Uvalde, TX

As U.S. Mourns Uvalde Victims, Florida Rep. Randy Fine May Have Set Back Gun Rights Advocates With His Thoughtless Tweet

Toby Hazlewood

Insensitive and potentially illegal?

Gun and constitutionShutterstock

As Americans across the nation mourn the lives of 19 students and two teachers shot dead by a rogue gunman in Uvalde, TX, politicians on both sides of the aisle have been keen to express their sympathies.

Most seemed able for a moment, to put aside their opinions and beliefs about gun-rights for a few moments, other than the most hardened and right-wing Republicans who saw an opportunity to push their personal agenda.

Amongst these was Florida State Representative Randy Fine who saw fit on May 25 to use Twitter to issue a statement that has outraged many, and brought him and other gun-rights advocates some unwelcome attention.

Threatening the President?

Rep. Fine, a Republican representative from Florida was objecting to the notion that President Biden might threaten American Second Amendment constitutional rights to bear arms. The tone of his tweet and the sentiments expressed within it have since attracted criticism and negative comments including suggestions (tagged to the U.S. Secret Service) that his tweet constitutes a threat to President Biden.

Will it impact on Gov. DeSantis' Constitutional Carry intentions?

It's unlikely that even the most motivated of gun-rights advocates would immediately be focused on pushing the case for constitutional carry and loosening of gun controls in Florida at this point - with the possible exception of the likes of Rep. Fine.

However, gun owners in the state will be mindful of Governor DeSantis having stated his intention to push for permit-less concealed carry of guns before the end of his current term.

Events like those in Uvalde, TX are certainly not helpful to legislators wanting to push for looser controls, even for those who feel that constitutional rights are more important than anything else. Right now, when the victims are being mourned and the injured are still recovering it would seem tactless to push for any immediate loosening of gun controls, regardless of the strength of those beliefs.

It's for this reason why Rep. Fine might find himself regretting his comments. That said, since then he has merely gone on to double-down on his comments (on Twitter at least):

U.S. Senate exploring red flags

Meanwhile, in a more immediate, practical and sensitive response to the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is exploring a program to enhance and expand background checks for gun owners. The scheme would extend the so-called red or yellow flag laws already in effect within some states, including Florida where it was implemented in 2018 after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. These allow authorities to temporarily seize firearms from people who are found to be dangers to themselves or others.
Rep. Fine and other politicians sharing his views will likely object to such checks but it could just be the thing that helps prevent similar tragedies as Uvalde from happening in future. Time will tell if there are further legal ramifications for Rep. Fine from his tweet of May

Do you think Representative Randy Fine was insensitive and tone-deaf with his tweet and subsequent responses? Do you fear for a future where constitutional carry is legal in Florida or are you still in favor of it? Let me know in the comments section below.

Comments / 176

Published by

Commentary, Interpretation and Analysis of News and Current Affairs


More from Toby Hazlewood

Comments / 0