18 April 2012

Tampa Moves To Disarm Protesters (Not!)

Reposted from Jobsanger

The Republicans will be holding their national convention in Tampa, Florida. And the city of Tampa is considering some new ordinances to protect everyone during that convention. They evidently think the protesters will pose a danger, so they are prohibiting possession of some items during the convention, and even more in the designated protest zones. Here is a summary of what they are banning:

• Citywide, there would be a ban on carrying pieces of wood, hard tubes or anything else that could be used as a club, as well as water guns, super soakers, air guns, paintball guns, explosives, switchblades, hatchets, slingshots, brass knuckles, Mace, chains, crowbars, hammers, shovels, or any container containing urine, fecal matter or other bodily fluid.
• In the Clean Zone, the ban would be expanded to prohibit ropes, straps, tape or string longer than 6 inches, glass containers, ceramic vessels, light bulbs, padlocks and bicycle locks, things that could be used as portable shields and gas masks.
• Inside the protest area, the ban would be expanded still further to prohibit aerosol cans, camping gear, coolers and ice chests, fireworks, lasers, bottles, cans, thermoses, sticks, poles, ladders and umbrellas with metal tips.

But have no fear. While they have banned everything from paintball guns to water guns and ice chests and umbrellas, they have made sure that no protester has to go completely unarmed. Anyone can carry a concealed firearm -- as long as they have a concealed-carry permit. And that is not a hard permit to get. In some states, all it requires is the payment of a small fee.

Now to most of us, this doesn't make a lot of sense. Surely a firearm is more dangerous than a water gun or an umbrella. But the Florida legislature doesn't see it that way. They passed a law that denies the city the right to prevent people from carrying firearms -- even in areas where protests will be held (and other convention events where emotions will run high). I guess the legislature wants people to go armed to these protests. Why else would they pass such a dumb law?

Republicans do love their guns. Maybe they are afraid someone will show up with a package of skittles and have to be shot. That kind of thing happens in the Sunshine State.

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