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Florida Schools, Guns, Life, and Liberty

Perhaps two Harvard Law School grads sniping at each other might not seem like a life and death situation. But when it’s David Frum vs. David French and the topic is gun control, then guns, life and liberty are all in play. As the Florida House passes a bill allowing School Superintendents to designate individuals to carry concealed weapons on school premises, the spat between the two last year comes to mind. Concealed weapons are a right in all 50 states but, as in the Florida legislation which will have to pass through an apparently not very enthusiastic State Senate, the details concerning the who and the how are far more rigorous than the headlines suggest. In the case of Florida, the individuals designated by School Superintendents will have to have military or law enforcement experience and undergo special training at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Essentially, its about having at each school, the type of protection that normally has to arrive in squad cars, precious minutes after any shooting tragically occurs. The one Subcommittee member who voted against the proposal, preferred to have a trained police officer assigned to every school in Florida instead.

David Frum in the Atlantic described the NRA as an organization that promises "to put the means of self-emancipation from a dangerous world right into one's own hands." Those are Frum's words. David French writing in the National Review reminded Frum that we cannot be totally reliant on the state to protect us, or our friends, family, and neighbors, from a dangerous world. In the divide between the helpless protected, and the proactive protectors, David French defended the case for the latter. Essentially, French is saying that the state has failed in providing a reasonable degree of security for the average citizen and that the problem is the state itself and not any specific policy proposals. And the corollary to that is that any attempt at state control over individual gun ownership rights is an attack on one's ability to defend one's family and home. That's hardly an optimistic, and hardly a moderate position. Is it a realistic position to take in today's world? One senses that Frum would love a lengthy and wonky debate on crime statistics and gun ownership in order to prove that the NRA's position is a mistaken one. For David French, the question is simple: if someone threatened you and your family, would you rely only on the police or as well take the decision to arm yourself? Increasingly in today's world, safety, rightly or wrongly, is seen as a precious commodity that, like any precious commodity, will be fought over, especially in terms of the means to achieve safety. While Frum may strike many as more reasonable, when safety is at a premium it may be French whose ideas prevail.

Posted by AllardK at March 16, 2015 9:31 PM
Comments
Comment #390612

This sounds like something from the Onion, or a Monty Python sketch.

There is a problem with gun violence. The country has at least 270 million guns. Other countries with similar media and cultures and no guns have no gun violence. And now there is concern over gun violence in schools.

What should we do?

(Cue Jeopardy music).

Hmmm. Let me think… (tapping foot)… thinking… thinking…

Eureka! I’ve got it! We need MORE guns! We need guns in schools!

What is it about Florida? Why does it seem like every weird story comes out of Florida? If there is something in the paper about a man eating another man’s face, guess where it happened? Florida! And if people are going to start carrying guns in schools… my god, in schools!… guess where it will be considered?!

Posted by: phx8 at March 17, 2015 5:31 PM
Comment #390621

phx8, I agree and can only manipulate the quote from the film Chinatown:

“Forget it, phx8. It’s Florida”

It would seem that the only solution for gun violence proposed by some people is well, more guns. I expect some would move for legislation requiring the issuance of a fire arm at birth mandated by law? Insanity.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 18, 2015 10:21 AM
Comment #390642

watchblog manager, unable to log in to post articles. Please email me. Thanks.

Posted by: roy ellis at March 18, 2015 8:00 PM
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