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CARTER: Glocked and loaded for the GOP National Convention

“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?


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About Ted Carter


  1. But federal law doesn’t trump state law except in the imagination of federal courts. The federal government is a creation of, and subordinate to, the states. It can only legally do what the U.S. Constitution empowers it to do, which does not include gun control.

  2. Again we have emotional invective devoid of real analysis from Mr. Carter, and again his story contains not even the most tenuous ties to the state of Mississippi. Indeed, according to a 2010 MBJ article, Mr. Carter was hired to write about finance, banking, real estate, and economic development. Only by the furthest stretch of the imagination could one tie this story to any of these areas, and Mr. Carter does not event attempt to do so. Of course, one can see from this biased, poorly reasoned missive that Mr. Carter was definitely NOT hired to write about Second Amendment issues. If the MBJ wishes to let Mr. Carter publish public material regarding something that is not in his area of expertise, I suggest he be assigned a helper, as he’s quite obviously not up to the task.

    Regarding Mr. Carter’s cutesy line at the end invoking the “Wild West” and Detective Harry Callahan, one would think that the streets of any locale that permits the concealed carry of weapons would run red with blood 24 hours a day. Fortunately this is not the case, as concealed carriers are amongst the most responsible, lowest crime demographics in America. The state in question, Florida, enacted a concealed carry law in 1987. Obviously this was the last time that Mr. Carter checked for anti-gun talking points, because there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth then regarding a “Wild West” mentality. Instead Florida’s violent crime rate in the ensuing 15 years dropped over 30% and homicides dropped nearly 60%.

    My my, what wonderful things one can find with a few minutes and access to Google…and I’m not even a journalist!

    Additionally, Mr. Carter alludes to the Martin/Zimmerman case, which is currently ongoing in the state of Florida. Apparently Mr. Carter holds special information regarding the exact circumstances surrounding that event, in which case I suggest he contact prosecutor Angela Corey, as this would be very beneficial in her case preparation! However, a quick search reveals that there is an exemption for aggressors under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

    Again, Mr. Carter, Google is your friend.

    Poorly reasoned, badly researched, and obviously biased is no way to publish material, Mr. Carter, and I would suggest you do a better job before foisting such tripe upon the reading public again.

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