Posts Tagged ‘NRA’

‘Stand Your Ground on steroids’ before Florida Supremes; Flood of cases could be reopened

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

By Noreen Marcus
FloridaBulldog.org
The Florida Supreme Court is reviewing a souped-up version of the controversial “Stand Your Ground’’ law, and the court may use it to reopen thousands of criminal cases.
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Spotlight on Kalashnikov USA after spy arrest, reports Russia targeted NRA for U.S. influence

Friday, August 17th, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
A U.S. senator has asked the Treasury Department whether it has investigated the apparent relationships between U.S.-sanctioned Russian arms makers and Russian-linked U.S. arms manufacturers, including Pompano Beach’s Kalashnikov USA.
The post Spotlight on Kalashnikov USA after spy arrest, reports Russia targeted NRA for U.S. influence appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Spotlight on Kalashnikov USA after spy arrest, reports Russia targeted NRA for U.S. influence

Friday, August 17th, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
A U.S. senator has asked the Treasury Department whether it has investigated the apparent relationships between U.S.-sanctioned Russian arms makers and Russian-linked U.S. arms manufacturers, including Pompano Beach’s Kalashnikov USA.
The post Spotlight on Kalashnikov USA after spy arrest, reports Russia targeted NRA for U.S. influence appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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U.S. Senate will consider blocking rule on guns and mentally ill

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

The Republican-led Senate is moving to block an Obama-era regulation that would prevent an estimated 75,000 people with mental disorders from being able to purchase a firearm.
The Obama administration had sought to strengthen the federal background check system with a rule requiring the Social Security Administration to send in the names of beneficiaries with mental impairments who also need a third-party to manage their benefits.
With a Republican ally in the White House, the GOP is moving aggressively on gun rights measures. The House earlier this month voted for the resolution blocking the rule. The Senate has scheduled a vote for Wednesday morning that would send the measure to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said during a debate on the Senate floor Tuesday that the regulation, set to go into effect in December, unfairly stigmatizes the disabled and infringes on their constitutional right to bear arms. He said that the mental disorders covered through the regulation are filled with “vague characteristics that do not fit into the federal mentally defective standard” prohibiting someone from buying or owning a gun.
Grassley cited eating and sleep disorders as examples of illnesses that could allow a beneficiary to be reported to the background check system if they also need a third party to manage their benefits.
“If a specific individual is likely to be violent due to the nature of their mental illness, then the government should have to prove it,” Grassley said.
The regulation was crafted as part of President Barack Obama‘s efforts to strengthen the background check system in the wake of the 2012 massacre of 20 young students and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old man with a variety of impairments, including Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, shot and

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NRA declares League of Women Voters as ‘gun ban organization’

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Citing email obtained through open-records requests, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer declared the League of Women Voters of Florida as “Florida’s newest gun ban organization,” working in secret.
“The League of Women Voters is not who you think they are. The Florida League of Women Voters is Florida’s newest gun ban organization,” Hammer wrote in a letter sent Friday to the members and friends of the National Rifle Association, over which she was once president, and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, over which she is current president.
“The League has been working with anti-gun Democrat legislators to write and file gun ban legislation,” Hammer wrote. “They work in secret to deny constitutional rights while pretending to be strong constitutionalists in order to solicit memberships and donations from people who have no idea what the League is really doing.”
Hammer’s open letter, posted on the NRA’s Institute For Legislative Action webpage, also charged the league’s first vice president, Patti Brigham as working as an unregistered lobbyist, pushing for the bills; and noted that email between Brigham, Florida Democrats and Kristen Rand, lobbyist for Violence Policy Center in Washington, show that the Florida bills were modeled after Connecticut’s law, and that Brigham was seeking Rand’s input.
“Yes, you read that right. Connecticut-style gun control in Florida,” Hammer concluded.
Guilty, the league and one Democratic lawmaker working with it declared Friday, at least on the first charge – of them working together to push for  gun control laws.
Not guilty to the other charges, they pled.
LOWV-Florida President Pamela Goodman and state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, scoffed at the notion that the league’s efforts were secret, noting they had put out joint press releases, and held a joint press conference last month when Smith and state Sen. Linda Stewart rolled out their proposals, House Bill 167 and Senate Bill 254, to ban future sales of assault weapons and

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Joe Henderson: Despite opposition, ‘campus carry’ returns

