A Gentle Nudge for Gentle Men and Women, Florida 2016 Political Candidates: Your voice shall be heard.
If your name will appear on a ballot as a Candidate for Elected Office in and for the State of Florida from now through the 2016 Presidential Election Cycle, you will be asked to refresh the memories of your Constituents regarding the current laws governing Civilian Gun Ownership and Carriage in our State. Of course, any Statement you offer on this subject or the many ancillary arteries that bullets are piercing across Florida, or outside our borders, we will dissect and disseminate to the maximum extent possible.
We slid down the slippery gun-slope some time ago, and made things worse for partisan gain since that time. All was quieter on the Southeastern front before Al Gore invented the internet and gave us all access to information, making everybody opinion writers, and ruining a good part of three generations so far that will forever need their hand-held. Who knew, right? Now the hand-held-holding takes both hands and constant line of sight contact with a Teenager.
Here’s what shouldn’t have happened. There’s this GUN thing that shouldn’t have happened. Some of the legal limbo should never have happened, and none of it has had pure concern for public safety in a long, partisan while. There’s something rotten about Gun Safety Debate in Florida and in the Nation. Liberty has been allowed to trump Safety in this area that few other Areas of Industry have not. Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Speak; limited due to concerns for Public Safety. Freedom to Hate; limited by all that might hurt, due to concerns for Public Safety. The list goes on, but we’ve all gotten the point long ago. Some things are a bad idea to do in the best of times, and some of what Lobbyists and Legislators and Legislatures have done with Gun Legislation show reckless disregard for Public Safety. Law Enforcement Experts like me have long feared the wreckage of an emboldened Citizen, from Do-Good Neighborhood Zimmermaniac Protector Dude to Vigilante Judge-Jury-Executioner Patriot or Tired of being scared shitless by people and situations that I don’t understand therefore my gun will scare the shit out of them, Napoleon Types. The Unbalanced Legislation and Legislative Agenda are nightmares come true for Law Enforcement Personnel, and, place an undue, unconstitutional risk to Public Safety.
Surely some of you will disagree. Those that share or exceed my expertise on any subject are welcome to join this debate or start their own. The time has come for the People’s Representatives to throw the People, their Employers, a bone when it comes to Guns. It’s time to pass common sense legislation to require and ensure thorough background checks on anyone who owns or possesses a firearm, on anyone who purchases or receives a gun by any means, and strict punishment for anyone violating such law. These requirements, successfully enforced, place no undue burden on any lawful and lawfully intended gun owner or gun user or gun dealer.
That the term “Gun Control” has become synonymous with and used as a slur to the extent it has speaks volumes about this key and senseless cultural divide which favors the rights of an individual and the purchased rights of an individual industry over the rights of all the people to the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of their choosing. Utter nonsense. Knowing as we do the life ending damage and life changing damage and collateral damage that follows the path of a bullet through human flesh, the scarring path of a flesh wound deep in the brain, it is imperative that we turn this frown upside down and put on a smiley face t-shirt supporting gun control. Anytime someone dies needlessly from a shot fired in anger or in error, we all understand that, as a Society, it simply makes sense to control and prevent bad actors from procuring firearms. It makes sense to control access to guns. It makes sense to expect a gun owner to be proficient with their weapon, to safely operate the gun and maintain responsible, safe custody of their gun, or the gun in their charge. It makes sense to control guns responsibly, and to insist that gun owners and operators maintain lawful, safe and responsible control over the weapons they possess. For these and countless unstated reasons, why in the hell would we not want to control guns?
This issue is a no-brain er to anyone who hasn’t sold out the use of their brain. Fundraising, scorecards, purity tests, and platitudes, and all to Paper Patriots so intent on individual freedom, privacy and anonymity, that they can’t remember who WE are.
Only THEY … Mostly HE … Never US … Always THEM.
This isn’t what our fathers believed in, neither founding nor Great Generation. This is the product of a less great generation being so distracted that WE found WE could no longer control what WE or we were doing. Somebody else started running the Gun Rights Show and they could be more wrong on the subject, but not much. Home invaders and good guys with guns and standing one’s ground now that there’s no duty to run. The whole sales pitch is imperfect to all except those with a need to believe their ears. Nobody is coming to get all the guns. Nobody is controlling the ammunition. But, somebody is doing something. Somebody is letting misplaced partisan divide endanger the lives of Florida Residents. Somebody is voting with their wallet filled with money while their Constituents compare IOU’s.
It’s time to rewrite the rules, in this minimally intrusive way and restore sense to the debate over gun rights and gun ownership. We rarely intend to overtly offend anyone, except in the heat of an argument. Often, we anger or offend others without ever having knowledge that we’ve done it. That shouldn’t cost us our life. The more guns that are sold and the more guns that are carried open and concealed, I ask you to consider whether two opposing armed citizens could each find cause to stand their respective ground. If both can claim ground, with no sense of duty to de-escalate or retreat, the outcome could potentially be that two lives were stubbornly lost for good reason. Surely all who disagree on almost everything else can agree that individual freedom has limitations, and that properly placed safeguards with respect to Public Safety will limit the risk we all face on a daily basis of becoming a victim of gun violence in Florida, and in America.
Once again, common sense gun safety measures will be an issue affecting who voters choose to support for Public Office. One more cycle of offensive tactics discussed behind closed doors, leaving the People a view from only one open window. From this perch, we shout out our opinions and solicit each Candidate’s own, and let the debate ensue. Believe this too, that all of the nonsense that follows embedded in repudiations from both sides, near all the dust at least, was, is and will always be and have completely been avoidable from the start. It’s within us to wrap up the ideas and emotions of a group or group endeavor in a simple, evident, clear statement of their cause. Don’t tread on me. Remember the Alamo. We shall never forget. Peace not War. War not Peace.
I close with a simple statement about ending stupid debate over the Publicly Biased Gun Safety Legislation I’ve proposed and support. This support has been earned by my belief in its ability to increase Public Safety in more ways than I can say or will, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer one. The known presence of gun possessed, legally or illegally, by a Citizen who comes into contact with Law Enforcement Personnel has a powerful and demonstrable impact on the response employed by the Police to engage, verbally and physically, with that same individual. The earlier we can determine with certainty that the focus of Police effort must interact in some way with a Citizen who is known to have a weapon (read level lethal playing field, equal or superior lethal force, yet force that may be in question on the surface), the earlier all parties can process the response before initiating contact with the individual. Less surprises, less fight or flight responses, less excuses to stray from clear Law Enforcement Command, less reasons for Police to Command that bullet flee its casing, fewer sightless slugs feeding on bodies still bound to breathe air.
It’s an Idea whose time has come.