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Nancy Smith

The Political Opportunism of Orlando: Democrats, Call off the Dogs

June 15, 2016 - 6:00am

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 nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

Comments

You can make stuff up if you want Nancy by come nov when trump, the Republican party are even lower that the 70 +80% disapproval ratings they now have, we'll see who is laughing as you destroy yourselves. Trump has shown how low your morals are. You get what you plant. Planting hate and fear is coming home to roost. Have fun with it.

GO TRUMP!!

Scott, Bondi, Rubio, oh my!! Nancy sure told them. Especially since they lost so many court cases they brought against gays and their rights. And Bondi claiming she was just doing her job defending the indefenseable, unconstitutional hate based right wing agenda..

Yes, Nancy, we are disgusted . . . . . . . disgusted at your complete inability to take to task Donald Trump for not waiting even a day before making this political . . . . . . . . . SSN's "Nothing to see over here on the GOP side - Look over there!" spin attempts . . . . . . . sad . . . . . . and more than a little . . . . . PATHETIC . . . .

Whoo I dare say you protest way to much..the other crappy side is silent because they are ALWAYS on the wrong side of an issue by low life choice..silence is golden, go DEMS.. and thank goodness you are feeling the heat.

A ban on assault weapons is not the answer. Mateen should not have been removed from the FBI Watch List. Without the Second Amendment the Constitution becomes a useless piece of paper and our freedoms defenseless.

A ban on assault weapons is not the answer. Mateen should not have been removed from the FBI Watch List. Without the Second Amendment the Constitution becomes a useless piece of paper and our freedoms defenseless.

You are demonstrating the same things you criticize. Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth. As an Independent voter, I am disgusted by the political pandering on both sides. It is an insult and makes us all look bad... A pathetic display of American politics in full display...

Both sides is correct, however is it her 'mouth' or butt!

Never let a crisis go to waste. They learned it from O.

Democrats pandering? Did you miss Gov. Scott and Pam Bondi's embarrassing press appearances? They raced to get in front of the cameras!

Oh My, Nancy. For a minute there, I thought you were leaning a tiny-weeny bit to the right side of things, but silly me. I should have known better than that.

There are a lot of Americans who believe the assault weapons ban should be reinstated. Trying to do that is not political pandering. It's what is needed.

5 lowest yearly deaths by rifle during Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994-2003 • 2002: 488 • 2000: 411 • 1999: 400 • 2003: 390 • 2001: 386 Annual deaths by rifle during past 5 years: • 2010: 362 • 2011: 332 • 2012: 298 • 2013: 285 • 2014: 248 Ah no to a gun ban!

Repub girl, There is not one 'need' for any automatic or semi automatic assault weapons! NO NEED! In Floriduh's legislation, the majority of Republicans should be ashamed of themselves, but particularly Pam Bondi and her Master, Rick Scott!

Yes, Mark... with politicians like bho and slippery hillary, we need the 2nd amendment right to self defense.

Now is the PERFECT time to AGAIN have discussions on the easy access of these type of weapons, that are not made for hunting - but for the sole purpose of killing human beings. There is NO NEED for civilians to have these weapons. PERIOD! Quit drinking the NRA-gun industry Kool-Aid.

Who are you to tell me I cannot own a certain rifle because it looks scary? Yes, I hunt with the AR-15. I let my 10 yr old nephew and 12 year old niece shoot it. The recoil is extremely low and is easy to shoot. Bad guy comes into my house I have 30 opportunities to get him! Learn some facts on rifles and quit drinking the antigun BS.

800 rounds in 60 seconds isn't hunting, and it doesn't "look scary." It is a weapon of mass destruction and should be limited to the military.

Don't ever call yourself a hunter. True hunting takes skill. Not just opening up a flurry of bullets on a defenseless animal.

Amen, but she didn't say WHAT she hunts!

The sad truth is that since the ban on assault weapons expired in 2005 in the United States, there have been more mass shootings here than our entire country's history before that. When Australia banned assault weapons 20 years ago after their last mass shooting, not ONE mass shooting has occurred there. The fact that as many or more mass shootings were at the hands of deranged individuals with NO ties to ISIS or radical Islam, this is proof that the culprit is that the weapons are easily accessible to the wrong hands; remember Sandy Hook, Charleston, Aurora, and others. If we don't bring this up over and over again when emotions are raw, nothing will change. It is totally respectful and necessary to speak of gun control now in order to prevent future mass killings.

Clearly, this writer is wearing her GOP blinders. Again.

The name Barac Hussein Obama says it all.............well that, and Climate Change being the greatest threat to our country! Stay safe and, Go figure!

Actually the name Barack means "blessed"; Hussein means "good" or "handsome one,“ and Obama, to "lean or bend.” I suppose that does say it all.

It's barac, the added "k" is a cute attempt to "Americanize" the muslim name.....

Don't know where you got that from. It's a Swahili word from the Arabic root باراك and is usually transliterated as Barack or Barak.

I truly love that those made up of nothing but ignorance, will blog here as though they knew what they were blogging! Kinda like Nancy Smith! GO TRUMP!!

The crime here is that someone with your obvious total lack of a brain was allowed to fly any plane, let alone a US (?) Airforce plane. What a moron (and of course fascist).

The failure in both this incident and the Boston bombing falls not in lack of gun legislature but a failure in our government agencies to recognize the enemy. How many times does it take when you not only are given the names of the terrorists but even interview them MULTIPLE times. Let's call this what it is, a failure of our intelligence and federal investigation communities. No law, no gun control measure, no political speech is going to make a bit of difference when our own FBI can't recognize the enemy when they actual sit down and interview these terrorists face to face on multiple occasions but still can't recognize them for what they are. They are either "hamstrung" by the political correctness of this administration or incompetent or a combination of both.

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