Outtakes: Fewer Guns
Last Friday afternoon, two cars had a gunfight that ended near the McDonald’s at the intersection of Cervantes Street and Ninth Avenue. The McDonald’s and nearby Walgreens closed after the shooting as four men fired shots at each other before fleeing the area.
The gunfire started near A Street and ended when a Nissan SUV ran into a light pole in the McDonald’s parking lot just after 3 p.m. Two men jumped out of the car and continued firing shots at a black Lexus with two other men inside, according to media reports. The two men ran on foot into the Old East Hill neighborhood, and the Lexus left the area.
At his Monday press conference, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson implored individuals involved in criminal activity to pursue job training opportunities instead.
“I don’t understand why we’re continuing to have this,” Robinson said of this latest incident involving guns, before linking such activity to illegal drugs and gangs. “Economics is not a reason for it. There are opportunities that are available for you to take advantage of if you are serious about doing something else [other] than a life of crime that basically leads to incarceration or your death by shooting.”
After the shooting at a high school in Parkland that killed 17 people, Second Amendment advocates argued that teachers should be armed. The standard response to mass shootings has been more guns are the answer. Fortunately, no innocent bystanders were killed in the shootout in Old East Hill, but it wasn’t because of a lack of bullets being fired.
I expect to see our gun-loving state representative, Mike Hill, propose ways to get more guns on Cervantes. Maybe he will push to deputize and put guns in the hands of the half-dozen panhandlers that regularly populate the corners of the intersection of Cervantes Street and Ninth Avenue. With everybody packing, criminals might take the mayor’s advice and find employment.
Yeah, right. More guns have never worked. Keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people has.
Over the objections of the National Rifle Association, the Florida Senate is considering a bill (SB 7028) that would close the gun show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.”
Marion Hammer, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, characterized the bill as “nothing less than gun control on steroids.” Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee chair Tom Lee told the media after his committee unanimously approved the measure, “We can’t just sit by idly while our children are killing children and pretend this isn’t happening.”
Let’s hope Lee’s rational response prevails, and the Florida Legislature passes the measure.