The Florida Senate is having a breakdown. What else can you call it when the members of the Senate just can’t seem to make up their minds, passing legislation and then rescinding it just 15 minutes later?
What makes it even worse is that legislation in question concerns a two-year ban on the sale of the AR-15 assault rifles, the kind of gun used in the massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida so recently.
According to a report in the Tampa Bay Times, Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens) introduced an amendment yesterday that did exactly what students, teachers, and parents across Florida have been calling for since the shootings that killed 17 innocent people, banning the sale of AR-15’s, albeit for a limited period of only two years.
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Miraculously, and against everyone’s low expectations for Florida politicians heavily indebted to the NRA for their campaign funding, the amendment passed on a voice vote that did not record individual members votes. Senate President Joe Negron assessed the volume of yeas versus nays and declared the bill passed.
For fifteen minutes it looked like the #NeverAgain movement had achieved a partial victory. Unfortunately, Florida Senate rules allow Senators to ask for a roll call vote for any measure passed by a voice vote. Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, couldn’t accept that anyone would be denied the right to purchase weapons of mass destruction and death.
He called for a vote that would require all senators to record their vote for posterity so the NRA would be able to see who had sufficient pangs of conscience to actually follow the wishes of their constituents rather than the lobbyists for gun manufacturers, and, less than half an hour later, the amendment was reconsidered.
This time the amendment was defeated, 21-17. Every vote against the ban was cast by a Republican. All 15 Senate Democrats voted for the ban, as did two brave Republicans, Anitere Flores of Miami and Rene Garcia of Hialeah.
For the benefit of voters in Florida, here is the record of everyone’s votes so you can target the NRA-owned legislators to remove from office.
Florida Republicans just dug their own political graves with this debacle of a vote.
The sun shone and all was right in the world for 15 minutes yesterday. Your votes can bring the sun back. Remember the names with the “N”‘ next to them and do everything you can to vote them out of office because they care more about the NRA and their blood money than they do about your life and the lives of your family.