How do we Stop Mass Murder like That in Parkland, Florida?

First and foremost I feel extreme sadness for the victims and their families of the recent school shooting in Parkland. Having been a police officer and traffic homicide investigator for my entire adult life I have seen my share of death and tragedy. If I have learned anything during those years it was that reactions to these types of situations usually are emotionally driven and do not really have any basis in facts or logic. I also trained security forces of the Army that secured our nuclear weapons. So I know a bit about protecting things.

The Facts on Firearms

Let’s look at a few facts so we are dealing in the realm of logic and real things that could make a real difference. First evil exists in the world. There has always been and will always be people that have some reason to hate their fellow humans and will try and harm and kill for various reasons. Regardless of the reasons, the outcome is the same and that is what we have to focus on. Also, we need to look and see if this a problem that is increasing, decreasing or staying the same. Why? Because that could have a bearing on what has or has not been working. Again logical, calm reasoning.

First has mass murder, or murder in general increased over time? In looking to the FBI and Department of Justice we find statistics that tell us the factual truth. Since a peak in 1993 Murder in the United States has gone down by over 40%. But that just does not seem right. The news, social media, and ability of news to travel at the speed of light has made it seem like these things are on a dramatic increase. How many times have you heard “We never had these things when I was a kid.” When in reality these things have been going on for decades. But with the instant media we have now, it seems like it has become an epidemic when in reality we are far better off now than just 20 years ago. Even violent crime is down in several categories.

Violent crimes per 100K people in the US went from 747.1 in 1993 to 372.6 in 2015. That is a drop of >50%! The chances of you becoming the victim of a violent crime, any violent crime, went from 79.8 per 1000 people in 1993 down to 18.6 in 2015, again a dramatic drop of >76%! But if you listen to the news and other sources, you would never know this.

Also are guns a problem in the United States? Again let’s look at the facts not emotions. Firearms account for around 11,000 to 13,000 murders a year. That is criminal murders, not suicides (firearms account for only 6% of suicide attempts) or defensive uses of Firearm. 13,000 murders out of a country of 350,000,000 people is actually pretty darn good. Yes if you are one of the victims or family of a victim it is not, but you are more likely to die from many other more common causes than being shot to death with a firearm.

And the last fact is about firearms, notice the focus of Congress and State Legislators on the “assault rifle”. So just how many people are killed with these “high powered” “killing machines”? For the answer, we turn to the FBI and DOJ again and guess what, rifles of any kind account for the least amount of firearms deaths except for shotguns. In 2016, out of about 11,000 firearms murders, only 374 of those were committed with a rifle. And if you know anything about firearms, a shotgun or pistol is a far better weapon for use inside a building. Pistols are used far more than rifles or shotguns, actually more people are murdered by hands and feet and knives than the big bad assault rifle.

 

What can be Done to Prevent or Lessen the Impact of Mass Murderers?

Well first let’s look at the causes that we do know about for some of these events. Bullying, terrorism, Workplace violence, mental illness, and others. So we can, of course, focus on some of those like mental illness, better treatment or better screening.

But those things are already being considered. Could we do better trying to find and screen those types of people? Of course.

Physical Security

But in reality, there are three things that actually can be done. First, if you look at places that we spend a lot of money to keep safe from shootings and violence they involve what is called physical security. “Physical security” is the term given to those things you can build or design and put in place that physically make it harder for something like this to happen. In the military, we used fences and blockhouses to secure the nation’s nuclear weapons (among other things of course). I have heard metal detectors mentioned, and fences and other things. Did you know that to build a new school to Fire Prevention standards adds millions to the cost of every school When was the last time we have a kid or multiple kids killed in a school fire? You haven’t because those things have worked and we have been conditioned and taught about them.