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Remember that measure some Republicans in the Legislature have tried to pass the last couple of years to allow the open carry of guns on college campuses?
You know, the bill the House passed last year before it died in the Senate (thank goodness).
Well, it’s back.
Of course, it’s back. It never really left, and it won’t leave until the National Rifle Association finally rams this thing into law.
Never mind that a survey last year by the University of South Florida showed 73 percent of Floridians oppose allowing the state’s 1.4 million concealed permit holders to openly tote their weapons on campuses. Doesn’t matter.
Every state college and university president opposes this idea.
Doesn’t matter.
The Florida League of Women voters is against it. Really doesn’t matter.
As the Tallahassee Democrat reported, incoming Sen. Greg Steube, who pushed this idea while in the House, said, “I don’t see how you can say it’s not a more favorable landscape.”
Favorable for what? Favorable for foisting something through against the will of the people?
If this went to a popular vote, it likely would be crushed. Just because the political climate might be, in Steube’s words, “favorable” for passage doesn’t mean this is the right thing to do. Of course, logic is another thing that doesn’t matter when talking about guns.
The evidence is overwhelming that the NRA and its legislative minions don’t care who opposes them, how many oppose them, or how whacked the idea of bringing guns more into the everyday college mainstream seems to be.
I will save proponents the time of typing a rebuttal, because I know what they will say: Since only holders of concealed permits will be able to legally carry, what’s the problem?
The problem is what comes after that, when their insatiable thirst for gun expansion needs to satisfied again. We already know that enough

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Joe Henderson: Despite opposition, ‘campus carry’ returns

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Remember that measure some Republicans in the Legislature have tried to pass the last couple of years to allow the open carry of guns on college campuses?
You know, the bill the House passed last year before it died in the Senate (thank goodness).
Well, it’s back.
Of course, it’s back. It never really left, and it won’t leave until the National Rifle Association finally rams this thing into law.
Never mind that a survey last year by the University of South Florida showed 73 percent of Floridians oppose allowing the state’s 1.4 million concealed permit holders to openly tote their weapons on campuses. Doesn’t matter.
Every state college and university president opposes this idea.
Doesn’t matter.
The Florida League of Women voters is against it. Really doesn’t matter.
As the Tallahassee Democrat reported, incoming Sen. Greg Steube, who pushed this idea while in the House, said, “I don’t see how you can say it’s not a more favorable landscape.”
Favorable for what? Favorable for foisting something through against the will of the people?
If this went to a popular vote, it likely would be crushed. Just because the political climate might be, in Steube’s words, “favorable” for passage doesn’t mean this is the right thing to do. Of course, logic is another thing that doesn’t matter when talking about guns.
The evidence is overwhelming that the NRA and its legislative minions don’t care who opposes them, how many oppose them, or how whacked the idea of bringing guns more into the everyday college mainstream seems to be.
I will save proponents the time of typing a rebuttal, because I know what they will say: Since only holders of concealed permits will be able to legally carry, what’s the problem?
The problem is what comes after that, when their insatiable thirst for gun expansion needs to satisfied again. We already know that enough

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Joe Henderson: Despite opposition, ‘campus carry’ returns

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Remember that measure some Republicans in the Legislature have tried to pass the last couple of years to allow the open carry of guns on college campuses?
You know, the bill the House passed last year before it died in the Senate (thank goodness).
Well, it’s back.
Of course, it’s back. It never really left, and it won’t leave until the National Rifle Association finally rams this thing into law.
Never mind that a survey last year by the University of South Florida showed 73 percent of Floridians oppose allowing the state’s 1.4 million concealed permit holders to openly tote their weapons on campuses. Doesn’t matter.
Every state college and university president opposes this idea.
Doesn’t matter.
The Florida League of Women voters is against it. Really doesn’t matter.
As the Tallahassee Democrat reported, incoming Sen. Greg Steube, who pushed this idea while in the House, said, “I don’t see how you can say it’s not a more favorable landscape.”
Favorable for what? Favorable for foisting something through against the will of the people?
If this went to a popular vote, it likely would be crushed. Just because the political climate might be, in Steube’s words, “favorable” for passage doesn’t mean this is the right thing to do. Of course, logic is another thing that doesn’t matter when talking about guns.
The evidence is overwhelming that the NRA and its legislative minions don’t care who opposes them, how many oppose them, or how whacked the idea of bringing guns more into the everyday college mainstream seems to be.
I will save proponents the time of typing a rebuttal, because I know what they will say: Since only holders of concealed permits will be able to legally carry, what’s the problem?
The problem is what comes after that, when their insatiable thirst for gun expansion needs to satisfied again. We already know that enough

