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You may have noticed that politicians lack a little something in the honesty department. In fact, the good ones will say anything to get elected. And then keep saying what people want to hear. And, if you’re lucky, they’ll actually do what people want them to do to get re-elected. (As opposed to, say, ramming through some massive, invasive, disruptive, hugely expensive, deeply unpopular entitlement program.) It’s called democracy. As Winston Churchill famously opined, it’s the worst of all political systems. Except for all the rest. But every now and then, pol’s pandering gets on my tits (as Winnie’s countrymen are wont to say). In the race for one of Florida’s senate seat, the Republican candidates are trying to our conservative each other; including the usual Second Amendment pledge of allegiance. As reports . . .

Marco Rubio and four other Republican hopefuls stumped at Central Florida’s largest gun show Saturday, courting a powerful force in Florida politics: gun owners.

Only one of them, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, seems to about as much of a gun lover as Brady Campaign prez Paul Helmke (who also depends on guns for his living) . . .

Attorney General candidate Pam Bondi and Senate President Jeff Atwater, who is running for chief financial officer, also made appearances.

Bondi said her fiancée collects guns, including some from World War II. The Hillsborough prosecutor said she’s had to carry weapons in the past after people threatened her. Atwater whipped out his permit at a concealed-weapons carrying course, while Putnam talked about going to many gun shows and hunting as a child.

“Without the Second Amendment, the other rights are words on paper,” Putnam told the Orlando Sentinel.

McCollum doesn’t have a concealed weapons license but noted he’s a quail hunter and owned a shotgun before it was stolen “a while ago.” But he affirmed he was a defender of the Second Amendment.

Oh really? Although McCollum is an ex-Navy man, and must know his way around firearms, I challenge McCollum to produce the invoice for the gun, evidence of a FBI background check, a police report on the stolen weapon, or an explanation why he didn’t report the theft to the local police (as required by the law he’s sworn to uphold). I also challenge the Florida media to request all of the above. Failing that, I challenge Florida voters to vote for someone else. As is their right.

Oh, and no concealed carry permit? Does McCollum have armed bodyguards? Enquiring minds want to know.

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  1. If I were a voter in the sunshine state, I would be less interested in knowing whether McCollum ever owned a gun than in knowing his attitude towards letting me own one.

    All this "I used to own a gun" nonsense has become the 2nd amendment equivalent of saying "Some of my best friends are black/Jewish/gay" – a statement that is supposed to establish the politician's bona fides with whatever group with which he is trying to curry favor, but which really says nothing. After all, "guns for me but not for thee" is almost a default position of a huge portion of the political class, whether they're packing those guns themselves or simply hiring out the job to a professional bodyguard.

    Didn't Mitt Romney run into a similar kerfuffle during his run at the Republican nomination?


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