So my suggestions are along the same lines as the fire prevention people. Physical things like some bulletproof glass on classroom doors and entry doors, steel core doors that will stop bullets. Doors that can be locked remotely from the office. Cameras and microphones throughout the school are all things we can do to help limit access and stop or lessen the carnage. Metal Detectors are great, but how do you funnel 3000 students through them and into the school each morning without taking hours? All it takes is money. That is the killer of these suggestions most of the time. It cost too much, no one wants to pay for the required upgrades, even if they do save lives.

Add Armed Good Guys

Having been in law enforcement as long as I have been, involved in a few shootings, having seen it first hand, the only thing that will stop an evil person with a firearm bent on killing others is a good guy with a firearm of equal or better firepower. Why do you think police officers carry firearms? So when they are confronted with a firearm-wielding bad guy they can stop the threat, or at least shoot back.

So how would we get more good guys to put in places like K through 12 schools? Well in Florida Senator Baxley filed a bill that would address this issue. The Bill would allow retired LEO’s, Retired Military, Active duty Military and LEO’s to act as additional armed security at the schools. They, of course, would be trained by the local law enforcement, and be screened prior but having additional armed, trained personnel at the school might not only lessen the carnage if something happens, it may act as a deterrent if the future little murderer knew that there were a dozen armed and trained good guys with firearms at the school. Most mass murderers are cowards and kill themselves when confronted by an armed response. I would add to this allowing staff and teachers who are concealed carry licensed to be allowed to carry in the school if they wanted to. I know many teachers I have talked to that would actually go out and get training and get licensed to do this very thing if allowed. One told me “I would die to protect my kids, but I would rather see the bad guy die.” Words well spoken.

For colleges, since they are also a place where these mass murders have happened would be a simple fix of allowing campus carry. Since the college crowd are adults, those that already have licenses to carry concealed firearms outside the college should be allowed to carry inside the college grounds. What makes people think that those people that carry everywhere else should not be allowed to carry at a college to protect themselves? If you look back the last few years at where the college shootings happened, they were almost every one of them a “gun free zone”. Those places where staff and students of colleges are allowed to carry do not seem to have these mass murders. Why is that? Fear of getting shot on the part of the murderer I think.

And in line with this line of thought, get rid of all gun free zones. It has been proven time and time again that “gun free zones” do nothing to stop murderers. Only law-abiding people who are legally carrying follow that rule, and then become an unarmed target. Those people in Florida who are licensed concealed carry permit holders have been shown to be even more law-abiding than me and my fellow LEO’s! Actually 6 times more law abiding. So why can they not be trusted everywhere to carry, they carry almost everywhere now without incident. In fact, it again has been proven that there are times a licensed concealed carrier has saved lives, and some of those my brothers and sisters in blue. End all gun free zones for licensed firearms carriers.

An incentive to make places add security to allow licensed carry on their premises? Pass legislation making them liable for the patrons that visit them if they do not allow concealed carry legally and fail to make additional security measurements to protect their patrons.

Train People in and Make it Easier to Report Suspicious Behavior

Educate our children, and adults, on what to look for and who to report things that make them worry about someone or someone’s behavior. The “See something, say something” that is the current phrase used to remind people to report these things is great, but we need to not only teach kids and adults what to look for, but also our social networks, internet providers, and others also need to be encouraged if not mandated to report anything that would be considered threatening or dangerous in nature that is directed at a location, school or group.

This last mass school murderer had all kinds of warning signs, and those were reported to the FBI, yet it appears they failed to follow through on the information. This is unacceptable and those responsible should be held accountable. But in the future, policy and procedures need to be put in place to make sure that if something is reported it is followed up on. In line with this, there also needs to be a way for a person wrongly targeted by this attention by authorities to be cleared and the information disposed of when it is found to be nothing of importance.

What Should We Not Do?

Let’s talk reality. It is beyond the point that we need people who have no clue that it would be physically impossible to remove firearms from the people of the USA. There are far too many and far too many people own them now legally without causing any problems at all. Those people who are calling for “gun control” or “bans” have no clue that what they are truly asking is to make millions of Americans into criminals because they chose to arm themselves in order to protect themselves and their families. Confiscation just is not physically or logistically possible, nor would it be Constitutional so let’s stop talking about it.

