them it’s really short but aggressive dog…

        3. People criticizing her for shooting at it rather than using some other device of death are missing the point. She used the wrong gun. Do you realize how hard it is to hit a snake in the head with a .380? She did miss and I don’t doubt it. I wonder if she used the proper defense firearm and was successful in dispatching the threat, if she would have been arrested. She should have used a Taurus Judge loaded with Snake Shot. http://youtu.be/IaPsgeMWlpE
          This story is ridiculous, but can you imagine how much more ridiculous it would be if she was arrested for using something that was DESIGNED FOR SNAKE PROTECTION?

        4. avatar DJ9 says:

          The person that did the shooting didn’t have a gun at all. She “borrowed” a gun from someone else who had a carry permit, meaning the shooter probably didn’t know the laws about discharging a firearm within a city, or possession on school property. A very good reason not to lend your pistol to someone else, who through their actions, might get up you in hot water, too.

          She didn’t NEED to shoot the snake at all; it wasn’t like it had folks backed into a corner, with no means of escape. If people were trapped under those circumstances, I’d hope the police/prosecutor/judge would be lenient, but under the circumstances as outlined, shooting it with ANY kind of firearm was stupid, and likely to get you charged with a felony. Which she probably will be. Maybe along with the owner/carrier.

          Using the “wrong gun” or “right gun” should have no bearing on whether or not you should be shooting (or possessing) a gun at all on certain property. Perhaps a more successful outcome might have helped, but in this case, I even doubt that.

          Most folks don’t have a golf-bag of firearms with them, to allow for selection of the perfect gun for any given job. If you need one, you use what you have, being aware of its limitations. Many snakes have been killed with pocket pistols, and many more will be in the future; a special shotshell pistol is NOT required, no matter what the gun magazines and manufacturers tell you.

    2. I was startled one morning from a loud blast from my neighbor’s house. I called to ask what it was. The woman of the house said her husband had shot a copperhead, that had crawled in to his bar-b-q grill, with a 410 shotgun. I asked, “is the grill okay?” Then I asked what he did with the dead snake. I had never seen a copperhead in real life. She told me where he threw it. I got to the scene in time to stop a box turtle from eating the evidence. (Didn’t know tortoises were omnivorous). It wasn’t a copperhead. It was a large Garter snake. I had seen many of them and played with them growing up. My neighbor is an avid hunter and outdoors-man so he should have known what a copperhead looks like. I have seen many copperheads since then and there is no doubt what they are.
      I hate when people kill non-venomous snakes. It seems like every brown snake is a copperhead and every black snake is a water moccasin. I would like to see a picture of the “cotton mouth” from this story.

    3. I have not had to deal with water moccasins, but they have a reputation of being aggressive. The problem with leaving a venomous snake on a playing field is that it can hide, and come out at another time when a child may decide to play with it, or step on it, and get bit.

      I generally do not have a problem with snakes. I have gone out of my way to spare them. I think they are interesting creatures. But to leave a venomous snake in an area where children play, when you have the opportunity to get rid of the snake, is irresponsible.

      How many people would feel that way about leaving a loaded handgun on a playing field?

      Snakes have volition, and are very good at hiding.

      But snakes are not people and do not deserve the same consideration as people. They cannot be reasoned with, so they have to be dealt with physically.

      1. “They cannot be reasoned with, so they have to be dealt with physically.”

        You are talking about snakes right? Sounds a lot like how we may have to deal with other infringements.

  2. avatar sagebrushracer says:

    TEST CASE!!!! NRA legal team, SAF legal team, and a call for donations for the legal defense would not be unanswered by me.

    Shooting a dangerous animal should not be illegal, regardless of how many legs they do or do not have.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Mighty bold with other people’s time and money, aren’t we?

      If the NRA drops so much as a penny in defense of this criminal, I’d cancel my membership. This is an open and shut case of a hero complex lunatic running around with a gun trying to be a bad ass. She’s exactly the stereotypical gun-toting buffoon that the antis hold up as representative of the POTG as a whole. I know she’s an absurd outlier, but casual news followers don’t.

      This snake didn’t attack anyone. These coaches and parents tried to extract it from the equipment and kill it. They should have gotten a professional snake remover to handle the extraction, rather than recklessly jack with it themselves; ultimately degenerating into an illegal and irresponsible discharge of a firearm in a prohibited place.

