Photo via News Service of Florida
Here’s a question we wouldn’t have asked a month ago: Is the National Rifle Association doubling down on their manic approach to sensible firearm legislation or is Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran not taking the ethically inept side for once?
Short answer: Who fucking knows?
What we do know is that the NRA is accusing likely GOP gubernatorial candidate
Corcoran – who’s set to vacate his duties as House Speaker due to term limits, and who’s previously had an A rating with the NRA
– of "betrayal" for his efforts in passing a gun control law for the first time since Republicans tipped the Florida Legislature in their favor two decades ago.
“Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran (R) is adding insult to injury by calling the betrayal of law-abiding firearms owners ‘one of the greatest Second Amendment victories we’ve ever had,’” NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer writes in a legislative update
sent to the organization’s members, which is also posted on the organization's blog.
As a response to Corcoran's quote, Hammer writes: "NOT !!!!!!"
On March 9, the NRA filed a lawsuit
against the state over the age limits imposed by the bill, otherwise known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act
, before the ink from Gov. Rick Scott’s pen had even dried.
That move on the Florida Legislature’s part was enough to make Hammer – known as a rigid operative, but who's actually less than 5 feet tall, 78 years old and, quite frankly, resembles a cranky first grade teacher on the verge of receiving her pension – foam at the mouth.
Whether seeking retribution for Corcoran’s actions against the powerful gun lobby or simply signaling that he would be the NRA’s first sacrificial lamb, this was Hammer’s way of showing her fangs. Up next on the menu, in what will inevitably be her and the NRA’s gory rampage against those behind the legislation, are 47 Florida House Republicans and 18 Florida Senate Republicans who also voted in favor of the bill.
In the update, Hammer says that the bill “violates the rights” of young adults aged 18 to 20 by denying them what she calls their “constitutional right to purchase a firearm.” The measure also includes a three-day waiting period on the purchase of rifles and shotguns, as well as a ban on bump stocks and other military-style gun accessories.
Hammer writes that Corcoran attempted to justify his betrayal by “claiming the provision in the bill to arm school employees makes it ‘one of the greatest Second Amendment victories we’ve ever had’ because it ends ‘gun free zones on school campuses.’” In her words, that’s “complete nonsense” and “unconstitutional.”
But calling something “unconstitutional” is a little like beauty, in that it’s typically in the eye of the beholder – or, you know, a federal judge.
To Hammer and the NRA's dismay, Sunshine Staters' views on sensible gun reform are changing. According to a recent poll from Quinnipiac University
, 62 percent of Florida voters support banning assault weapons altogether. The same poll also found that 98 percent want universal background checks, 87 percent want waiting periods for all gun sales, 62 percent want a ban on high-capacity magazines, 92 percent want to ban gun ownership for anyone with restraining orders or domestic violence on their record, 78 percent believe gun buyers should be at least 21 years old and 89 percent want to give judges the ability to take guns away from violent people.
Following the passage of the gun control bill last week, some of those that were polled got their wish. So let’s give Hammer her wish and let her spew all the gun lobby-dictated propaganda she pleases, because the writing’s on the wall for the future of gun reform at this point – and it’s written in blood, not caps-locked text in a blog.
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