Florida is a bit of a punchline here in the United States, and it’s not difficult to understand why. If there’s a bizarre headline to be made, it’s almost certainly going to begin with “Florida Man.” It’s odd, too, because the state isn’t really like that. I’ve been there more times than I can count and know countless people from there, and none are the kind of person to say they want to both heal and kill people, for example.
For the most part, the state is pretty sane.
Unless, of course, you look at a group of fewer than 20 mayors who want to push universal background checks down the state’s throat.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and 15 other Florida mayors wrote to a Republican senator Thursday encouraging him to pass universal background checks for gun purchases.
The letter was sent to Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, who is leading an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate to pass a more modest gun control bill, which closes the so-called gun show loophole.
“As you lead the effort to consider legislation this session to prevent gun violence, including mass shootings, we write to express our support for passing a state law to require criminal background checks on all gun sales,” the mayors, including the mayor of Parkland, wrote.
“The Florida Legislature should build upon the important gun violence legislation passed following the Parkland mass shooting and pass a comprehensive background check law.”
Lee’s bill closes the gun show loophole by requiring all private-party sales at gun shows go through a background check.
But for all other private-party gun sales, the buyer and seller would just have to fill out a form answering a series of questions and have it signed and notarized. The form would not have to be given to any agency.
Of course, what the mayor of Parkland fails to note is that the shooter in his own town’s mass shooting passed the damn background check. Mass shooters all too often do, after all.
In other words, this bill would have a minimal impact on mass shootings or crime, at best. Most likely, it would have no impact at all.
So why are these mayors trying to push for bills like this? That’s easy. They simply want to interfere with the right to keep and bear arms by any means necessary. In their mind, any restriction is completely and totally justified if it might interfere with someone trying to buy a gun they might use for some nefarious purpose.
Nevermind that we know criminals get their guns via the black market. Nevermind that mass shooters can usually pass background checks because they weren’t prosecuted for the numerous cases of domestic violence attributed to them previously. No, what we need to do is make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to buy and sell guns.
The important thing to note is that this represents a small minority of mayors in Florida.
It’s what happens when you elected Florida Man/Florida Woman to public office, apparently.