      1. avatar Gregory says:

        Bingo, you hit the nail on he head. How about everyone stays away until the thing is taken care of properly. A snake in a field by itself is a danger to nothing. She got exactly what she deserved for being an idiot. This is a test case for stupid is as stupid does.

      2. avatar CBI says:

        [sarc] After all, it is the responsibility of our masters in government to defend us and the children; no person should ever, ever, ever undertake the duty of acting without permission of the overseers. [/sarc]

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Who said anything about government’s assistance? Pop Warner football means private athletic clubs. The parents are private citizens. The pest removal companies are privately owned, as well.

          How much does a snake removal service call cost? Maybe $100-150? There have to be some 30-40 kids on a team, as I recall from my own Pop Warner football playing days. That’s plenty of parents, who are already paying for their kids to play in this league, to chip in a few bucks each to clear out the snake.

          I never said call the city animal control department or the school janitor. The abundance of private companies in operation there suggests to mean that those avenues aren’t all that attractive.

      3. avatar CoolHand says:

        This fellow here, ladies and gents, is why we POTG will eventually succumb to the statist troglodytes.

        Even the people ostensibly on “our side” are so caught up in the police state mindset that they are just itching to throw fellow POTG into the wood chipper that is the US justice system.

        Folks like you are at least as responsible for our societal rot as the lawyers and the politicians.

        Come on, SMOD! You’re our only hope!

        1. avatar v v ind says:

          Jonathan, I cant help but think snake=criminal, professional handler=LEO. Are you for real?

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Really? I can’t help but think snake = wild animal which isn’t attacking anyone, and professional snake handler = professional snake handler, i.e., working for a professional, privately owned pest removal company. I never said or suggested calling the city animal control department, which would have been closer to your analogy.

          For the record, though, if you do find an actual human criminal hiding in sports equipment on your kid’s football field and not threatening anyone, then, yes, I suggest you call the police, rather than volunteer to engage him and kill him with sticks and guns. Sheesh.

      4. avatar Tori S says:

        And if they defend her I’ll find out what level of membership is above being an endowment member. The gun free school zone laws have to end. And whatever happened to personal responsibility? Why do we need to call “dad” to deal with everything? When even other gun owners support the paternalist state we’re truly doomed.

        I do wonder though if I would feel differently if some gang thug wannabe student pulled a gun and shot the snake. How would it be different if no one involved had an LTC?

  3. avatar N8thecowboy says:

    I couldn’t hit a snake if I tried. Those things are quick and small. I would have been better off with an axe.

    1. avatar don curton says:

      Practice practice practice. Or get lucky. Or carry a few shot shells for your pistol. The only quibble I have with the story is that she missed.

      A shovel is also good for killing snakes, plus handy for dead snake disposal.

    2. avatar Scrubula says:

      Snakes hiding behind stuff often sit still and wait.
      Since attempts to harass it with sticks failed, I am assuming it wasn’t moving very much.

  4. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    And Florida is a gun friendly state? I guess this is FOR THE CHILDREN…THAT’S SOME SERIOUS DUMBASSERY!

    1. avatar JSIII says:

      Some parts of Florida, especially Gainesville, Orlando and the areas around Miami are near every bit as bad as say Chicago or L.A. The difference is the rest of Florida has a very healthy gun culture.

  5. avatar stateisevil says:

    It is not illegal to have a gun in a car on school grounds in Florida, with or without a carry permit. Perhaps that’s where it was stowed until the lawful defense.

    Fl is not a progun state. Probably more antigun than even Texas. Open carry is illegal and bearing arms is limited to the exercise of a privilege.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      Is Texas considered an anti-gun state now too?

    2. avatar Matt says:

      It is NOT legal in Florida to have a gun in your car on school grounds.

      As of July 1, 2008, Florida became a “Take your gun to work” state (F.S. 790.251). This law prohibits most businesses from firing any employee with a Concealed Weapon License for keeping a legal firearm locked in his or her vehicle in the company parking lot. The purpose of the new law is to allow carry licensees to exercise their Second Amendment rights during their commutes to and from work. Exceptions listed in F.S. 790.251(7) include:

      school property;
      correctional institutions;
      property where a nuclear-powered electricity generation facility is located;
      property upon which substantial activities involving national defense, aerospace, or homeland security are conducted;
      property upon which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of combustible or explosive materials;
      a motor vehicle owned/leased/rented by your employer;
      any other property upon which possession of a firearm is prohibited pursuant to any federal law, contract with a federal government entity, or general law of Florida.

