Florida state Rep. Jay Fant, a Republican, is running in the Florida attorney general race. He accused his opponents of seeking to eliminate Second Amendment rights. In a series of tweets on Monday, Fant went after Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. Since the mass killing at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, Gillum has been demanding new gun laws.
Last week, after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot 17 people last week, Fant tweeted that he supports maintaining the current gun laws. State legislators in Florida plan to introduce legislation to increase the age limit for the purchasers of certain firearms. Extended waiting periods are also being considered.
Fant issued several tweets on Monday that Gillum is “using the DC liberal playbook to capitalize” on the shooting, “to push a gun control agenda. No surprise there.” Fant wrote, “We can’t let Andrew Gillum and the DC liberals win. The Parkland killer has taken away enough from us. Let’s not let this tragedy take away our right to bear arms too.”
“We were given these rights so the American individual never becomes second to American government. I join with all the law-abiding Americans who will fight to keep them.”
“Liberals on Fake News keep saying gun control is the answer. It's not. Evil people will break any laws we can dream up to commit their evil acts.”
“Giving up this liberty and letting the government ultimately be the only entity with weapons is a slippery slope toward a country where the government is more powerful than the individual.”
After students and anti-gun activists rallied in Florida over the Feb. 17-18 weekend, the White House released a statement that the president would support efforts to improve background checks for gun sales. In a weekend tweet, the president criticized the FBI for its apparent mishandling of warnings about Cruz, the mentally unstable shooter. The president said in remarks after the fatal incident that there should be a focus on mental health in deciding on gun laws.
On his campaign website, Andrew Gillum boasts that he is the "only candidate who has fought the powerful gun lobby in court and won." The website says that Gillum has been involved in a "legal battle against the gun lobby, including the National Rifle Association to protect a law that bans firing a weapon in a city park, where our kids play and our families picnic. Earlier this year, Andrew won."
The website says further: "To protect against this kind of extreme overreach, Andrew founded the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, a national coalition of organizations, advocates, and elected officials focused on fighting back pre-emption and allowing local communities the ability to pass local policies that keep their communities safe."
Here is a list of organizations that are partnered with the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions:
Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus
Healthy Babies Bright Futures
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
National Black Justice Coalition
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
Florida Immigrant Coalition
Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection
Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy
Florida National Organization for Women
Alachua County Labor Coalition
League of Women Voters of Tallahassee
No More Tears
ReThink Energy Florida
South Florida Progressive Bulletin
The City of Hallandale Beach, Florida (by resolution of support)
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.