Florida Legislator Feeling the Power of the Parkland Students

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A Florida state legislator named Randy Fine is not going to be so fine after the student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School set their sights on him.

At a school safety meeting in Melbourne, Florida Fine said he planned to introduce three bills that would undo the Florida Legislature’s actions this year on gun control and school safety.

Fine’s three proposed pieces of legislation would:  

  1. lower the minimum age for buying a gun in Florida back to 18, 
  2. remove the three-day waiting period to buy a gun, and 
  3. make bump stocks legal again.
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Fine’s talking points seem to have come directly from the NRA.  For example, he stated that “the fallacy of gun control laws is that they work.”

Up till now Parkland students have been focusing their efforts on U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.  At the March For Our Lives they were wearing “price tags” with “$1.05” which they calculate as the price Rubio has put on the life of each student in Florida.  (Rubio has received $3.3 million from the NRA and there are 3.1 million students in Florida. So he got $1.05 in NRA contribution for each Florida student.)

But these savvy young activists know that statehouse elections matter also.  Gun laws are usually controlled by state law. And it appears that Randy Fine is going to learn the hard way that these students have a lot of power to affect political races.

On Saturday, Jaclyn Corin, Stoneman Douglas’ junior class president, found out that Fine, who represents the 53rd Florida house district, had talked about introducing the three bills to overturn the new legislation passed after the Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland.

Corin was the main organizer of a field trip to Tallahassee to lobby the legislature for the new bills, so she has already established herself as a force to be reckoned with.

She posted a tweet letting her followers know what was going on.

She wrote “Florida Rep. @VoteRandyFine is working on filing bills that repeal the firearm age raise to 21, waiting period, and ban of bump stocks in FL. #VoteHimOut #RandyFine”

 

Immediately after her tweet was posted fellow activist David Hogg retweeted it to let people know about Fine’s intentions.  He of course is the 17 year-old who brought Fox News to its knees and led a boycott that resulted in Laura Ingraham losing almost all of her corporate sponsors.

Corin’s tweets about Fine have been retweeted over 5,000 times. These young people know how to use social media to create leverage and political pressure on people standing in their way.

In summary, we may now have a situation where legislators are more afraid of the wrath of the Parkland students than they are afraid of the wrath of the NRA.  Of course, until NRA-backed candidates start losing elections we won’t know for sure.

There is a Democrat running against Fine.  His name is Phil Mooreand he also has been tweeting about Fine.

He wrote “I will continue to fight for gun laws that protect our students and uphold the legislation already passed. I stand by the students of Parkland. #NeverAgain”

These high school students have been a true inspiration to everyone. If they continue their efforts, and continue to get support from other people, they will no doubt be making actual change happen.