Treasure Coast Newspapers, Feb. 19, 2024


Critical and consistent thinking seems to be in short supply among our state legislators.

The same people convinced no one under 18 can be trusted to use social media without risk of harm are equally sure the moment young people turn 18 they can be trusted own AR-15s without risk of harm. The inconvenience of a few waiting more than three days for background check clearance is more important than near certainty of putting a gun in the hands of someone who shouldn’t own one.

My own state representative, Robert Brackett, has proudly co-sponsored House Bill 1223, which would reverse the prohibition on anyone under 21 owning long guns, put in place with overwhelming bipartisan support after the Parkland massacre by a 19-year-old. He also strongly supports a firm three-day limit on the time for background checks, which reopens the door to giving guns to those who should not have them.

Apparently, there have not been enough mass shootings by young people since Parkland or by people who should have been stopped by a proper background check. At least for Brackett and other gun-pandering legislators who seem to care more about guns than lives. Perhaps they believe that if they roll back commonsense gun-safety measures and more die, useless “thoughts and prayers” will suffice to assuage their consciences and the heartbreaks of the families of those killed.

Thankfully, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo seems to be on the side of sense, stating HB-1223 is a “non-starter” in the Senate. We hope she does not change her mind.

Good sense would also dictate the ironclad three-day background check time limit proposed by House Bill 17/ Senate Bill 114 is far less important than getting the background check right. After all, while giving a gun to someone who should not have it can lead to deaths, making someone wait for a gun does not.

Fred Grumman, Vero Beach