  6. avatar Bernard says:

    “Venomous” snakes. Not “poisonous”. Poison is absorbed and/or ingested. Venom is injected.

    1. avatar Jim R says:

      Poisonous is when you eat it. Venomous is when it eats you.

    2. avatar Reyberto Colon says:

      Thanks for that. Considering that english is not my vernacular language, I appreciate and enjoy any chance to expand my vocabulary.

      1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        While “native” versus “vernacular” is largely a difference in dialect, the fact that you know the word vernacular already puts you well ahead of most Americans educated in our public school system. 🙁

    3. avatar Bear The Grizzly says:

      Thank you. I came here just to say that or I would have avoided this ignorant article altogether.

      1. That was not the only ignorant thing in this article.

        “Even if a person has a concealed carry permit, it’s illegal to possess a firearm on school grounds during a school-related event.”

        Did he not say that this was a local Pop Warner league practice? That is not a school-related event. They were just using the practice field.

    4. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      THANK YOU!

      I came in to say nearly the same thing, verbatim. I had a boss back in the day that used to jump on his employees with both feet if they made the mistake of confusing the two. In his industry, it was an important distinction.

      Additionally, some of the “water moccasins are mean as hell! And they’ll chase ya’!” Garbage is irksome.. Most people walk within feet of snakes, venomous or otherwise, on at least a weekly basis and never know it. Snakes do not chase people, it’s a rare thing for them to even chase a meal. They also don’t have the mental capacity to be mean. Dogs are more dangerous than snakes, and there are far more of them in our day-to-day lives.

      1. avatar Gordon says:

        Don’t know where you live, but I have had more than one snake chase me in Oklahoma. They may not be “mean” since that is a human characteristic, but they certainly can be aggressive.

        1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          @Gordon

          If you’re interested in getting a little information that contradicts your assertion that you’ve been chased, read the following article and take a look at a few others on Dr. Steen’s blog.

          http://www.livingalongsidewildlife.com/2011/04/cottonmouth-myths-iv-i-got-chased-by.html

      2. avatar Frank in VA says:

        Some types will chase you if you mess with them like this guy in the video. Don’t mess with snakes.

  7. avatar mk10108 says:

    OH NO you don’t…ITS NOT ABOUT THE GUN. Because you took it upon YOURSELF to dispatch said critter and refused to involve 911, animal control, school officials, employed ambulance services, airborne division for top cover, CDC (injectable poisons), community services (psychological impact study on the children). HOW ARE WE to justify all these services at taxpayers expense if YOU do our job for us. IF you set the precedent that average citizens CAN and in FACT handle these “situations” it is possible you will slow the earth’s rotation AND where does that leave us. NO…we will not proscute for killing the snake, but for harm you cause to our unions, and possible interuptions to orbits in our solar system. 1000 dollar fine and 50 days community service.

    1. avatar JSIII says:

      I used to live in Florida, the first time I saw a diamondback hanging out by my front door for a few hours I called animal control..they said they could send someone out in about 4 days. It slithered off and I got myself a very good shovel.

    2. avatar mk10108 says:

      The bigger jackass was the LEO who arrested her. We no longer live in a world where officers with a badge can think through a situation…X happen so Y is the rule and Z is the course of action. All the evidence you need to determine police are not interested in serving the public but like ALL businesses it’s about generating revenue. Lock her up, impound the gun, set bail, court appearance, probation, parole officer, record keeping and meetings. Meanwhile gangs roam & rule streets, humans are shot and robbed.

      Welcome to the mindless law enforcement, judicial, correction & probation money machine.

      1. My thoughts exactly – officer must have been a serioius a$$hole to arrest her. If I were the officer, I would have a talk with her, then with whoever at the school who had a problem with it, and that’s that. No need for arrests for anyone.

        1. avatar publius2 says:

          Yeah, well maybe 20 yrs ago that was commkn sense. But lets face it, after Sandy Hook and the MDA panty twisters there is no way a cop could do that, without some busybody complaining, and then the whole dept is undergoing mandatory school gun regs training. There is a process: The cops enforce the law, as written.The prosecutor decides if its winnable, or pleads it lower, or dismisses it, if the woman gets an attorney. The judge exercises his discretion based on facts and limits oc what he can do. The woman said she knew better, and accepted the blame. Commendable intentions, but piss-poor headwork.

