Florida Fodder

  • Florida NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer is, of course, against any state assault weapons ban—but she doesn’t need to channel the Founding Fathers for her rationale. It’s economic. Any serious ban would put gun shops out of business. “Gov. Rick Scott and Enterprise Florida solicited and offered significant financial incentives to gun manufacturers to come to Florida to bring more jobs,” explained Hammer. Oh. And that campaign—representing warped priorities more than pro-business marketing–is what prompted Colt Manufacturing Co. and Kalashnikov USA, among others, to take advantage of our notorious gun culture and NRA fealty to relocate here. As if that wasn’t incentive enough. There are now more than 700 firearms manufacturing license-holders in the Gunshine State.  

And as for the economic hit, what of the impact occasioned by a mass shooting? What of the medical costs and police-response expenses and lost wages? But more to the point, what of the sheer cost of human lives—and the terror toll exacted on communities, such as Orlando and Plantation? That’s who really need lobbyists, not the gun manufacturers industrial complex.

  • Talk about sustainable travel options. The new Visit Florida “eco” web page is now informing visitors of Florida’s eco-friendly attractions—and how to help with more than their direct economic impact. As in a hands-on, eco-friendly volunteer stint. The message couldn’t be more timely, pragmatic or progressive. Helping to preserve the environment helps to preserve the tourist-dependent economy. And while this is Florida’s economy, it’s everybody’s environment. If it isn’t sustainable, everybody loses.
  • Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, was spot on in his inclusive take on America’s deadly shootings. “The conversation we are having about gun violence is so important,” he said, “but it is my sincere hope that we as a country will also give a damn about what is happening in communities of color when it comes to gun violence.” It’s a valid point, and one easily glossed over when the news cycles are dominated by high-profile, racist and anti-immigrant mass murders. As if what happens in certain inner cities is just another day at the urban battleground. To wit: Two weekends ago there were 32 separate shooting incidents—leaving seven dead—in Chicago. The victims and shooters were black. It was largely the work of gangbangersnot neo-Nazis and other white nationalists. It was all-too-familiar inner-city carnage and disfunction. Maybe “Black Lives Matter” can take up the cause—and not be selective about context.  
  • Somebody, presumably, has to co-chair Trump’s Hispanic outreach campaign; too bad it’s Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez.

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