The New York Times hates guns. And the causes of guns. Like the Second Amendment, whose assertion of Americans’ right to keep and bear arms strikes them as a typo of some sort. Their latest editorial on the topic takes Florida voters and their duly elected representatives to task for passing and enforcing a law that removes local gun control regulations which, by the way, violate the Second Amendment. “In 1987, the Legislature passed a law that allowed the state to pre-empt the whole field of gun and ammunition controls, but it had very little effect on real life. ‘No Guns Allowed’ signs and other notices were kept up in appropriate places as communities continued to enforce gun ordinances already on their books.” Illegally. You know: in contravention of the law. Which was a good thing, apparently . . .
That is about to change under a new law, passed in June by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Local governments could face penalties of $100,000 for not dropping their gun control laws. Local officials could face a $5,000 fine and possible removal from office. And court costs are explicitly denied for local officials if they are sued by gun owners under the new law.
Cities like St. Petersburg are rushing to repeal sensible ordinances against firing guns in the city limits. Other communities are busy spiking bans on carrying guns into public parks. They must also repeal their authority to suspend gun and ammunition sales during public emergencies. “We’re not allowed to have bows and arrows or slingshots in a park, but we can have a gun,” a town council member in Oldsmar said to The St. Petersburg Times.
Sensible, schmensible. As I said before, under Sunshine State law, these ordinances are illegal. If voters want to make them legal again, they can do so through something called the democratic process. Reading their copy carefully, I reckon the Times just about understands that (as galling as it might be). But I’m not sure.
Even the Supreme Court, in its ruling that misread the Second Amendment as a personal right to bear arms, stressed that it was not casting doubt on a wide range of gun control laws passed to protect communities from gun violence. Florida’s voters will have to ask themselves: Did we send legislators to Tallahassee to protect the gun lobby or to represent all Floridians?
As far as the U.S. Supreme Court “misreading” the Second Amendment as a personal right, Dudes, it’s time to let that one go. The Court has ruled not once but twice in recent history–Heller and McDonald—that the 2A is an individual right like, oh, all the other rights in the so-called Bill of Rights. And they did so clearly.
The Gray Lady should get with the program. And the next time someone second guesses the Supremes, I don’t want to hear them lecturing us (in that condescending tone of yours) about “established case law.” But you know they will . . .