          If this woman was a CCW permit holder she should havd known better, even if Fla ccw permit is paper whipping. There was no imminent threat, she was not in range. She broke a couple of laws discharging her hangun, when the property owner, the school, was responsible for calling Animal Control. The coaches should have known better to allow it, well meant as it was, just for liability reasons, and the bad PR.

          Hopefully the judge will assign her some educational community service, and probation to allow her to carry concealee again when complete, maybecacseries of lectures at area schools on why you dont take it on yourself to do untrained pest control on school grounds with a firearm.

          And while I am not a snake lover, there are plenty who are, who could have been called to remove it for free.
          Its just a football game, fer chrissakes. Postpone or move to an adjacent field, or post a guard on the shed to warn if it comes out. I really really doubt the snake is going to charge on the field and chase a group of people having been beat with sticks, sheesh.

    3. avatar John Galt says:

      @mk10108

      Yeah, sounds like they’ve got some California-style thinking going on.

      Can’t be having individuals take initiative, take responsibility, look after one another, etc.

      Oh, no. Not that.

      The State must study all, decide all, implement all, fund it all, etc.

      Why California is Broke, and Texas is Not
      http://economy.money.cnn.com/2012/10/10/california-texas-richard-fisher/

    4. avatar John M. says:

      Welcome to the United States of Permanent Bureaucracy.

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    The cops were upset because they weren’t called to shoot the snake. Besides, the blood that flows through cops is different from that which flows through “regular” people. As a result of this difference, everyone should accept that cops with guns on school property is acceptable but regular people (such as the student’s parents) should not have any guns on school grounds. Completely unacceptable.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      If the cops came on the scene to dispose of the snake, it probably would have taken them 600 rounds to do it, plus they probably would have killed an innocent garter snake to boot!

    2. avatar pieslapper says:

      Wait, I didn’t know cops could shoot snakes. Don’t they specialize in dogs, hostages & people at the wrong address ?

  9. avatar Skyler says:

    Good grief. There’s a cotton mouth running amok? In Florida? Why, that’s never happened before in the history of Florida’s existence.

    Usually the snake is taken care of without a firearm, and seeing as how it’s against the law to use a firearm you’d think that sensible people would FOLLOW THE FREAKING LAW and leave the area rather than shoot at the snake.

    Is it sensible to shoot at a snake otherwise? Irrelevent! The voters of this nation and the state of Florida decided that this is not an option.

    We are either a nation of laws or we are not. I encourage people to vote to change this law, but until it is changed it is to be followed. It is not an immoral law, and must be followed.

    No pity for this stupid woman. The law required them to respond in another way, such as canceling the practice. Football practice is not more important than getting a conviction and jailed.

    1. avatar Steve says:

      So Rosa Parks should have just got up and moved to the back of the bus?

      Unjust laws often require civil disobedience in order to be repealed.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        … yeah, those two things (not being able to shoot a snake on school property and the forced separation of the races) are pretty much the same.

      2. avatar Skyler says:

        You’re comparing this to segregation?

        Segregation is an unjust law. There is no set of laws ever concocted that has no limits on time and place for bearing guns. There will always be a limit to time and place. How far that limit goes is decided by the people so long as the limit is reasonable. Saying no guns on school grounds is unwise but not unreasonable.

        Having sex is a fundamental right. Humans have had sex since the beginning of our species at very young ages and you could argue that the healthiest physical age for a female to give birth is at the age of 14. Are you going to say that because Rosa Parks sat in the front of the bus that you also want to have sex with 14 year old girls, laws be damned? I certainly wouldn’t want to be your lawyer if you did.

        The people have decided that there is an age of consent before being allowed to have sex. You can argue the age should be changed (if you’re a pervert in my opinion) and whatever age is chosen will of necessity be arbitrary and won’t take into account specific maturity and life circumstances of individuals. But until that law is changed you’d better obey it.

        Likewise, until the law regarding when and where to carry a gun is changed, then laws that are on the surface fairly reasonable, if unwise, had better be obeyed.

        Otherwise you are asking us to descend into anarchy, and I won’t support that.

        1. avatar John Galt says:

          There’s a time and place to carry a firearm to defend yourself.

          And that decision will be made by The State.

          ——–

          Once upon a time, there were blacks peacefully protesting in the streets.

          And water hoses were fired on them because The State decided that it wasn’t the time and place for a protest.