We should not waste our time or government time on passing more restrictive laws that will not stop a single mass murderer. Why do people not realize that murder is already illegal and carries very stiff penalties yet happens? Mass murderers are not deterred by laws already on the books, what makes any logical smart person think a new law will change that. If you disagree, I have a challenge for you. Name one law that if passed would have stopped one single mass murderer in the last 5 years. I wouldn’t waste your time trying, there is none.

So if we want to stop or lessen the carnage, make physical changes to our schools, just like we did to help prevent fire deaths. Allow qualified, trained armed security to supplement our schools’ law enforcement presence. While we can’t put squads of armed cops in every school, we could probably get enough volunteers to make a difference! And last get rid of the completely ineffective, pointless gun free zones. They do not work and only make for “target rich environments” for someone bent on making high body counts out of unarmed helpless victims.

“All it Takes is for You to do Nothing!” or “How to lose your Rights in one Easy Step!”

via All it Takes is for You to do Nothing! 

Sometimes I get very frustrated with the entire pro-firearms and pro-rights movement in general. I recently had to take some time off for a death in the family and did not write or share things online as much as normal. I did, however, read a bit more and was a little shocked at what I took as a lack of activity, or maybe concern, on the part of those who profess to be champions for peoples right to bear arms, and self-defense in general.

If I have learned anything from my involvement in the past several years in the pro-rights movement, it is that information (and information sharing) is key. The more you are informed, and inform others, the more people share information, and even sometimes, get involved in actually doing something. Actively participating in something that is designed to help you maintain and even get back some of your rights the government has restricted over the years should be up there on the list of things to do. Without those rights, you are nothing more than a government regulated possession, beholden to the government for your very existence. Is that how you want to live? Not me.

We all enjoy many freedoms in the United States of America. We have the freedom of speech (most of the time), the freedom of religion (or freedom from religion) and the freedom to be secure in your person and home (again most of the time), but like all of our freedoms, these things have been scrutinized over time, and on occasion, they have been modified or changed or otherwise restricted by over-reaching Judges and Courts to try and justify actions of the Government, or to try and restrict the actions of the Government, more the former and much less of the later.

In Florida this year we have many anti-firearms bills being submitted by our Legislators that are nothing more than bills designed to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens even more than they already are. Most are emotionally driven, pointless responses to the senseless murders of innocent people. They act like new laws will stop an evil person bent on murder from committing that murder. If the punishment for murder (life in prison or death in Florida) is not enough, what makes them think more laws will help?

It is not enough for some that you have to pay a fee to get a license to exercise your Constitutional right to bear arms and protect yourself (which in itself is a form of discrimination against the poor, who need it the most to protect themselves from violence), it’s not enough you must have a background check, not be a felon, not be addicted to drugs or alcohol, not have been deemed mentally incompetent, and other things. But they want to restrict where and what and how you can exercise the little bit of freedom you still have left even more.

Bills to ban “bump-stocks” (SB 456), even though they may have been used in only one crime in the entire USA and even that has not been confirmed. Bills to ban almost every type of rifle or handgun and magazine that holds more than a certain number of rounds (10) (HB 219), and even a Bill to require a person who wants to carry a concealed firearm undergo a mental health exam and pass it (HB 269). There are many more anti-rights bills but those are a few examples.

Then there are the champions of our rights who are trying to get some rights restored by filing bills to lessen restrictions on where you can carry firearms, like in places of worship that have schools (HB 113) and allowing certain citizens to carry concealed firearms on school property if they are designated by the school administration or board (HB 621). Even a bill that would greatly expand the places citizens could carry firearms if they were involved in certain activities (SB 1242, which as of yesterday was not considered in the Judiciary Committee, effectively killing the bill).

