In the wake of Tuesday’s school shooting in Texas, Democratic lawmakers in Florida called on their Republican colleagues to use time remaining in a special legislative session on property insurance to address firearm-related measures such as imposing universal background checks on gun buyers.
House leaders offered prayers as a response to the latest series of mass shootings, while some Republicans maintained opposition to any efforts to restrict access to firearms.
Rep. Randy Fine, a South Brevard County Republican, on Wednesday told reporters it was “completely inappropriate” for President Joe Biden to “politicize the situation,” referring to a shooting Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas in which 19 children and two adults died.
“We should be focused on those families,” Fine said. “We should be focused on understanding what happened.”
Biden Tuesday night called for tougher gun controls and for Americans to stand up to powerful gun lobbyists.
“Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbies?” Biden remarked. “It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
Fine’s response to Biden’s remarks raised eyebrows.
“I have news for the embarrassment that claims to be our President — try to take our guns and you’ll learn why the Second Amendment was written in the first place,” Fine tweeted.
Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Howey-in-the-Hills Republican who is running for Congress, used Tuesday’s massacre at an elementary school to continue his push for a “constitutional carry” proposal, which would allow people to carry concealed weapons without first getting a license from the state.
“Florida must pass Constitutional Carry now, (number) 1 fastest way to secure our public spaces and institutions. Also, re-open the mental asylums that liberals closed in the 1970s and get these psychos out of society ASAP. Make the Edu-crats secure our schools for once!” Sabatini tweeted.
During Wednesday’s floor session, other House members were more restrained.
Rep. Dana Trabulsy, who delivered the opening prayer, said lawmakers are “heartbroken yet again in the wake of another mass shooting.”
“Lord, words of outrage are not enough to express our hatred of this evil that was done to children who simply went to school yesterday,” Trabulsy, R-Fort Pierce, said. “Lord, we pray that you guide us to turn ourselves and our hearts and minds to those that are suffering, including our friends here in this chamber, who are replaying the trauma of the past from Parkland and Pulse.”
Calling for a moment of silence, House Speaker Chris Sprowls noted that “we’ve witnessed some horrible murders” since the Florida Legislature’s mid-April special session on congressional redistricting.
Mass shootings occurred on May 14 at a Tops Market in Buffalo, N.Y.; at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Calif. on May 15; and Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Ulvalde, Texas.
“I know that we all see the faces of our own loved ones and the faces that we saw yesterday and unspeakable grief,” Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, said. “And throughout the course of these other tragedies, our hearts are with these communities as they continue to suffer. We know all too well what it looks like for a community to be suffering, the way that they are suffering.”
The Pulse nightclub in Orlando was the scene of a massacre in June 2016 where 49 people were killed and another 53 individuals were wounded.
In February 2018, a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 14 students and three faculty members.
Following the Parkland shootings, Florida lawmakers quickly enacted a gun-control proposal that raised the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase rifles and other long guns.
The 2018 measure, signed by former Gov. Rick Scott, also imposed a three-day waiting period for buying long guns, banned so-called bump stocks and established what is known as a “red flag” system, which allows law-enforcement agencies to seize firearms from people who may pose a threat to themselves or others.
At the time, lawmakers tabled proposals backed by gun-rights groups, including a measure that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns at churches and other religious institutions that share property with schools.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a similar bill into law last year. The governor, who is running for re-election this year, has said he expects to sign a constitutional carry proposal before he leaves office.
But Democrats on Wednesday continued to express concern about such a plan.
“What we don’t need is to move in the other direction to allow permitless carry, which could snowball into open carry in the state of Florida,” Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, told reporters during a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday. “That will cost lives.”
Other Democrats at the press conference pledged to continue to push for gun-related regulations including universal background checks, safe storage laws, ID checks on ammunition purchases, restrictions on large capacity magazines and assault weapons, and expanded “Red Flag” mental health programs. The Republican-controlled Legislature has failed to advance such proposals in recent years.
