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In anticipation of the RNC, which will be held in Tampa, Florida August 27-30, Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn sent a letter Tuesday to Florida governor Rick Scott, requesting that he issue an executive order banning people from carrying guns in downtown areas where people would gather for the convention.  Apparently Florida's gun laws, among the most liberal in the nation, do not allow local governments to pass ordinances that will interfere with a citizen's rights with respect to firearms without executive approval.  Scott, who was endorsed by the NRA in 2010 and given a grade of "A" by that organization, responded with this swift, predictable reply:

The short answer is found in the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and in Article 1, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution.  These provisions guarantee that the government may not infringe the people's right "to keep and bear arms."  The United States Supreme Court has explained that those rights have real force, and that government bans on firearms are generally impermissible.  While the government may enforce longstanding prohibitions on the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, an absolute ban on entire neighborhoods and regions would surely violate the 2nd Amendment.
Buckhorn, noted in his letter that the city plans to ban gas masks, hatchets, chains and super-soakers, and will look "just plain silly" if they do not also have the power to also ban concealed weapons within the "event zone".

Scott responded...

It is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law. It is at just such times that the constitutional right to self-defense is most precious and must be protected from government overreach.
Mayor Buckhorn has made it clear that he expects at least the possibility of trouble at this year's RNC:

(From his letter to Governor Scott)

As governor, you have the duty to meet dangers presented by events such as the RNC where there is a threat of substantial injury and harm to Florida residents and visitors to the state.
Some of the people who will be here in August are not exactly model citizens and that there are some people who are coming here with intent on causing mayhem," he said in a press conference Wednesday.
Among concerns is the fear that highly charged protesters could find themselves in an incident covered by Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law - the law that fueled the recent Trayvon Martin tragedy in Sanford, Florida.

But, ever the optimist, Governor Scott passed the buck/expressed nothing but confidence in local law enforcement for the potentially nightmarish position he's put them in:

I am confident that the many state, federal, and local law enforcement focused on the RNC will fully protect Floridians and visitors, without the need to resort to sweeping infringements on our most sacred constitutional traditions.
Hmm...  Does this put anyone else in mind of events where President Obama was confronted by armed gunmen when touring the nation speaking about his healthcare plan?

Oh, and the turn-around time on the letter?  Letter sent: May 1.  Letter answered: May 1.  Good thing Governor Scott had the NRA on speed-dial, huh?  

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't live anywhere near there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pure prarie, Wee Mama

    But it might make an interesting point to have a few thousand people of all colors, genders, etc. show up at the RNC --armed.  Kinda what the Black Panthers did to Reagan.

    (the guns don't have to be loaded)

  •  President Obama was confronted by someone (4+ / 0-)

    armed? According to the article;

    One man brought an AR-15 military-style assault rifle to a protest outside President Obama's speech in Phoenix on Monday
    Confronted as per
    1. to face in hostility or defiance; oppose: The feuding factions confronted one another.

    2. to present for acknowledgment, contradiction, etc.; set face to face: They confronted him with evidence of his crime.

    3. to stand or come in front of; stand or meet facing: The two long-separated brothers confronted each other speechlessly.

    4. to be in one's way: the numerous obstacles that still confronted him.

    5. to bring together for examination or comparison.

    What took place doesn't seem to fit the definition of "confronted".

    By the Collision of different Sentiments, Sparks of Truth are struck out, and political Light is obtained. - Benjamin Franklin

    by oldpunk on Wed May 02, 2012 at 09:49:39 PM PDT

  •  You can have my Super Soaker when you pry (0+ / 0-)

    it from my cold dead fingers.

    Falling in and out of love with you.

    by pure prarie on Wed May 02, 2012 at 09:53:31 PM PDT

  •  This is a silly non-issue (4+ / 0-)

    Most states (42) have some form of preemption which requires either executive or legislative oversight on firearms laws. It's been common since the middle of the 20th century.

    Most states allow concealed carry fairly liberally, including at protests or rallies and many have for 50+ years. It's never been a significant issue before.

    I attend rallies and protests all the time and am always armed, as are numerous others at such things (through raw statistics about 1 in 20 in my state). I've met two Presidents and two Vice-Presidents while armed, as well as many other political or cultural figures. Never an issue.

