1-11: Gun Crazy Florida

[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. Often I find material that is best left (mostly) untouched by me, e.g., today’s piece from Democracy Now.]

What are they thinking?

Democracy Now ran this story yesterday:

Florida Prepares to Expand Gun Rights after Second Mass Shooting in Six Months

Accused airport gunman Esteban Santiago could face the death penalty for charges that he killed five people when he opened fire in a crowded Florida baggage claim terminal. Friday’s shooting came as Florida lawmakers were preparing to consider legislation to loosen prohibitions on firearms by eliminating some of the state’s “gun-free zones,” which currently include airport terminals.

In a 2015 on-air interview Amy Goodman spoke with Florida senator Greg Steube. His remarks are mind-blowing.

Amy Goodman: I wanted to turn Republican Florida Senator Greg Steube, who sponsored Senate Bill 140, which would repeal a gun ban on college campuses, airport terminals and at government meetings. This is Steube talking on The Gun Writer TV in 2015.

Sen. Greg Steube: I think that law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves. And I don’t think that right should stop just because you’re walking onto a college campus. We can carry in businesses. We can carry at shopping plazas. We can carry at malls. We can carry at restaurants. But because there’s some law that says we can’t carry on college campuses, to me, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, I think that people, especially young female students or people that are military veterans who now are using the GI Bill to go to school, of anybody, they should have the right to be able to defend themselves and others. And we have seen, time and time again, that terrorists and people with mental illnesses use places where they know that people aren’t carrying to target.

You might add, Senator, that innocent people, gun carrying or not, can also be carried out of businesses, shopping plazas, malls, and restaurants. And too often they are.

I have just finished reading Ron Chernow’s 1,000+ page biography of Alexander Hamilton. Spoiler alert: Hamilton dies in a duel at the hands of sitting vice president Aaron Burr. Although the gentlemanly sport had been outlawed, Burr was never sent to trial and in fact took his seat as presider over the Senate a few days after the incident.

We have learned nothing. Burr’s shot did nothing for his honor except destroy it. Santiago’s shots merely reinforce the banality humankind is capable of. I would like to think we are better than that. I don’t. Prove me wrong.

*****

The illustration at the blog’s top corner is the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. The blogger is a Vietnam Veteran, 1966-67. He is an author and past state chaplain for a major veterans organization. He welcomes comments on posts and encourages readers to subscribe to PTSDOutreach.com; two points: 1) it is free, 2) posts appear directly in your e-mail in-box.

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