My take: Sarasota city manager learns a hard lesson about regulating firearms in Florida

The next time Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin decides to regulate firearms or write firearms policy, he should run his ideas by the city attorney first. It would certainly save a lot of time, energy and, most importantly, taxpayer dollars.

At the Sarasota City Commission hearing Monday night, before Barwin’s “assault weapon” ban resolution was even debated — before one member of the public had a chance to comment — Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier told the commission that Barwins’ proposal would likely violate Florida’s powerful preemption statute, which states that only the Florida legislature can regulate firearms.

Fournier also told the commissioners that if they violated the preemption statute, they could be sued, fined, removed from office and forced

Sarasota City Manager Thomas Barwin

Sarasota City Manager Thomas Barwin

to pay for their legal defense with their own money.

“I wouldn’t recommend that you take action,” Fournier said of Barwin’s resolution, which called on state and/or federal officials to ban “assault weapons” from the public, while allowing police access to the guns.

Barwin was dumbfounded.

“I find this to be completely incredible,” Barwin said to the city attorney. “You’re not passing a law.”

Barwin had just got done telling the packed commission chambers that his proposal was “not on the agenda to rehash debates on the Second Amendment.”

He decried “bullying” from “special interests,” adding “I regret that the bullying is rooted in an industry and its lobbyists who have only one goal, to increase sales and profits. The bigger the gun, the higher the profits and damn the consequences.”

Barwin even acknowledged that the city commission had no authority to change state law.

Fournier was adamant, adding that if someone sued, “I think it’s going to be very difficult to get that lawsuit dismissed.”

“Does this prevent us from having a discussion about this resolution?” Mayor Willie Shaw asked.

It didn’t.

Public comments about the resolution were emotional and strong, and ran about 3-1 — pro-gun vs. anti-gun.

Once Sarasota resident, Matt Greg said that “the 49 people who lost their lives in Orlando, lost their lives to a radical Islamic terrorist. If you take our weapons away, you’re going to leave these citizens unprotected. What I do see is a City Commission that spends a lot of money on parking meters and roundabouts, rather than on a police department that will try to defend us. You have no right to tell us that we can’t defend ourselves.”

Greg said the “facts” in Barwin’s proposal were more “Facebook” than “facts.”

“If you think gun laws are going to stop these type of people, you’re mistaken,” said a man in an NRA hat.

Rick Peron, who said he joined the U. S. Marine Corps at 17 after emigrating from Cuba, said “The Boston bomber used a pressure cooker. Did we ban pressure cookers? If you want to use your political position to help your community, 22 veterans are dying every day.”

Mike Young, owner of Sarasota’s Young Guns and Safety, told the commission that the Second Amendment doesn’t specify the type of weapons that are allowed.

“I get to choose what I want to use,” he said. “And the Second Amendment is not about hunting. It’s about the right to defend yourself and your freedom.”

Banning guns because of the way they look is “political eyewash,” Young said, adding. “There’s no such thing as assault weapons. There are assault people.”

Fran Misantone, owner of The Bullet Hole, said he recently loaded a firearm at his shop and put it on the counter for a reporter to see.

“I defy this gun to kill anyone,” he said. “The only way it can is if you put stupid people behind it.”

Misantone, and several others, pointed to a lack of police in Sarasota adding, “that’s why we have to protect ourselves.”

Timothy Peter Graham, a Sarasota artist, talked about an armed home invasion robbery of three young people in Sarasota, in which the suspects bound the victims and took a woman into a bathroom to commit a rape.

“Luckily, a guy in the back room had an AK-47, fully loaded and ready to go,” Graham said. “They had a handgun, He had an AK. It scared the crap out of them and they ran out. In a situation like that, that AK-47 saved those girls from getting raped, and that was here in Sarasota involving people I know.”

After public comments ended, Barwin showed a video montage to support his resolution. The video showed clips of the Orlando terrorist attack from CNN, ABC News and Good Morning America.

“Let’s do all we can to minimize risk,” Barwin said.

The commissioners ended up being more concerned about their personal risk from lawsuit than they were assault weapons. While many voiced support for Barwin’s proposal, only Commissioner Suzanne Atwell voted for the resolution, which died 4 to 1.

Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie said the preemption statute “has tied the hands of this body.”

This statute has prevented us from speaking out on behalf of residents,” she said. “This statute says the action of the legislature is to occupy the entire field of regulation.”

“I don’t want to be sued again, because it’s hell,” said Commissioner Susan Chapman.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. I suggest we all remember each and everyone of these so called “city commissioners” and vote them out of power! This “Hands tied” hogwash; when the majority was clearly in opposition to the purposed “ban”! And yet again the clear fact that this sick terrorist S.O.B would still not have prohibited as he had his class “G” licence from the state!

  2. Niwit City Manager and City Commissioners. Yes, they all need to be voted out of office. Here, the failure was the FBI. The laws worked as intended. Political correctness caused the FBI not to fulfill its duties. As a result of its failure, 49 people died. So sad, but to have this body attempt to politize these innocent deaths is repugnant. So they blame guns, the NRA, Gunowners of America, lack of laws , and Floridas Presption Law, but not once to they blame the real failure – government.

