Due to our friends, the NRA (with special thanks to Marion Hammer), last year the Florida legislature enacted a statute saying that all gun laws are the province of the State. Any counties or cities which had their own ordinances were required to repeal them and were prohibited from enacting any others.
So an interesting development has taken place. In the Meadow Hills neighborhood in Tallahassee, a guy named Lear is complaining about one of his neighbors, Cowart. Cowart is shooting squirrels in his back yard with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot. Lear says this is dangerous. Cowart says he only shoots squirrels on the ground, not in the trees. Lear and other neighbors dispute this, and say they are finding buckshot in their yards. It used to be illegal to shoot a firearm in residential areas here, but no longer. A slight oversight on the part of the State legislature.
So this year, the Florida legislature enacted an amendment to the statute, saying it’s illegal to “recklessly or negligently discharge a firearm on any property used as a dwelling”. When that happened, Lear complained again. And you can guess what happened. Nobody knows what “reckless” or “negligent” means. For the most part Lear is complaining to the wrong people. He’s complaining to local authorities. He did get one thing right. He complained (filed an affadavit) with the State Attorney’s office. You are always better off to ask a State law enforcement agency to enforce a State law.
For instance, murder is a State law. Local authorities are allowed to investigate and arrest suspected murderers. But only the State can charge and prosecute them. People, for the most part, do not understand how government works.
The State Attorney cited a State law that it is legal for people to shoot nuisance, fur-bearing animals which cause damage to private property. And Cowart says the squirrels are eating his wiring. (I wonder if anybody proved that?) So Lear lost again. For now. He needs to get to the right people with his concerns (the legislature). And just in case you think Lear is some kind of pacifist squirrel-hugger kind of guy, he is a Navy veteran and a member of the NRA himself.
Which brings me to the NRA (again). I hate them. If they had a lick of sense, as we say in the South, they would support reasonable gun-control measures. Instead, they have been hijacked by the all-or-nothing people. ANY gun control or registration is like the promise of some future Armageddon. They oppose all efforts to regulate guns, and operate on the Slippery Slope Theory. “When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns”. What about the concept of trying to keep guns out of the hands of outlaws? Granted, that will be imperfect, but it would help.
I decidedly don’t hate gun owners, or hunters. or hunting, or personal protection with guns. The people I know who own guns are fanatics about safety and aren’t fanatics about regulation, and are members of the NRA. They would NEVER shoot squirrels in their neighborhoods.
The NRA is in a perfect position to advise and help construct reasonable gun control regulations. Instead, their position is that no such laws are acceptable. (See: Slippery Slope.) Somebody needs to stage a coup. What we need is a regime change at the NRA.