Sunshine or Gunshine State

Florida needs to tighten loose gun law restrictions.

By Jessica Ava Lange, Online Editor

In light of the most recent shooting in Jacksonville that killed two people and wounding 11 at a video-game tournament, it is time that Florida pass stricter gun laws.

“Since the Orlando shooting there have been 87 shootings within a three-mile radius and 392 shootings within a 15-mile radius around the nightclub,” according to the New York Times article, “On an Average Day, 96 Americans Die by Firearms.”

Florida gun laws make owning a gun simple.  In fact, the state issues guns to residents and non-residents.  There are no requirements for background checks on private gun sales or registered firearms.  Legally, a person may carry a gun in vehicles, state parks and restaurants. Guns do not need to be registered and a permit is not required for purchase.  License applications can be filed at convenience stores, and there are no restrictions on magazine size.

It is no surprise that another mass shooting took place in Florida on Aug. 26, and they need to follow in the footsteps of California Legislation.  California’s new bills, waiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, make it difficult for potentially dangerous people to purchase guns by putting a lifetime ban on convicted felons of misdemeanors, domestic violence as well as other restrictions.  The last bill would require California gun owners to take eight hours of instruction and pass a live fire arm test.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a law named after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland after a former student opened fire and killed 17 students.  The law raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 and extended the waiting period to three days.  Although this was an aggressive approach, more action needs to be done.

The NRA filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court, arguing that Florida’s age restriction was a violation of the Second Amendment and the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

The NRA claims that a 20-year-old single mother living alone should be able to purchase a firearm to protect herself.  It is absurd to take advantage of a potentially vulnerable situation and say that a gun will solve the issue.

This is another shooting that will make headlines for a short period of time and then simply be added to the list of Florida shootings.  While the victims of Pulse Nightclub, Parkland and Fort Lauderdale airport shooting will never be forgotten, frequent mass shootings get unfairly lost in the numbers. 

Floridians sweep these issues under the rug because residents would rather own guns than keep their citizens safe.  Guns do not need to be banned but changes need to be made to the process of purchasing a gun.

Florida has a serious gun violence problem and when it comes to horrific acts of violence this is just the beginning.