  3. Government criminals trying to take away citizens right to bear arms so they can stick it to us while we’re unprotected.

  4. The reasoning behind the resolution was inherently and deeply flawed. Just a few examples are:
    1) The AR15, as available to civilians, is not a military weapon or an assault weapon, as it lacks automatic fire and burst fire capability.
    2) The AR15 is no more capable than many other rifles, broadly available, that have a more conventional appearance.
    3) The AR15 does have a sporting use in certain kinds of hunting.
    4) The AR15 does have a sporting use in medium range target shooting.
    5) The AR15 can and has been used in the lawful defense of homes and businesses.

    Barwin’s move to restrict firearms ownership showed a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem. It is a telling fact that every mass shooting in the United States over the past 50 years has taken place in “gun free” zones. Criminals intent on inflicting great loss of life consistently choose locations where it is known that the intended victims will not be able to defend themselves.

    The limitations in the laws of our State regarding concealed carry contributed to the recent terrible loss of life in Orlando by denying the victims a meaningful opportunity to defend themselves. This is unconscionable. Citizens should never be denied the right to defend themselves.

    In general, cities and states with the most restrictive gun laws tend to have the greatest rates of violent crime. There is a genuine discussion to be had over the assertion that more legally held firearms leads to a safer society. Mr. Barwin and the Commission should spend more time considering the facts, and less time with emotional montages from 24 hour news channels.

    • Citizen, not a subject on

      We need an amendment doing away with gun free zones in the gunshine state. Something along the lines of, since gun owners are generally responsible people, if you have a ccw, you can carry anywhere. Any business that restricts that should be legally responsible for your safety. Put up metal detectors and deny me entry into a concert, you’re responsible for what happens. On the flip side, if I get drunk and do something stupid, I’m held responsible, as it should be. We need to make good decisions and be responsible if we don’t.

      • paul vincent zecchino on

        Absolutely spot on. Either you can carry or you can’t; these no-carry, gun-free zones were put into the law as a sop to placate the usual tiresome special interest gangs.

        Beyond that, had one person merely thrown a bottle or chair at this gutless jihado-marxist termite, he’d have run like a scalded rat.

        Forensic clinicians and criminologists have long noted that mass shooters generally turn the gun on themselves when they encounter the slightest resistance.

          • paul vincent zecchino on

            All available reports state that with but two exceptions, every mass shooting since 1950 has occurred in a ‘gun free zone’.

            It speaks for itself.

            Thank you, Mr. Williams, for stating the facts as they are, rather than as the utopians wish them to be.

  5. Hard to imagine someone blaming the guns and not the shooter and the goals motivating the shooter. And the trying to disarm the next set of potential victims.

  6. Jay Boneezer on

    This is not the first liberal move attempted by these very same people. I haven’t been involved much with local politics, but has certainly been an awakening. We need to rid our city of these “leaders.”

  7. A majority of citizens would back this if it was on a ballot. But the pro-gun people are more zealous in their voices and give the appearance at public meetings that its not what the “majority ” want. Any one can put forth an “argument” that sounds plausible but when all the facts are viewed the right to be safe from a killing machine is as much or more important than owning one.

    • Carla M Mayporte on

      Let me know a better defense against a terrorist or a criminal with a gun than a gun itself. Drug laws don’t stop junkies from getting their fix, and gun laws won’t stop psychos and criminals from killing people. You can make a pipe bomb with PVC as a component; are we going to ban pipes now, too? Really though, if someone comes at you with a .22 or a .223, a bullet is a bullet and if you can’t defend yourself with something just as lethal, you’re going to be injured or killed.

    • “Au contraire mon pauvre Cherie” the Liberals are by far the most vocal on all of these matters. This isn’t a gun issue,it’s a human issue and there’s no resolution that can be written that will change that.

    • Citizen, not a subject on

      Obviously, since the comments were 3:1 in favor of freedom. Everyone wanting to ban and confiscate, I encourage you to be the first through the door.

    • paul vincent zecchino on

      Bull. Pure, utter bull.

      The majority of citizens have at long last seen thru the communist ‘gun control’ scam, they’re on to the gag are in no mood to play along.

      They know that gun-rights states have less crime than gun-ban states.

      And they know that this attack in Orlando was not about ‘lax gun laws’ or ‘institutionalized white bigotry’ or any other of your BS leftist straw man slogans.

      The American people have done the research, looked into this gutless moron’s background and know this was a jihado-marxist attack on innocent Americans – for who you nicely express not one whit of empathy, typical of the Left – and they are no longer fooled.

      They know that the political Elites are allowing these attacks to occur, if not outright instigating them, to ‘create pressure for gun control’, in order to make the world safe for tyranny.

