Rep. Fentrice Driskell
Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
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Rep. Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) is a hypocrite. As the Florida Democrat caucus leader, she has campaigned on a platform of equality. But in reality, she’s not a fan of protecting the rights of Floridians, and her actions in the legislature show it.

She states she’s for the passage of something she calls “comprehensive and sensible gun reform to protect Floridians.” But gun control in no way protects Floridians. In fact, it does the exact opposite.

The numbers don’t lie. We can look at the most crime-ridden cities in the country, and virtually all have something in common: gun control laws.

As a fifteen-year veteran law enforcement officer, I know what stops crime. Armed Floridians do. But gun control does nothing to stop criminals. In fact, all it does is make victims of honest people.

Two examples: the Pulse Nightclub and Parkland High School shootings. Under state law, both are designated gun-free zones.

  • 790.06(12)(a)(10) “Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building.”
  • 790.06(12)(a)(12) “Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose.”

Honest Floridians in both locations were disarmed. And they became the victims of violent criminals because of gun control. Murder has been against the law since Moses descended from Mount Sinai. It’s still illegal. But for some reason, that doesn’t stop criminals.

Worse though, “gun safety champion” Rep. Driskell’s actions in the legislature show that in reality, she is exactly what Booker T. Washington warned of a century ago.

Rep. Driskell is actively promoting the very laws that stripped people like her grandparents and great grandparents of their dignity, freedom, and their lives.

Like many other states, Florida’s history of gun control can be traced back to Jim Crow. After the Union Army pulled out of Florida following Reconstruction, bigoted Democrats regained control of the legislature and re-wrote the state constitution in 1885 to disarm freed black Floridians.

The right of the people to bear arms in defense [sic] of themselves, and the lawful authority of the State, shall not be infringed, but the legislature may prescribe the manner in which they may be borne. – Article 1, Section 20, Florida State Constitution, 1885.

As a result, segregationists running the Florida legislature passed a gun control law in 1893 and further revised it in 1901 and 1906. In each case, they prohibited the carrying of handguns and repeating rifles, openly or concealed, with the ex­ceptions for peace officers and persons licensed by a county commissioner.

The entire system was a “may issue” process in which the licensing authority could on a whim deny the issuance of a permit to any one of their choosing. Black Floridians were unilaterally disarmed because of this law and were susceptible to violent attacks.

Attacks occurred against individuals and against groups. One horrific example was the Ocoee massacre, where an affluent Black community in Orange County was utterly destroyed on November 2, 1920. What was so special about that day? It was election day, and the goal was to keep Blacks from voting. The FBI showed up a few weeks later, not to investigate the murders or arson, but only to investigate the election fraud.

No one was ever prosecuted for the violence and loss of life.

There was also the Rosewood massacre in Levy County where another affluent Black community was burned to the ground in 1923 under the false pretenses of rape.

The Rosewood massacre, remains of Sarah Carrier’s house. Black Floridians had their homes and businesses destroyed, and their land was stolen from them. No one of color lived in Cedar Key or Sumner in following years because of what happened on that first week of January back in 1923. The State of Florida even stayed quiet about the whole ordeal until the late 1980s and didn’t officially apologize until 1994.

On the individual level, numerous Black Floridians were the target of racially- motivated violence. One such instance is that of Rubin Stacy, a Black man in Fort Lauderdale who was lynched in 1935 after he was accused of assault and rape because he was Black. Instead of being tried by a jury of his peers in a court of law, Rubin Stacy was dragged from a Sheriff’s car and lynched in broad daylight.

Rubin Stacy’s body hanging in Broward County, Florida.

Justice Buford blew the issue wide open in 1941 when he wrote in the opinion of Watson v. State on the truth about Florida’s racist roots of gun control.

I know something of the history of this legislation. The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of Negro laborers in this state drawn here for the purpose of working in turpentine and lumber camps. The same condition existed when the act was amended in 1901 and the act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers.”

“The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied.”

