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THE LEDGER.COM December 1, 2020 – I frequently write about what Florida does wrong. But today I’m writing about what Florida has done right. And remarkably, it’s on the topic of guns.
Don’t get me wrong: Florida is gun-crazy in many ways.
We hand out concealed-weapons permits like Tic Tacs, leading the nation. And we’ve pioneered the homicide-inducing stand your ground gun law — which was written by a lawmaker who is also a funeral home owner. (Conflict of interest?)
But we’re not all-the-way crazy.
Florida has refused to join the rush of other states to sanction the open carrying of firearms.
“Open carry” laws are why you see scowling young men cosplaying as military commandos in political protests in other states, standing often with AR-15s slung over their chests among crowds of protesters.
When former President Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he signed the Mulford Act, a law that specifically outlawed open carry, after members of the Black Panther Party began patrolling the streets of Oakland while brandishing loaded weapons.
The Heller case, a 2008 landmark U.S. Supreme Court gun-rights decision, stopped short of a blanket, unfettered Second Amendment right to open-carry firearms.
“Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion. “It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
Florida, despite its reputation as the Gunshine State, has remained one of only four states that prohibits open carry by law. And state lawmakers have resisted efforts by gun-rights groups to change that.
A bill to allow open carry in Florida passed the Florida House in 2016 but died in a Senate committee. And a year later, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the state law banning open carry in a case brought by a St. Lucie County gun owner.
In Florida, open carrying of weapons is sanctioned when you’re fishing, hunting or camping.
So every once in a while, open-carry advocates make a display of this exception by standing on a congested Intracoastal bridge, pretending to be fishing with their AR-15s hanging from their shoulders. [full article]
Success at the cost of running dry has a price
In typical times, this is the month when we look back over the past year and celebrate the good things that have happened during the previous 12 months and observe a holiday season characterized by festive social gatherings.
This has not been a typical year. By any measure, the world has been stood upon its head and Gundom is no exception. For anyone who thinks it has been a wild ride so far, hold onto your hat because you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.
COVID-19 has shown how tenuous life on this planet really is. In the process, it has pointed out just how arrogant humans are when we think we control things around us.
In a setting of global chaos, Gundom has experienced cascading record sales, an historic number of first-time buyers in the mix. As logical as this may be, resulting product shortages continue to tax the ability of the industry to keep merchandise in the pipeline, resulting in empty shelves at gun stores across the land.
This, of course, is because of the double-tap Gundom has been hit with that triggered unprecedented demand for self and home defense armament. [Read More]