Do you have your tickets yet? That’s right, the Republican National Convention’s set for Tampa in late August. And Tampa in late August is just lovely. But don’t worry if you’re not a voting delegate with a ticket. There will be plenty of action outside the convention. After all, there’s so much to protest . . .
Let’s see, there’s climate change, the war in Afghanistan, Wal Mart, capitalism, the military industrial complex, globalization, Wal Mart, Zionism, the international financial system, patriarchy, big oil, Wal Mart and the latest firing of Keith Olbermann (the GOP had to have been behind that somehow.) Or maybe you’ll be there counter protesting, keeping the other protestors honest. In any case, whatever your cause may be, you’ll be able to stand in designated areas and air your grievances til you’re hoarse, of course. Or until the TV cameras go away, whichever comes first.
Just one restriction: you won’t be able to carry anything that can be thrown or used against any of the thousands of coppers who’ll be on patrol to keep the peace. But your concealed carry handgun will still be welcomed.
Not that Tampa’s mayor, Bob Buckhorn, is happy about it. The city government passed a temporary ordinance to, as abcactionnews.com puts it, keep “protestors or anyone else from carrying practically anything that could be used as a weapon or as defense against police tear gas, including shields and gas masks.”
The Tampa City Attorney intended to include on the list the most obvious weapon of all, until he was reminded of a state law that makes it illegal for local governments to enact gun restrictions.
“The legislature in it’s wisdom was right to put a statute like that in,” said NRA member and gun advocate Bill Bunting.
Oops. Seems Florida’s preemption law won’t let Mayor Bob take away anyone’s guns. Not even on a temporary basis. Not legally anyway.
No, the only people at the convention that will be able to stand between you and your gun is the Secret Service. They’re not going to allow anyone with a heater inside the security perimeter immediately around the convention center.
So smoke ’em if you got ’em. And tote ’em if you’re licensed. But only if you’re licensed because while there are some who say that Florida’s a virtual thunderdome of permissive gun laws, open carry isn’t one of them.