"You focus on the lunatic, you don't knee cap the rights of law-abiding citizens"
In a press conference on June 8, Governor Ron DeSantis kicked back against Florida Democrats who had called for a special session of the state's legislature on gun control.
DeSantis and all other Republicans in the state legislature declined the session, which would have discussed measures such as introducing universal background checks, banning large capacity rifle magazines and an expansion of Florida’s Red Flag law.
Governor DeSantis was clear and unequivocal as he shared his opinions on the session and what was driving it:
"With all due respect to these leftists, they just want to come after your Second Amendment rights"
A "Hail Mary" move by the Democrats
Calls for the special session were made by house Democrats in the aftermath of recent mass shootings elsewhere in the U.S. and were intended to once again raise the topic of tightening gun controls in the state of Florida.
The likelihood of such talks even taking place, let alone resulting in legal changes were always going to be slim, given that as recently as last month Governor DeSantis had renewed his promise to allow constitutional carry of handguns in the state before the end of his term.
Referring to the Democrats call for the session, the House Minority Leader Evan Jenne was open about their chances of initiating discussions:
"Sometimes we throw Hail Marys. I think everyone involved with this knew that this is an uphill battle, but we would not be doing our jobs if we did not continue to press forward on what our constituencies are asking us to do."
The answer lays in preparedness?
In the aftermath of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, TX and Buffalo, NY, Governor DeSantis has indicated where he think the answers lay - in ensuring that schools are better prepared and in providing teachers and support staff with the appropriate training to support and help kids in their charge.
On June 7, the governor signed the school safety bill into Florida law, which will implement the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, to make Florida's public schools.
Included within these measures will be heightened powers for safe school officers, mandatory participation of police in active shooter drills and mental health, negotiation and de-escalation training for up to 80% of school staff.
Commenting on his approach, Gov. DeSantis was clear about his intentions:
“Every child needs a safe and secure learning environment.”
"You focus on the criminal. You focus on the lunatic. You don’t knee cap the rights of law-abiding citizens."
Many will disagree with the governor's approach to ensuring the safety of Floridians in relation to guns, particularly state Democrats. As long as state politics are the way they are, it seems unlikely that the discourse will move away from the likely loosening of gun controls for Florida's residents.
Are you in favor of constitutional carry of guns in Florida, or do you think the state's legislature should be looking at all options including tighter controls? Let me know in the comments section below.