For a long time, people called Florida the “Gunshine State,” a play on its official nickname and the relatively pro-gun atmosphere the state fostered. However, in the weeks since the shooting at a Parkland, FL high school, the state has made many wonder if the nickname was still applicable. After all, didn’t Florida Republicans–the party we’ve been told we could trust with our Second Amendment rights–cave?
Well-known NRA activist Marion Hammer is one of many who is upset over the new law. With a recent email, she let the Florida House speaker know that he’s in the proverbial crosshairs.
The National Rifle Association has already filed a lawsuit challenging Florida Senate Bill 7026, but that is not the only attack they’ll launch against the legislation; today their lobbyist Marion Hammer sent an email blasting Speaker Richard Corcoran (R-FL) for his “betrayal of law-abiding firearms owners.”
“We Were Born at Night But It Wasn’t Last Night, Mr. Speaker,” read the email’s subject line. Hammer blasted Corcoran for calling the bill “one of the greatest Second Amendment victories we’ve ever had,” denouncing it as “adding insult to injury” of “the betrayal of law-abiding firearms owners.”
Corcoran “helped engineer” the bill, wrote Hammer, and then “tried to justify his betrayal” by claiming the school marshal provision as a Second Amendment victory.
Hammer called this idea “complete nonsense” that “ignores the unconstitutional gun control included in the bill.”
Corcoran had been widely expected to announce he was entering the Republican primary for Governor, now that the legislative session has ended. Getting in the cross-hairs of a powerful lobby like the NRA, however, makes an uphill climb against Agriculture Commission Adam Putnam (R-FL) and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) — who are both beating him in terms of fundraising and name recognition — even steeper.
Frankly, the idea of anyone calling SB 7026 a victory for the Second Amendment is laughable. It imposed restrictions on who could buy guns. It keeps a lot of law-abiding citizens from being able to purchase firearms. It is not a victory for the Second Amendment, and Hammer is damn right to blast Corcoran for saying any such thing. It’s just adding insult to injury. It’s telling someone the butt-whooping they just took was really a friendly hug and expecting them to believe it.
I hope that every Republican who supported this bill finds him or herself ousted in the primary. If the GOP is going to pretend to be the ally of gun owners, they need to act like it. Failure to do so needs to be met with punishment in the form of no more political offices for them.
Had Corcoran been an anti-gun Republican from the start, no one would have said anything. It would be another case of a gun grabber grabbing guns. But he didn’t. He said nothing, but like Rick Scott, he turned on gun owners the moment it became politically expedient to do so.
Gun owners in Florida shouldn’t forget.