TALLAHASSEE, FL, March 10, 2015 -- A new anti-gun advertisement produced by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's astroturf propaganda efforts, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Bloomberg's attempt to sell Floridians magical elixirs to keep them safe amounts to little more than wishful thinking, wild imagination and frankly, snake oil.
Rather than addressing the realities of today's on and off campus life, the release instead touts a new initiative - "Backpacks, Not Bullets". It goes on to list the five bills dealing with school carry. Two of the bills deal with college/university campuses, and appear to be the focus of the Bloomberg release. Yet by combining the two disparate topics, the ad attempts to confuse viewers into seeing one issue - kids and guns together. That's right, according to Everytown/MDA, a 25 or 30 year old grad student is no different than a five year old who has just mastered the shoelace!
FACT: Adults are NOT kids. Colleges and universities are NOT elementary schools. HB 4005 and SB 176 would simply remove colleges and universities from the prohibited places list for licensed adult carriers, who can legally carry practically everywhere else in the state, and who do so with more responsibility than even law enforcement according to state government data. Licensees are prohibited by law from being able to protect themselves, yet the criminals who commit violent crimes on campus don't seem to mind the fact that carry without a license is a felony.
FACT: Colleges and universities are not as safe as one might think. According to the US Department of Education, 392 violent crimes (homicide, aggravated assault, forcible sexual assault, robbery, and arson) occurred on Florida campuses and in on-campus housing in 2013. Almost 400 felons didn't care that what they did was illegal, and almost 400 victims were denied the potential of avoiding or stopping that crime. And this doesn't count what happens in off-campus university housing, frat houses, or in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding campuses in the state. What does Everytown/MDA say about the safety and security of those "children"?
Just this weekend an armed home invasion attack took place in campus housing at the University of North Florida. The armed attacker was out on bail when the attack occurred. Despite being too young to have a concealed carry license, despite being prohibited from possessing guns pending trial, and despite the campus gun ban... The only people who followed the law were the only people who didn't have a chance to defend themselves.
This isn't about allowing guns on campus. Guns are already ON CAMPUS, in the hands of those who don't care about laws or victims.