But what is missing in this whole process is the Florida Citizens who are concerned about their rights. You mention these issues to most people and unless they are concealed weapons license holders, they are almost to a person, completely apathetic. Having the attitude that if it does not affect them directly it does not affect them at all. They also do not see a need to make their voices heard. While this can be understood in today’s immediate gratification world and the information overload we get every day from the media and internet, you would think that at least most people would be concerned about a loss or further restriction of a Constitutionally protected right.

Then there are the concealed weapon permit holders. Those that would be directly affected by these bills. In Florida, we have over 1.8 MILLION concealed weapons license holders. The most in the nation. Yet when you inform people of these bills and tell people how and why the bill is a good or bad bill, you seem to get a yawn out of most. They have that same energy as a stationary object and the laws of physics seem to apply to their taking part in the political process.

Newton’s First Law. Newton’s First Law states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force.

This seems to apply very well to most people today. They see the political process as something that does not involve them. It is always something that they either will not take part in, or find too hard to understand and unwilling to do so much as even send an email to a legislator voicing their concerns or support on an issue. It is sad, and disheartening to see and hear this.

Just imagine the impact on a legislator if they all of a sudden received a couple of hundred thousand emails, or phone calls, telling them that these citizens they represent do or do not want a certain bill to pass. Even better imagine if a couple of hundred people showed up at the capital to speak to the committees in support or against a particular bill. What if just 50 people packed the chamber for the hearing all united on one issue? Would it help? Of course, it would, there is no way it could not.

So why then is it that only a handful of people seem to really want to or are willing to take the few minutes out of their week to email someone or share a message about a bill that would do these things to Florida’s law-abiding citizens? Why is there such apathy in the state with the most concealed carry licenses of all the states? Why are my fellow citizens so lazy, or uninformed, or even unwilling to do something about their own rights being restricted or expanded? That is the million dollar question!

Now is the time for people to become involved in the process that controls their very rights and how you can exercise them. We are at a point in this country when we are very divided and polarized by certain issues, but when it comes to your Constitutional Rights, there are only 2 sides. Those for your rights, and those wanting to restrict them. They will use things like mass murderers, emotions, and sometimes even outright lies to try and convince the uninformed it is for their own good and “safety” that you have fewer rights than before. DO NOT BE FOOLED! Freedom is not safe and it never was meant to be. Your safety and that of your family is your responsibility and no one else. Not even the police are responsible for your safety (Read the US Supreme Court decisions on this if you don’t believe me).

The old saying is as true today as it was many years ago when it was first spoken, but I am taking liberty and modifying it a bit to fit the times we are in: “For evil to succeed, all that is needed is for good, law-abiding people to do nothing, and they will lose the very right’s they so cherish.” Become informed, read, listen, and become involved in groups that represent your views and rights, otherwise, you may not have them in the very near future!

 

Florida House Bill 6073 is a DANGEROUS BILL!

Our Florida Legislators sometimes do things or put forth Bills that are a little out there. Meaning they stretch the limits of common sense and sometimes address issues that are non-existent. This Bill is way beyond those limits. It is literally a Bill that removes common sense and the rights of people to defend themselves in their own homes!

The first part of the Bill repeals all of Florida State Statute 776.013, “Home protection; use or threatened use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.” Which would mean that you cannot use deadly force in your home to stop an intruder and would have to retreat or try and avoid the confrontation? You would have to be physically attacked or otherwise attacked before you could use deadly force.

The second part of the Bill deletes the “stand your ground” clause and means that defense attorney’s for criminals could attack you for not trying to run away!

Basically, this Bill tries to take away a person’s right to self-defense in your home and anywhere else you have the right to be. This would take us back to the days of court battles as to why didn’t you try and leave your home and call the police?
This is a terrible Bill! One we must make sure never sees the light of a committee hearing and if it does, it needs to die a quick and sudden death of a Bill that violates people’s right to self-defense, and the sanctity of our home!