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$8 million spent by outside groups in CD 7, mostly to help Stephanie Murphy upset John Mica

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Outside groups spent $8 million in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, mostly to help Democrat Stephanie Murphy oust Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica.
Updated campaign finance documents filed with the Federal Election Commission this week show outside groups such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democrats’ House Majority PAC combined to spend nearly $6.3 million on advertising either supporting Murphy or attacking Mica. And that does not include spending by the Florida Democratic Party, which paid for several mailers down the stretch that still havn’t shown up in posted campaign finance documents.
Mica got some help from Washington too, but not nearly as much and not nearly as soon. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Affairs combined to spend just over $1.6 million to support Mica or bash Murphy.
Murphy won 51-49, and Mica blamed the “massive amount of money” spent against him as one of the reasons his failed re-election campaign was “difficult and challenging.”
The outside money went a long way toward defining the campaign. Neither Mica, a 12-term incumbent, nor Murphy, a newcomer, had anywhere close to that kind of money in their official campaign funds, though the most recent filings for total contributions run only through Oct. 19, so do not include anything the candidates were able to raise or spend in the last three weeks. Mica had raised $1.2 million by that time, and Murphy about $600,000.
Murphy’s outside help came early and stayed relentless for nearly two months heading into the election, paying for independent television commercials, internet advertising, and mailers. The first to arrive was the House Majority PAC, which spent $430,000 on Sept. 22 on internet and TV advertising introducing Murphy. Before it was done, that Democratic organization spent about $1.1 million.
But her big benefactor was the DCCC, which spent

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Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund internet videos to support LGBT state candidates; pushes gun issues

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

The national Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund is going up with digital video commercials in Florida to support several gay candidates for Florida House seats and attack their Republican opponents for voting with the gun lobby.
The 30-second commercials begin by pegging onto the June 12 mass murder at Orlando’s popular gay nightclub Pulse, saying “it happened right here” in Orlando or in Florida, depending on the spot. In that massacre, gay-hating, ISIS-pledging madman Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others before he was killed by law enforcement storming the nightclub.
Three of the ads start by attacking Republican State Reps. Mike Miller in Orlando-based House District 47, Kathleen Peters in St. Petersburg-based House District 69, or George Moraitis in Fort Lauderdale-based House District 93, for voting in favor of campus-carry legislation last year. Then they offer up their Democratic opponents, Beth Tuura of Orlando, Jennifer Webb of St. Petersburg, or Ken Keechi of Fort Lauderdale, respectively, as “better choices.”
The fourth commercial supports Democrat Carlos Guillermo Smith in Orlando-based House District 49. He doesn’t have a Republican or incumbent opponent, so the commercial just says Smith will “take on the gun lobby and keep our community safe.” He faces independent candidate Shea Silverman.
A fifth commercial is pledged supporting Democratic State Rep. David Richardson over Republican Jonathan Parker in Miami Beach-based House District 113, but that that commercial has not yet been released.
The Victory Fund political action committee said it is spending $75,000 on the ads.
“Our Florida candidates support gun safety measures that can prevent another Pulse-like shooting, while their opponents adopt whatever position the gun lobby tells them to,” Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund’s Aisha C. Moodie-Mills stated in a news release. “Tallahassee continues to fail Floridians by refusing to take on the gun lobby and pass commonsense gun

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Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund internet videos to support LGBT state candidates; pushes gun issues

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

The national Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund is going up with digital video commercials in Florida to support several gay candidates for Florida House seats and attack their Republican opponents for voting with the gun lobby.
The 30-second commercials begin by pegging onto the June 12 mass murder at Orlando’s popular gay nightclub Pulse, saying “it happened right here” in Orlando or in Florida, depending on the spot. In that massacre, gay-hating, ISIS-pledging madman Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others before he was killed by law enforcement storming the nightclub.
Three of the ads start by attacking Republican State Reps. Mike Miller in Orlando-based House District 47, Kathleen Peters in St. Petersburg-based House District 69, or George Moraitis in Fort Lauderdale-based House District 93, for voting in favor of campus-carry legislation last year. Then they offer up their Democratic opponents, Beth Tuura of Orlando, Jennifer Webb of St. Petersburg, or Ken Keechi of Fort Lauderdale, respectively, as “better choices.”
The fourth commercial supports Democrat Carlos Guillermo Smith in Orlando-based House District 49. He doesn’t have a Republican or incumbent opponent, so the commercial just says Smith will “take on the gun lobby and keep our community safe.” He faces independent candidate Shea Silverman.
A fifth commercial is pledged supporting Democratic State Rep. David Richardson over Republican Jonathan Parker in Miami Beach-based House District 113, but that that commercial has not yet been released.
The Victory Fund political action committee said it is spending $75,000 on the ads.
“Our Florida candidates support gun safety measures that can prevent another Pulse-like shooting, while their opponents adopt whatever position the gun lobby tells them to,” Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund’s Aisha C. Moodie-Mills stated in a news release. “Tallahassee continues to fail Floridians by refusing to take on the gun lobby and pass commonsense gun

