Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
Editorials

Restricting the sale of guns to mentally ill was an obviously good choice


Published:

Judging by the polls, a majority of Floridians don't think too highly about the governor they elected a few years ago. By the time the next election rolls around that could change, though. We've had our criticisms as well, but he's made a couple of recent decisions that are good choices for all Floridians and both involve gun issues.

Scott signed a bill that restricts gun sales for mentally ill people. This was supported by the National Rifle Association, but he's taken a lot of heat from some gun rights groups who say this shows he's not a true conservative or some other nonsense for signing the bill.

"Gov. Scott has shown his disregard for law abiding gun owners and their second amendment rights by signing this bill," said Danielle Thompson, press secretary for the National Association for Gun Rights, based in Colorado.

Besides the NRA supporting this bill, so did the Unified Sportsmen of Florida. The bill cruised through the Florida Legislature with only one no vote. For any gun-limiting bill to do that shows that it's a common sense new law that just about everyone agrees is necessary.

Thousands of nasty emails have flooded the governor as he decided on this bill, threatening to not vote for him and to actively campaign against him if he signed it. Scott signed it anyway. We give him kudos for that.

"...The bill will prevent dangerous people with mental illness from being able to buy a gun," said Marion Hammer, a lobbyist for the the NRA and Unified Sportsmen, to the Tampa Bay Times, according to The News Service of Florida.

That's the bottom line here and it's an issue that reasonable people can agree upon. The mass shootings of late have been carried out by severely troubled people who should never have access to guns. At Sandy Hook, the guns used were owned by the young man's mother, but in other cases, the guns were purchased before the massacres.

Sure, people can gain access to guns if they want them bad enough, but the same could be said about drinking and driving and we have laws against that as well. It simply makes sense to make it illegal to buy a gun if someone has severe mental issues.

This is a common-sense bill but Scott could have vetoed it in the name of gun rights. He didn't and we're glad he didn't.

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