Home > Uncategorized > 71% of Voters Support Some Form of Gun Control… Who Will Take Action? Not the Florida Legislature

71% of Voters Support Some Form of Gun Control… Who Will Take Action? Not the Florida Legislature

October 24, 2018

I just read a statistic in Politico’s morning feed that reported on a recent poll that found that 67% of those polled, 71% who identified themselves as voters, support some kind of gun control. Shortly thereafter I read a Medium post by a parent/blogger named Kim  S., “…a volunteer and community activist in Broward County, Florida”. While I do not agree with her belief that spending on SROs is worthwhile, I fully concurred with her thoughtful analysis of why it is necessary to ban weapons that are designed to kill large numbers of people in a short period of time. As she notes in her blog post, the Marjorie Stoneham parents and students were not advocating complete and total bans on guns. They focussed on one specific kind of weapon:

These kids were NOT advocating for complete gun bans, no one wants to take away the pistol my grandmother kept under her pillow after my grandfather passed away, or the shotgun my brother in law hunts with. (As my dad says, “a real man loads his bullets with his fingers”, just putting that out there.) But the weapon used in Parkland, the weapon used in Aurora, and the weapon used in Sandy Hook were weapons of war, designed to kill humans and kill them quickly, causing maximum damage. There is no need for that on our streets.There is no need for anyone other than a soldier on a battlefield to have one of these weapons, regardless of what it is called. This is what the students were fighting for when I was with them, and what they continue to fight for. This is not unreasonable, it is common sense, and the only way to protect a civilized society, but apparently even that is too much for the NRA and Marion “anything for gun sales” Hammer, the NRA’s top lobbyist in Tallahassee. The NRA backed candidates took quite a hit to their reputations after the shooting, but they have since regrouped and are now casting blame on gun safety advocates, who, in what has become a shamefully partisan debate, turn out to be mainly Democrats.

Kim S. goes on to question the ideas around “hardening schools”, noting that gun bans worked in one nation and it just might work in ours:

You can turn schools into fortresses but that won’t protect students when they are outside, which happens at arrival and departure times, physical education classes, sports practices, pep rallies, football games, and so on. A fortress won’t protect students when a fire alarm is pulled (although there is talk of “smart alarms”, but even so, if an actual fire is started in one part of the school it would accomplish the goal of getting students out of class where they are vulnerable to a shooter). It won’t protect students when they are out in our world, at the mall, at church, at concerts. All other forms of mass violence are addressed with legislation.When there was a threat of cars plowing into crowds on New Year’s Eve the city of New York parked sand filled dump trucks around the perimeter of the pedestrian area. When planes were used on 9/11 we got the TSA, a whole new agency dedicated to making sure it wouldn’t happen again. When the possibility arose of liquids being used to bomb planes we all had to abide by new carry on regulations. Every other form of violence is addressed, so why not these war guns? One argument is that if you ban guns then only criminals will have them. Well, Australia did that, and you know what? There is still a black market for guns, only they cost upwards of $15,000.00 each. That’s a pretty big deterrent, and it’s working out rather well for them. I suggest we try it too.

Later in the post she explains why arming teachers is a flawed idea and promotes the concept of providing one armed SRO for every 1,000 children in schools. As noted above, I do not see this as a worthwhile investment. I would rather see the money spent on counseling and social workers who can identify and address the root problems that lead to the motivation of some children to turn on their classmates— not only with weapons but also with words and other actions.

There is one point that Kim S. makes that was buried in the middle of her post… a point that cannot be made often enough:

What I can say is there is never enough funding. There wasn’t enough funding for 1 SRO officer per 1,000 students before this tragedy, which is now widely recognized as the necessary ratio of officers to students, but it is now a priority for the school board. This is a priority even if Tallahassee, which takes far more tax payer money from Broward County than it gives back, will not adequately fund security, much less education, for our students.

And I think Kim S. knows that while the NRA will never advocate for enough money to provide SROs, the NRA makes sure there is always enough money to underwrite candidates who will support their agenda and punish candidates who do not. And sadly, it doesn’t require a lot of money to accomplish the second part of that mission.

 

 

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