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Gun groups weighing in on John Mica-Stephanie Murphy race in CD 7

Friday, October 21st, 2016

The National Rifle Association and Gabby Giffords‘ Americans for Responsible Solutions are weighing in on the Florida’s 7th Congressional District race between Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica and Democratic challenger Stephanie Murphy.
The first shot fired was by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun-law-reform group founded by the former Arizona congresswoman, Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed in a mass shooting, and her husband retired NASA astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly. That group’s first mailer attacking Mica for his pro-gun stands arrived in CD 7 mailboxes Friday.
The Federal Election Commission reports show that the AFRS Political Action Committee spent $40,000 so far on mailings to oppose Mica.
That same report shows that the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action spent nearly $14,000 on mailers supporting Mica, though that filing was just made on Thursday and the mailers may not be out yet.
That’s only the start.
Federal Communication Commission records show that the NRA has purchased $90,000 worth of TV commercials on one station, WESH-2,  the NBC station, in Orlando, to start running Oct. 29. No NRA commercial purchases show up yet on other Orlando stations, though there is an NRA notice to buy time at WOFL-35, the Fox station.
 
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Despite vow to ‘take on’ gun lobby, Gary Farmer earns an A+ rating from NRA. How?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Many tidbits come across my desk, but this one jumped off my screen: Gary Farmer was just “awarded” an A+ rating by … wait for it … the National Rifle Association.
If that doesn’t shock you, allow me to explain.
During a very heated Democratic primary battle with Jim Waldman in Senate District 34, the NRA’s scorecards became a yoooge issue in the race.
First, Farmer accused Waldman of earning an “A” rating.  Waldman then fired back, calling it a lie (it wasn’t, however — for several years, the NRA website listed Waldman with an “A,” but during the campaign, it changed, with the organization claiming its original rating was in error.)
The NRA corrected the mistake online, producing documents proving Waldman never earned that A.
Farmer replied by hitting Waldman (hard) on his voting record, which seems to support the powerful gun lobby.
After much back and forth over a series of mail pieces (some counts putting the total at a dozen), Farmer walloped Waldman with this TV spot.

Clearly, Farmer owned the issue, making it clear — “Crystal, Sir” — that when in Tallahassee, he would take on the gun lobby.
Farmer was no friend of the NRA, for sure.
So how on earth did Farmer earn the NRA’s highest rating (or lowest, depending on your point of view)?
We are just not sure.
Consider this:
— Farmer never completed the NRA candidate questionnaire. “There was no reason to,” Farmer told FloridaPolitics.com, “as I did not want their endorsement.”
— Farmer made it abundantly clear he will not be a “pro-gun Senator” and vowed to make gun safety legislation a priority — not something the NRA likes hearing.
— Farmer says he has NEVER EVEN HANDLED a gun! (Really? That might be a question for another time.)
Is this a Marion Hammer game? Another mistake? One that will be corrected by sundown?
Is Jim

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Despite vow to ‘take on’ gun lobby, Gary Farmer earns an A+ rating from NRA. How?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Many tidbits come across my desk, but this one jumped off my screen: Gary Farmer was just “awarded” an A+ rating by … wait for it … the National Rifle Association.
If that doesn’t shock you, allow me to explain.
During a very heated Democratic primary battle with Jim Waldman in Senate District 34, the NRA’s scorecards became a yoooge issue in the race.
First, Farmer accused Waldman of earning an “A” rating.  Waldman then fired back, calling it a lie (it wasn’t, however — for several years, the NRA website listed Waldman with an “A,” but during the campaign, it changed, with the organization claiming its original rating was in error.)
The NRA corrected the mistake online, producing documents proving Waldman never earned that A.
Farmer replied by hitting Waldman (hard) on his voting record, which seems to support the powerful gun lobby.
After much back and forth over a series of mail pieces (some counts putting the total at a dozen), Farmer walloped Waldman with this TV spot.

