28 March 2018

Thanks For Nothing

Hi, Thanks so much for your email. We are all still grieving the loss of the 17 innocent lives taken at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and sadly it has become clear that there were many failures and breakdowns that led up to this heartbreaking tragedy.

On March 9, the Governor signed into law the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, this bill is aimed at ensuring what happened at Douglas High never happens again.

The Act creates the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program that will allow school personnel, including teachers, to be armed and defend themselves and their students in the event of an armed assault on campus. Here are some things you should know: the program is voluntary, and no teacher or school employee will be obligated to carry a weapon. Any person who wishes to participate will have to complete 132 hours of comprehensive firearm safety and proficiency training, pass a psychological examination designed by the FDLE, pass an initial and ongoing drug tests, and complete annual training and firearm qualification. Ninety-eight percent of mass shooting events have happened in the ironically named "gun free zones." The statistics shake out this way because mass shooters know they will be able to inflict their carnage unimpeded. It is my belief that simply by having the knowledge that some school personnel COULD be armed will dissuade madmen from making a "gun-free" zone a "gun-used" zone.

Additionally, the $400 million bill offers a multi-pronged strategy to address the challenge facing our schools. It creates the Office of Safe Schools within the Department of Education and appropriates tens of millions of dollars to assist with school security assessments and hardening. It dramatically increases funding for full-time School Resource Officers, full-time law enforcement personnel in every one of our schools. It provides new mechanisms to temporarily restrain weapons from those adjucated mentally ill or unstable. It commits tens of millions of dollars to increase mental health services for our youth, to make sure we intercept troubled youth before they turn to violence. $400 million dollars to make sure this never happens again.

The Act also requires a three day waiting period on all firearms, but not for hunters and not for anyone with a concealed carry permit. The Act bans bump stocks, and does not allow non-military and law enforcement members under 21 to purchase a rifle from a firearms dealer. But it does not stop a father giving a rifle to a son that he believes can own and use it responsibly. It does not stop a mother giving a shotgun to her daughter that she believes needs it to protect herself. For these reasons, I don't see this as a "gun control" bill.

I want to thank you, truly, for sharing your thoughts with me. If you have any further questions, or if I can be of any assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Amber Mariano State Representative

The guardian program has so many obstacles and hurdles placed between an unarmed staff member and an armed staff member that I seriously doubt that even a single teacher will successfully complete the program.

Yes, a staff member, but pointedly NOT a teacher, COULD jump through all of the hoops and considerable expense to be an armed staff member, but you've just perpetuated the gun free zone and done nothing in practice.  But you felt good about doing it, didn't you because this was SOMETHING.

Let me guess that $400 million will be spent and the conclusion will be that we need more SRO's, clear backpacks, stringent government approval for the slim chance to get armed staff and that under no circumstances should the multiple failures of numerous levels of government be punished in any way for their failure to do what they're paid to do.

In fact, this study will show that more government will be needed to prevent the next murder spree and will reward the failed agencies with more power and funding.  Betcha.

The murderer successfully waited FIVE days before buying his murder weapon.  It takes a special kind of stupid to expect praise for tacking on an ineffective measure that's even less effective than the ineffective measures that failed already.

I don't care that the waiting period doesn't affect me.  Just because I have a carry permit doesn't mean that the rights of honest, innocent citizens have been infringed.  Should I support poll taxes on black people because they won't affect me because I'm white?

I don't care that the age restriction doesn't affect me.  Is someone who's 18 an adult or not?  We're going to have to make up our minds and pick an age and that will have to suffice for everything.  Drinking, voting, gun-buying, consent...  Pick a line.  Stick to it.  Patchwork inconsistency just erodes what little respect for the law remains.

It matters to me that you banned bumpstocks; and I've never owned one.  Bumpstocks and similar accessories have been used in exactly zero crimes in Florida.  Zero.  In fact, the Las Vegas concert murders seems to be the sole example of one ever being criminally used.  A bumpstock wasn't used in Parkland.  WHY DID YOU BAN THEM IN FLORIDA?

I am happy that you've deluded yourself into thinking that this isn't a gun control law.  But stating that you don't see it as gun control doesn't change that it is, in fact, gun control.

What you've managed to do is punish the innocent, deprive them of their property and let the people who failed in their duty off the hook.


But you did "something".
And it was something counterproductive and stupid.

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