Florida House declines to take up assault weapons ban

Staff Reports

With Stoneman Douglas students watching, Florida House declines to take up assault weapons ban

Orlando Sun Sentinel

The Florida state House has voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles, less than a week after 17 people were fatally shot at a Florida high school.

Less than a week after 17 people were fatally shot at a Florida high school, the state House has voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles, effectively killing the measure for this session.

The motion failed by a 36-71 vote.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were in the gallery to watch the vote. An Associated Press photo showed Stoneman Douglas junior Sheryl Acquarola, 16, overcome with emotion, alongside several other students.

As the Florida House opened its session Tuesday (Feb. 20), Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee asked for a procedural move that would have allowed it to consider a bill to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines.

He said the move stemmed from the massacre last week that has refueled a national debate about gun control.

Oprah Winfrey donating $500,000 to Parkland students’ ‘March for Our Lives’.

The bill had been assigned to three committees but was not scheduled for a hearing. The committees won’t meet again before the legislative session ends March 9.

McGhee said that means the bill would be dead unless the House voted to remove it from the committees and let it be considered by the full House.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate say they will consider proposals including raising age restrictions for gun purchases and the red-flag bill regarding temporarily taking away someone’s guns if they are deemed a threat to others.

The House did not debate the merits of the bill because McGhee’s motion involved a procedural issue. But the House voted 71-36 to reject taking up the measure on the floor.

Nikolas Cruz is accused of using an AR-15 rifle, a type of weapon that would be covered under the bill.

A Senate version of the bill (SB 196), filed by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, also has not been heard in committees.

Meanwhile, a Florida Senate committee endorsed a proposal to put law enforcement officers in every school in the state.

Only slightly more than half of Florida’s more than 4,000 public schools have the resource officers. They are sworn law-enforcement officers and allowed to carry a weapon on a school campus.

The Senate Education Committee voted Tuesday to include the requirement in a sweeping education bill that is now moving through the legislature.

A determined group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas students boarded two buses on Tuesday and headed to Tallahassee, where they will urge legislators to revise the state’s gun laws.

Information from the News Service of Florida and the Associated Press was used in this report.

Trump tweet angers survivors of Parkland shooting

By Eli Watkins, CNN

February 19, 2018

Trump did not mention guns in response

Students who survived the Parkland, Florida, shooting laid into President Donald Trump after he linked the FBI’s failure to follow up on a report about the school shooter and the resources expended on the Russia investigation.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

The President’s tweet caused considerable outrage online, including among apparent survivors of the shooting:

“17 of my classmates are gone. That’s 17 futures, 17 children, and 17 friends stolen. But you’re right, it always has to be about you. How silly of me to forget. #neveragain”

“17 innocent people were brutally murdered at my school, a place where they should have felt safe. Their lives were gone in an instant. You are the President of the United States and you have the audacity to put this on Russia as an excuse. I guess I should expect that from you.”

“…my friends were brutally murdered and you have the nerve to make this about Russia. I can not believe this”

“Oh my god. 17 OF MY CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS ARE GONE AND YOU HAVE THE AUDACITY TO MAKE THIS ABOUT RUSSIA???!! HAVE A DAMN HEART. You can keep all of your fake and meaningless ‘thoughts and prayers’.”

Several of the student’s responses went viral, getting thousands of retweets. As of this writing, one of them had been retweeted more times than the President’s original message.

Many students who survived the Parkland shooting have been vocal about what they experienced, and about the action they want to see from those in power.

Parkland students say, ‘We are going to be the last mass shooting’

Alex Wind, a survivor, told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield that he did not plan to attend a listening session Trump has scheduled on Wednesday with high school students and teachers, and that the President needed to reach out to the students.

“If Donald Trump wants to listen to us, he should have taken the first invitation,” Wind said. “We are not going to come to him. He is going to need to come to us.”

Emma Gonzalez, speaking in the same interview, said she suspected his scheduled listening session could be a sign Trump does not want to face outraged victims of the shooting.

“The fact that he has organized this just proves that he’s scared of us and that he doesn’t want to have to face us,” Gonzalez said.

Trump on Friday visited a Florida hospital where many of the victims were treated, as well as the sheriff’s office.

David Hogg, one of the students, spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and issued an angry and passionate call for Trump to take action on the issue.

“You’re the President,” Hogg said. “You’re supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us. How dare you? Children are dying, and their blood is on your hands because of that. Please take action. Stop going on vacation in Mar-a-Lago. Take action. Work with Congress. Your party controls both the House and Senate. Take action, get some bills passed, and for God’s sake, let’s save some lives.”

From Facebook:

Our dear students, When you march for gun control, remind us that Trump accepted $30 million from the NRA. Some adults forget.

“We should arm every teacher!” You reptards won’t even buy them pencils and printer ink…now you got the budget for Glocks?

So. Carolina lawmakers are hoping to pass a bill banning saggy pants more than 3” below the hips. Uhhh…what about the guns?

“Netanyahu’s troubles trouble’s deepen as Israeli Police arrest confidants.” Trumps good buddy is in trouble.


Staff Reports