In an interview with CNN today, Florida Governor Rick Scott—an empty shell of a man so comically villainous that comparisons to Voldemort are unfair to Voldemort—defended Florida’s gun laws. In the interview, Scott was asked about President Obama’s speech where he challenged, “those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons,” to meet with the families of the 49 people murdered at an Orlando LGTBQ nightclub.
CNN asked Scott:
“Has it changed your views at all, this experience meeting with the victims and the fact that it’s easier to walk out with an AR-15 in the state of Florida than a handgun?”
Scott, always terrible with reasonable talking points, let alone incredibly bad ones, muttered something about ISIS before saying providing this insight, “the Second Amendment didn’t kill anyone.”
It’s probably no surprise that Scott, who refused to acknowledge that the Pulse shooting specifically targeted members of the LGTBQ community, would immediately rush to defend the “Second Amendment” (i.e. the right of every true Floridian to buy a military-grade weapon without a moment’s hesitation).
As the governor of Florida, Scott has never seen an NRA-sponsored bill that he wasn’t eager to sign. Almost two years ago today, Scott signed five pro-guns bills into law. By the end of 2014, Scott had managed to sign 12 NRA-sponsored bills. That year, the NRA’s Insitute for Legislative Action noted that Scott, “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” has “signed more pro-gun bills into law—in one term—than any other Governor in Florida history.” That was the year that he eked out the victory over Jeb Bush in the contest of which Floridian governor can do more for the NRA.
The contest is heated; Jeb Bush will forever be remembered for signing Stand Your Ground into law. But Scott also has managed to sign some equally insane gun laws, including:
- 2011: The commonly called “Docs vs. Glocks” bill that restricts doctors from discussing gun ownership with patients.
- 2011: A bill that fines cities and counties if they enforce gun restrictions. Oh, it also allows the governor to remove elected officials if they continue to enforce gun restrictions even after a fine.
- 2014: The “Yosemite Sam” bill which expanded Stand Your Ground by decriminalizing the discharge of a gun as a “warning.”
- 2014: The “Pop Tart” bill which protects kids who want to mimic gunplay at school or something.
- 2014: Two bills that fast-tracked concealed weapons permits.
In addition to these laws, Scott sides with the NRA and opposes expanded background checks and “universal background checks,” a proposal that would effectively close the gun show loophole. Universal background checks gained national steam after Newtown, but ultimately failed to go anywhere.
Scott also opposes the renewal of the federal ban on assault weapons, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1994. The ban, which expired in 2004, covered weapons with large-capacity magazines, like the Sig Sauer used by Omar Mateen at the Pulse shooting. It also applied to large-capacity magazines (again, like the kind used by Mateen) that held more than ten rounds. The Trace notes that many experts believe that regulating large-capacity magazines “would be a more effective strategy in limiting the carnage from a mass shooting.” Eight states currently ban some form of high-capacity magazines, but Florida is not one of them.
So sure, the Second Amendment didn’t kill anyone; after all, it’s an inanimate object, a series of words written on crusty paper, but Florida’s gun laws, and a Governor who is practically a lobbyist for the NRA, sure did help.
Image via AP.