Florida Opens a Door

Updated: Feb 16, 2019


An old Atlanta pal, call him M, came out in support of Florida gun legislation that opens the door to arming teachers. While M is a teacher himself and of the opinion that armed teachers are more likely to shoot themselves in the foot than to take out an individual bent on wreaking mayhem with an assault-style weapon, he accepts opening that door because the legislation also has provisions the NRA hates. I take his point but with reservations.

I think opening that door to arming teachers is a bigger deal than M does because it sets a precedent that furthers the NRA's principle that the way to address gun violence is for everyone to be armed. For this we get provisions that do not go even as far as Florida's Republican governor wanted, however much the NRA may hate them. Among the things the bill does not do (Astor, Florida Gun Bill):

• Ban assault weapons • Suspend AR-15 Sales • Ban high-capacity magazines • Strengthen background checks

M and I are in agreement that we should be willing to compromise. My reservations about the Florida law arise from concern that too much may have been given up in return for too little.

In the end I come down on the side M and the new Florida law because it is something. We must take what we can get and keep working.

Reference

Maggie Astor, Florida Gun Bill: What’s in It, and What Isn’t, The New York Times, March 8, 2018

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David Matthews

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