Gun control

On November 4, I read two stories about guns used to kill. The first involved a pregnant female in the Tampa area that killed one of two armed home invaders. As is usually the case, after being confronted by a lawfully-possessed gun, both fled. She used one of those scary and terrible “assault rifles” (actually a semi-automatic AR-15 style of rifle) to do so. In doing so, she saved the lives of herself, her husband, who had been seriously injured by the gun criminals, and their children both born and unborn. Those opposed to gun rights ask why anyone “needs” an AR-style of rifle. Well here’s one answer.
The second story was about a 24 year old convicted felon that had been out of prison for 9 months when he killed a 14 year old girl in Jacksonville that had left a party. Unlike the female homeowner, he didn’t acquire his gun legally.
This gun criminal was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2014 along with several other felonies and sentenced to just 2 years 4 months. He was released in November 2015. Nine months later killed the 14 year old girl.
Unlike most felons, he didn’t kill a drug dealer or another felon. He killed a 14 year old girl that had left a party. Had he been locked up for 10 or even 5 years for illegally acquiring a gun, that girl would still be alive. I’ve written a bill to lock up these felons, which unlike laws like universal background checks protects the law-abiding while punishing the gun criminals. For the past 2 years I have sent it to our local legislative delegation and for the past 2 years nothing has been done. Twice I have appeared at the local legislative delegation meetings and asked for it to be filed, and it never has been. Once again, I have sent this bill to my representative, this time to the newly-elected Jason Shoaf. Hopefully a new set of eyes will take action where it is needed. I’m hoping maybe the death of the 14 year old will be sufficient motivation for the Legislature to act on this common-sense law.

Paul Henry