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Otters Oddities

Is it considered prejudice if I refuse service to a zombie?

No really, that's a good question. When the zombie apocalypse comes, it might not be an apocalypse. It might be more like a localized outbreak, like SARS, or West Nile.

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And you just know, there will be a group of ultra-super-eliteist-hardcore-granola munching-uber liberals who will portray the undead as the victims. "It's the virus!" they'll proclaim. "They didn't ask to be zombies!".

Before long they'll be trying to rehabilitate them, train them to not eat everyone else. Help them readjust to society.

And when an attack occurs, they'll blame the victim for enabling the zombie to continue it's mindless, flesh eating ways.

And, heaven forbid the citizenry arms themselves for defense. We all know a shot to the head is the fastest way to dispatch a zombie. The only way to put them down and be sure about it.

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Think of the implications of destroying zombies. If you shoot them, are you doing anything wrong? Would it be legal to kill a zombie?

That's not as easy a question to answer as you might think.

Your ultra-granola munching-tree hugging-loonies will say it's murder. But is it? At one point, a zombie was a living person. But, by definition, a zombie is dead. And it can't be murder, or even manslaughter, to kill one, as they're already dead. So, you're safe if you shoot one.

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Well, you won't get in trouble for the actual death of the zombie.

But, depending on where you are, you still may be in trouble.

Consider the following, in most jurisdictions, you need to have a special permit to carry a weapon. If you don't have one, you could be charged for carrying illegally.

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If the zombie is actively attacking you, you'll be fine as self-defense laws will cover you, but if you just see a zombie shambling down the street, and you shoot it, you could be in trouble for discharging your firearm within city limits. Most cities and towns frown on people shooting guns within their borders. They make exceptions in cases of self defense, but that means you can't just shoot zombies willy-nilly.

And, let's consider the self defense argument. As is commonly known, Florida has a 'Stand Your Ground' defense law. That means, if you feel threatened, you can shoot. but not all states have that. Some states require you to make an effort to remove yourself from danger before you're allowed to use deadly force.

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Contrary to modern movies, zombies are slow. If you see one coming, in some localities, you would be required to turn around and walk away from the zombie without shooting it. Because, you can get away from it, you have the responsibility to flee before fighting.

And, I'm not talking about guns, only. Zombies can be destroyed with fire, but try starting a fire in the middle of town without going to jail.

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And, I'm sure the authorities would like to talk to you if you start walking around swinging a machete.

Now, keep in mind I'm talking about situations other than a full blown outbreak. This could be in the early days, before it spreads too far, or in cases like ebola outbreaks where only a small number of people are infected. My argument assumes a functioning society. If society collapses, all bets are off and you can shoot with impunity.

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But you really should think before you just destroy a zombie. The method you choose may get you in trouble.

You'll notice in the beginning of the post, I said 'when', not 'if' the zombies attack. I mean, would it really surprise anyone if someone developed a virus that allowed the brain to continue functioning even if the rest of the vitals shut down? It might involve nano-technology, even. Or aliens could give us their version of a cold. It might sound crazy, but you can't say for certain that it will never happen. No one can see into the future.

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See, yesterday I promised I get back to an odd subject. The legality of zombie killing is, you have to admit, pretty odd, even if it is hypothetical.

Stay tuned for tomorrows episode, where I tell you about how Ghengis Kahn was probably the most environmentally friendly person to ever live.

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