Lack of gun ban is irresponsible
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 13:05
It may be difficult for some people to pinpoint the most reckless decision Gov. Rick Scott has made during his tenure, but this one might be in the top three. Scott’s denial of a temporary gun ban at the Republican National Convention, which will be held in Tampa in August, is irresponsible and pointless. The ban was suggested by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn in an effort to curb the potential for violence. Scott’s response? In a letter to Buckhorn, he argued that “it is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law,” according to the Associated Press.
Not only is Scott’s decision careless, but it is partisan and absolutely insulting to the residents of Tampa. Scott has shown a complete disregard for the stigma surrounding gun control by rejecting Buckhorn’s ban initiative. This stance sends the message that the crowd at the RNC will solely consist of “law-abiding citizens,” because to suggest otherwise simply doesn’t apply to the GOP. In reality, any political event, regardless of party affiliation, holds the potential for heated and overzealous interaction, which could lead to violent confrontation. It is absolutely ludicrous to think that attendees of the convention will be prohibited from bringing all other weapons and objects, including water guns but not real guns. With that being said, if firearms are taken out of the equation, what fatal harm could those who “flout the law” truly inflict on “law-abiding citizens” that would be worse than the alternative of no weapons whatsoever?
Second Amendment rights should not be misinterpreted on a state level to mean that anyone can carry a gun, anywhere, anytime. Recent cases like the shootings of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Trayvon Martin and the incarceration of Marissa Alexander prove not only that this mindset begets serious consequences, but that also, in Florida, there is obviously substantial misinterpretation of the “stand your ground” law by the public and law enforcement. Scott’s refusal to acknowledge this ban only upholds this and propagates the trigger-happy ideology of gun lobbyists.
Ultimately, by allowing guns at the RNC, Scott is risking a fatality, be it intentional, accidental or a combination of the two, and he will have to shoulder the burden. In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, Florida as a state will suffer from being perceived as callous. One can only hope that a terrible situation such as the Martin case will not occur again. Unfortunately, when given the opportunity, history often times repeats itself.