Clearly, Farmer owned the issue, making it clear — “Crystal, Sir” — that when in Tallahassee, he would take on the gun lobby.
Farmer was no friend of the NRA, for sure.
So how on earth did Farmer earn the NRA’s highest rating (or lowest, depending on your point of view)?
We are just not sure.
Consider this:
— Farmer never completed the NRA candidate questionnaire. “There was no reason to,” Farmer told FloridaPolitics.com, “as I did not want their endorsement.”
— Farmer made it abundantly clear he will not be a “pro-gun Senator” and vowed to make gun safety legislation a priority — not something the NRA likes hearing.
— Farmer says he has NEVER EVEN HANDLED a gun! (Really? That might be a question for another time.)
Is this a Marion Hammer game? Another mistake? One that will be corrected by sundown?
Is Jim

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NRA targets Patrick Murphy in new ad

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Patrick Murphy is being attacked for defending Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi in a new television ad now airing in Jacksonville, Panama City and Pensacola.
The ad features Mark “Oz” Geist, a retired Marine who was involved in the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi that led to the loss of life of four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
“Hillary Clinton’s State Department denied requests for more security,” Geist says in the ad.
“Then she lied to protect herself.”
The ad then cuts to a quick shot of a grinning Murphy saying, “Hey, Hillary, I don’t think you did anything wrong.”
“Congressman Murphy’s weakness is a threat to your freedom,” Geist says ominously.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action paid for the ad.
Murphy is running against Marco Rubio in the race for U.S. Senate in Florida.

 
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NRA targets Patrick Murphy in new ad

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Patrick Murphy is being attacked for defending Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi in a new television ad now airing in Jacksonville, Panama City and Pensacola.
The ad features Mark “Oz” Geist, a retired Marine who was involved in the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi that led to the loss of life of four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
“Hillary Clinton’s State Department denied requests for more security,” Geist says in the ad.
“Then she lied to protect herself.”
The ad then cuts to a quick shot of a grinning Murphy saying, “Hey, Hillary, I don’t think you did anything wrong.”
“Congressman Murphy’s weakness is a threat to your freedom,” Geist says ominously.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action paid for the ad.
Murphy is running against Marco Rubio in the race for U.S. Senate in Florida.

 
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NRA targets Patrick Murphy in new ad

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Patrick Murphy is being attacked for defending Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi in a new television ad now airing in Jacksonville, Panama City and Pensacola.
The ad features Mark “Oz” Geist, a retired Marine who was involved in the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi that led to the loss of life of four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
“Hillary Clinton’s State Department denied requests for more security,” Geist says in the ad.
“Then she lied to protect herself.”
The ad then cuts to a quick shot of a grinning Murphy saying, “Hey, Hillary, I don’t think you did anything wrong.”
“Congressman Murphy’s weakness is a threat to your freedom,” Geist says ominously.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action paid for the ad.
Murphy is running against Marco Rubio in the race for U.S. Senate in Florida.

 
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NRA targets Patrick Murphy in new ad

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Patrick Murphy is being attacked for defending Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi in a new television ad now airing in Jacksonville, Panama City and Pensacola.
The ad features Mark “Oz” Geist, a retired Marine who was involved in the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi that led to the loss of life of four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
“Hillary Clinton’s State Department denied requests for more security,” Geist says in the ad.
“Then she lied to protect herself.”
The ad then cuts to a quick shot of a grinning Murphy saying, “Hey, Hillary, I don’t think you did anything wrong.”
“Congressman Murphy’s weakness is a threat to your freedom,” Geist says ominously.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action paid for the ad.
Murphy is running against Marco Rubio in the race for U.S. Senate in Florida.

