Florida Senate Judiciary Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, who was appointed to this role by Senate President Andy Gardiner, has consistently for the last two years opposed college campus carry for licensed adults 21 years and over. He also appears to be hostile towards the open carry bill as well.
I have written both Senators to express my support for the Open Carry and Campus Carry bills, and to ask them to do the same. I have called upon them to let there be an honest, full Senate vote.
To cover this over without a fair vote in the Senate is to make a mockery of transparency in government. The issue of the protection of innocent lives does not deserve to be treated with political cynicism. These bills should not be swept under the rug to give cover to certain timid Republicans who only give lip service to Second Amendment Rights.
We voters have the right to see who really walks the walk and not just talks the talk.
It should come as no surprise that Democrats are 99% united in their opposition to carry rights. However, when Republicans act like Democrats in denying citizens their Constitutional Rights, even as they proudly proclaim to support the Second Amendment, that is disheartening.
Licensed, adult college students already carry their firearms in many public places, as well as private property, and they do so responsibly. Why should they be denied their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness just because they want to get a college education?
Sitting Ducks Under Penalty of Law
It is simply immoral to force citizens to be sitting ducks under penalty of law!
I’d wager that the great majority of college presidents are leftist elitists. What gives them the authority to choose to disarm law-abiding, licensed adults? Why should we care what their opinion on the matter is? If college presidents are so fearful of weapons, there are private colleges where guns can be banned with private property rights via the trespass statute.
Forty-five states allow citizens to carry firearms out in the open. Most of them do so without requiring a carry license. The fear-mongering of Democrats and their parade of horribles is just a fiction of their own vivid imagination. Their far-fetched prophesies of the wild, wild west, and blood in the streets is harped on every single time any carry rights are restored. And time and again, they are proven wrong.
Police officers are not strangers to citizens openly carrying firearms.
Officers seem to be doing their jobs well in those 45 states that recognize their citizens’ right to carry openly. Florida officers will learn the ropes just like other officers all around the most of the country. They will get used to it, or they can choose another profession if they so desire. They can ask for additional training, if they feel they need it.
Complaints from Florida police chiefs and sheriffs against open carry should not be a deciding factor at all. Many are authoritarians by nature and telling others what they can and can’t do is something they naturally enjoy. I don’t care how much they desire to infringe on the right of “mere citizens” to carry pistols openly, law-enforcement officers are not the only ones special enough to have this right.
They are actually our servants, and not the other way around. It is their job to deal with criminals. Their only concern with us law-abiding citizens, should be to leave us alone unless they are assisting us, or writing us a ticket for speeding. Thankfully, many do support open carry for non-law-enforcement citizens.
Will Senators Give Liberty a Chance?
If Open Carry and Campus Carry are watered down with hostile amendments, or do not see an honest, full Senate vote, then I sincerely hope I do not ever again hear those responsible for the demise of these bills talk about how they support the Second Amendment.
Senate leadership needs to honor their oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. They need to let elected Senators give a public up or down vote, so that we know where they stand.
Phillip Evans writes about the Pursuit Of Patriotism and the Second Amendment from Atlanta, Georgia.