Talk about poor timing. A Florida Republican introduced a gun bill to allow weapons in airport terminals just days before the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport shooting. The gun advocates seem to think it is a good idea for people to carry guns openly on airplanes. Is it possible they’ve suffered a head injury?
Next week Florida state senators will hear the gun bill, which allows guns in government meetings, airports, and classrooms. Apparently, they have never been to a raucous city council meeting. There is an existing law that prevents carrying guns in any of these locations.
Thus far, campus open carry measures died in the committee over the past two years, because the chair failed to schedule it for a vote. Proponents believe 2017 will bring a different outcome, because Steube is the Judicial Committee’s new chair. For the past six years, the senator served in the Florida House and stood out as a highly aggressive opponent of gun-free zones.
Steube filed his gun bill last month and said:
‘If you want to kill as many people as possible before the cops arrive then you are likely to go to a place where law-abiding citizens can’t carry. That’s what we’ve seen, time and time again and why I think we shouldn’t have them.’
When Florida State University President John Thrasher was a senator, lawmakers considered a campus open carry bill. The university president spoke to the faculty in 2014.
‘I opposed it. I killed it. I have worked against it since then and you have my promise that I will work against it this year also.’
Democratic Representative Evan Jenne of Broward says that guns bills are conservatives’ favorite every year. But he said lawmakers rarely keep getting behind bill, which is universally rejected by affected communities:
‘I am not aware of one iota of data that indicates presidents, police chiefs, students or teachers want guns on campus. It is not a sound policy. It is politicians trying to placate their base, but it is not where we are as a state.’
The senator anticipates that the gun debate will be similar to last year’s with the measures passing the House and stalling in the Senate. That was before Friday’s mass shooting at the Ft. Lauderdale airport where a shooter killed five people and wounded nine at last report. He said:
‘We’re in a perpetual campaign in the House and this is just red meat to keep people riled up. When you have to run every two years keeping your base engaged and motivated is very important.’
Check out this video of the shooting at Ft. Lauderdale Airport.
Featured Image: Getty Images/Bill Pugliano.
H/T: Tallahassee Democrat.