Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gun ban at RNC too logical for Florida Gov. Rick Scott

The mayor's letter to the governor was all prudence and sensibility, a reasonable request for a temporary ban on guns at a potentially combustible, extremely crowded, very political event.

Emphasis on political.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn asked for a ban downtown during the Republican National Convention that will bring 50,000 people to town in August. Four days in a small and defined part of the city seemed no more an affront to the Second Amendment than, say, a three-day cooling-off period to buy a gun — a prudent rule that has no doubt saved lives.

The potential for saving lives being the point.

But if you thought when that letter made its way to Tallahassee that logic would win the day with a temporary stay, you may be unfamiliar with our governor, our politics and the amazing-to-behold steroid-strength of our gun lobby.

Not to mention our apparent determination to reign supreme as the hands-down best butt of jokes on late-night TV. You know the ones: Sure, bring your guns to the RNC, but leave those sticks, squirt guns and lengths of rope at home. They could hurt somebody!

In a reply as swift as it was snooty, Gov. Rick Scott said no to penning an executive order that would have allowed the brief ban downtown. Had the mayor even heard of the Second Amendment? the letter all but said. And yes, actually, since Buckhorn is a gun owner who has had a concealed-weapons permit himself.

For Scott to have replied otherwise in a state where the National Rifle Association seems to dictate laws at will would have been most politically imprudent. As for Buckhorn, and do not doubt the man's political chops here either, he now has proof on paper of an attempt at a common sense measure, should a serious God-forbid incident occur.

Buckhorn also wisely made a point of saying this was not about law-abiding concealed-weapons permit holders, but about guns falling into the wrong hands in the potential craziness of the convention. (Enter God-forbid moment here.)

My favorite part of the governor's instructional note to the mayor was him pointing out that guns are already forbidden by the Secret Service inside and at the perimeter of the convention itself.

You know, where assorted dignitaries and politicians — like Scott — will spend their time.

But out where protests and contention will occur?

Sorry, the Second Amendment forbids even a brief restriction.

Despite what some people will tell you, the right to keep and bear arms does not translate to guns for anyone, anywhere. Reasonable restrictions exist for responsible, legal gun ownership. Even someone with a concealed-weapons permit can't bring one into a police station, jail, courthouse, polling place or — there's our lawmakers, looking out for No. 1 again —a meeting of the Legislature. The logic is obvious: Even in a society that respects gun ownership, there are some places they do not belong.

If, God forbid, anything terrible happens, Scott can find cover blaming a failure by law enforcement, or faulty planning or who knows what. And the mayor of Tampa will be able to say: I tried, not that given the mind-set in Tallahassee, trying for a restriction on guns, however reasonable, ever had a prayer.

Gun ban at RNC too logical for Florida Gov. Rick Scott 05/03/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 3, 2012 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii


    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan


    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville


    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer


    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry


    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.