Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Florida: Your Place For Sun and Gun

"Our culture is on a death march." – Rep. Dennis Baxley

The lunatics are in control of the Sunshine State, and they're packing heat.

Earlier this year the “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” Bill (aka “Stand Your Ground”), which allows you to shoot someone if you feel you are in danger, was signed into law by Gov. Jeb Bush. That law went into effect October 1.

Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, a man who criticized efforts to allow Terry Schiavo to die as part of a dangerous “culture of death” in our country, was one of the architects and primary advocates of Stand Your Ground.

But with that law Baxley’s work had just begun.

He’s now working on a sequel to that law which would make it a felony for employers to prohibit employees from bringing guns to their workplace. The lone proviso is the guns have to stay locked in the car.

Let’s call this one the “Disgruntled Co-worker Killing Spree” Law.

Should this new law be ratified, it would practically make workplace killing sprees a constitutional right. It would certainly facilitate them, by ensuring that the guns remain handy should someone decide to “go off.”

Can anyone in their right mind justify such a law? I wouldn't ask Baxley this, because he obviously doesn’t meet the criteria.

There is a Second Amendment Disease (SAD), and it is very sad indeed. And Baxley, Jeb Bush and number of their NRA-influenced politicos in Florida are suffering from it this very minute. Their devotion to that long-misinterpreted and misused amendment clouds their reason and informs their every decision.

Before Floridians realize it, the state seal up in Tallahassee may one day be replaced by the ubiquitous NRA logo. Our state abbreviation would change from FLA to NRA. Or, if corporate lobbyists continue to wield increasing influence – another disconcerting trend – it could end up as something like “Clear Channel Presents the State of NRA.”

Regarding the new and proposed gun laws, Florida's real estate and tourism industries ought to ask Tallahassee straight out, “How the hell do we sell this to someone who wants to live or vacation here?”

Concerned citizens should contact public officials beholden to gun lobbies and corporate interests and express their displeasure. Often.

And, before they go to the polls next year, all voters should arm themselves with full knowledge of the candidates, their platforms and any reckless agendas they may be intent on championing.

It’s past time for sensible Floridians to kick the fanatics and other bad influences out of Tallahassee and regain our place in the sun.




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