DeSantis deserves criticism he's receiving

DeSantis deserves criticism he's receiving
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Generally, I like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I generally like him about as much as I can like any politician.

However, he’s come under fire recently.

You see, while running for re-election as pro-gun–something that still sells in Florida–his campaign apparently tried to ban guns at an election-night event.

Now, he’s catching it from all sides.

The pro-gun side is obvious. The anti-Second Amendment side is blasting him as well.

Fred Guttenberg—an activist whose daughter Jaime Guttenberg was one of 17 students and staff shot dead during the February 14, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—said DeSantis “is a fraud and he should be treated that way.”

“The tough guy act covers for a small, weak, and weird man,” he tweeted. “His decision to be OK with others being at risk of gun violence but not him and to try and cover that up? WEAK!”

Shannon Watts, founder of the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action, wrote on Twitter that “the hypocrisy of ‘the dangers of unregulated guns for thee but not for me’ is next-level.”

“DeSantis caters to an extremist, MAGA Republican base by pushing permitless carry while having the privilege to keep those same armed extremists at a distance,” she added. “DeSantis is reportedly forcing attendees at his events to go through metal detectors and he’s also refusing to attend events unless guns are banned. Yet he’s simultaneously pushing for permitless carry to strip gun safety requirements. Safety for him, violence for everyone else.”

Now, I don’t have much use for Watts or Guttenberg other than finding it funny they both have me blocked on Twitter, but DeSantis has no one to blame for this but himself.

Not only did his campaign–people who answer to him–try to ban concealed carry at his event but they wanted the city of Tampa to take the heat, which they refused to do. I don’t blame them for it, either.

In the process, though, he’s given gun control advocates all the ammunition they need to criticize literally any pro-gun effort DeSantis engages in from now until the end of his political career.

After all, they’ll argue, if he really thought more guns equated to less crime, why did he try to ban them at his election party? Why not welcome law-abiding gun carriers with open arms?

I get that DeSantis is the target of a lot of hate, but if he truly recognized that gun control doesn’t work, he’d also recognize that even banning it in a given place on a given night isn’t going to work, either.

Instead, he’s played right into the gun control crowd’s hands.

From now on, they have evidence that he actually thinks guns should be restricted when it’s his posterior on the line, but not anyone else’s.

He did that. Now, he’s going to have to deal with the ramifications of that act. More than that, the entire state may suffer for it in the long run.

For another take, here are Cam’s thoughts on the subject.