Last year, in the wake of the Parkland massacre, the state of Florida reacted out of a place of emotion and passed several new gun control laws. Perhaps the most egregious was an age limit on the purchasing of long guns. No longer could a legal adult between the ages of 18 and 21 purchase something like a shotgun to protect their home.
And dissatisfaction with that was felt during the state elections later that year as Republican lawmakers had to defend their votes and Democratic candidates for statewide office found themselves with a wide open schedule in January as voters rejected more gun control.
It just seems that Democrats in the state didn’t get the message.
A year after the Republican-led Legislature reduced access to guns following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy, Florida Democrats have unveiled an assortment of bills and proposals to further reduce gun violence.
They’ve already introduced more than half-a-dozen measures in advance of the 2019 spring legislative session. And at a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, Democrats introduced additional proposals so fresh that they have yet to be completely drafted into bills.
One measure would require a person convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence to surrender all firearms and ammunition in their possession to law enforcement.
“The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be murdered,” says State House Representative Anna Eskamani, who represents part of Orange County and is sponsoring the measure.
“And of more than half of women murdered with guns in the U.S. in 2010, at least 54 percent were killed by an intimate partner or family members,” Eskamani says. “Enough is enough. The lives of Floridians, especially women’s lives, are on the line.”
OK, first, let’s address this. There’s more, but we’ll get to it in a moment.
It’s already illegal for anyone convicted of domestic violence to own a gun. Only a complete idiot would think that someone who has such a conviction and intends to harm other people would actually comply with such a law.
Further, while they can make this claim about women, it should be noted that the majority of homicide victims are male. Not only that, but murders in domestic violence situations only make up a fraction of female homicides. In other words, the numbers presented, even if factual, are misleading in an effort to pretend something is a bigger issue than it is.
If that was all they wanted to do down in Florida, that would be enough, but it’s not.
It seems they want a state-wide “safe storage” law, and not just if a juvenile is present. Another enterprising lawmaker wants to ban anyone convicted of a misdemeanor “hate crime” from buying a gun.
Safe storage of a firearm is generally the right thing to do. I advocate for such a thing all the time, especially if you have small children as I do. But to require it for everyone is a profound infringement on people’s civil liberties. It’s telling you what you must do with your property on your property, and I’m never going to be in favor of that.
As for the “hate crime” crap…
First, I have a problem with so-called “hate crimes” anyway. It’s ThoughtCrime, plain and simple. You’re punishing someone not for their actions but for what they were thinking when they committed that crime.
In this day and age, there are people who want to turn everything into a hate crime. Over in the U.K., a woman was arrested for misgendering a transgender woman. That is considered by some to be a hate crime, for crying out loud. And make no mistake, there are people who want that level of insanity for this country as well.
In the United States, we’ve deemed those who have never committed a felony as still being worthy of exercising their rights as American citizens. Then, thanks to the Lautenberg Amendment, suddenly some convicted of misdemeanors are barred from a right. Now, Florida Democrats want to create another exception.
How long until the exceptions are really about which misdemeanors don’t bar you from exercising your right to keep and bear arms?