By BARBARA HOWARD
First, let me say my prayers go out to the Parkland community and in particular, the parents who lost children in the horrible Valentine’s Day shootings. It’s bad enough to just lose a child, but to suffer the loss to a deranged gunman and to someone your child knew personally, is even worse.
I lost my son to suicide almost 30 years ago and the pain is still palpable. So I know what those parents are going through.
Let me also say, that while I don’t personally own a gun, there are two hand guns in my house, belonging to my youngest daughter and her son, my grandson. Further, my oldest daughter and her husband own several guns.
While none of us belong to the NRA, all of us agree with their position on the Second Amendment and the attempt to dismantle personal gun ownership. Even my grandson, who lives with me and is a liberal and avid MSNBC fan, is concerned about what he sees as the infringement upon citizens’ right to own guns.
As I said, I can empathize with the Parkland families who lost their children, but I disagree with them on what they seem to think is the solution to their problem. While they should have been left to grieve, they have been taken advantage of by a group of liberals who want to take down the NRA and the Second Amendment.
When my son used his hand gun to end his life, the desire to ban hand guns never entered my mind. In fact, blaming anybody or anything was the farthest thing from my mind because I was too busy crying and grieving and hurting to even think of anything else.
So when I saw those children and their families converge on Tallahassee, I knew it was someone else’s agenda.
Even though the Florida Legislature is controlled by Republicans/conservatives, they bowed to a liberal agenda. Republican Governor Rick Scott signed a liberal bill into law and in doing so, as the NRA so aptly put it, they punished law-abiding citizens for what one deranged fool (my term, not theirs) did.
The Florida law does the following: shootings? firearm from 18 to 21; • Requires a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases; • Bans sale or possession of bump stocks; • Gives law enforcement more power to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit; • Provides additional funding for mental health services and armed school resource officers; and •Allows certain trained teachers to carry guns at school.
Gov. Scott told the media that prior to signing the bill he spoke to law enforcement officers, parents, teachers and mental health professionals, but neglected to speak to the NRA.
So the NRA filed a lawsuit primarily complaining that raising the age from 18 to 21 for purchasing and/or possessing rifles is an infringement against law abiding citizens. The bottom line should be to keep “guns out of hands of those who are a danger to themselves and others.”
The Florida NRA spokesperson argues that you can sign a legally binding contract, become a law-enforcement officer, and join the military and die for your country at the age of 18, but now with this new law, you can’t have a personal gun.
Let that sink in. You can have a gun provided to you by the police force or by the military at 18, but you can’t buy one, own one or have one in your possession at 18. Now if that’s not the dumbest thing politicians have done, I don’t know what is.
Even worse, it will not stop another deranged, evil, hateful criminal or wannabe mass murderer from shooting up another school or killing a bunch of people or even one person with a long or short gun.
Had Florida politicians read the report by James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at Northeastern or even the article written on Feb. 26. by Allie Nicodemo and Lia Petronio for News@Northeastern, entitled “Schools are safer than they were in the 90s…”, they would have discovered that “school mass shootings are incredibly rare events” and the law Scott just signed will probably “not prevent” any more school shootings.
As the NRA said, it punishes law-abiding citizens for what one evil, angry fool did. It was a worthless piece of legislation that made a bunch of liberals happy; but did nothing to ease the pain of losing a child or to stop another shooting.