In the wake of the shootings in Arizona, and the one at Florida State University last week where a drunk student accidentally killed his girlfriend’s twin sister with an AK-47, you might think that logic would dictate the idea of tightening notoriously permissive gun laws in Florida. Unfortunately, that logic goes out the window thanks to the National Rifle Association and lawmakers in Florida.
In fact, there are now three separate bills on the table that will further weaken firearms regulations in the Sunshine State. One seeks to restrict local governments from regulating firearms, and a second would prohibit physicians from asking about guns in the home. The third proposed bill, if passed, could make it even easier for more shootings just like the one that took place at FSU, accidental or otherwise. In that bill, lawmakers want to allow those with permits to carry weapons on college campuses. The reasoning behind the proposed laws are basically “because you can,” “free speech,” and in the case of the third, because “concealed weapons permit holders are adults, with the same rights as others.” That, according to NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer. Of course, adults also have the right to attend classes and move freely on a college campus without getting shot or killed too, but those rights are always trumped by the rights of gun owners. Add to that the lobbyists for the NRA who dole out truckloads of contributions to lawmakers who have no spines and, well, there you go.
Only two days after the shootings in Tucson, Florida Republican Rep. Joe Negron filed the bill that would prohibit local ordinances that might impose firearm and ammunition restrictions, and anyone who tries could be thrown out of office and could be fined up to $5 million.
Two days after the shootings.
According to Negron the timing had absolutely nothing to do with Tucson, he had been working on the bill with the NRA for over a month already.
Sadly in Florida, as well as nationwide, when it comes to gun laws it isn’t so much the lawmakers, but rather the NRA who dictate gun laws. (Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) who lost her husband in the Long Island Railroad shootings, is introducing a bill that would outlaw high-capacity magazines like the one the Arizona shooter used, and already she faces an uphill battle against it.) It was only a day or two after the Arizona shootings, if even that, when the subject of possible restrictions came up, and they were quickly “shot down” by those in authority. Not going to happen. Not the right time. (As if there could be a better time?) As for Florida? Well, we just elected a Governor who was given an “A” rating by the NRA.
It’s “not the right time” for tighter gun and ammunition restrictions. If it’s never the right time after shootings like those above, when is it? I can’t think of a better time. Gun laws in Florida are permissive enough already:
- Based on ranking methodology last week, Florida was ranked #20 on a list of the most dangerous gun states.
- In Florida there are 12.5 gun deaths per 100,000.
- In permissive gun laws, Florida was ranked 41st out of 50.
- Florida scores 6 out of 100 points on strong gun trafficking laws, according to the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. (You can view the full scorecard here.)
I’ve heard all of the arguments against gun control laws. We all have. “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Yes. Armed people. Does that mean we should make it that much easier to obtain a gun?
As for those those who claim President Obama wants to take away their guns, that’s utter nonsense. If anyone needs further evidence of that, look at what happened in Tucson. The only reports of problems the gunman had was having to try a second Wal-Mart when the first wouldn’t sell him the ammunition.
In the wake of every single shooting the subject of gun control comes up, and every time we discuss it for a couple of days, while others just throw up their hands in denial, and the powers that be like the NRA start complaining that someone wants to take away the rights of the gun owner, while they throw money at the feet of our lawmakers who will make the complaints go away.
In Florida, it’s one lawmaker who is willing to turn around and file more permissive gun bills just days after the deaths of a 9 year old girl in Arizona, and a college student in Florida. Once again there can’t even be a discussion of how to combat the problem. Florida’s only answer to the problem is more guns! Less restrictions!
Let no one get in the way of the NRA and one’s right to own and carry a gun.
You may have rights, but so do the gun owners.
And they’re armed.
Sorry, but that’s not an acceptable answer.