“We could do all of these things, and not touch a single legally owned firearm by a responsible gun owner. It is time to have that conversation in Florida and for America,” House Minority Leader-designate Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, said.
–Jim Turner, Tom Urban, News Service of Florida
Doug Brown says
We don’t need tougher gun control laws. We need mental health facilities. Can’t you people get that through your heads it’s not guns it’s guns in the hands of people that shouldn’t have a guns
can’t you get it thru your head it’s guns that kill … give me a shotgun and a good ole Winchester but not the assault rifles
The latest mass murderer, is an 18 year old American citizen without ANY criminal history, no documented mental health issues but he shot and killed 18 elementary school students and 2 teachers. The Parkland school mass murderer was 17 years old, without any documented mental health issues, and he murdered 17 high school students. The Sandy Hook school mass murderer, a 20 year old, killed his mother and then went to the nearby elementary school and killed 19 more young kids there. Even experienced mental health professionals have a great difficulty quantifying even those with documented mental health issues and stating whether or not those individuals are a danger to themselves or others. The ones like most of this country’s school mass murderers have no criminal histories, no mental health concerns documented, yet they go out and EASILY by assault rifles, high capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of bullets and murder others so fast it is impossible for law enforcement to do anything in most cases before there are dead bodies littering the floors in our schools. If you really believe the problem is NOT guns but only more mental health facilities, you are DEAD wrong.
You are absolutely right! I put my guns on the table and left them there for a week and checked them everyday. To date none of them have ever jumped off the table and ran out and injured or killed anyone.
Maybe if they stopped promoting and glorying bloodshed and violence through x-boxes and other game apparatuses, maybe, just maybe it might help. I’m just saying.
The world over, mass shootings are frequently met with a common response: Officials impose new restrictions on gun ownership. Mass shootings become rarer. Homicides and suicides tend to decrease, too.
After a British gunman killed 16 people in 1987, the country banned semiautomatic weapons like those he had used. It did the same with most handguns after a 1996 school shooting. It now has one of the lowest gun-related death rates in the developed world.
In Australia, a 1996 massacre prompted mandatory gun buybacks that saw, according to some estimates, as many as one million firearms melted into slag. The rate of mass shootings plummeted from once every 18 months to, so far, only one in the 26 years since.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
Nothing’s happened since columbine except that both sides use dead kids to get campaign contributions and to get more police in schools so that they can go hide like cowards when a gunman shows up. Thoughts n prayers y’all
Columbine also happened when their precious “Assault Weapons” ban was in effect. A lot of good that did.
Deirdre Rutledge says
I believe that when the Second Amendment was signed in 1789 those politicians didn’t anticipate that heartless obviously disturbed people would shoot little kids in their classroom. Or in a grocery store, church, concert, club, movie theater and any other public venue where people have been murdered senselessly.
I believe that people in power that want to keep guns absolutely unregulated, and even want to turn back the hands of time so people can carry them around on the street with no restrictions, would have a change of heart if their child was murdered at school.
This is got to stop. I have never been big on social media personally but made a comment once about having common sense gun control laws, and a stranger sent me a message about hunting me down ‘in real life’ and killing me. I literally got a death threat because I felt we should have some laws regarding guns! I didn’t say everyone needs to give up their guns, this is ridiculous. Anyway, haven’t been on social media since, some of these people are just demented.
Regarding the age restrictions how is it we believe alcohol is not appropriate until the age of 21, that teenagers can’t handle it in a responsible way, but it’s OK to buy guns? Unfortunately most shooters do not have a history of documented mental illness.
Many of the laws in this country are being twisted by people cramming money in their pockets, scaring people into believing they’re going to lose something instead of gaining something, which is peace of mind for our communities.
Innocent people should not be gunned down because lawmakers refuse to enact even the slightest changes in restricting gun ownership. Frankly it’s shocking.