          Also, because anarchy.

        2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

          Uh no, the sole act of having sex, is not a fundamental right. It requires at least two (or more) willing participants. So what you are essentially saying is that for you to have sex, someone always has to be available to perform with you, even through force if necessary.

    2. avatar Chadwick P says:

      So if it was Frankenstein’s monster with an evil black rifle spraying bullets at kiddies you still think she should have done the vote & hope? Yes all the fight has been bread out of this country. Thanks for the reminder.

      1. avatar Skyler says:

        You’re being absurd. In your scenario, a killer needs to be stopped. In the actual scenario, the people could have just left if they felt in danger. Canceling football practice is not the same level of offense as killing children.

        1. avatar Jay-El says:

          One would think that in a Stand Your Ground state, with no duty to retreat from a human threat before firing in self-defense, there would not be a duty to retreat from a venomous snake.

        2. avatar Frank in VA says:

          If the snake was pursuing/attacking anyone, it was Self-Defense and ‘stand your ground’ can reasonably be applied.

          Doesn’t sound like that was the case here. The snake was probably just an inconvenience for them. They could have had some adults watch it from a safe distance so as not to lose track of it’s location, kept everyone else away, and then called somebody with sufficient snake experience come and remove it.

    3. avatar Albaniaaaa says:

      Typical statist mentality. “BUT IT’S THE LAW!” She hurt no one, scared no one, killed a venomous snake, the end. She is being arrested for a victimless crime. We are a nation of FREEDOM. Not law. Go live in the UK for that. Enjoy your surveillance state.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        Well, you got one out of three right (hurt no one). That we know of.

        No way you could know whether or not any of the kids who were at football practice is gunshy, so claiming that you know that “no one was scared” is a bit of a stretch.

        And from the linked article:
        “The children were about 20 to 50 yards away when Demarco took one shot at the snake, missing wide.”

        So you were completely wrong about her killing the snake.

        Way to (try to) make a point!

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    It looks to me like Ms. DeMarco shot at Charlie Crist. That is Crist in the picture, right?

    1. avatar Mediocrates says:

      Bwahahahahah I think I love you.

    2. avatar DJ9 says:

      I don’t think it’s Crist. I see no fan nearby…

  11. avatar GCAZ says:

    What happed to the police? Showed up to make the arrest. Not to “protect and serve”. Snake more afraid of people. Probably could have chased it way, AZ has lots of snakes, live and let live, if you can.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      To be fair, water moccasins are extremely aggressive and will attack even if unprovoked. That’s why you leave the area if you aren’t allowed to kill it with your .380acp.

      1. avatar John Galt says:

        Unless you’re a police officer.

        In that case, you can shoot at anything that moves.

        Because officer safety.

      2. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        Not true…

  12. avatar Sammy says:

    She should have, while yelling something theological, cut it’s head off. Sarcasm off.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      I assume you mean ‘Alah-hu Ahkbar’.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Aloha Snackbar!
        Snake is some good eating!

        1. avatar v v ind says:

          Since everyone here laughed at that awesome play on words but no one thanked you I’ll do it for us all. Thanks

  13. avatar Mediocrates says:

    This is an epic fail on the part of these women. Really? Borrow somebody else’s conceal carry pistol illegally carried on school property to SAVE THE CHILDREN from a snake?

    I think we could have just let this one slide.

    (or slither, whatever the case may be)

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      True.

      She wasn’t ‘defending’ anyone. The snake wasn’t attacking anyone. It was being attacked by some people trying to whack it with a stick, but other than that I don’t see how anyone was in imminent danger.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I just got a mental flash(maybe I am mental?) of a scared snake whipping out pepper spray. Getting so a snake just can;t slither across a field anymore. Some tweaker up and tries to blow your head off.

        If it had been a black snake rev. jesse and al would have had a lot to say about it.

    2. avatar SigGuy says:

      Bingo. Had I been in this situation, this is no shoot without question. Not even knowing the specific law, I would’ve assumed that a gun around a school is some type of illegal. You have to ask yourself if the threat at hand is worth the repercussions of pulling and using your gun. It’ll be interesting to see where this case goes though.

  14. avatar TwinReverb says:

    I don’t agree with it being illegal to have a gun on school grounds, but that’s the law, and they should’ve known better. It’s on the list of off-limits places for firearms and any concealed carrier in FL that’s been trained should already know this. Most schools also post “no guns” signs everywhere.