Florida House Bill 6073, by Rep. Jones, is one that we MUST make sure our Representatives know we as freedom loving Floridians and those that believe in the right to self-defense in our own homes do not support and we will make sure that those who support this Bill are not forgotten! We cannot allow this Bill to move forward!

Here is the link to the Bill’s page – http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Secti…/Bills/billsdetail.aspx…

It has been assigned to these Committees:

– Criminal Justice Subcommittee
– Justice Appropriations Subcommittee
– Judiciary Committee

So if you value your right to defend your home, and yourself when you are out and about. And believe that you should not have to run away before you choose to defend yourself, you need to let your Representatives and those in these committees know your feelings on the issue!

Here is an email format you can copy and paste:

Dear Representative ____________,

I am a freedom loving Floridian. I believe in the right of the individual to defend themselves against violence and unlawful attacks. I also believe in ones right to defend our home from unlawful intrusions.

I am writing to you to ask you to vote against House Bill 6073! It is an insult to the basic human right of self-defense. It attacks the right of citizens to defend themselves in their own homes and wherever they have the legal right to be. Why would we want to take away the right of Florida’s law-abiding citizens to defend themselves? This is a Bill without a problem and one that removes basic rights.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email and I trust you will vote against the Bill as we the people of Florida do not support it in any version.

Respectfully,
Your name.

Thank you for taking the time to write your Representatives and making sure they understand that the majority of Floridians do not support this ridiculous Bill.

The Walther PPQ & PPQ 45! Better than I expected?

Well, today I met the US Vice President of Sales for Walther Arms, and one of the Engineers from Germany, Peter Dalhammer. They were visiting the academy to speak to GPD and others about what it is in firearms that Americans and especially American law enforcement is looking for any problems we have found in our current weapons systems (Glock).

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Well after listening to all the typical issues with Glocks we have found over the years, we went out to the range to shoot the new Walther handguns. WOW! Talk about nice firearms and easy to shoot and accurate! I have not shot a Walther in a long time and I see I have been missing out on a few things. The ambidextrous slide stop, the magazine release and other things about it were just really nice and well designed. We shot the Walther PPQ & PPQ45. What a really nice firearm!

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The angle of the grip seems more natural than the Glocks I am used to (and own!) You do not have to adjust your wrist angle to make the firearm level and line up naturally on target. It just does it automatically when you raise the weapon to eye level. The extended and enlarged slide stop/release is VERY nice! Makes using it 100% easier than my Glocks.

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Accuracy is not an issue, they were all dead on. The takedown is really nice also, much easier than the Glock is. So for those who are learning to clean firearms and also shoot a nice solidly built handgun, these are top notch! We may be getting a few for T&E and if so I will be doing a much more in-depth write up of the weapons systems and how they perform.

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Shot with the Walther PPQ 45. Now when we get some to test, we will do a much more in-depth exam and test for you and post the results here!!

Florida Firearms Owners! SB 1242 & HB 739 would extend your rights dramatically!

With the recent stopping of several pro-firearms rights Bills in the Florida legislature, Sen. Steube filed a bill today (12/12/17), SB 1242, which is identical to Rep. Fant’s HB 739 which was filed back on 11/117/2017. The Senate website describes SB 1242 as “Carrying of Weapons and Firearms: Providing that specified provisions relating to the carrying of weapons and firearms do not apply to persons engaged in, traveling to, or returning from certain outdoor activities or traveling to or returning from certain motor vehicles, residences, shelters, and other places, etc.”.

These matching Bills attempt to list quite a few new activities that would allow a person to either open carry or concealed carry while participating in, or going to or from these activities. These would create a new set of activities where a person could lawfully possess a firearm without having to have a concealed weapons permit. The list is mostly outdoor activities that a vast majority of Floridians do now, only this would allow you to lawfully possess and carry a firearm for self-defense while participating in any of the listed activities.