We talk about a shooter being evil, I think evil is allowing the dark side of humanity to thrive, when this horrific suffering could’ve been prevented at the voting booth.
People need to educate themselves as to who they’re voting for and what they stand for, and which lobbyists they actually represent because it sure isn’t the voters!
The dude says
“I believe that when the Second Amendment was signed in 1789 those politicians didn’t anticipate”
You probably could’ve just stopped there.
Or you could’ve added “what a lot of ignorant, selfish, and self-centered pricks 30% of the population would become.” and stopped.
Enforce the laws on the books.
Maybe instead of 40 billion to Ukraine maybe 39 billion and use 1 billion to put an armed resource officer in every school.
How about make it 35 billion and use 4 billion on mental health.
And stop being so touchy feally and do something about the offenders when their are obvious signs.
How about before you buy a gun you have to take some real training and mental health exam. I grew up with guns, learned how to handle and respect them. Getting my concealed carry was a joke. There were people in that class who walked away and had no clue what they were doing… That’s just wrong. If the left would promote making training mandatory and more intensive instead of having BoZo saying he wants to take away all guns (which will not happen) maybe we could get somewhere and this BS will stop.
The dude says
So where and when has “BoZo” said he wants to “take away all guns”???
Or are you just engaging in performative histrionics here?
Extra credit for cites, references, and links.
So sorry… so many Bozo’s in the dem party I need to be more specific. I am sure you are confused and thought I was talking about the BOZO sitting and napping int he whitehouse. I was talking about BoZo Orouke.
The same BoZo who stormed into a press conference and tried to make it a political statement. The press conference that some of the parents of the children who were killed buy a lunatic who had shown signs of doing this prior to the act and again people failed to do anything about it. More will come out, the signs were there and the “huggy feely” system that the left has put in place did nothing or prevented anything being done about it.
My God man, you have committed a sin against all the NRA and GOP believe in – mandatory and meaningful training as well as a mental health exam? You might as well have suggested required background checks. Best be watching your step as the NRA will be coming to reclaim that membership card and you will never receive an endorsement from TFG if you decide to run for office.
As has been previously requested, please provide documentation as to when and where the current administration has stated that they want to take your guns away. “Performative histrionics”, I like that phrase.
To quote my Late, Very Missed , Pittsburgh born and raised WWII Army Vet Dad …… ” Pop ”
“REPUBLICANS ARE FULL OF SHIT UP TO THEIR EARS !”
in true Pitts fashion said with fingers in both ears.
Take down the gun free zone signs by the schools, that’s inviting a criminal to have a mass shooting. I say let the teachers and administration carry on school campuses.
I hear laughter … teachers teach they are not military patrol
@shelly.. . . Sarcasm. . . What a brilliant, intelligent comment! You are saying “school teachers” should shoot down a psychotic killer armed with an assault rifle and body armor. . . ALTHOUGH the Texas POLICE were too cowardly to go in the school after the shooter for over ONE $%^&*(# HOUR!!!
Let me change that, so that you understand me clearly . . . what a completely mindless, heartless, asinine comment!
Yeah, you’re right… It’s much better to make them be a meat shield for children instead of at least having a fighting chance against a psycho shooter.
Deborah Coffey says
Today’s Republicans are vomitous. They, and all the people that vote for them, make murders a way of life. We’ve got the country we voted for…and there will be many more mass murders. Maybe if these murders involved their families, they’d change their minds. But, they certainly don’t care about YOU! We need to stop voting for them.
S. Peters says
No average citizen needs an assault rifle.
The dude says
I’ve got two.
They’ll never be used to kill anyone or anything. A shotgun is way better for actual home defense anyway.
Where can I find a non-assault rifle? One incapable of assaulting people. You could get an assault charge for shooting someone with a nerf gun. I guess we should ban those too.
Country is getting closer to the next Civil War. Choice your side wisely !
The dude says
I’ll have to “choice” the side that has proper grammar and doesn’t engage in violent fantasies about overthrowing a duly elected government.
