Lawmakers do an end around on the students
It did not take long for a sign to pop up outside the statehouse in Tallahassee that said “Florida lawmakers choose the love of guns over the love of students,” look for that to be a hashtag. The sign was penned after the Florida House voted 36-71 to reject a proposed motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles, “effectively killing the measure for this session,” according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, most of the nation and the world was watching two buses making a 400-mile trip from Parkland to Tallahassee full of students and teachers who survived last week’s mass shootings at Stoneman-Douglas High School. 17 people, classmates, and teachers were killed by a gunman with a AR 15 rifle and the students who are scheduled to speak with lawmakers about toughing Florida’s existing gun laws including a ban on assault weapons.
Well in what might have been the biggest political blunder in years’ members of the Florida House showed very little concern or compassion by sending a very message that the assault rifles are saved and that gun manufacturers can rest easy tonight.
One would have at least heard the students side of the issue before taking a vote that casts them in a very bad light. Meanwhile, there was some movement on the gun issues that could be seen as a step in the right direction.
The Florida State Senate endorsed a proposal to place “law enforcement officers in every school in the state,” which will be included in a larger education bill currently moving through the legislature. More than half of all Florida schools have officers currently in place that are authorized to carry a weapon on school grounds. The proposal will also reportedly be part of a U.S. Senate Republican bill that will be released this week.
As the Florida House opened its session Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee asked for a procedural move that would have allowed it to consider a bill to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines. The bill had been assigned to three committees but was not scheduled for a hearing. The committees won’t meet again before the legislative session ends March 9.
McGhee said that means the bill would be dead unless the House voted to remove it from the committees and let it be considered by the full House.
Republican leaders in the House and Senate say they will consider proposals including raising age restrictions for gun purchases and the red-flag bill regarding temporarily taking away someone’s guns if they are deemed a threat to others.
QUOTES IN THIS STORY WERE FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS