Four days ago, the Tampa Tribune first reported that Mayor Bob Buckhorn's rules and regulations for protesters at the 2012 Republican National Convention omitted a ban on guns, while water pistols, super soakers, air guns, paintball guns, explosives, switchblades, hatchets, slingshots and brass knuckles would be prohibited in the entire city during the four-day event. Now the story has taken on a life of its own, primarily as a classic example of how out of control Florida's gun laws are, and how betrothed Republicans and too many Democrats have been to the National Rifle Association in the Sunshine State.
The latest to weigh in is the New York Times editorial page. On Friday the Times editorial "Law of the Gun in Florida" details this issue, calling it a "lethal parody."
Tampa officials wanted to ban handguns outside the convention hall (the Secret Service has undisputed power to ban weapons inside the hall) but came up against the state law, which imposes $100,000 fines on local governments that try to meet such obvious public-safety needs. This lethal parody of gun control should be repealed, like the notorious Stand Your Ground law. But voters cannot expect common sense from the Republican-controlled Legislature, which is on a leash held by the gun lobby.