Florida Republicans were just busted trying to loosen background checks a day after school massacre

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It looks like Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chairman Juan Cuba may be the Paul Revere of Florida politics.

Early today, in the wake of the tragic mass shooting at a Lakeland, Florida high school that took 17 lives, Cuba posted an alert on his Facebook page that Republicans on a committee in the state capital of Tallahassee were about to vote on seemingly routine agricultural legislation that actually had a dreadful addition hidden deep inside the 98 page bill.

On pages 88 to 90 was an amendment that would loosen background checks for people who want a license to carry a concealed weapon.

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Instead of having to wait until the full background check was completed, if passed, this would have said that if the background check is not done in 90 days, they should be granted the concealed weapons permit immediately.

This would have been a terrible idea at any time but in the wake of a deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it was especially heinous.

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“No one should be granted a concealed weapons permit unless a full background check has been completed,” wrote Cuba, a native of Peru who worked on President Obama’s 2009 campaign and in the White House for three years before returning to Miami. 

“That’s just common sense,”  continued Cuba. “Please contact the Appropriations Committee and ask that they remove this language from the bill.”

Cuba then listed the names and contacts for every Senator on the committee.

“Because FL Republicans are cowards bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association,” wrote Cuba on Facebook, “they snuck in a gun provision inside the Agricultural bill.”

It must have worked, at least temporarily. According to an official listing on the Florida Senate website, while a dozen other bills were acted on today, consideration of the agricultural bill was postponed. 

It is unclear to what degree Cuba was responsible for at least slowing down the majority Republicans from doing the bidding of the NRA today, but the fact he tried makes him a hero.

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What is happening in Florida is happening on the federal level and in states across the country as the well-funded NRA lobbying machine relentlessly pushes for lax gun controls, and even works to make it easier to carry concealed weapons and to own ever bigger, more powerful guns and rifles. 

Most other civilized countries have figured out how to control the use of deadly firearms in civilian society but it remains out of control in the U.S.

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The only answer is to elect more politicians on the federal, state and local level who agree that while gun ownership is a right of every citizen, there need to be sensible laws that require the licensing of firearms and ways to keep them out of the wrong hands.

 

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Benjamin Locke

Benjamin Locke is a retired college professor with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Labor and Relations from Cornell University and an MBA from the European School of Management.

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