It seems mass murderers here in the US, especially at schools, have become so commonplace that yesterday’s killing of six college students didn’t even make it to the front page in my paper.
When Columbine happened in 1999, it stunned us. The story dominated the news for weeks. Newspapers ran long biographies of those who died.
But that was then. Today, events like this have started to define us, even as the sickness of the lone gunman mowing down innocents for no reason or because of some paranoid delusion or perceived slight, begins to spread into other countries.
And our uniquely American logic dictates that we therefore must have more guns and be allowed to take them everywhere. So now, in my own State, the gun-loving land of the clinically insane, I am not even surprised by this:
TAMPA — If Tampa’s proposed rules for the Republican National Convention are passed, protesters could not bring squirt guns into a designated protest zone.
But they could bring real guns if they have concealed weapons permits.
That’s because state law does not allow local governments to enact laws regulating guns, City Attorney Jim Shimberg Jr. said.
“Even if we tried to regulate it, it would be null and void,” Shimberg said Monday.
Not that the city didn’t consider it.
. . . “It was just kind of common sense,” Assistant City Attorney Mauricio Rodriguez said. “We felt if we’re going to regulate people carrying sticks and poles, why wouldn’t we regulate people carrying firearms, because those could pose significant risks to police and other protesters.”
But later, city attorneys removed the ban on guns after finding that Florida Statute 790.33 prohibits local governments from enacting any laws on the sale, purchase, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage or transportation of guns or ammunition.
Passed last year, the state law allows judgments of up to $100,000 against local governments that enforce local gun ordinances. It also says local officials could be removed from office and fined $5,000, with no representation from the city or county attorney.
There is, however, one place where guns won’t be allowed. That’s the convention itself, and it’s because the U.S. Secret Service has authority to make the rules inside the convention, which is scheduled for Aug. 27-30.