 
The post NRA targets Patrick Murphy in new ad appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Diane Roberts: Charm and grace again flow downhill from Capitol

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE – Another Special Session! Why, it’s just like Christmas – minus the joy.
Minus the presents, too. While the members of the Florida Legislature rake in lobbyist largesse during committee weeks and every other hour that God sends, trawling for dollars during a Session is verboten.
This makes them surly.
Surlier. They aren’t exactly enjoying being forced to revisit redistricting for about the 400th time since the spring.
No one expects the Special Session, which is supposed to draw state Senate districts, to go well. The House despises the Senate which is, in turn, totally cheesed off at the House. Gov. 10-Watt is, of course, AWOL. He’s raising his own mega-bucks
Legislators fill the lonely hours they could be doing something useful by filing ridiculous bills. Sen. Jeremy Ring wants Florida students to be able to replace that annoying two years taking a foreign language with classes in computer coding.
The Margate Democrat is apparently taking the advice of a 15-year-old from Sunlake High who says Spanish class is boring.
Yeah, why would you want to learn Spanish in La Florida, a state becoming increasingly bilingual, with huge communities of Cuban, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, Venezuelan and other Latinos? Why would you want to actually expand your linguistic skills and understand the ways of another culture through its language?
Repite despuès de mí, Señor Senador: “Esa ley es estupida. Soy estúpido.”
Muy bien. Now shut up.
But Senator Ring and his silly bill pale in comparison with the most spectacular entry in Florida’s Chucklehead Derby.
Remember when Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina publicly fretted about the Republican Party’s demographic problem? He said, “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
Long term, he’s correct. Short term, there’s state Rep. Matthew Gaetz.
Master Matthew is running to succeed his daddy, former senate president Don Gaetz,

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Catherine Durkin Robinson: Here are 11 concrete actions you can take to curb gun violence

Monday, October 19th, 2015

“Not one more.”
“Enough is enough.”
“When will we do something about these mass shootings?”
These are routine responses when someone shoots up a school, of which there have been three this month alone. In addition, let’s not forget about accidental shootings in the home, domestic abusers killing girlfriends or wives, countless suicides and murders that never would have happened if a gun hadn’t been so easily accessible.
These horrific events reduce a resilient people to a mass of hand-wringing, sighing nincompoops who prefer to keep victims in “our thoughts and prayers” rather than solve the problem and reduce the number of future tragedies.
We moan and cry, then watch an adorable kitten play with a fuzzy string, and forget about it.
Until next time.
Does it have to happen to someone we love before we get off our asses and act?
I’ve scoured news stories and countless journalists, websites and magazines are definitely part of the problem. Few mention solutions and almost all the stories are sensational. At best they simply point a finger at the NRA or presidential candidates who promise that gun control laws won’t make a bit of difference. At worst, they treat the shooters like rock stars, publishing pictures, writing about their manifestos, always so helpful with a link back to the original source. They should be charged as co-conspirators along with those who committed the crime.
Lawmakers are more frightened of gun owners than the dangerous lifestyle they promote. Those of us who support common-sense gun laws don’t vote this issue like the other side. If you were a politician, who would you listen to?
Put down the Doritos and turn off the television for five minutes, here’s what you can do to stop this from happening again.

Demand that newspapers and news stations stop airing the names of the shooters, their viewpoints, their reasoning,

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Julie Delegal: The NRA has gone all the way down the rabbit hole

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Rights, even those guaranteed by the constitution, are never absolute.
Free speech rights don’t protect us from libel or slander, for example. They don’t protect us from yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. But so far, no one is challenging the NRA for its abuse of the First Amendment: spreading misinformation about guns in America.
The biggest deception that NRA-brainwashed America has swallowed hook, line and sinker is that having more guns around makes us safer. This past Monday, on WJCT’s “First Coast Connect” radio show, Jacksonville lawyer and NRA spokesman Cord Byrd spread that mendacity yet again.
But science tells us the opposite of what Byrd and the NRA are saying.
More permissive gun laws directly correlate with higher instances of violent crime. Don’t take my word for it. Read Christopher Ingraham’s article  about the Stanford study in the The Washington Post:
“The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates” of aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder, Stanford law professor John Donohue said in an interview with the Stanford Report.
The Stanford study sounds the death knell on the now-discredited Lott and Mustard study from 1997 – the one that NRA shills would like to keep peddling. The new study belies the standard NRA shtick: “If those people had only been armed, they would have been able to take down the shooter at (fill in the blank.)”
In case you’re having trouble filling in the blank, your choices are growing. The NRA is talking about movie-goers in Aurora, Colorado; late-night studiers in the Florida State University library; elementary schoolchildren and their teachers in Newtown, Connecticut; community college students in Oregon; the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina; and the list goes on and on.
“Silly victims,” the NRA all but

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Jac Wilder VerSteeg: Gun foes should “politicize” deaths

