El Jefe

Sandy Hook Killings Should Mean Gun Control

For the record, the killing of 20 innocent school children in Connecticut was about the most horrible thing I have heard in years. The kids, of course, didn't deserve it -- and Florida needs to act. We are preparing to issue our 1 millionth concealed weapons permit next week. And we have blocked cities from sensibly limiting firearms.

One of the many outrages of these killings is that neither presidential candidate -- and I particularly fault President Obama -- had the balls to call for substantial gun control during the election. And U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who has changed the conversation on gun control by leading a series of Supreme Court decisions redefining the relationship between guns and the Constitution, is also to blame. 

This is a national tragedy that will, over the next few weeks, enter every home in the nation. Online petitions are already circulating. And the Florida legislative session is around the corner. It starts in mid-March. 

Stand Your Ground ought to be repealed or at least substantially overhauled. A law passed last year that prohibits good gun laws should also be amended.

The history isn't all bad here. In 1997, the state's Supreme Court hit Kmart up for $11.5 million after a drunk guy bought a gun there, then killed his estranged girlfriend.  

So call your rep. Talk to your neighbors, Make things happen. This is an important time in our nation's history. Florida needs to limit guns. 

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse