Florida lawmakers apparently think we are in more danger from adult-film actress Stormy Daniels than a disturbed teen storming a school with an assault weapon.
The same day they voted down a proposal to ban assault rifles (despite pleas of classmates of those gunned down in their high school), the state’s House of Representatives voted last week to declare pornography a public health risk.
If you need another reason to be thankful you live in the metropolitan area, there you go. Is there any New Yorker, liberal, conservative or other, who thinks it’s less risky to face a deranged teen firing a semi-automatic weapon than watch Daniels’ “Big Busted Goddesses of Las Vegas”?
After the Sandy Hook school massacre, Connecticut lawmakers tightened the state’s gun laws, including expanding the definition of assault weapons and banning the sale of large-capacity gun magazines. The rate of gun homicides in Connecticut has since dropped to record low levels, according to state data.
In the weeks since the Parkland, Florida, massacre, Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a couple of reforms in state law, but nothing about assault rifles. Florida lawmakers this week weighed some measures, and on Friday postponed a vote on legislation. Meanwhile, the state remains intent on protecting its citizens from killer smut.
Am I saying we Northerners are smarter than those in Florida and other states when it comes to common-sense gun laws? Absolutely! The firearm death rate in Florida was 12.6 deaths per 100,000 population in 2016, almost tripling New York’s 4.4. Florida’s neighbors did even worse, with Alabama averaging more than 21.5 deaths, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
It’s not an accident. New York bans the sale of most assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, and keeps a database of firearms licenses.
As Florida lawmakers continue to ignore their state’s gun-death rate and instead “study” the effects of porn, one state official voiced disgust. “[We are] wasting our time with debate and legislation that declares porn as a health threat,” Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Fla.) told The Independent.
Yes, watching too much porn can be harmful to your health. But I can’t recall the last death at a porn shoot.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.