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Posts Tagged ‘Guns’

Coming in a week where we saw a 16 year old kill a policeman with a gun he bought for just $140, a political action committee is trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would do away with permits to bear arms in Florida.

That’s correct. No. Permit. Necessary.

From The Florida Independent:

The proposed initiative, titled “Unalienable Individual Right to Bear Arms; No Permit Required For Any Manner of Bearing Arms,” would change that wording (.pdf) so that the right to bear arms

“cannot be regulated away or infringed upon; no permit shall be required for any manner of bearing arms in Florida, only the open carry of handguns may be regulated by law. Permits may be issued by request to facilitate travel in reciprocal states and as an exemption to waiting periods.”

The amendment currently has zero valid signatures — to be placed on Florida’s 2012 ballot, it needs 676,811.

The PAC proposing the ballot initiative is one led by Richard Antolinez, of Jupiter, Florida, who is listed as the Chairperson and Treasurer. The registered Agent is listed as John Parsons.

So there you go. Just a few thousand signatures from say, NRA members and their votes are all that stand in the way of people carrying guns with absolutely no permit required. That will make it even easier to kill citizens, and even more policemen than we have lost already in recent months.

No. Permit. Required.

Feel safer Florida?

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From the State that is bringing you new laws that would make it legal to carry weapons on college campuses, one wonders if the laws would stop there. After all, the National Rifle Association seems to think that everyone should be allowed to carry a gun, and they lobby on behalf of that belief. Why not? There’s big money in guns.

So would it be a stretch to see them lobby for say, pre-schoolers to carry guns to school? Maybe, but it’s pretty hard to say that owning a gun makes you safer in the long run when you see something like this:

A pre-kindergarten student has been suspended from school after authorities say he brought a loaded gun into a north Florida classroom.

Palatka police say they’re investigating how the 5-year-old obtained the weapon. A teacher at Moseley Elementary School was giving a music lesson when the 22-caliber pistol fell out of the child’s pocket.

The child told authorities he found the gun in a vehicle belonging to his stepfather.

Feel safer now Florida?

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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:

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.

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Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

Yesterday in the aftermath of the shootings in Arizona yesterday that killed six people, including a nine-year old girl and a federal judge, and critically wounded Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik said the following at a press conference:

Mr. Dupnik called the shooting a “very sad day for Tucson” and a “horrendous, horrendous, senseless, unbelievable crime.” And then he blamed the crime on the rhetoric — presumably political rhetoric — in the country.

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,” he said. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Mr. Dupnik said it is time for the country to “do a little soul-searching.”

He added: “The vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business … This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in.”

Later, he said: “It’s not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included. That’s the sad thing about what’s going on in America: pretty soon we’re not going to be able to find reasonable decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.”

After something as horrific as this you might expect “leaders” to heed this kind of advice, or at the very least make an appeal for civility, much less look for something in the way of accountability.

Sadly for those in Arizona a response like this from Sen. Jon Kyl who represents them will be of little comfort:

A clearly angry Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) challenged Dupnik during an appearance Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” – arguing that Giffords was a Second Amendment backer who would likely oppose what he called a “rush to judgment.”

“I didn’t think that had any part in a law enforcement briefing last night. It was speculation and I don’t think we should rush to speculate,” Kyl told host Bob Schieffer.

Referring to Loughner’s online political rants – which seem more generically anti-government than explicitly partisan – Kyl added, “It’s probably giving him too much credit to ascribe a coherent political philosophy to him. We just have to accept that there are some unstable people in this country. Who knows what motivates them?”

Yes, you certainly wouldn’t want a “rush to judgment” on something like this, which has only been published publicly on the Internet since March of 2010:

And that’s just ONE example out of many.

Kyl also does her the disservice of putting words in the mouth of Giffords herself, while ignoring what she actually said about the very same SarahPAC map here last year. Giffords in fact did express concerns about the violent rhetoric as well as the Palin “crosshairs” map.

To make a statement as Kyl did is frightening, is as irresponsible as it gets, and yes, pathetic.

Was Kyl elected to serve the people of Arizona, or was he elected to merely throw up your hands in the face of violence and say “Who knows what motivates them?” He might as well have just said “who cares?” Let me be the first to suggest that Kyl use that phrase on his campaign the next time around.

Better yet, it would make a great campaign slogan for what today’s Republican Party really represents: WHO CARES?

They don’t need  “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz for that.

Meanwhile, in the short-term, if you’re looking for accountability, you certainly won’t get it from Jon Kyl.

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Before the 2008 Presidential election, and long after, the GOP raised a fuss by scaring people into thinking President Obama would take their guns away. It caused massive gun and ammunition shortages all over the country.

