Nowhere in the United States are the emotions still running raw and overrunning logic and common sense, than in Florida. The angel memorials surrounded with flowers, candles, photos and tons of messages still bring many to tears. The images of 17 fresh graves pierce the hearts of thousands. The voices of students calling out for something to be done to keep them safe is broadcast on the news nearly every day. Some students and parents descended on the state capital in Tallahassee where they met with state lawmakers, demanding action on more gun control measures and the lawmakers responded to the emotional pleas instead of stepping back and looking at reason and logic, and like many actions based upon pure emotions, what came out of the Florida legislature is nothing more than a liberal gun control package that included one measure to appease conservatives, but that measure is a farce in the way it was gutted.
After a number of revisions and amendments, the Florida legislature passed SB 7062 also known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act and on Friday, Gov. Rick Scott, Florida’s Republican governor, succumbed to the liberal peer pressure and signed the bill into law.
The new law has a number of liberal gun control measures, including raising the minimum age for all firearm purchases from 18 to 21. It also bans bump-fire stocks and places a 3-day waiting period for the purchase of all rifles. The state already has a 3-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns, but this new law extended that to include rifles.
One of the more controversial aspects of the bill, at least as I’m concerned, is the provision to ban anyone who is deemed to pose a ‘significant danger to himself or herself or others’ from purchasing, owning or possessing a firearm. The ban also includes ammunition. Anyone declared to be mentally defective or who has been committed to a mental institution would also be banned from gun ownership, possession or purchase.
I have two major objections to this kind of legislation.
First, any angry ex-partner who seeks wrongful vengeance can claim the other person made threats or is a threat and that could be used as grounds for having the person’s guns and ammo confiscated, even if there never was any threat or danger.
Second, there are many reasons for someone being admitted to a mental institution, many of which would have no bearing on their being dangerous. Such a law will actually prevent many people from seeking needed help for some mental disorders for fear of losing their weapons. Some mental conditions are treatable, but by the time it’s treated, it’s too late, their guns are gone.
After the Florida school shooting, President Donald Trump announced that he supported legislation that would train and arm teachers and faculty since they would already be on the scene and inside the school buildings, making them the most effective deterrent as first responders. To appease those who favor Trump’s desire to train and arm teachers, SB7026’s final version contained what it called the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program.
This Guardian program begins with getting the approval of each school district AND the local police to approve arming teachers and staff. The program then requires the completion of 132 hours of firearm training and safety, along with passage of a psychological evaluation, drug test and diversity training.
So far, this sounds great until you read the new law to see just who can take part in protecting students. The law specifies that no classroom teacher may take part in the Guardian program, unless the teacher is an JROTC teacher, a current member of the armed forces or a current or former LEO (law enforcement officer).
If classroom teachers are not allowed to participate, then who will be left to protect the students? Most non-classroom faculty and staff are not always in every building in a school like Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The administration building is sometimes on the far end or side of a campus, which means they are not readily available for immediate confrontation of an active shooter in another classroom building.
Sorry, Florida, but your Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program is nothing more than a hollow sham, designed to falsely placate conservatives who want to see teachers trained and armed. Your program is no different than saying that patrol officers on a police force are not allowed to be trained and armed, but non-patrol members of the department are, so they can respond if necessary. That does little for an officer on the street confronted with a dangerous situation.
Florida’s whining liberals are still leaving their students – YOUR KIDS – vulnerable to more school shootings because of your anti-gun agenda.