A self-appointed convenience store parking lot monitor shot and killed a man in Florida earlier this month.

That’s a bizarre tragedy in itself, but the craziest part is that this habitual harasser may get away with it.

Police say they cannot charge him. And that’s because the state’s stand your ground law has been effectively turned into a license to kill.

There’s a lesson in this for South Carolina.

On July 19, Michael Drejka walked up to Britany Jacobs’ car outside a Clearwater mini-mart and started yelling at her for parking in a handicap space. His tirade attracted the attention of customers, who alerted the clerk.

When Markeis McGlockton realized Drejka was accosting his family, he ran outside and shoved Drejka away, knocking him to the ground.

It took Drejka just four seconds to roll, recover, pull a gun and shoot McGlockton — who, surveillance video shows, was turning away.

But the Pinellas County sheriff says Drejka can’t be charged with a crime, or even arrested, because last year Florida amended its stand your ground law to shift the burden of proof to police.

They can’t arrest the man unless they prove it wasn’t a case of stand your ground.

That’s nuts. Know what else is nuts?

Some South Carolina legislators wanted to make similar changes to our law.

Who has the burden?

In 2016, South Carolina lawmakers considered an “immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action” amendment to the state’s castle doctrine/stand your ground law.

Florida’s law is much broader than South Carolina’s, but officials here wanted to similarly shift the burden of proof in such self-defense cases to the state. Sen. Chip Campsen says that was the problem.

“I think if someone wants to invoke the castle doctrine in a pretrial motion, that’s fine,” Campsen says. “What I had a problem with was shifting the burden of proof to the state.”

Exactly. That handcuffs law enforcement, and allows anyone who shoots another person to basically claim stand your ground. And, unless the state can prove otherwise, they walk.

The Florida sheriff says it doesn’t matter that Drejka instigated this, whether he’s a thorn in everyone’s side or just a jerk. The law is on his side, which doesn’t seem to sit well with police.

“Does this law create a situation where people shoot first and ask questions later?” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. “You can have that discussion.”

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon says in an obvious case of self-defense, he might not charge a person for standing their ground — but he wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, be afraid to do so. A jury gets to decide whether it was a good arrest, he says.

“People have always had a right to self-defense,” Cannon says, “with or without stand your ground.”

Cannon and Campsen both say that stand your ground probably shouldn’t apply when the person doing the shooting actually instigated the incident.

That’s not standing your ground, that’s picking a fight.

Mind your manners, and your business

Think about the implications of this case.

It basically says that a person — a man who the store owner says routinely picked fights with customers and actually threatened to shoot a man in the same lot months ago — can harass someone until they lay hands on him.

Then he can shoot them and claim he had a reasonable fear for his life.

Sorry, any law that allows such behavior is fraught with flaws. The way Florida officials are interpreting this, it’s basically OK to goad a person to get a reaction, then shoot them and claim self-defense and reasonable fear.

There isn’t anything reasonable going on in the head of a middle-age man with nothing better to do than harass scofflaws and customers outside a convenience store. And there’s nothing right about shooting a man in cold blood and law enforcement not even investigating.

There are few people who wouldn’t rush to their family’s defense as McGlockton did. Campsen notes that, by South Carolina standards, McGlockton would actually have a better stand your ground case than Drejka.

South Carolina lawmakers deserve credit for avoiding the trap Florida has fallen into here, but perhaps there are other appropriate amendments to our castle doctrine.

Since some people take full advantage of the absence of laws against being obnoxious, maybe the state needs a “mind your business” clause.

If a person clearly instigates an incident, as Drejka did, they should lose all right to use stand your ground as a license to kill.

Reach Brian Hicks at bhicks@postandcourier.com.

Reach Brian Hicks at bhicks@postandcourier.com.