“It is a safe guess that more than 80 percent of the white men living in rural sections of Florida have violated this statute. It is also a safe guess to say that not more than 5 percent of the men in Florida who own pistols and repeating rifles have ever applied to the Board of County Commissioners for a permit to have the same in their possession and there has never been, within my knowledge, any effort to enforce the provisions of this statute as to white people, because it has been generally conceded to be in contravention of the Constitution and non-enforceable if contested.”

Gun control has been used to disarm minorities in Florida throughout history. We should have long since moved past that in the Sunshine State in the 21st century. Legislators who claim to be in favor of equality should know that better than anyone.

Floridians of all walks of life understand what really matters in keeping criminals at bay.

Rep. Driskell isn’t really for the advancement of equality and freedom in Florida. Her efforts to keep Floridians from having full access to their right to defend themselves makes that clear. Floridians should call on Rep. Driskell to actually walk the walk of support for civil rights by no longer blocking access to firearms for people of color.

 

Luis Valdes is the Florida Director for Gun Owners of America.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. What a mixed up muddled up fukked up world… We’ve got blacks trying to hold their own down in the muck and whites calling ALL white people racist… What’s next cats advocating for dogs rights? Ford running ads for Chevrolet? Bangers in Chiraq pleading for more cops?

  2. Finally a well written Truthful Gun Control Article that takes the reader back in time and defines Gun Control. No matter its shape, matter or form or how much sneaky democRats try to sugarcoat Gun Control it is what it is.

  3. Yes, there really are people who like having chains around their necks and ankles. And sometimes you have to leave these people behind in order for you to become a free person. And then work with like-minded free people.

    • It drives me nuts that some can’t trust their own eyes!
      No dem does anything to help certain groups but boy can they pander when they need to.
      Are they stupid blind or both?

  4. “There is a certain class of race problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.” Booker T. Washington
    What a prescient remark by B.T.W. Reminds me of Coleman A. Young, late mayor of the City of Detroit, who made political hay for many years in the black community by baiting “whitey” while never doing a damn thing for his constituents. And… they just ate it all up.

      • Because he told them what they wanted to hear. Their problems weren’t caused by themselves. Someone else was to blame.

    • “There are many whites who are trying to solve the problem; but you never see them going under the label of liberal. That white person that you see calling himself a liberal, is the most dangerous thing in the entire Western Hemisphere. He is the most deceitful; he’s like a fox. And a fox is always more dangerous in the forest than the wolf. You can see the wolf coming, and you know what he’s up to. But the fox will fool you; he comes at you with his mouth shaped in such a way that even though you see his teeth, you think he’s smiling, and take him for a friend.” Malcolm X

  5. This story, and others like it, are a blight on the second amendment, history and justice. As well as the South. I drive through Levy County frequently. When I visit Mike I can see it across the Withlacoochee River from his deck. Over a bourbon. I digress. Yesterday I mentioned a deputy from my former agency. She will survive. Bad guy, four hits out of seven shots fired. More on that later. I also said my uncle was the last deputy shot (and killed) in the line of duty in our former agency. That was early post 1900. He was transporting a prisoner from a local municipality to the country seat. By train. He disarmed my uncle, shot him, and threw him off the train. Other passengers took umbridge. He was captured later and lynched on the courthouse square. He was black. Yesterday, was black on black. He’s safely in jail. No lynch mob. As I understand it, the deputy attempted to stop a stolen vehicle. A plumbing company’s work truck. Pursuit. He rams the deputy’s car. Continues pushing the patrol car back approximately thirty yards. Her air bag deployed. He unassed his vehicle and opened fire with a Glock Mod. 45 while she was in her car. One round above the vest, one below, two in the vest. He fled into the woodline. She exited her vehicle after deploying her AR-15 and walked to a residence. The couple took her in. They had heard everything. She instructed the couple on how to remove her vest and administer first aid (pressure on the wounds, etc.) Until EMS arrived. I understand the citizens were legal immigrants. Be careful. And remember the story of the Good Samaritan.

      • Possum, my mom has a photo of him sitting on an ox cart. It sits on a book shelf in her den. It was his patrol vehicle. He made his county rounds about every three days. Slept under the wagon during inclamite weather.

