Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Republican convention and NRA nonsense

You could just see this one coming. The NRA is thumbing it's nose, once again, in a show of defiance, about the Tampa Mayor trying to ban guns in the city during the Republican National convention. Nope, says the gun lobby. No one is going to stop permit holders from carrying their loaded guns around. There could be some pretty dangerous people around the convention- most of them fellow Republicans one would presume. What are they afraid of? Who knows? From the article:
The irony of being able to ban glass bottles but not handguns in the vicinity of the convention is not lost on city leaders. “It’s very frustrating,” said Lisa Monteliore, a member of Tampa’s city council, who said she was concerned about what could happen in a situation where thousands of protesters are expected and where passions run high.
“Even responsible individuals in a highly charged situation make mistakes.”
In Florida, however, any restriction on the rights of gun owners is the stuff of political dynamite. The state has the highest number of valid concealed-weapon permits – 900,000 – of any in the nation (and through agreements with other states, an additional six million people can carry their weapons in Florida). It is also home to the controversial “Stand Your Ground” Law, which gives citizens a broad right to self-defence.
Bo Dietl, a former New York detective, runs the security and investigations firm Beau Dietl & Associates. He has consulted on security arrangements for prior Republican conventions and sees merit in Florida’s stance. “What if I’m the owner of a restaurant with a legal permit?” he asked. “You can’t prevent me from carrying just because the convention is down the street.”
Experts say they’re not surprised by Florida’s response to Tampa’s demand. “Florida has been a leader in the gun rights movement,” noted Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at the University of California. The state was one of the first to embrace more relaxed rules for carrying concealed weapons, he said. Local officials who adopt their own measures on guns can face fines or removal from office, according to a state law passed last year.
Mayor Buckhorn, a Democrat, used to hold a concealed-weapons permit himself. He has repeatedly expressed his displeasure at the way his hands are tied. “Isn’t this the stupidest damn discussion?” the mayor said at a talk earlier this year. “If you think about it, I’m going to ban squirt guns, but I can’t ban handguns. I wonder sometimes if the NRA hasn’t hijacked the Florida legislature.”
Yup, it is and yup, they have. The most dangerous thing likely to happen at the convention is Hurricane Isaac which may just be headed to Tampa during the convention. Rush Limbaugh, conservative and crazy radio talk show host, thinks that the upcoming hurricane is President Obama's fault:
The model most widely thought to be authoritative by forecasters shows a good chance of Isaac hitting Tampa dead on, an event that would likely not only postpone or cancel the GOP National Convention, but may be disastrous for the city. However, Limbaugh apparently thinks that the Obama administration is behind the media coverage of the storm, and it is all part of an effort to rid the country of the Republican party.
Despite how outlandish the claim seems, Limbaugh said on his program Wednesday that "The National Hurricane Center, a government agency, (is) very hopeful that the hurricane gets near Tampa." This is because, according to Limbaugh, "The National Hurricane Center is Obama. The National Weather Service is part of the Commerce Department," he says. "It's Obama."
The radio host added, "we don't need the National Hurricane Center. We don't need all these weather dolts analyzing this (the hurricane) for us." So, Mr. Limbaugh, does that mean that the public should listen to you, and your expert meteorological opinions? You do have a degree in meteorology, right? Right?
This is somewhat reminiscent of stereotypical anti-government types often shown on television reality shows or in movies. "The beast has many heads and one of them is the National Weather Service", et cetera, ad nauseam.
One thing is as clear as day, pun intended. Rush Limbaugh is going to look like an idiot if Isaac hits Tampa after he told his listeners not to worry about it. Readers in the Southern Florida area should keep an eye out for him. He lives in Palm Beach, and you might just see him on his roof licking his finger and calculating wind direction.
Sigh. So, aside from the insanity of this nonsense, one does have to wonder what/who is more dangerous? Guns? Hurricanes? President Obama? Rush Limbaugh? This convention is going to be a lot of fun if this is the craziness that has already started. I can't wait to see what actually happens. In addition to the threats of gun nuts carrying loaded guns around in the city of Tampa, a potential major hurricane which is supported by President Obama according to the crazy thinking of Rush Limbaugh, there is an actual threat of anarchist groups causing trouble and violence at both conventions. Read more about that here:
The bulletin says that law enforcement agencies believe most protesters at the conventions will obey laws and not commit violent acts, but that anarchists are the most likely exceptions.
The notice warns of certain things state and local law enforcement should be on the watch for. Those include anarchists acquiring materials that could be used to make improvised explosive devices, obtaining firearms training and preparing for violence with groups they oppose -- such as white supremacists.
Anarchists often research potential targets, according to the bulletin.
Law enforcement officials cite the arrest in late April of five Ohio men for allegedly plotting to blow up a bridge over the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland. Authorities said at least three of the men are self-proclaimed anarchists who had considered "a series of evolving plots over several months."
The bulletin says the suspected anarchists conducted surveillance and did research on the Internet. The five pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Really, some days one could despair over the craziness of our politics. Where is common sense anyway? Was it ever thus? I know we are better than this. Let's hope everyone will be safe at both conventions. Be careful out there.

1 comment:

  1. japete writes: "The NRA is thumbing it's nose, once again, in a show of defiance, about the Tampa Mayor trying to ban guns in the city during the Republican National convention. Nope, says the gun lobby. No one is going to stop permit holders from carrying their loaded guns around. "

    The exercise of a right under Florida law (and the state constitution) should not be subject to prior restraint due to the whims of a local politician.

    I predict there won't be any gun violence despite the lack of his desired ban.