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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

NYT editorial: Florida gun law creates a 'national embarrassment' around RNC in Tampa



In its lead editorial on Friday, "The Law of the Gun in Florida," the New York Times writes, "Florida leads the pack in passing bills written by the gun lobby that block any sensible attempt to control the purchase and use of firearms."

As evidence, the editorial cites the spot that Tampa officials find themselves in as they try to ban weapons at protests outside the Republican National Convention, scheduled for Aug. 27-30. The city proposes to ban a long list of items that could be used as weapons, but cannot stop gun owners with concealed weapons permits from bringing their firearms into the city's designated protest area. That's because the Florida Legislature passed a law in 2011 pre-empting cities and counties from adopting any laws of their own that address the sale or possession of guns. 

The editorial concludes: "Hypothetical scenarios of a gun-wielding protester 'standing his ground' and drawing against an antagonist are being discussed in local media. These seem less farfetched in the context of the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Tea Party political protests of two years ago where demonstrators proudly sported holstered weaponry. Political leaders mindful of public safety should be able to solve Tampa’s gun control problem. But there’s scant few of them in the statehouse. The scene developing in Tampa is a national embarrassment that spotlights how timorous American politicians are before the gun lobby."

[Last modified: Friday, April 6, 2012 3:41pm]


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