Thursday, April 26, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Connecticut acts on guns

Florida and the rest of the nation may have moved on from the Newtown school massacre, but Connecticut hasn't. Connecticut Gov. Daniel P. Malloy signed into law last week perhaps the most sweeping gun controls in the nation less than four months after the shootings that devastated his state and the nation. As President Barack Obama cautioned, the 20 children and six educators who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School should not be forgotten.

The bipartisan Connecticut legislation will require new state-issued eligibility certificates for the purchase of any shotgun, rifle or ammunition. The state also will impose the nation's first dangerous weapons offender registry, requiring anyone convicted of any of more than 40 weapons offenses to register with the state. And it closes the indefensible "gun show loophole" by requiring in-state universal background checks for the sale of all firearms and significantly expands Connecticut's existing ban on assault weapons. An effort to ban ownership of high-capacity magazines with more than 10 bullets failed, but high-capacity magazines must now be registered with the state. None of Connecticut's thoughtful public safety measures infringe on responsible gun owners who want to possess a firearm.

At least 3,292 Americans have been killed by firearms since the Dec. 14 Newtown shootings. But public support for broad gun control measures, which spiked in the immediate aftermath of the killings, has begun to decline as memories fade. Congress remains bogged down in partisanship and cowed by the National Rifle Association over passing even a reasonable universal background check on gun sales, which still enjoys overwhelming public support. In Florida, the Legislature has no interest in repealing the "stand your ground'' law despite its obvious flaws, and even efforts to refine the law appear to be stalled.

The Connecticut legislature demonstrated it is possible for Democrats and Republicans to put aside ideological differences and ignore the NRA's fearmongering propaganda to come together for a greater public good. The killing of 20 children can provide focus and motivation. But it should not require such a tremendous sacrifice of little innocents close to home for members of Congress and state lawmakers to enact sensible gun control measures. The president has not forgotten the victims at Newtown, and neither should Florida and the rest of the nation.

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Editorial: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

Editorial: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

A St. Petersburg waste-to-energy plant now under construction has been billed for years as an environmentally friendly money saver. Now it looks more like a boondoggle, with the cost and mission changing on the fly. It’s yet another example of a city...
Updated: 9 hours ago

‘Happy hour’ tax cuts may result in hangovers

Evidence is mounting that the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package enacted in December by congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump was a bad idea, not only for the long-run health of the economy but for the short-term political prospects of the ...
Published: 04/25/18
Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Writing a new law that phases out separate accreditation for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and folds it back into the major research university was the easy part. The hard work starts today when a new consolidation task force holds i...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Correction

CorrectionCircuit Judge John Stargel of Lakeland is a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission who voted against a proposed amendment that would have stopped write-in candidates from closing primary elections. An editorial Saturday inco...
Published: 04/23/18
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Florida lawmakers may never take the death penalty off the books, but stronger forces are steadily eroding this inhumane, outdated tool of injustice. Court rulings, subsequent changes to law and waning public support have significantly suppressed the...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18