Most of the alleged Christian Florida GOP couldn’t find a Church with a map. But, put a trail of dollar bills to it……
Conservatives are coming out of the woodwork now just like after every other mass shooting, trying to justify their political and moral blindness to the out of control and worsening problem of gun violence in our schools, our communities and the entire nation. The tired mantra that it is not guns that kill people, yada yada yada, about makes me throw up! Since the latest school mass murder a couple of days ago, now they are once again wanting our school’s teachers packing guns, one nutbag in NY says the answer is trap doors and trip wires installed at school entrances to capture anyone coming in with a gun, another wacko woman wants beautiful ballistic blankets hung on school walls so they apparently can be pulled down and wrapped around kids as the gunman is firing their AR-15 at them in the next school shooting. Well, let’s just take this to the logical conclusion and require baby stroller manufacturers to equip all of them with holsters so moms walking their infants in the grocery store, mall or anywhere in public can immediately draw their stroller gun and shoot at a would-be attacker. Let’s have school districts allow senior citizens, regardless of failing eyesight and hearing, with wobbly legs and all, to surround schools in a protective perimeter, armed to the teeth, to protect our kids. And while we’re at it, let these school districts also start instructing kids in elementary school in the fine art of competitive shooting with lightweight kid’s guns so if all else fails, which it inevitably will, they can protect themselves when the next school shooting happens because we all KNOW it WILL happen again, and again, and again because these conservatives believe the problem is everything BUT the guns that are so pervasive in our gun nutty society that even teenagers like this latest mass murderer can go into a gun store and come out shortly afterward packing two AR-15 assault rigles, 7 30-round high capacity magazines and hundreds of round of ammunition… supposedly because conservatives have interpreted the Constitution as allowing such madness. Nothing is likely to change this insanity until rational, level headed, moral leaders enact common sense laws and interpret the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution correctly as one of our departed Supreme Court justices said, instead of the fraud that has been occurring by the misinterpretation of it by conservatives who are in the pocket of the NRA and gun lobby, and care nothing about the hundreds and hundreds of innocent young lives taken that lie directly on the doorsteps of cowards like the Republican elected leaders who are allowing it to continue all across America.
All those thoughts and prayers… Curiously ridiculous given that the deity they are praying to indubitably must have been as always in full control of everything and thusly responsible for the shootings in the first place.
Deirdre Rutledge says
I tried not to say something else in following this story, I really tried, but some of these comments are unbelievable.
Saying we should ban nerf guns or cars because a drunk might have an accident plowing into a group of children at the bus stop, or feels everything is safe because their gun didn’t jump off a table in their own home needs to realize sarcasm is not appropriate for this issue. Their timing is wrong to say the least.
Hippies in the 70s that wanted to have reforms in locking people up for mental health issues are not at fault. Blaming people with liberal politics for everything that goes wrong in this world is not the correct direction to take in addressing this issue. Blaming people with conservative politics for everything goes wrong in this world is also not the correct way to address this issue. How sad it is that we’re so polarized politically that we can’t even have a reasonable conversation about a problem that is this serious, and truly effects everybody. Nobody wants someone they love to be shot dead.
Since teachers are a doing a job that keeps them busy, if they are armed with guns (and I do think that idea is appropriate to explore) and a kid gets their hands on it, that facilitates the problem of school shootings, you don’t think that would ever happen?
I guarantee it would, even if the teachers were super careful and locked them up, at some point something is going to happen where they don’t have control over that weapon anymore. That’s the point of having resource officers at schools, they’re not trying to multitask, and they’re trained in security just as teachers are trained in education.
If people are able to walk around on the streets with guns in their hand (because we don’t have regulations) we’re not going to have an even bigger problem with shootings?
