May 3, 2012

Rick Scott visits a gun shop.

As you probably already know, the GOP Convention is set to take place August 27-30 in Tampa, Florida at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, but what you probably didn’t know is that we might have had to sacrifice a little freedom to be able to attend.

That’s because the Mayor of Tampa requested Florida Governor Rick Scott to consider a gun ban during the convention.

Citing a heated election cycle and an uneasy politically charged atmosphere, Mayor Bob Buckhorn wrote Scott on Tuesday asking for an executive order that would temporarily override laws that allow people to carry concealed weapons.

In the letter Buckhorn argues that in the “potentially contentious environment surrounding the RNC, a firearm unnecessarily increases the threat of imminent harm and injury to the residents and visitors of the city.”

Governer Scott was quick to deny Buckhorn’s request basically stating that such a ban would be a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment: “An absolute ban on possession in entire neighborhoods and regions would surely violate the Second Amendment.”

Scott wrote in his reply to Buckhorn:

You note that the City’s temporary ordinance regulates “sticks, poles, and water guns,” but that firearms are a “noticeable item missing from the City’s temporary ordinance.” Firearms are noticeably included, however, in the 2nd Amendment. The choice to allow the government to ban sticks and poles, but not firearms, is on that the People made in enacting their state and federal constitutions.

Like you, I share the concern that “violent anti-government protests or other civil unrest” can pose “dangers” and the “threat of substantial injury or harm to Florida residents visitors to the State.” But it is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law. It is at just such times that the constitutional right to self defense is most precious and must be protected from government overreach.

Although disappointed, Buckhorn seems to understand Scott’s stance.

Later the mayor issued a few more statements regarding his denied request: “My job as mayor first and foremost is to protect the people of my city and the law enforcement who serve on the front lines…While I proudly support the Second Amendment and have held a concealed weapon permit myself, I believe this was a workable, temporary solution. Gov. Scott made his position clear. I am disappointed, but we will plan and train accordingly.”

In the same letter, Scott elaborated on his decision: “We have had political conventions in this country since the dawn of the republic…They are an essential means of furthering our constitutional rights to free speech and to vote. Our fundamental right to keep and bear arms has coexisted with those freedoms for just as long, and I see no reason to depart from that tradition this year.

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