“Packing” for this summer’s Republican Party National Convention in Tampa has taken on a whole new meaning.
Grab your Glock and come on down – but don’t forget to bring enough 9mm rounds.
That’s the message Florida Gov. Rick Scott has sent with his warning that conventioneers may want to pack some heat in case they must stand their ground against protesters they encounter at the GOP presidential nominating convention Aug. 27-30.
Noting his concern about “anti-government protests” and “civil unrest,” the Republican governor said citizens must be able to meet such threats with force. “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,” Scott said in turning down a plea from the mayor of Tampa to limit firearms possession near the downtown convention venue.
The Tampa City Council last week formally asked Scott to use his executive power to temporarily suspend a new state law that removed all local regulation of firearms and lets residents carry concealed weapons into parks, amusement centers and other public places.
The council has already issued a citywide ban on items like pieces of wood, switchblades, slingshots, containers of bodily fluids and even squirt guns. A so-called “Clean Zone” around the convention area would prohibit string longer than six inches, glass containers, light bulbs, portable shields and gas masks. A smaller protest area would prevent demonstrators from having camping gear, bottles, cans and umbrellas. The Secret Service has said that only law enforcement will be able to carry firearms inside of the convention center, apparently made possible by the trumping of state law by federal law.
According to The Associated Press, council member Lisa Montelione told Scott that a gun ban was necessary to “prevent a potential tragedy.”
No – not all, replied Scott, referring the councilwoman to the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution.
Citizens and visitors to the state would be left unprotected from protesters without their firearms, insisted the first term governor, whose abysmal favorability ratings approach those of O.J. Simpson.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has said that the state law makes the city “look silly.”
Not to mention dangerous, considering that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows people who feel threatened to use deadly force, even if they started the altercation.
So as you head down to Six Gun Territory, er, the Tampa convention, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?