This week I called out Gavin Newsom on Twitter for invoking Parkland in an attack on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and recently introduced permitless carry legislation in the Florida Legislature. Well you don’t get a free pass from this father when you try use the memory my daughter and the other victims in Parkland to score political points. My response invoked a fair bit of online and TV media coverage. Here’s the Twitter exchange.
Hey Gavin, my daughter Alaina was killed at Parkland and I support permit-less carry in Florida. If my daughter were alive she’d be carrying, because she would be defenseless in a gun free zone.
Sit this one out. https://t.co/htDcUnVK73
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) February 1, 2023
Now Gavin is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own set of facts. First there is the baseless claim that states that allow concealed carry have a higher gun homicide rate. This is an oft quoted stat that is not backed up by any credible research. Oh sure, you can find gun control activists groups like Brady and Everytown which cherry pick homicide data in an attempt to shake loose dollars from their contributors, but Gavin’s audience won’t care about any of that. They’re already convinced that law-abiding gun owners are just waiting for an opportunity to shoot at them.
But there’s more. Gavin also claims that the bill would remove background checks, instruction, training & oversight. This is simply not true. Firearms purchases and transfers are governed by federal law which requires a background check and nothing in this proposed legislation changes that. What Newsom isn’t saying is that wants the additional background checks that often accompany concealed carry permits in previously-“may issue” states like California. He wants multiple opportunities for government to deny your 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
So why did Gavin do this? Why does he care about Florida politics? Well, like many Americans Gavin probably vacations in Florida, so maybe for that reason he taking an unusual interest in Florida politics. A more likely answer is that he has presidential aspirations and sees Governor Ron DeSantis as his most likely opponent. Good luck with that. Florida represents a beacon of freedom that stands in stark contrast to authoritarian California.
Gavin is also trying to deflect attention away from a tragic spate of mass shootings in his own state. California’s gun control regime is a dismal failure and even organizations like Rand have said, “there is ‘limited’ evidence that banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines curtails mass shootings.” Gun control activists promised Californians that they would be “safer” if they limited the 2nd Amendment rights of their fellow Californians. That hasn’t proved to be true. It would seem that California is forever just one more gun law away from public safety.
The approach we took in Florida after Parkland was different. Then Governor Rick Scott commissioned the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission (I sit on the MSD Commission) and tasked us with investigating why Parkland happened and what the state should do to prevent future tragedies. Despite the media hype around marching kids and gun control activists, state leaders listened to the Commission and its recommendations. None of the Commission recommendations included more gun control. They did include a placing armed law enforcement and Guardians at every Florida school, including teachers to be trained as Guardians and to carry firearms to defend their lives and the lives of their students. It included simple measures like locking school doors and marking safe areas in each classroom. And most importantly, we’ve implemented behavioral threat assessment and management programs, just like the U.S. Secret Service uses to protect the President.
None of the measures we took in Florida made the gun grabbers happy because their one and only solution is to disarm all Americans. I doubt Gavin is even aware of the Commission’s work or read our recommendations. Gavin is failing the people of California, but like most politicians of his ilk, he’ll invoke false narratives and the memories of the 17 we lost in order to cover his own failures. Shame on you Gavin.