    •  Not true... (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I kind of think that people carrying concealed weapons to events where there is likely to be heated debate, with emotions running high, is like people soaking themselves in gasoline before attending a bonfire...  Maybe you can stay away from the flames, but do you want to bet your life, or the lives of others on it?  What if you get caught in an angry mob?  Even if you wouldn't use your gun to make a point, would you use it to defend yourself?  And what about the people we saw who didn't have their guns concealed, but had them slung over their shoulders?  Even if their intent wasn't to use them, what if someone, or a mob of angry someones, took their guns from them?  What might they do with an assault rifle?  Guns do nothing to advance the cause of either side of a debate in any meaningful way.  All they do is make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their job.

      I think any group of people's rights to peaceably assemble and exercise their right to free speech without fear of getting shot  trumps the right to carry a concealed weapon, if there is uncertainty as to whether or not said group could do both simultaneously.

      And, by the way, I think the fact that anyone outside of law enforcement could actually get near any of our Presidents carrying a concealed weapon is more than just a little disturbing!

      •  Your shadow fearing sunrunner. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, theatre goon

        You're spouting the same kind of fearful, ignorant nonsense that has been bandied about since the advent of licensed concealed carry more than fifty years ago. Thus far there haven't been any real issues. In fact, things are better than they have been since 1968.

        Absolute bottom line: concealed permit holders are safer than law enforcement statistically, so anywhere you let police carry it's ABSURD to restrict citizen carry.

        I absolutely would use it to defend myself, that's sort of the point of carrying it. Obviously you have to try and make allowances for setting, and pass-through, but in the end if it comes down to me dying or taking the risk I can tell you plainly which I'll choose - same as most any other human on the planet. What's more, it's the intelligent, moral choice.

        VERY rarely does anyone get a weapon away from a permit holder. As for the slung rifles, well, that's one reason I'm not a huge fan of open carry. However, if it's something they're going to do, then they're going to come packing their own anyway (as history has shown us), aren't they?

        Guns aren't for debate (which is why they almost never take part in arguments among sane citizens), they're for defense. Moreover they IN NO WAY make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their job, which is why so many in law enforcement are staunch carry supporters.

        You have NO RIGHT to live without fear. None. Period. We DO have a right to carry a gun. It's honestly just that simple. No one says you have to like it, but if you choose to live in the United States you either have to accept it or live an extremely unhappy life. You could try to change it, of course, but since an OVERWHELMING percentage of the people agree with me, not you, it'd be wasted effort I assure you.

        I absolutely could not care less what you find disturbing, I care ONLY about solid facts from as neutral of sources as can be found. ONLY such aggregates as those have any bearing on debate, or policy making.

        •  Oh Please (0+ / 0-)

          Guns are made to kill people, that's why we are working to get them out of the hands of people like you!

          •  ROFL (0+ / 0-)

            Most guns are, and that can be a wonderful thing. Ask a rape survivor, ask a German Jew, ask a freed slave, ask anyone who is alive today (or even just free today, ie EVERY American) because of citizens with firearms.

            Your work is irrelevant. You have, and will continue to, fail utterly. ~80% of Americans refuse even the idea of a handgun ban. From there you become even more of a minority. Nothing you have ever tried has stuck, and has instead driven us to absolute control over the issue. Every inch you push moves us a foot further into our camp. We have won, and what's saddest is that people like you are the ONLY ones who don't know it yet.

            Academia has figured it out. The NAS and CDC critiques are nearly absolute. Government has figured it out. They don't even bother any more, except to pass more and more of our proposed legislation. The people have figured it out. Gun control nazis are laughed at, and your organizations flounder while we sprout new ones like spring blossoms every year.

            You are ignorant. You are pitiable. While I feel sorry for your fear, loathing, and impotence I must tell you in all honesty that you now reap what you have sown.

  •  I haven't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mslat27, theatre goon

    figured out why they want to ban super soakers...

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:24:23 AM PDT

  •  Yes, it's true---if you carry a water pistol at (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the RNC you will be arrested, but if you carry a loaded .45, you're fine.

    Welcome to Flori-duhhhhh.

  •  I think the conventioneers should be armed (0+ / 0-)

    Given the whole situation in Florida having the delegates all carrying guns and shown on national TV might sort of crystalize some things for some people

  •  I don't care for openly carried weapons. (0+ / 0-)

    But,  I have no taste for limiting citizen's second amendment rights.

    I'll presume a superior wisdom resides in our founding fathers intent.

    Disclaimer: Weapons of Mass Destruction and terrorists may vary according to region, definition, and purpose. Belief systems pandered separately.

    by BlackBandFedora on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:28:52 AM PDT

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