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

A recent Dana Summers political cartoon in the South Florida Sun Sentinel and other Tribune newspapers depicts in its first frame a thoughtful-looking Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama saying, “In light of the recent shootings, we need to think about guns and ask ourselves the obvious question.”
Then, in the punchline frame, Clinton and Obama, both grinning now, say, “How can we politicize this?”
It’s an intellectually lazy cartoon that does nothing more than repeat the NRA-approved response when any politician dares to notice the massacres taking place across America. When any elected official or advocacy group tries to offer gun laws that might reduce the death toll – and cites the carnage du jour – they are accused of politicizing the deaths.
The accusation implies that politicians such as Clinton and Obama don’t really care about the victims, which is a lie. And it implies that politicizing the deaths cheapens them. In fact, what cheapens the tragic deaths is ignoring them, blaming the victims (for not having guns to shoot back) and, most of all, working to perpetuate the gun culture that costs so many lives.
Plus, as is obvious to all, the NRA and its vast stable of kowtowing politicians also politicize the deaths.
But let’s take a step back and ask, is it wrong and unusual to politicize death?
Of course not. Look at almost any aspect of death – particularly violent or sudden death – and related political activity surrounds it.
You could say that, in Judeo-Christian tradition, God was the first entity to politicize death. A prohibition against homicide is included in the 10 laws He handed down to Moses.
Today, the death penalty is heavily politicized. Should we do it? When should we do it? How should we do it? Are we doing it fairly? It’s an issue in elections and

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Diane Roberts: ¿Jeb? Bush comes up numb and dumb again

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

In case there’s anyone left who thinks ¿Jeb? Bush is a fine man running a fine campaign for president, I give you his remarks after the latest mass shooting, this one in Oregon:
“I don’t think that more government is necessarily the answer to this,” he said. “I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It’s just, it’s very sad to see. But I resist the notion – and I did, I had this, this challenge as governor, because we have, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”
Under the limp leaves of this tasteless and nutritionally void word salad, lurks something rotten and nasty: “stuff happens.”
Nine people dead – 10, if you count the guy doing the shooting – in America’s latest example of gun violence and ¿Jeb? dismisses it as just one of those things, you know, real sad, but no reason to actually DO anything.
¿Jeb? tried to explain himself, saying that if a kid drowns in a pool, we shouldn’t infringe on “liberty” by passing laws to put a fence around the pool – even though that’s exactly what happens: hotel and club pools must have barriers and other safety features. Why? Because people drowned without them.
We also infringe on “liberty” by making people wear seat belts in cars so they’re not squashed to a bloody pulp in a crash.
Yeah, stuff happens. There’s one gun per person in the United States and, well, some people are just going to get shot.
Still, I’d be careful about quoting Donald Rumsfeld who famously shrugged at the violence and looting in Baghdad in 2003 after we invaded. Not a good memory for most Americans. Not a proud moment.
Forget ¿Jeb? for a minute: Umpqua Community

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Jac Wilder VerSteeg: When Jeb opens his mouth, ‘stuff happens’

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Let’s discuss Jeb Bush’s “Stuff happens” comment and his campaign’s reaction to the reaction.
Jeb was in South Carolina, being tossed softballs by the moderator at a conservative gathering. During a discussion about Second Amendment rights, Jeb said, “We’re in a difficult time in our country,” but “I don’t think more government necessarily is the answer to this.” He expounded: “I resist the notion – and I did, I had this, this challenge as governor, because we have, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis, and the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”
His comment, coming the day after a gunman killed nine and wounded nine others at an Oregon community college, provoked a swift response from South Florida U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is chairman of the Democratic National Committee. She tweeted:
“A message to Jeb Bush: 380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone. ‘Stuff’ doesn’t just ‘happen.’ Inaction happens.”
In response to that and other mounting criticism, the Bush campaign said:
“It is sad and beyond craven that liberal Democrats, aided and abetted by some in the national media, would dishonestly take Governor Bush’s comments out of context in a cheap attempt to advance their political campaign in the wake of a tragedy.”
The Bush campaign’s claim is that Jeb’s remarks were not related to the Oregon massacre.
The “out of context” excuse is getting old from Jeb. It’s particularly thin in this case. Did he really think he could talk about gun rights the day after a horrific attack and then claim his remarks were unconnected to that attack?
What really happened is that Jeb, yet again, said something stupid.
Also getting old is the claim that, when “liberals” talk about gun control after a mass killing, they are somehow “exploiting

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