Is anybody else as disgusted as I am, watching Democrats race to erect their political podiums in the blood of the Orlando nightclub victims?
Good gracious, the 49 people shot to death Sunday at Pulse, most of them part of Florida's LGBT community, haven't been given funerals and a proper burial yet. The club is still a crime scene.
But that hasn't stopped Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, from introducing Senate Bill 1726, an Act Relating to Weapons and Firearms. It calls for a prohibition on the possession, sale, transfer or manufacture of high-capacity weapons in Florida.
It hasn't stopped Sens. Darren Soto and Geraldine Thompson, and Rep. John Cortes. They've called a media circus for Wednesday to announce their "tactical proposal to prevent future tragedies" -- and they're going to challenge the Republicans to call a special session to get it passed.
It hasn't stopped Mark Pafford from issuing an I-told-you-so letter under the bold headline, "House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford Calls for Action on Gun Violence." It's an attempt to lay a guilt trip on the Republican leadership in the Legislature, as if the deadly Sunday attack on Pulse never would have happened if lawmakers had listened to him.
Can't these politicians back off, respect the need for victims and their families to grieve before they grab the spotlight and shove their questionable agenda down our throat?
This play on people's emotions to win their vote isn't working for me. What I see is an administration and a presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton desperate to create the illusion they’re doing something to protect us because their policies, particularly their foreign policies, can’t and won't.
I understand people are angry, frightened and sick for the victims of this senseless and unspeakable crime. So am I. But a rush to create more slap-happy and/or ineffective laws based on emotion rather than measured study is just plain unwise.
Say what you want about the National Rifle Association, out of respect for the victims the organization with its tens of millions of members isn't jumping to the Democrats' bait. Except for one op-ed in Tuesday's USA Today, which was requested by the newspaper, the NRA is keeping mum, waiting to let the FBI and other authorities finish their work before it weighs in.
Nevertheless, what NRA executive Chris Cox has to say in the op-ed offers a pretty clear picture of what direction the NRA will take when it does open up.
"Radical Islamic terrorists are not deterred by gun control laws," he writes. "The San Bernardino terrorist attack wasn’t stopped by California’s so-called 'assault weapons' ban. The gun ban in Brussels didn’t prevent the terrorist attack there. And France’s strict gun control didn’t stop the two attacks in Paris, committed with fully-automatic rifles and grenades."
All kinds of polls the nation over, not just here in Florida, tell us Americans don't want more gun control laws. Look at the poll on the Sunshine State News Home page right now. Americans feel a strong connection to the Second Amendment and want it defined broadly.
As GOP consultant Rick Wilson told the News Service of Florida in a story Tuesday, "Democrats say this is all about gun control, and Republicans say this is all about Muslims. Now, the important thing to remember is that our society has largely made up its mind on guns. A tragedy like this, just speaking in cold political terms, doesn't move the needle. If people look at this as a competition between security versus gun control, security wins every time."
It seems to me this is a time to capitalize on the strength and good will that is slowly but surely overwhelming the worst of this tragedy. People who never understood the LGBT community, for example, have a new understanding of it and they're embracing it. I've seen it with my own eyes. Let's talk about laws we can pass that will keep that light shining.
There are so many reasons to hit the pause button on gun crusades right now.
Certainly the time will come to politicize what happened Sunday in Orlando and look for new ways legislation could keep Floridians safer. Maybe. We hope. But that time isn't now, isn't yet.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith