The student survivor-activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School suffered their first legislative defeat today, as the Florida House refused to take up a bill banning assault weapons:
With Douglas students in the gallery Tuesday, the Florida House voted down a motion to take up a ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 used by Nikolas Cruz when he killed 17 people at the school on Valentine’s Day.
The final motion vote was 36-71.
Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee asked for a procedural move that would have allowed it to consider the bill to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines. The bill had been assigned to three committees but was not scheduled for a hearing. The committees won’t meet again before the legislative session ends March 9.
McGhee said that means the bill would be dead unless the House voted to remove it from the committees and let it be considered by the full House.
An assault weapons ban would not have stopped Nikolas Cruz from murdering seventeen of his fellow students on Valentine’s Day. It’s worth noting that the last nationwide assault weapons ban did little, if anything, to curb gun violence. The reality is that evil people will do evil things regardless of what laws are on the books.
Kudos to the Florida legislature for refusing to bow to the Tide pod munching youths of America. Cooler heads have prevailed, at least for the moment.
In other news, a Florida Senate committee has endorsed a proposal to put resource officers in every school in the state. Remember that a resource officer is essentially a cop and a teacher. Only a little more than half of Florida’s schools currently have a resource officer.
The measure is expected to be part of a broader gun bill that Republicans in the Senate will release later this week.