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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

So are you saying that the only reasonable action is the wholesale persecution of a religious minority?

Wondering how many CSC folks and previous pedophile priest were in the Pulse at the time of the shooting. When the names of the "victims" are published, the names can be looked up on the criminal sexual conduct list from the State..if you are interested.

Go look 'em up, you homophobe idiot!

You appear to have a hard on for pedophile priests, one get you?

PLEASE! Don't mention "Hard-On" in front of Andy Johnson, he's deeply attracted to 'em!

A comment worthy of the Westboro Baptist Church.

If not now, when? It just might require focus on how to remove the hair trigger from a ticking time bomb.

Dear N Smith Where is your head??? Donald the Trumpet is raving about Muslims like a young Hitler The NRA is being quiet because they are polite? Hello !! That is the last thing these money grubbing death merchants are is polite -thanks to them any wacko can buy a gun because the NRA has scared the Republican congress into zero votes on even the most practical action and you question the Democrats.. Are you on Mars??

I know where Nancy Smith's head is, exactly where it's been ever since she's agreed to lesson her personal self and draw for CNN! Unfortunately for everyone, it's well placed up Hersey Highway, where the SunShine don't!

Good one.

Is it true..the media and politicians are wrong again..it wasn't an AR-15 but a Sig Sauer. I wonder if any pedophile priests were at the "club" that night. Maybe the "shooter" was a previous altar boy?

Actually, it was an AR-15, single action, but multi ammo magazine, and a couple spare magazines as well. I understand the 'handgun' was a large handgun.

Yeah, I'm sure there are plenty of Muslim altarboys out there.

I see 'Andy' continues playing with his own 'Johnson'!

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