Here are the activities that are listed in the Bill:

(i) A person engaged in, traveling to, or returning from a lawful outdoor expedition or activity, including, but not limited to:

  1. Crabbing, gigging, cast netting, lobstering, or any other fishing activity;
  2. Hiking, trekking, backpacking, cross-country running, geocaching, or any other orienteering activity;
  3. Trapping, falconry, or any other hunting activity;
  4. Bicycling, mountain biking, trail riding, or any other cycling activity;
  5. All-terrain vehicle, dirt bike, four-wheeler, or any other off-road vehicle riding activity;
  6. Boating, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, or any other maritime activity;
  7. Dog walking, animal training, mushing, or any other outdoor animal exercising activity;
  8. Speleology, spelunking, or any other caving activity;
  9. Horseback riding or any other equestrian activity;
  10. Rock climbing, rappelling, or any other mountaineering activity;
  11. Nature photography, bird watching, astronomy, or any other outdoor viewing activity; and
  12. Picnicking, mushroom hunting, berry picking, metal detecting, fossil hunting, or any other outdoor recreational, training, scientific, or athletic activity;

(j) A person traveling to or returning from a motor vehicle; a residence, dwelling, apartment, condominium, townhouse, lodge, cabin, motor home, mobile home, recreational vehicle, hotel, motel, or any other place of residence or shelter; or any other place at which a firearm or weapon may be lawfully possessed;

Now as you can see that is quite a list. Notice the very carefully worded “but not limited to;” in the first sentence. Thereby laying the groundwork for what could be interpreted as say that any outdoor activity would be permissible under this Bill if it became law.

And under (j) these Bills try to eliminate the omission in current law that technically makes it illegal to take your firearm from your lawfully carried location in your car to your apartment (residence). Currently, you may possess a firearm in your home any way you wish, and you may have a firearm in your vehicle lawfully also without a permit, but to get it to your vehicle and from your vehicle if the vehicle is on a common property area has been looked at being illegal by some. This subsection addition would prevent that from being a problem any longer.

Yes if you read the Bills and look at the activities and see the common terms “or any other ….  Activity” whether it be fishing, hunting, orienteering, hunting, cycling, off-roading, maritime, animal exercising, caving, equestrian, mountaineering, outdoor viewing, and last but not least – outdoor recreational, training, scientific, or athletic activity, you could legally possess and carry a firearm without a license while going to, taking part in, and going home from any of those, the last one being quite a catch all of the activities.

If you think this is a long list, you would be right. If you think this list should not be needed, you are right, we should be allowed regardless of this list (but currently are not), if you think this list basically makes it OK to carry doing basically any outdoor activity, you would be right. So what is wrong with this Bill? NOTHING! It is an attempt to show the Florida Legislators just how silly restricting the lawful carry of firearms is to a “list” of “allowed” activities. And if passed would be a HUGE step in the right direction. Remember a little at a time is better than nothing at all.

I personally wholeheartedly support this Bill, and it’s not so subtle message and intentions. Floridians should not be restricted as to what action they should have to be doing to be able to protect themselves and their families. But if they are going to make us follow a list, let’s make it a good list! Like this one!

So please when the Bills are assigned to committees for hearings, take the time to send emails, write letters and call your Senators and eventually your Representatives and tell them you support this Bill and what it stands for! I will post more on this as things develop.

You can read the Bills at:

HB 739 – http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=61039&

SB 1242 – http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=62020&

Moms Demand Action Members Appear at Florida House Committee Hearing “So we can be on TV.”

This just keeps getting stranger and stranger. You have to love some of these and some of the Moms Demand Action answers.

