The following piece was prepared before Sunday's shooting at a Waffle House in Nashville. The deranged gunman, who killed four with an AR-15, was the same individual who was apprehended and disarmed by the Secret Service last year attemping to see the President. He also had claimed singer Taylor Swift was "stalking him." His guns were returned to his family by the Secret Service and he was convicted of a misdemeanor, for which he performed community service. Certainly this is the type of person who should have been under continual surveillance and referred for mental health counselling, and probably was. Yet, it turned out to be ineffectual. It is ironclad proof that the "other measures" mentioned in the first paragraph which follows are inadequate because ...
Students exiting Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S. in Parkland, FL at time of shooting.
That nothing has been done, after all of this and more, about these weapons is enough to make one cry.
Florida's Constitutional Amendments (with some tongue in cheek)
Making things into Amendments, rather than just passing laws, is undemocratic because the Legislature at some later date can find it difficult to pass needed laws in the face of existing Constitutional Amendments. This might subvert the will of the people. Amendments should be reserved for very basic things, expected to be of a permanent nature.
Florida State House Pictured Above
To become part of the State Constitution, at least 60% of the voters must approve an Amendment. Other than being put on the ballot by this screwball commission, Amendments can be proposed if at least 750,000 voters petition to do so. The most important Amendment being proposed this year (Amendment Number Four), and it got on the ballot by petition, would restore voting rights to felons who have fully paid their debt to society (other than murderers and sexual offenders). Florida’s present method of handling this problem has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
This poses a problem for someone who abhors the smoking of electronic cigarettes in otherwise “non-smoking” areas but who owns a lot of stock in companies aiming to cash in on petroleum deposits off of Florida’s coasts. One can’t ban one without voting to ban the other. Of course, neither warrants being an Amendment; they should be individual laws debated and voted upon by legislators.
Constitutional provisions, including Amendments, are different from laws passed by a legislature. They are intended to be permanent bedrock upon with legislation is based, but not deal with specific issues. Florida politicians are unable to grasp this very basic concept. This shortcoming goes back a long time.
Blame it on Andrew Johnson and the Republicans who succeeded Abraham Lincoln and permitted the corrupted Reconstruction of the South to take place.
On this subject, here is the text of a letter I sent to the Palm Beach Post last week.
So far, they have not published it. But I thought it might be of interest to you.
Window SignSuggestion: Copy and paste this, enlarged if you are able to, and place it behind the back seats of your car so it can be seen out of the rear window. You might want to remove it, as I do, when leaving the car parked on the street or in a public lot. You never know.