In the annals of lawsuits, this one has to rank right up there with the old woman who sued McDonalds (and won) for making the coffee too hot and she was burned when she foolishly spilled it between her legs. Who’s suing who, you ask? The plaintiff in the case, the sue-er, is none other than the infamous National Rifle Association, the NRA. The defendant, the sue-ee, is the State of Florida. And why, you ask, is the NRA suing Florida? Because the State of Florida had the cojones to stand up and do something about the foolish free-for-all with guns that led to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, on February 14th. The State of Florida took the bull by the horns, listened to the grief stricken voices of the Parkland survivors last month, and said, “ENOUGH!!!!!” My hat is off, and my thumbs are up to the Florida State Legislature and Governor Rick Scott.
First, let us look at the bill that was passed by the Florida State legislature, and then signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott on Friday. The new law raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 and extends the waiting period to three days for the purchase of all firearms. It also gives law enforcement more power to seize weapons, prohibits the sale of “bump stocks” — devices that can be put on semi-automatic weapons to increase their rate of fire. The measure also allows some school personnel to be armed. The bill is too little; it is, perhaps, merely an effort to pay lip service to the young people who have made a valiant and determined effort to stop the madness, but still, it is a start. A small step. Small steps are better than no steps. A journey of a thousand miles, as the saying goes, begins with a single step.
The NRA had been on a long leash, obviously, waiting and knowing the moment was coming, for they filed their suit only one hour after Governor Scott signed the bill into law. Since when does a lobbyist group have the right to write the laws in this nation? Since when does the NRA decide constitutionality??? Since when is the NRA the Supreme Law of the Land?
The NRA claims “We filed a lawsuit against the state for violating the constitutional rights of 18- to 21-year-olds.” Seriously??? 18-21-year-olds have a constitutional right to murder? To buy and carry, concealed, a weapon that can cause mass destruction and take as many as 400 lives in a single 60-second minute? That’s right, people … the gun the shooter in Parkland, Florida, used on 14 February was an AR-15, which can fire up to 400 rounds per minute. And we believe that the founding fathers intended children age 18 to be in control of one of these weapons???
No, the NRA filed that suit because they were told by the people controlling their purse-strings to get rid of that law at all costs, for it might cost a few thousand sales to the gun industry. Might also save a few thousand lives, but hey … no big deal, right?
Personally, I would have liked to see the law go even further, to include universal background checks and a ban on assault rifles. And I would, again, have preferred not to call for armed personnel within the school. However, I still must applaud especially Governor Scott, for it took courage for him to stand against the NRA. Scott has previously had an A+ rating with the NRA, yet he ignored their threats and signed the bill. For once, perhaps, he put the safety and the wishes of his constituency above the corrupt gun lobby. And I also applaud the Florida Legislature, where 67 republicans with A ratings from the NRA also voted for the bill.
If Florida could do it, so can the rest of the states. Come on Texas, South Carolina, Utah, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota … get off your collective patooties, grow some cojones, and follow suit. Don’t let the NRA lawsuit worry you. The public, the citizens, the voters stand behind stricter gun laws, and the lawmakers damn well better put a higher value on We The People than they do the NRA. Most gun owners do not belong to the NRA. The NRA actually represents a very small group of ordinary people. Their bigger concern is the manufacturers and sellers of guns. Just think, if every state in the nation passed even the watered-down law that Florida passed, the NRA would bankrupt itself filing lawsuits against every single state!
I wonder if I can file a lawsuit against the NRA, for here I sit at 5:00 a.m., seething as I write this story, drinking my umpteenth cup of coffee and eating pretzels with peanut-butter, as my fingers literally beat the printed letters off my laptop keyboard. A rather unhealthy lifestyle caused by the angst of reading of the hypocrisy of the NRA. I should think that at the very least I could sue for a new laptop, as I no longer have an “N” printed on the key between ‘B’ and ‘M’.
This nation has lost its way if we place more value on giving guns to 18-year-olds than we place on human life. We have lost our way when lawmakers are actually unwilling to do their job for fear of reprisals from an unsavory organization like the NRA. Wayne LaPierre is not one of our lawmakers. We The People did not vote him into office, nor has he been, to the best of my knowledge, appointed to a judicial position. There was a time I would have predicted that the suit by the NRA would have no teeth, no chance of winning. Today, I am less sure. I think the answer is for every state to pass similar, or even tougher gun laws. Make the NRA spread themselves thin trying to keep up with all their lawsuits. I know of no other answer, for the members of Congress have already shown us that our wishes, our very lives, have less value to them than their NRA funding. This nation needs to stand up to the bullies in the gun industry … NOW!