    I don’t agree with it being illegal to have a gun on school grounds, but that’s the law, and they have no legal ground to stand on. The “unless” part of .15 means that you may not get a felony for it, simply because you were defending yourself, but the .06 can still give you a misdemeanor. But let’s see how this plays out in court.

  15. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Just curious, if you’re walking by a school (crossing to the opposite side of the street, of course) with your legally carried concealed firearm and you hear a series of ‘pop-pop-pops’, I’m assuming the only legal recourse is to keep on walking and let the children die, for the children of course.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Of course! You wouldn’t want to break any laws would you?

    2. avatar John Galt says:

      I’m assuming the only legal recourse is to keep on walking and let the children die, for the children of course.

      Actually, there’s one thing you can do.

      Call 911.

      Then you may keep on walking, secure in the knowledge that you have relieved yourself of all responsibility for those children.

      1. avatar ShaunL. says:

        Or just kill the damn snake! It’s really not that hard. There was no need to use a gun OR leave a poisonous snake where children were playing.

        I don’t need 911 or the big G to save me from nature…. I have thumbs, I got this!

        1. avatar John Galt says:

          We were discussing a hypothetical sound-of-gunfire situation, not the snake.

          From @Gov. William J. Le Petomane’s original comment:

          if you’re walking by a school (crossing to the opposite side of the street, of course) with your legally carried concealed firearm and you hear a series of ‘pop-pop-pops’

  16. avatar Jhill says:

    Ok, this does not classify as a defensive gun use. This woman is an idiot. A water moccasin can be avoided by stepping out of the way. I have killed many with rocks, sticks and shovels. Shovels actually work better than pistols most of the time. I am for concealed carry at schools, but this is just plain stupid.

  17. avatar Aaron says:

    Ditch bank blade works better on snakes than a pistol. Not nearly as easy to conceal, though.

  18. avatar Michael B. says:

    This is one of those things where the person deserves a stern talking to or being chewed out, not jail.

  19. avatar Full Cleveland says:

    So a group of kids and adults can’t figure out how to remove a venomous snake from the play area. Whacking it with a stick didn’t work so one person borrows another persons gun to shoot the snake but misses. Someone calls the cops and arrests are made all around.
    That is one dysfunctional Florida town. It would be funny except it reminds me of how we handle the ebola threat.

  20. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Throw the book at her. Bust her for the possession on school premises and bust her for the discharge, too.

    “Defending” is B.S. She went picking a fight with that snake, trying to be a hero, and could’ve gotten herself or someone else bitten, not to mention shot. The vast majority of snake bites result from some jack wagon trying to kill or capture a snake. Leave them alone and you’ll be fine. If they absolutely must be dealt with, as when found on a kids’ ball field, then call a damn professional snake remover. I looked it up, and there are half a dozen or so such companies in Panama City, FL alone.

    On top of it all, she willfully violated, no, gleefully flouted, the law, with a sense of entitlement. “Step aside, mere mortals! I have a concealed carry license! I’m here to save the day!” Good freakin’ grief. This is why the antis hate us. No guns for you, jackass.

    1. avatar Jay-El says:

      You’re doing a lot of assuming there, my friend. Unless you’re simply co-opting the arguments of the antis to make a point, that is. I can’t tell.

      P.S. I”m a shovel guy myself. Head thump with the broad side, blunt trauma and it’s lights out. No need to draw a crowd or provoke someone into calling 911 when they hear shots.

      1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        I’m not your friend and I’m not assuming or co-opting anything. Of the event, I’m just stating the facts. Of what should happen to her, I’m just hoping they’ll follow the law.

        Your basic quarrel is not with me, or even with the antis, but with reality. Good luck with that.

        1. avatar DJ9 says:

          Jonathan – Houston said:
          “On top of it all, she willfully violated, no, gleefully flouted, the law, with a sense of entitlement. ‘Step aside, mere mortals! I have a concealed carry license! I’m here to save the day!’ Good freakin’ grief. This is why the antis hate us.”

          I guess you missed the fact that the shooter borrowed the gun from another person who had a carry permit. I don’t believe the article ever said whether the shooter had a carry permit.

          And the antis hate us for a long list of mostly irrational reasons; doing dumb stuff with a gun probably isn’t even in the top five.

          Other than that, you kinda almost sorta nailed it…

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Ok, DJ9, one criminal illegally possessed a concealed firearm on school property. The other criminal illegally possessed a firearm on school property and illegally discharged said firearm on school property.

