The absolute worst thing you can ask Florida's current cadre of politicians to do is
The results have been less than heartening. Here's a rundown:
The Florida Legislature is daringly close to passing a measure that would allow local school districts to appoint certain teachers as security "marshals" and give them guns to help "protect" students in the future. A teacher who showed up with a gun and began shooting at a Georgia school last week did nothing to slow the bill's momentum. Neither did this Quinnipiac poll, which shows the typical Florida resident doesn't want armed teachers. Instead, Floridians overwhelmingly support a ban on assault weapons:
The poll from Quinnipiac University shows that a full 62 percent of Floridians back a ban on assault weapons; only 33 percent are against the idea.
The rest of the poll reads like the worst fevered nightmares of Marion Hammer, the NRA mega-lobbyist who has turned Florida into a gun-packed hellscape over the past two decades.
The poll shows that 96 percent of voters want universal background checks for all gun sales. Ninety-six percent! You couldn't get 96 percent of Floridians to agree that the Atlantic Ocean is real.
The survey goes on: 87 percent want a waiting period on all gun sales; 62 percent want a ban on high-capacity magazines; 78 percent want all gun sales to have a 21-year-old age limit; 89 percent want judges to have the ability to take guns away from people whom police and family members say are violent; and 92 percent want to ban gun ownership for anyone with restraining orders for domestic violence or stalking.
Floridians want gun control. What they do not want, by a 56-40 margin, is armed teachers in their schools, Quinnipiac found.
Go back and watch the CNN town hall on the Parkland massacre — you know, the one where Marco Rubio was repeatedly owned so hard that he could barely stutter out his canned lines — and you'll see the survivors and victims' families keep making three demands: Reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons, ban high-capacity magazines, and stop taking money from the Nation Rifle Association.
Today on the Senate floor, Rubio announced his post-Parkland safety plan, and, yeah, he's not gonna do any of those things.
Instead, he backed a number of more modest reforms including beefing up security and training at schools, creating a "gun violence restraining order" to allow cops to take weapons from known threats, and requiring schools to report dangerous kids to police. Rubio said those changes might have stopped Nikolas Cruz from murdering 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
3. Bill Nelson's "No Fly, No Buy" proposal.
Sure, it sounds nice on paper to pass a bill preventing suspected terrorists from buying guns. But in reality, so-called No Fly, No Buy bills rely on extremely dubious and often racist information. The bills prevent people on the Transportation Security Administration's No Fly List from buying guns, but that list is mostly a random mishmash of vaguely suspected terrorists. A review from the Intercept in 2014 found that nearly half the people on the list had "no terrorist affiliation." Civil rights groups argue the list should be abolished.
Plus, the bill would have done nothing to stop Nikolas Cruz. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson supports it anyway.
Quick poll: What
5. Doing nothing.
Mitch McConnell told reporters that he had no intention of bringing a gun measure to the Senate floor next week. https://t.co/BNtJJjoQn1— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) March 2, 2018
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.