Well, here we are almost two years later, and I would just like to point out that I don’t believe the President has taken a single gun from a single owner as yet. Chances are he won’t either, as he hasn’t cracked down on gun laws; far from it. But some people still want to make an issue out of it. Don’t forget about crazy Sharron Angle in Nevada. Why, if she doesn’t win her election this fall, she plans on resorting to Second Amendment remedies!

Over the weekend there was a gun show in Jacksonville, and just about everyone in the Republican Party of Florida showed up to schmooze and tout their gun cred while boasting about each of their ratings from the NRA. I’m not a gun person, but I guess the true measure of a man (or woman?) is the size of their NRA rating? Whatever.

Yes, the GOP had a real “blast” at the gun show and all vowed to protect the Second Amendment at all costs if elected. In attendance was Marco Rubio, who said:

“The Second Amendment is one of the distinctive features of our Constitution,” Rubio told a cheering crowd.

Rubio added that, if elected, he would take the Second Amendment into consideration when he voted for judges to the Supreme Court of the United States. “It’s not about the laws we pass,” he said. “It’s about the judges.”

While Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican who is now running without party affiliation, backed President Barack Obama’s appointment of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, Rubio opposed the nomination.

Rubio spent a half-hour attending the gun show, meeting with vendors and even quickly trying on a ballistic vest. He also met with volunteers who were manning a table for the statewide Republican candidates and some local candidates including Sen. John Thrasher of Jacksonville and Mike Yost who is challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown.

Candidate for Governor, Rick Scott was also there in between Tea Bagger events, no doubt bragging about his recently received “A” rating from the NRA.

Also there:

Sen. JohnThrasher, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, whose district office is in Jacksonville, attended the show accompanied by Senate President Jeff Atwater of North Palm Beach, the Republican candidate for state CFO, and former Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi, the GOP candidate for  attorney general.

“We’re proud every one of us has been backed by the NRA,” said Thrasher.

Why yes, I can’t think of anything more admirable than a backing from the NRA.

Not to be out done, Pam Bondi bragged about her big “A” rating while chastising Dem. rival Dan Gelber for his “F” rating:

“I am very blessed to receive an ‘A’-rating from the NRA,” said Bondi, who engaged in friendly banter with Atwater — saying the fact she has never held elective office prevented her from getting an “A-plus” — the grade the NRA gave to the Senate president.  Bondi also commented on the grade received by another senator, Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, the Democratic candidate in the attorney general race. “My opponent has an ‘F’,” she said.

Bondi won cheers for vowing to fight for Second Amendment rights and for pledging to defend the 10th Amendment — and continue the legal challenge launched by current Attorney General Bill McCollum against new, President Barack Obama-backed federal health-care laws.

Just to show what a tough cookie she is, Bondi apparently not only thinks if you happen to get shot, no biggie, BUT you can also just forget about any medical attention should you get in the way of a stray bullet out on the street, or in your own home, which recently happened in the Tampa Bay area.

But let’s get back to measuring NRA ratings, shall we?

Atwater was clearly pleased by the “A-plus” grade he received from the NRA — as well as the association’s endorsement Friday.

“On a day that celebrates the wisdom of the founders who established our nation and created our Constitution, it is a great honor to have my work to protect our freedoms acknowledged,” Atwater said Friday, when the NRA announced it was backing his campaign over Democratic nominee Loranne Ausley, a former state representative.

“No other candidate in this race has the background of dedicated legislative service that you have demonstrated to the cause of freedom, the Second Amendment and protection of constitutional rights,” wrote Marion Hammer of the NRA to Atwater.

Bill Bunting, who handles Second Amendment issues for the RPOF and is a Republican state committeeman from Pasco County, praised the candidates for their commitment to the right to bear arms and for going through NRA and concealed-weapons classes. He especially praised Bondi’s marksmanship.

Yes, how about little Annie Oakley, huh?

So no worries to anyone out there stowing away your guns and ammo in your bunkers.

The RPOF has you covered!

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The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund endorsed Republican candidate for Governor, Rick Scott today, as did the Unified Sportsmen of Florida.

The NRA gave Scott an “A” rating, while the Unified Sportsmen Of Florida “rated” Scott as “Pro-Gun.” (As opposed to, what, “Anti-Gun?”)

In the endorsement, the last paragraph reads as follows:

Further, your responses to our 2010 Questionnaire, in support of Second Amendment, self-defense, and anti-crime issues have earned you the following ratings by our organizations.

You have to wonder what kinds of questions are in that questionnaire that would give Scott high marks for his “anti-crime” qualifications?

Knowing Scott, he probably had to do a lot of editing:

….but I was never charged..

….but I was never charged..

….but I was never charged..

….but I was never charged..

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