Over the past several days in Tallahassee we have met hundreds, if not thousands, of students and advocates who have been impacted by the horrific events that occurred in Parkland last week. I couldn’t be more impressed by the passion and delivery of many of these young adults, it is hard not to be moved by them. The State of Florida has the attention of the entire country and the time to act is now.
Our answer as a legislative body should not be a quick kneejerk reaction but a more comprehensive solution that makes our schools and communities safe. We need adequate and effective mental health services. We need to keep weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. We need to harden our security at schools to prevent such events from occurring again. We also need to ask some tough questions regarding why no action was taken about this evil individual before he was able to act when in fact there was a warning about him provided to authorities. We tell people “if you see something, say something”. Without actions these warnings will not help so let’s look at how we are handling this vital information.
The vote that would have banned AR-15 type weapons that many media outlets have been reporting about, was not only a political stunt but was in fact a gun grab that threatened our rights under the Second Amendment. House Bill 219 would have also banned hundreds of other weapons that are clearly listed if anyone spent time reading the proposed legislation. I think it a shame that gun control advocates have attempted to highjack the current situation for their own personal political agenda that they are attempting to energize from this recent event.
Leadership from both parties and leaders in both the Florida House and Florida Senate are constructively working together on a substantive bill to keep our schools and streets safe, while at the same time protecting the firearm ownership rights given to law abiding citizens under the Second Amendment. It is important to remember that the Second Amendment not only affords each firearm owner the right of self-defense, but in fact acts as a barrier to tyrannical government.