Saturday, November 18, 2017
Politics

On guns, justice, and Tampa's Man in Black: The week that was

RECOMMENDED READING


From the week before Christmas, headlines to make you spit out your Starbucks:

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri training deputies to kill law-abiding gun owners

Spoiler alert: It's not actually true.

The sheriff was speaking sensibly to a reporter about an obvious potential flaw in the open-carry bill percolating in Tallahassee. Should it become law, people with concealed-weapons permits could walk around in public with guns out in the open.

Because, sure, what could go wrong?

Gualtieri was talking about a concern similarly expressed by others in law enforcement: What happens when deputies show up to the scene of, say, a silent alarm tripped at a 7-Eleven and a guy walking out with a legally holstered gun? Or a legally armed citizen in a bank that's being robbed?

How do police who arrive on the scene tell the good guys from the bad?

Gualtieri was saying those citizens could find themselves taken down by officers or even shot by that bank robber. Unfortunately, the published story lacked the full context of his quotes, prompting ridiculously headlined alerts and Web posts from open-carry enthusiasts implying the sheriff was looking to shoot the citizenry should this pass.

When, in fact, that's exactly what Gualtieri and others who oppose open-carry are hoping to avoid.

Serial killer Bolin is denied appeal, faces execution Jan. 7

After nearly 30 years since the murders of Stephanie Collins, Teri Lynn Matthews and Natalie Blanche Holley, after three mothers sat shoulder to shoulder through trials and retrials, after the circus sideshow of a death row killer marrying, after all the questions about life in prison versus the death penalty and justice delayed and denied, Oscar Ray Bolin is expected to be executed in the new year.

Small signs Tampa really is a city: Pardon me for getting all Chamber-of-Commercey here, but a just-before-dawn trip on the Riverwalk right now is a neat glimpse of Christmas trees in downtown offices and lights strung high across the balconies of Harbour Island.

And here's an interesting surprise on the walk: Currently docked behind the convention center turns out to be one of the Sea Shepherd vessels that aim to protect marine life including whales and hunted seals. According to the website, free tours of the ship run through Sunday.

And things we hope never change: Like a dapper Latin Johnny Cash, the Tampa City Council's elder statesman, Charlie Miranda, was up on the dais this week dressed all in black.

It was the same sort of mourning suit Miranda wore nearly 20 years ago to symbolically protest the burial of the taxpayer in funding a football stadium.

This week, he was the lone vote against $100 million deal in renovations for Raymond James Stadium. His suit could have done the talking, but Miranda eloquently reminded everyone anyway that it's possible to get robbed not just with a gun, but also a pen.

For the record, he had come to the meeting in a light blue jacket he felt was more appropriate for presenting an earlier-on-the-agenda award to the police officer of the month.

Then Miranda slipped in back and once again become Tampa's Man in Black.

Contact Sue Carlton at [email protected]

Comments
As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

WASHINGTON — "You can do anything," Donald Trump once boasted, speaking of groping and kissing unsuspecting women. Maybe he could, but not everyone can. The man who openly bragged about grabbing women’s private parts — but denied he really did so — w...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Standing on the white marble steps of Alabama’s Capitol, Kayla Moore surrounded herself with two dozen other women Friday to defend husband Roy Moore against accusations of sexual misconduct that are dividing Republicans, and women...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken personally apologized to the woman who has accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour, saying he remembers their encounter differently but is "ashamed that my actions ruined that ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

An 87-year-old widow from Melbourne, a mysterious direct mail company in tiny Buffalo, Wyo., and a tangled web of political committees all were linked to the onslaught of negative mailers that helped Lawrence McClure win the Republican primary in Pla...
Updated: 6 hours ago

10,000 more FBI records unsealed from JFK assassination files

DALLAS — Yet again, the National Archives released a trove of records from the Kennedy assassination files on a Friday afternoon, another strange stream of loose ends, dead ends and tangents with little apparent connection to the assassination of the...
Updated: 7 hours ago
William March: Why Jose Vazquez had to campaign from a prison cell

William March: Why Jose Vazquez had to campaign from a prison cell

Jose Vazquez, Democratic nominee in the Dec. 19 state House District 58 special election, doesn’t seem like a criminal. He’s 43, divorced with six children, and has worked as a security guard and in auto recycling. He was a high-level political field...
Published: 11/17/17
Selective outrage: Trump criticizes Franken, silent on Moore

Selective outrage: Trump criticizes Franken, silent on Moore

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is displaying selective outrage over allegations of sexual harassment against prominent men in politics, as his own tortured past lingers over his response. Trump moved quickly Thursday to condemn accusations again...
Published: 11/17/17
In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

UTICA, N.Y. — Pat Marino pulled into the shop on a cold, wet Thursday and stood close as a young mechanic with gelled-up hair and earrings lifted the truck and ducked underneath."You need a little bit more oil," the mechanic said."Five quarts wasn’t ...
Published: 11/17/17
Franken draws swift condemnation in Congress after woman claims he groped her

Franken draws swift condemnation in Congress after woman claims he groped her

WASHINGTON — Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., faced swift condemnation and bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation Thursday after he was accused of forcibly kissing and groping a broadcaster and model while traveling overseas in 2006.The allegations ag...
Published: 11/16/17
Alabama GOP stands by Roy Moore; Trump declines to urge him to quit Senate race

Alabama GOP stands by Roy Moore; Trump declines to urge him to quit Senate race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Roy Moore won a reprieve in his struggle to survive as a U.S. Senate candidate Thursday when the Alabama Republican Party affirmed it would continue backing him despite allegations that he sexually assaulted teenagers."Judge Moore ...
Published: 11/16/17