This is an Article from the NRA-ILA:

DATE: December 8, 2017
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President

This is the 3rd of a 3-Part Report of the Senate Judiciary Hearing 12/5/2017

PART # 3 – Trying to get on TV

Groups of ladies representing Bloomberg’s Mom Demand Action keep showing up in committee hearings when gun bills are going to be heard. Sometimes 20-30 show up. They wear red t-shirts with “Moms Demand Action” on them and always try to sit in a group behind the speaker’s podium where they can be captured on TV.

I wanted to know exactly why they came or thought they came! (I do not have permission to reveal my source)
1. Why are you ladies here? “So we can be on TV.”
2. Why don’t you ever get up to testify? “We’re not supposed to talk we’re just here for TV.” 
3. Why do you want to be on TV? “Because we’re against guns.”
4. Why are you against guns? “Oh, I’m not against guns, I just came for my friend.”

You have to love it! 🙂

Those Who Submitted Appearance Cards Against Gun Owner Rights

There’s an old saying about judging people by the company they keep. This should raise some eyebrows. We are reporting this because you may also be a member of one or more of these organizations and you may not know that they are lobbying against Second Amendment rights.

For example: We know that lots of gun owners have children and are members of PTA – but you may not know that a person representing Florida PTA was in the committee hearing on 12/5/17 and turned 3 Appearance Cards to lobby against the pro-gun legislation.

AGAINST: Open Carry Protection – SB-148
Florida Carry, Inc. – Scott Whigham (not registered to lobby)
Florida Carry, Inc. – Eric Friday
Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action – Jamie Ito (not registered to lobby)
League of Women Voters – Patricia Brigham (not registered to lobby)
Florida NOW – Barbara DeVane

AGAINST: Courthouse Carry – SB-134
Equality Florida (LGBT rights) – Hanna Willard
Florida Carry, Inc. – Eric Friday
Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action – Jamie Ito (not registered to lobby)
League of Women Voters – Patricia Brigham (not registered to lobby)
Florida NOW – Barbara DeVane
Florida PTA – Angie Gallo (not registered to lobby)

AGAINST: Church Private Property Rights – SB-274
Florida PTA (not registered to lobby for PTA)
League of Women Voters – Patricia Brigham (not registered to lobby)
Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action – Kate Kile (not registered to lobby)
Florida NOW – Barbara Devane
Florida Pediatric Society – Doug Bell

The 2018 Florida Legislative Session begins January 9, 2018, and runs for 60 consecutive days. ANYTHING can happen until the gavel drops to end that session.

Stay tuned for more.
END STATEMENT FROM NRA-ILA

MY COMMENT. First, the statements from Moms Demand Action do not surprise me. Did we expect them to be knowledgeable about why they were sitting in Tallahassee in a room about firearms rights and Bills? Of course not.

And as if Florida Carry did not have enough problems –
And to add to the confusion, Executive Director of Florida Carry Sean Caranna said this prior to the hearings in a Facebook comment asking for Florida Carry’s stance on the Bills. –
Sean Caranna – “Florida Carry Opposes SB148, as drafted, because it uses vague language and creates a lifetime series of fines and criminal acts, rather than treating them as minor infractions. Open Carry should be legal. We support SB134 but oppose all of the filed the amendments.”

So if Florida Carry supports 134, why did Florida Carry’s Legal Advisor state they were against it? Or get up and testify as to what they did and did not support? And did Florida Carry support or not support SB 274, being able to carry a firearm on Church property if there is a private school on the property during the week. Very confusing.

NRA-ILA Blast Florida Carry Inc. Gun Rights Group for Not Supporting Gun Rights Bills.

DATE: December 7, 2017
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
This is the 2nd of a 3-Part Report of the Senate Judiciary Hearing 12/5/2017

Florida Action Report: Florida Carry cuts off its nose to spite its face – AGAIN by Marion Hammer, NRA-ILA

Once again Florida Carry, Inc. has demonstrated a lack of concern for Concealed Weapons and Firearms License holders. License holders continue to be abused by law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts. When firearms, that are being lawfully carried concealed, accidentally become exposed to the sight of another person, license holders are being arrested for violating the open carry ban.

