WE MUST END THE CARNAGE
I am writing this, the day after the terrible carnage in Parkland. For all of those who say “Its too soon we have to figure out the cause”. Or “don’t politicize this tragedy” please shut up. These are the same arguments that the pro gun, pro NRA groups use to kick the gun regulation legislation in the teeth. This legislative cowardice both in Congress and here in the Florida Legislature allow these killings to continue. In fact, it is TOO LATE! It is too late for the 17 dead schoolchildren in Parkland, and the 5 dead people at Ft. Lauderdale International and the 49 dead people at the Orlando Pulse nightclub.
These killings happened because as Charles Pierce put it (www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a18194561/florida-school-shooting/ )
“in Florida: a) you don’t need a permit to buy a gun or to register the weapon once you do; b) you don’t need a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun, just a handgun, and it’s hard to believe the NRA let that one slip by; c) you can buy as many guns as you want; d) there are no regulations on military-style weapons or the amount of ammunition you can buy for them, and e) if you want to sell guns, you don’t need a license. The state does require a three-day waiting period, which clearly was effective in this case.”
Mr. Pierce then quoted from Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, on the floor of the Senate:
“This epidemic of mass slaughter, this scourge of school shooting after school shooting, it only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else.”
The following statistics highlight the fact that Senator Murphy correctly assessed the high level of mass atrocity here compared to other western countries, thanks to Paul Campos at LGM Blog http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/02/mass-shootings-media-events:
“The current annual murder rate in America (5.3 per 100,000 in 2016) is three times higher than that in Canada, five times higher than that in Sweden, Denmark, and Australia, six times higher than in the UK, New Zealand, and Germany, seven times higher than that in Italy, South Korea, and Poland, eight times higher than that in Spain and Ireland, ten times higher than that in Norway and Austria, and seventeen times higher than that in Japan.”
There is a great series of tweets by Bess Kalb pointing out the Republican’s typical “our prayers and thoughts are with you” response, that conveniently omits any proposed legislative action to deal with the problem – the easy access to assault weapons in the country (semi-automatic rifles that allow the use of huge clips which are a critical component of these mass shootings.) compared to the NRA donations received. From The Raw Story:
“Heartbreaking news out of Florida,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) tweeted. “Jane and I send our prayers to the school, the community, and the victims of this tragedy.”\
“$3,061,941.00 from the NRA to make sure Americans buy guns,” Kimmel writer Bess Kalb tweeted, quoting the Texas Republican.
“In the 2015-2016 election cycle alone, GOP candidates took $17,385,437 from the NRA,” Kalb noted, quoting a tweet from Republican National Convention chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel.
“This is NOT counting the $21 million given to President Trump,” she added.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) was “devastated” about the news — and also took over $800,000 from the NRA.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) asked his followers and constituents to keep the “victims, their families, first responders and the community” in their thoughts and prayers. Kalb noted that he took nearly $4.5 million from the NRA.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) also said he’d be “praying for the students, teachers and first
responders” caught up in the “tragic” shooting. He took nearly $3 million from the NRA,
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) was “heartbroken,” and also accepted over $3 million from the organization.
“God have mercy on your NRA-kept souls,” she said, listing off each Republican congressperson with their large donations from the gun-rights organization.”
The legislative failure to act is directly proportional to the amount of contributions received from the NRA.
Former Republican Congressman from Florida David Jolly said it most succinctly. From “The Hill” http://thehill.com/homenews/media/373983-ex-gop-lawmaker-vote-republicans-out-of-office-if-you-want-mass-shootings:
“And so if this is the issue that defines your ideology as a voter, there are two things I would suggest tonight. First, flip the House. Flip the House,” Jolly told “CNN Tonight.” “Republicans are not going to do a single thing after this shooting we saw today. But I would also offer to Democrats, work for incremental wins.”
I agree. Here is the legislation I promise I will introduce when I am elected to the FL. Legislature District 89:
1) All Florida residents must get a permit to buy a gun, and only after completing a rigorous and strengthened universal background check and to register the weapon once they complete the purchase;
2) All Florida residents must get a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun and again only after completing a rigorous and strengthened universal background check and to register the weapon once they complete the permitting process;
3) All Florida residents shall be limited to the number of guns one person can acquire;
4) Florida shall ban the sale of all assault weapons and military-style weapons and the amount of ammunition one can buy for them;
5) All devices that can be used to convert semi automatic guns to automatic or close to automatic weapons shall be banned for sale in Florida
6) All persons in Florida who want to sell guns must be licensed;
7) Close the “Boyfriend Loophole” and prohibit gun possession for those with felony or misdemeanor domestic violence and stalking convictions, and protection from abuse orders;
8) Ban the purchase and possession of armor-piercing bullets;
9) Ban all gun and ammunition purchases for known foreign and domestic terrorists.
We need to start to end the mass murder of our children. I think this legislation is a beginning. And to those that say the legislation that I intend to champion may violate the 2nd Amendment, too bad. The constitution is not a death pact for our children. I will take a page from the forced-birthers. These bills must be passed and if challenged defended and if declared unconstitutional then rewritten and passed again. We must start this process and hopefully get courts to recognize that these assault weapons must be removed from the market and guns must be regulated.