Some of the people that would want to be walking around with guns (and yes, every gun can assault you, so can knives, garden tools, cars, household cleansers, dogs, blunt objects etc.) can’t even handle comments about regulations seriously, I don’t think they should have guns on the street. The very idea of that scares the crap out of me. I can’t believe it’s even being suggested! And by people that have the power to make it happen!
That’s the point of having laws. It’s a question of degree, we can’t ban all pills, nobody wants to, but they are responsible for a lot of deaths. It’s appropriate to have some regulations and common sense limitations so people don’t get addicted to drugs. Safety caps so kids won’t have accidental overdoses. Doctors and pharmacists with expertise so that the correct medicines can be delivered in the correct doses the people that need actually need them.
When we don’t have those things in place, people getting sick and dying from medicine/drugs is a lot higher to say the least. As time goes on we figure out what works and what doesn’t and alter the regulations accordingly. It’s a process like everything else.
I believe the process regarding guns and weapons right now should be more restrictions, not more freedom. No one’s life should be destroying by tweaking the regulations, this action is about saving lives. Apparently it’s necessary, how much more evidence is needed to prove that it’s necessary?
It’s not a perfect world, bad things are always going to happen, but we can make some effort to make it a better world.
Making it super easy for practically anyone to get weapons designed to kill is not going to help it be a better world, and that should be clear. Regardless of anyone’s politics, how is that a super inflammatory statement? I think it’s very reasonable to have some laws in driving too or we would have a lot more accidents, literally including those that involve drunk drivers plowing into groups of children at the bus stop. We have laws against driving drunk, we have stop signs, lights, speed limits, safety belts. If you get caught not following the law there are consequences. You have to get a drivers license and pass a test showing you’re competent and able to drive safely. Those things are regulations that I believe most people consider reasonable. Personally I’m glad we have them.
It doesn’t mean we won’t have car accidents, it doesn’t mean some people won’t drive drunk anyway, it doesn’t mean we have to take away all cars – give me a break because that’s just how ridiculous people sound when weighing in on gun regulations with sarcasm. Talk about missing the point!
I understand the parents of these poor little kids who died in terror aren’t even able to look at the bodies of their murdered children because they won’t recognize them anymore.
If anyone thinks this is the right time to blame people with opposing viewpoints for everything or to respond with sarcasm about banning everything in the world that can possibly do any harm to anyone really doesn’t get the point of this whole issue, which is damn serious.
If you think this the right time to joke about it, maybe put yourself in someone else’s shoes and wonder what it would be like to not be able to have an open casket for your child at their funeral, because of a gun easily obtained by a very disturbed teenager.
A gun in the hands of someone that shouldn’t of had one and wouldn’t have had one if it wasn’t so easy to get one!
If we banned guns completely (AND NO ONE SAID WE WILL!!!) it’s not as if we would never have a problem with them again, but it would most certainly mean that these weapons, designed to kill living things, wouldn’t be the number one killer of children, which it is now.
The reason gun violence has taken the top spot from the former #1 cause of deaths in children (car accidents) is because we’ve tightened the laws on things involving cars, and loosened the laws on things regarding guns.
Regulations are designed to prevent problems, even the guys that wrote the second amendment would agree on that. Can’t we?
Excellent comments Skibum and Deirdre! Thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully respond to those who over and over again can only mindlessly post dangerous disinformation from the FOX fear and hate “entertainment” (NOT News) programs.
If only those FOX “cult” members would read your postings and “think” about the “FACT” that other first world countries who have implemented strict “gun safety regulations” have a much, much lower rate of gun violence and murders than the US. NATIONAL banning of semi-automatic and automatic weapons of war would make us safer! Much stricter background checks NATIONALLY on EVERY gun purchase would make us safer! Requiring a NATIONAL minimum age of 21 to purchase a gun would make each of us safer.
BUT. . . the completely corrupt Republicans in Congress are “bought and Paid for” by the NRA! They will continue to blame everything but guns for the mass murders in our country. The Republicans will continue to “DO NOTHING” to STOP THIS MADNESS!