By now, the idea of activists in Broward County, Florida wanting some form of gun control is about as surprising as finding out that Rep. Alexandria Occasio-Cortez (D-NY) has said something stupid. It’s just part of the natural order of the world these days.
However, this time, a group is trying to put an initiative on the ballot in Florida to ban assault weapons throughout the state.
Gun control activists submitted 200 signatures for certification Monday at the Broward County Board of Elections office in Fort Lauderdale.
Their goal is to get a proposal to ban assault weapons to appear on the 2020 ballot.
“This common sense approach supported by the majority of Floridians will save lives and it will help to prevent the types of massacres that we’ve seen in our state like Parkland and Orlando,” said Gail Schwartz, whose nephew, Alex Schachter, was killed in last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate ballot initiatives? They’re little more than attempts at mob rule.
Now, that said, let’s keep in mind that they submitted just 200 signatures. They need more than 766,000, so they’ve got a long, long way to go.
Even then, I’m not so sure that Schwartz is going to like what happens. After all, Florida had a grand opportunity to embrace gun control by electing Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum as well as a whole slew of anti-gun Democrats for state office. Most of them lost. The one exception is a Democrat who took over from a Republican who had grossly mismanaged their department, which probably means voters were punishing the party rather than voting for her.
Either way, passing gun control is far from the slam dunk Schwartz may like to believe it is.
Further, there’s nothing “common sense” about banning one category of guns, especially since the worst school shooting in American history didn’t even use that gun. While Parkland was awful, the carnage was still not as bad as Virginia Tech, when the killer used a couple of handguns to kill even more people.
Common sense says we should be trying to figure out what’s causing these shootings in the first place so we can intervene early and try to help these people before they become mass killers.
Common sense says you don’t punish the law-abiding for what a criminal does.
Common sense says that you look at the whole picture, such as how so-called assault rifles account for a minuscule fraction of firearm-related deaths each year.
Common sense calls for a lot of things, but banning guns isn’t one of them. Instead, this effort is emotionally-driven and needs to be doomed to failure. After all, it won’t stop the next mass shooter. It won’t stop the street criminals who account for the lion’s share of gun-related fatalities. It won’t do much of anything except criminalize a weapon that, in and of itself, did nothing wrong. A firearm that millions of people enjoy lawfully every year without issue.
But then again, while gun control activists screech about common sense, they’re notorious for not displaying any themselves.