          Your big counterpoint is that I conflated the overlapping crimes of the two criminals? Congrats on that devastating comeback. Thanks for stopping by. Now, back to the non-trivial…..

          So, we have one licensed concealed carrier hero wannabe (not the one who fired) who flouted the law on her own, then proceeded to offer to save the day…..by lending her gun to someone else.

          Then criminal #2, aka Little Miss “I’ll take the blame “, steps in to flout the law and save the day by committing two firearms crimes and recklessly fired a gun she’d only just illegally acquired seconds prior.

          Aside from consolidating the similar and directly related crimes of these two criminals into one criminal, I’d say I far more than kinda sorta nailed it. I’d say home run, but hey, I’m modest, so let’s compromise and call it a triple. You, on the other hand, doubling down on an already asinine response, couldn’t even get thr bat off your shoulder.

        3. avatar DJ9 says:

          Yeah, other than your lack of reading comprehension completely gutting the foundation of, and basic reason for, your “Step aside, mere mortals!” off-base comment/guess, you really knocked the cover off that one.

          Your general lack of comprehension and display of highly emotional desperation indicate you’re probably a visitor from the MDA camp, so you obviously have plenty of other problems already. I won’t pile on. Continue enjoying your detached-from-reality emotional projection. Make sure you tweak the story so it sounds suitable heroic for the write-up in your diary. Have a well-medicated day!

      2. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

        Well, I was never involved in Pop Warner football, but for the eight years or so that I coached my son’s T-ball and Little League baseball teams I can’t ever recall a shovel being present on the fields. We did have baseball bats, which would have been effective on a snake, but I can’t think of anything analogous that a football team would have.

        All of you people saying “use a shovel” need to remember that this was a football practice, probably on a Saturday, at a school. Do any of you take shovels to your kid’s football/baseball/soccer practice?

  21. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    I think I’d have made a trip to the local Stop-N-Rob to buy a Coke in a glass bottle, a box of tampoons and some gasoline to make a Molotov Cocktail… F snakes… F reptiles. for that matter… I come down hard on the side of humans and/or mammals…

  22. avatar Misnomer says:

    Retreat was a real possibility in this case. They should have cleared the field and called animal control or something. A handgun is probably one of the least practical tools to deal with a snake. She just used it because that’s what she had, when going to get a shovel would have been a better move.

  23. avatar bigfinger76 says:

    Next time you are around a group of people and a snake makes an unexpected appearance, stop. Quietly observe. Compare the scene to a group of chimpanzees upon a similar discovery.
    It’s fascinating.

  24. avatar Pete says:

    To even begin to defend this moron is pure stupidity. What part of no firearms on school property is that difficult to understand. Both should have been arrested ..it wasn’t even her gun! Clear the area call animal control. A carry permit is not a vigilante permit. I think some people forget that. What if the snake lunged at her and in a panic accidentally fired a round towards the people nearby on the fields or in the parking lot? Or someone’s home? This is gourmet meal for the anti gun crowd. How is no firearms permitted on school grounds a “silly” law? Cmon TTAG….I’m as pro gun as anyone but sometimes you have to draw the line. Most gun control regulations are horrible but I agree with this one

  25. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

    I had a friend who was an MP in Panama who killed a Fer-de-lance with his patrol car after some officer’s wife called the MP station complaining it was on her lawn. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but she called the station back to file a complaint. I guess she thought there was a Military Police snake charmer who’d come out and paly it into a basket with his little flute thingy…maybe that would’ve been the best solution to this thing on the football field. Either that, or just give Florida back to the snakes, crocs and mosquitoes.

  26. avatar tdiinva says:

    A couple of weeks ago I was playing golf when a copperhead came slithering onto the green. I had my Nano with me but I chose a 9 iron instead. Common sensesense people, just plain ordinary everyday common sense.

  27. avatar ShaunL. says:

    I don’t have a problem with shooting a snake. A firearm is a viable(some would say wise) option to maintain distance while dispatching the threat.

    I DO however have a problem with this statement…..
    “I can say that a firearm is often the only means to stop the threat from a poisonous snake in a semi-concealed position.”

