Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

'Gunshine State' Offers Mixed Reaction

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Don’t expect Friday’s massacre of first graders to nudge Florida in the direction of gun control, not even on assault weapons.  Washington is one thing. Tallahassee is something else.

Rep. Dennis Baxley, who chairs the state House Judiciary Committee, says the problem in schools is that there are not enough guns.

“In our very admirable zealous desire to make people safe, we created these gun-free zones, and we have inadvertently made them a target for this kind of activity,” said Baxley, R-Ocala.

Meanwhile in Washington, as The Palm Beach Post reports, some gun-rights supporters said the Friday slaughter of 20 children and seven adults by 20-year-old Adam Lanza had made them reconsider the wisdom of current gun laws. Most frequently mentioned: sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips and the unregulated sale of weapons at gun shows.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa saw it as a teachable moment: “We cannot tolerate this any longer,” she said.

The Tampa Bay Times quoted Castor as saying she hoped President Obama would follow through on his call for change in a speech Sunday in Newtown, the site of the mass shooting. She wished he had made a stronger statement, she said,  “But from what I heard in his voice and saw in his eyes last night, he is determined."

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.