In the immediate aftermath of Parkland, the state of Florida seemed to go on an anti-gun kick. They passed several controversial measures including raising the minimum age to buy a long gun to 21. It was an emotional time and legislators reacted with emotion, not logic or reason.
That was a couple of years ago, though. Now, they’re able to see that gun control wasn’t the problem with Parkland or any other mass shooting. Now they can think.
As a result, a number of gun control bills are languishing in the legislature with no hope of going anywhere except for the trash. It seems the media is less than pleased by that.
Time is beginning to run out for a score of gun bills languishing in committees as the Legislature begins week No. 8 of a nine-week legislative session.
Nearly three dozen proposals related to gun rights are stuck in review panels that will not meet again this year.
Just three others remain viable and could make it out of committee — but because of the number of bills still waiting to be heard, they may not get introduced to the House and Senate floors.
“This session has been a unique hurry-up-and-wait experience when you look at the time we’ve spent on the floor,” said Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa, speaking about the session in general while talking about gun bills.
“We are either in for a lot of marathon sessions the next two weeks, or I don’t think a lot of legislation gets passed,” he added. “We approve the budget, a couple of policy changes and then go home.”
Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said she wouldn’t be surprised to see no changes in the state’s gun laws this session.
“At this point, it’s going to be an uphill battle because our Speaker has made it clear he doesn’t align with the Senate priorities,” Eskamani said.
Among the measures that have already died was a proposal for universal background checks, described as an effort to close the “gun show loophole” that simply doesn’t exist.
Of course, these bills not going anywhere is good news for gun-owning Floridians. By extension, it’s good for all Floridians. After all, gun ownership is herd immunity for violent crime, so anything that doesn’t make life more difficult for the good guys who own guns, the better it is for everyone in the state.
To be sure, though, these measures will be back. Anti-gunners were emboldened by the passing of those anti-gun laws immediately post-Parkland. They believe the state will accept more and more gun control and don’t get that people were emotional, which is weird since their entire schtick is to try and force people to legislate through emotion rather than logic and facts, but there you have it.
At the end of the day, these bills floundering is a win. It’s a win not just for Floridians, but for all Americans. The line has held somewhere. That means it can hold somewhere else. Each victory is a win for us all, even if it’s not quite as big a win for some of us as our brothers and sisters in the Sunshine State.