    A firearm is never the ONLY option for dealing with a snake. I’ve personally killed quite a few and know many, many, many people who have done the same without a gun. Maybe if the Boy scouts or the outdoors in general were as important to people these days as football and soccer practice we wouldn’t be creating a generation of dependents. Mankind killed BEARS with spears long before firearms were invented along with countless other species of yummy things made of meat…. Are we really THAT far gone that we can’t fend for ourselves?

    1. I do not know the exact situation in this instance, because I was not there.

      However, I have been in circumstances in which the venomous snake was partly hidden, and not easily reached with an edged or blunt weapon. Firearms can be effective at a distance, a primary advantage. The problem with “leaving the snake for others to take care of” is that snakes are often hard to find. They hide in holes and other difficult to search places.

      Allowing a venomous snake to occupy a place where children play is morally equivalent to allowing a living land mine in an area where children play.

      To claim that as the snake was not immediately attacking someone, the problem could safely be deferred to others, ignores the danger that the snake represents by its mere existence on the playing field.

      1. avatar Michael in GA says:

        Yep. I respect what snakes do to control rodents and I never kill non-venomous varieties. But when vipers are on our turf, we have to be the animal at the top of the chain.

  28. avatar Gregolas says:

    I don’t think anything Ms. DeMarco did was wrong. However, this is a case of “When your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.”
    Pepper spray could have easily solved this dilemma. Pit vipers (all North American poisonous snakes except coral snakes) sense by infrared pits between their eyes and nostrils. One shot of 2 million Scoville Units and Mr. Slither is done for the day.
    No muss, no fuss, and no arrest for protecting the kiddies with a gun.

  29. avatar TT says:

    Wow! Who knew there are so many people with snake phobias? I’ll bet dollars to donuts the snake wasn’t a cottonmouth either.

    I’m also pretty sure Florida law allows concealed carry permit holders to carry on school grounds, unless the local school board prohibits it, but I don’t feel like looking up the statute right now. Federal law prohibits discharging firearms on school grounds anyway.

    1. avatar TT says:

      Here’s the Florida law (Fla. Stat s. 790.06(12)(a)). It says concealed carry permit holders cannot carry at “9. Any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms; [or] 10. Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building[.]” Your guess is as good as mine as to whether a Pop Warner practice on a school field is a “school athletic event.” It looks like as far as the police are concerned a field is a “school facility.”

  30. avatar Baird Tarr says:

    Not familiar with Florida law but, in my own state, weapons of any kind are forbidden. Using a stick as a club would be considered a weapon and will get you prosecuted. Is the DA considering charging those who wielded sticks as well as the firearm owner?

  31. avatar Lolinski says:

    Why kill the snake at all? Because it might attack you? Makes no sense.

    I have never been attacked by a venomous snake in spite of encountering them halfway often.

    It is really simple; don’t be stupid.

  32. avatar dan says:

    The MAIN point here to consider is that this law and many like it were passed by a REPUBLICAN State legislature of which most are A rated by the NRA….go figure

  33. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

    Not sure if it’s been said, but they’re venomous, not poisinous. Lol.

    1. avatar 2maik7 says:

      venomous and not very hostile. Cottonmouths simply want to go about their day. It certainly was not a threat to anyone as long as they didn’t bother it and kept everyone away. Opening fire on it was more than a slight overreaction. There were likely more in the area that they didn’t see.

  34. avatar 2maik7 says:

    She shouldn’t have done it, plain and simple. Get the kids off the field! Don’t open fire on a friggin snake. That is ridiculous on her part. And the implication that she was defending the children’s lives is one of the most melodramatic things I have heard recently.

    Cottonmouths, despite the exagerration from people who squirm at the mere sight of a cottonmouth or any other snake, are farely calm snakes. opening fire on a snake, still laughing my ass off about that, is a remarkable overreaction.

    Get the kids off the field, call animal control or wait a few minutes and everything would be back to normal. Opening fire, WTF!

    There were probably a couple more in the area as well. Are they going to be paralyzed with fear everytime they go to the field?

    Defending her actions, which were unnecessary and irresponsible, makes me think this site is beginning to run out of things to write about. Framing it as some kind of anti gun assault is even more laughable. Framing it as the woman ‘defending the children’s lives’ from the big bad snake takes the cake.

  35. avatar 2maik7 says:

    I don’t remember TTAG moderating comments. Since when are you guys pulling a MDA?

  36. avatar Will Wright says:

    You have a God given right to self-defense, just not when you’re spending time with your kids. Even FL and TX gun laws are still archaic. At least TX is moving in the right direction.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email