Friday, December 15, 2017
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: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

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Another voice: A shameful anniversary

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Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Published: 12/13/17

Another voice: Alabama picks an honorable man

THANK YOU, Alabama.In Tuesday’s special election, the state by a narrow margin chose to spare the nation the indignity of seating an accused child molester in the U.S. Senate. Though the stain of electing Republican Roy Moore would have sullied Alaba...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

As congressional negotiators hammer out the details on an enormous, unnecessary tax cut, the potential negative impact on Tampa Bay and Florida is becoming clearer. The harmful consequences stretch far beyond adding more than $1.4 trillion to the fed...
Published: 12/12/17

Another voice: Privacy in the internet age

How much information about you is on your cellphone? Likely the most intimate details of your life: photographs, internet searches, text and email conversations with friends and colleagues. And though you might not know it, your phone is constantly c...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Confronted with documentation of sanctioned brutality and sexual abuse in Florida’s juvenile detention centers, the reaction from Gov. Rick Scott’s administration was defensive and obtuse. So it’s welcome news that Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Editorial: U.S. House sides with NRA over state’s rights on concealed weapons permits

With the horror of the mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a small Texas church still fresh, the U.S. House finally has taken action on guns. But the bill it passed last week won’t make Americans safer from gun violence. It is an ...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

There is no satisfaction for anyone in the standoff over pay raises between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers. Most teachers across the nation already are underpaid, but this district simply cannot afford the raises teachers ex...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

With a buildout of $3 billion encompassing entire city blocks, it’s obvious that Jeff Vinik’s plans will change the look and feel of downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Lightning owner unveiled a broader vision last week that reflects how far the impac...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17