Thursday, April 10, 2014

FL:Bill to Allow Citizens Guns in Emergencies Passes Senate Committee


FEMA - 11135 - Photograph by Jocelyn Augustino taken on 09-18-2004 in Florida



SB 296, the Florida bill that would remove restrictions on citizens carry of guns during an emergency, passed the Senate Community Affairs Committee on the  8th of April.  The bill reflects the philosophy of the second amendment, that guns in the hands of citizens enhance public safety.   Currently, the rights of Florida residents to carry arms are significantly restricted.   The open carry of weapons is restricted to certain activities, such as hunting, target shooting, fishing, and on a persons private property.  Concealed carry of weapons is restricted to people who have some training and who pay the fee to obtain the concealed weapons license. 

During an emergency, a resident may be forced to leave their property.  Under current law, if they have not taken the time and trouble to obtain a concealed carry permit, there is no legal way for them to carry a weapon for defense of themselves and others.  The proposed law removes the requirement for the permit during emergencies.  From tampabay.com:
The Community Affairs Committee voted 8-1 to pass SB 296, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that would remove any criminal penalties for those found carrying weapons in public without a permit during evacuations ordered by the governor.
The law exposes the fundamental rift between political parties written about by Thomas Jefferson, among others.   Jefferson wrote:
"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 
1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 
2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests."
 --Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824. ME 16:73 

 It is the second group that are working to reform Florida law to bring it into closer conformity with the second amendment, and the first group that oppose such actions.   It was distrust of the people that lead to more and more infringements on the second amendment in the United States.   The iconic political theorist,  Niccolo Machiavelli, noted the problems with politicians disarming people:

When you disarm [the people] you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you. - Niccol├│ Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.
The crime rate soared as more gun control was enacted, until 1993, as reforms made exercise of the second amendment a significant reality.   Large numbers of states followed Florida's lead in enacting "shall issue" concealed carry laws.  Illinois, the last holdout to allow any concealed carry in public, was forced by a Federal court to enact a shall issue law last year.  Five states now have "constitutional carry", where no permit is required.

The crime rate has dropped during the same period as the "trust the people" model has prospered.  Correlation does not prove causation, but it makes it difficult to believe that the "progressive elite" model that does not trust the people, is factually accurate in the United States.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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