In Florida, there are 1.8 million law-abiding license holders. Every time they leave their homes, carrying a firearm, they run the risk of that firearm becoming exposed to the sight of another person and then being thrown face down on the street, arrested at gun point and treated like a criminal – because the wind blew open a jacket or they reached for something on a top shelf or a shirt got snagged and uncovered their firearm.

SB-148 would have helped stop some of the abuse but Florida Carry, Inc. opposed it.

You would think, particularly in view of Florida Carry’s recent loss in the Norman case before the Florida Supreme Court, that Florida Carry would be eager to pass legislation to protect license holders. Their lawyer defended a license holder, Mr. Dale Norman. Mr. Norman didn’t do anything wrong but because his firearm was accidentally exposed to the sight of another person, he was put face down on the ground, arrested at gun point, hauled off in a police car and prosecuted for violating the open carry law. The case went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court where they ruled against Mr. Norman.

But in Committee on Tuesday, 12/5/17, Florida Carry’s pursuit of perfection, became the enemy of the good. They testified in opposition to Sen. Steube’s SB-148 – Protection from Open Carry Abuse.

Was the bill perfect? No, it wasn’t. Was it better than existing law? Yes, it absolutely was better. Could it have been made better in other committees before final passage? Of, course. That’s the process. And this was only the first committee of three before it could go to the floor in the Senate.

But Florida Carry OPPOSED that bill.

Fortunately, the Second Amendment supporters on the committee didn’t pay any attention to Florida Carry (they still voted for improvement) and the antigun Democrats were happy because they can use Florida Carry for cover.

But here’s what Florida Carry DIDN’T DO: They didn’t try to fix any of the bills or amendments to make them better. They didn’t do anything but show up in committee and testify against the bills.

They’re fond of talking about what happened in 1987 like they were there and but they weren’t.

NRA passed right to carry in 1987 and it wasn’t perfect but it was better that nothing and it was a start. Year after year we have worked to improve it and make it better. Today, 1.8 million gun owners have licenses to carry concealed because we know the value of working one step at a time and making things better while pursuing perfection.

That worked well for concealed carry license holders until 2011. That’s when Florida Carry arrived on the legislative scene and effectively killed open carry for CW License holders.

Florida Carry’s folks, using Florida Carry’s name, made a barrage of threatening and bullying phone calls to Senators. They screamed profanities and threats at Senators demanding full open carry for everyone, not concealed carry license holders.

A bill that we could have passed in 2011 to allow CW License holders carry openly or concealed and prevent abuse of license holders, died because of Florida Carry. If it had passed then, we might well have full open carry today but we’ll never know.

So here we are today, still fighting to do something to stop the abuse of license holders. We’re no better off than we were in 2011 and Florida Carry is still working to kill bills that aren’t perfect. Eating an elephant one bite at a time means nothing to them. If they can’t swallow the whole elephant in one bite they’d rather starve – actually they’d rather make YOU starve. They’d rather have nothing upon which to improve. They want it all — right now — or nothing.

However, Florida Carry didn’t kill those bills in committee on 12/5/17 but they made it easier for the antigun Republicans to kill them. Florida Carry’s open opposition to the bill made it easier for them to justify knifing gun owners in the back.

THAT’S NOT ALL Florida Carry did in this committee hearing… but it’s just more of the same foot stomping for perfection at the expense of the good on Sen. Steube’s SB-134 Courthouse Carry. Their explanations of why they did what they did are pure pap. The only thing their self-righteous behavior does in the legislative arena is benefit the antigun organizations. Legislators will remember that – we will remember that.

Moms Demand Action should put Florida Carry’s representatives in red t-shirts and give them an award, because in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 12/5/2017 Florida Carry sided with Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action – NOT Florida gun owners.

**MY NOTE – If this does not tell you about Florida Carry Inc. Not sure what will.