Following the shooting on FSU's campus Wednesday night, Gov. Rick Scott released a statement saying that prayers were with the families and loved ones of the students and victims.
It was a timely release, one that every governor should put out following a tragedy like this.
The statement mentioned the bravery of police. It mentioned how FSU will come back stronger from this. It mentioned how he, Rick Scott, is a father and can relate to the anxiety and worry students' parents must have felt.
The one thing the statement failed to mention: that Rick Scott holds the record for most gun laws passed in a state in a single term for a governor.
Since Scott took office in 2011, he has signed 12 gun measures into law -- all backed by his pals at the NRA -- that include such measures such as the so-called "docs vs. glocks" measure that forbids physicians from asking their patients questions about whether they own guns and how secure the guns are. Ask a patient if they smoke? Perfectly fine. Ask them if they have a gun lying around and it's an assault on the Second Amendment -- even though multiple children have been killed with handguns in preventable accidents in Florida.
Following weeks of silence after Newtown, Scott's office released a statement saying, "Gov. Scott supports the second amendment. He will listen to ideas about improving school safety during the legislative session, but he continues to support the second amendment and is not proposing any gun law changes."
Under Scott's leadership, Florida has become the state with the most concealed weapons in the United States.
But Scott has friends in high places, particularly in the NRA, which not only endorsed him but gave the governor his own page on its website championing all the gun laws he's signed into law.
But, the NRA says, this is all due in part because Scott works to keep families safe.
"Governor Scott supports the Second Amendment, and works every day to ensure Florida families are kept safe," said NRA spokesperson John Tupps told Saint Petersblog last year. "Florida is at a 43-year crime low, and Governor Scott will review any legislation that the Legislature passes and sends to his desk."
"The bills that Gov. Scott has signed will make and have made an enormous difference," said NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida representative Marion Hammer. "These laws will have major impact on law-abiding gun owners."
On late Wednesday night, Myron De'Shawn May parked his car by the Strozier Library on the Florida State University campus. Armed with a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun, he walked into the library and began to fire indiscriminately into a crowd of students, hitting three, nearly missing a few others, and creating panic and chaos across campus. He was eventually shot dead by police after he opened fire on them.
Below are Scott's comments following the FSU shootings:
"Our prayers are with the families and loved ones of everyone touched by this tragedy. We still have a lot of questions that are unanswered.
"The police investigation will answer many of the questions we are asking today. But, just like any tragedy, the ultimate question of 'why?' will never have an answer that satisfies those whose loved ones have been injured or killed. For that reason, I am asking everyone on FSU's campus and everyone across our state, and even the nation, to pray for FSU today. Pray for our state - and every student and family affected by this tragedy.
"Second, I want to thank the FSU Police Department and the Tallahassee Police Department for their quick response in keeping this campus safe. Because of your hard work and training - your response time was almost immediate and the campus is once again safe for students.
"While our hearts are broken for the injuries and the loss of life that occurred here last night, I have every confidence that FSU will become an even stronger campus as they come together and heal from this tragedy.
"The people of Florida, and especially those on our distinguished university campuses, are remarkable people. Everyone on this campus came here for a dream. They are dreaming of bigger and better things for their lives. They have careers they want to pursue; businesses they want to start; dreams of building a family... and that all starts right here with getting a great education at FSU.
"I know every Seminole has the heart of a dreamer. And, every dreamer is resilient. I look forward to seeing the FSU community all across our state and nation come together and lean on each other in the days ahead. And, I know the unparalleled leadership of President John Thrasher will be vital to this school's healing and continued sense of pride and unity.
"In closing, I want to address the students on this campus: As a father of two daughters who both went away to college not too long ago, I can imagine the anxiety your parents are feeling today. Please take time to call them and let them know how you are doing. Talk to them about how this has affected you. If you don't want to talk to your parents, please talk to someone at your church, synagogue or one of the consolers being organized by FSU.
"We live in a world today that is always moving on to the next thing. But, I want to encourage you to take time and process the tragedy that happened here last night and not simply ignore it. This will ultimately be the most important thing you can do to move forward, grow stronger, and appreciate each and every precious day given to us by God.
"Finally, I am planning to connect with the families of those students still in the hospital and hopefully visit them there later today. We will continue to release additional information as the results of the investigation develop."
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