By Heidi Perez, Senior
After the events that transpired in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School less than a month ago, the topic of gun control has seemed to ignite a spark into the Senate once again. Many blame our politicians for their lax efforts; however, Florida law makes it illegal for local firearm regulations to be enacted. Their support could lead to a $5,000 fine or potentially dismissed from office, altogether. Instead of blaming politicians for being heartless, I believe we should blame the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Republicans for making it illegal for them not to be heartless.
This law was introduced about seven years ago, thanks to a Republican controlled house in the Florida Senate and a bit of support from the NRA. This piece of law makes citizens who feel that local politicians are have violated their liberties by attempting to propose gun control laws able to sue politicians for up to 100,000. In this past, Miami City Commissioner tried proposing a bill to require trigger locks on gun, which could make a gun safer if it got into the wrong hands. This law was voided by the City Commision after the NRA attempted to sue. This has occurred many times in the past, and will continue to if our state doesn’t change this completely.
There are so many small ways that local government can actually make cities safer, and their efforts could bring about real change in our cities. It’s also beneficial to understanding that these kind of restriction only apply to gun control. If you look through a list of Florida laws, you won’t see any type of restriction placed in any other topic. People can thank many of these restriction to our good friends at the NRA, who have been able to control politics like puppet strings by dangling cash in the faces of politicians. Due to their enormous power, they have the funds to donate large sums of money to many government officials in order to get pro-gun legislation passed.
Placing these kinds of restriction make it extremely difficult for actual change to occur in cities. Small changes such as requiring trigger locks on guns could save the lives of many citizens and prevent accidental deaths. So instead of writing a letter to local government wanting better gun control regulation, direct your persuasion to the Florida Senate in Tallahassee where these regulations actually have the power to be outlawed and not pushed down by an interest group that have the second amendment mentally tattooed into their brains.
Although these regulation are hard to get through, that doesn’t mean they’re bulletproof. The countless work shown from current students of Stoneman Douglas High school have had a drastic effect on Florida Senate legislation. Their brave efforts and statewide student protests led to gun control bills being passed that can make schools much safer to be in. The recent bill that was passed yesterday show that protest and outrage can change legislation, especially in defiance of the NRA. So don’t think of these city regulations as a death sentence for gun reform, but something that can be reform through Senate regulation.