  6. “comprehensive and sensible gun reform to protect Floridians.”

    I’m not an expert on FL law but my recollection is the FL has for many year been leading the nation on sensible laws the FOLLOW the Constitution/2nd.

    • You’d be wrong. Florida is one of three states that outright bans open carry and passed gun control by Republicans after the Parkland shooting.

      • AND, Florida Senator Marco Rubio supports the confiscation of legal firearms without due process, also known as “Red Flag Laws.”

        Though I don’t live in Florida, I have been attempting to convince Mr. Rubio of the errors of his ways. Republicans can be as completely mule-headed as DemocRats in this regard…

  7. Somebody should remind representative Driskell that being owned by the democrat party makes her a slave. Driskell is nothing more than a corrupt shill for the political party that fought a war to keep her ancestors in chains. Despicable.

  8. Gadsden Flag, how can history be a blight upon itself? Both of the massacre’s mentioned by the poster are historic facts. Is it your position that they are not factual incidents that really happened? Are you perhaps insinuating that in a sudden fit of creative licensing, the poster added those unfortunate events as a fictional device in the hopes of attracting more readers like you did?

    Come now sir, did you think the readers here would be so moved by the family arc that logic and reason would take flight from our brains like a hunting hawk given wing to go eat? It is precisely why your ‘story’ smacks of the ridiculously absurd and puts the lie to YOUR words.

    First, see’ing how violent the ‘prisoner’ turns out to be, I hardly think a seasoned law enforcement officer would have designated this prisoner as non-violent. It seems to me that you are not at all familiar with the procedures and protocols as regards prisoner transport…even in the ‘early post 1900’.

    A prisoner capable of this level of physical violence would have been designated as suçh, and based on that designation would have| required at least two guards, armed to the teeth, and himself in shackles, leg irons, and chains so as to hamper his movement/range of motion. That number of guards would be mandatory just in case of this very situation.

    Now you say this fierce killer blaçkman with no weapons and presumably properly restrained then overpowered and disarmed your uncle, killed him, and unceremoniously tossed his earthly remains from the train and that the passengers took ‘umbrage’ at his less than genteel treatment of your uncle… I bet I can tell you what they didn’t take… One step towards the now ARMED and deadly dangerous negro who had just dispatched an armed John Bull so succinctly.

    This is also a reason why there is a rule of at least two, cuz now the violent offender is not only unsupervised, he is armed and everybody in that car is now a hostage or has the very real potential to be. I would not have taken ‘umbrage’ at the prisoner, I would have been pissed at the gross incompetence that just transformed me into a real potential hostage or worse.

    Now there is the matter of what happened next, did the fierce negro just retake his seat and wait for the next stop?!?! Unlikely. He knows he is on thé run and he just added the life of a law enforcément agent to his list of crimes so he will probably be needing monies… now wait a second… He has got himself a train full of travelling folks who has got what to be off a-travelling? Yup you guessed it pockets and purses full of money, he be real sure they wouldn’t mind contributing to his travelling fund.

    And how long was he in the can for again, how long had it been since he had been in the company of a woman? The Porter would be loaded as well… are we to believe that a criminal who had not hesitated to commit murder right in front of their eyes, and his victim an armed John Bull to boot, would be squeamish to rob and pillage? Or that after his ruthless murder he became a travelling companion Jane Austin would be charmed to share quarters with, mighty white of him to leave all those eye witnesses to huh… Or is it the case you are so full of it, your eyes are doodoo brown. How many guards on the 3:10 to Yuma? So no, I don’t believe you at all, I think you are a person who hates Blacks because that’s the ignorance you were indoctrinated with and you have no problem lie’ing to besmirch an entire demographiç.

    Here’s food for thought, all those blacks in occee were guilty of was merély wanting to exercise their Constitutionally guaranteed 14th Amendment right to vote. Anyone interferring with and/or attempting to deny them their right as espoused by the Supreme Law of the Land became federal criminals the moment that they did so, and as such those black citizens should have been able to call on the law enforcement agents too bad they didn’t have any…so all they got was massacred.

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