  8. Megan in Sarasota on

    Assault weaponry is not needed for protection and should be banned it’s unfathomable that the public is allowed to buy them why would anyone want a terrorist to get hands on any gun if they’re on a no-fly list why would you want them to have a gun if they cannot fly in a plane this wild wild west mentality that too many Americans have is resulting in a lot of death including a bunch of children just look at the facts look at Canada and Great Britain and their low rate of homicides with guns because they have strict gun control laws these are the facts the Second Amendment and all amendments are broadly written and we people and the Supreme Court needs to make some better decisions about defining the Second Amendment the 2nd Amendment was written by people not God we have the First Amendment to and yet you’re not lawfully able to say anything you want you can’t yell fire in a movie theater the same rule applies to the Second Amendment you should be able to get any gun you want it just makes sense those that oppose gun control are either profit orientated like the NRA or are inhibited insecure people that feel they need to have a gun strapped to them in their lifetime will never use a gun to protect themselves

      • Megan: An assault weapon is a FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPON meaning that the weapon continuously fires as the trigger is depressed until the magazine is empty…(without a license), its against the law to own a FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPON…..A “SEMI AUTOMATIC” WEAPON is one that requires the trigger to be released then re depressed to fire a bullet each time….Get your facts straight BEFORE you comment because what was used was a semi automatic weapon not a fully automatic weapon

      • paul vincent zecchino on

        Educate yourself. By so doing, next time you post, you won’t sound quite so uninformed.

        It’s called the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs.

        Communists have a bill of needs, works nicely in Cuba, where only castroite goons can roam about with guns, the better to eliminate enemies of the state.

        Wake up, it’s much later than you think.

    • Megan, precisely how do you explain the continued growth rate in the use of illegal drugs when there are specific laws in place prohibiting it? What could possibly make you think that banning these guns would stop anyone bent on using one, from getting one? I’ve never used an illegal drug in my life…yet I am confident that with a few bucks and the will to do it, I could go buy some heroin within a few hours. Please explain your thought process because you have plenty of emotion backed up by a complete lack of sense…

  9. Common Sense on

    The NRA is a terrorist organization holding the majority of Americans hostage by its stranglehold on a small group of politicians. The two party system has failed this country – we need 20 more parties to decentralize power and gut the NRA of its power.

    It’s a fact that communities with more guns suffer more gun violence and death. Guns put people at risk, not the other way around. Our nation’s doctors have been pushing for sensible gun regulation for years but sadly the AMA loses out to the NRA every time. Shame on us for allowing this to continue.

    • Doctors kill more 50 times more people every year through malpractice than murderers do with guns. Let’s take a little walk along the path of reality when we look at who to take advice from.

    • The AMA is there to do no harm not to push political agendas. The NRA and gun enthusiasts (Which FYI I’m not) are not the issue. The issue is monitoring of the Internet more aggressively and not giving comfort to these terrorist animals by disarming honest citizens.

    • paul vincent zecchino on

      The Stupid Seventies are on the line, they want their anti-gun slogans back.

      When shall we say you might be inclined to return them? They’re long debunked, proven to be nothing more than moralistic, scolding carny shills.

      And they’re so old, they’ve moss growing on their north sides.

      Were you aware that NRA instructors train police in the safe handling of firearms?

      Perhaps next time you need the police, you might instead call Sarah Brady. Or the arrogant one.

      Surely, they’ll rush to the rescue. Surely.

    • So, to use your paradigm, reduction of gun availability cuts violent crime? Look to Europe. True, countries with bans on guns have fewer gun deaths, HOWEVER… Look at stabbings, blunt traumas, bombings, etc.
      In your eutopia, Hadji the madman starts shooting, you duck your head and hope response times are faster than it takes Hadji to punch your ticket….good plan

  10. I thank Tom Barwin for his leadership, to get people to stop killing each other and make our community safer. I know there are many who oppose this, but I encourage him and all responsible adults to continue unceasing efforts to stem the carnage due to these weapons.

    Here’s my suggestion: Instead of the resolution asking the state and federal governments to ban these weapons, let’s change it to a resolution asking the state and federal governments to use their law making and law enforcement powers to stop the murder and mayhem caused with these weapons. The NRA wouldn’t object to that, would they? Or would they fight for their right to their part in murder and mayhem?

      • Well, yes, Lee. But the resolution is only a statement, a symbolic proclamation, like other government proclamations. It just makes it clear what the city government wants. It would not be asking to make the mayhem and murder illegal, which, as you state, it already is. It would be asking that it be stopped, which is not happening.

    • I’d “Thank” Tom Barwin for his service too whilst putting my size 11’s on his ass to propel his butt out of City Hall. It’s not only not his place to create policy,it’s not legal either which I found out last week in 10 minutes after he mooted this vote. I wrote to Fournier and told him of the staute so the outcome was obvious as none of them would ever put THEIR money down on such a matter of principle!

    • I really have to wonder how people like yourself come up with these preposterous ideas? Have you ever thought through the data to seek to understand what actually leads to the majority of gun deaths and more specifically deaths by so-called ‘assault rifles’? Let me try to help. Per the FBI’s own data there are more people killed each year by ‘blunt trauma/beatings’ than by all types of rifles combined. Even so…let’s dig a little deeper. If you look at the deaths by all rifles, 80% are associated with gang violence. Gang violence is almost 100% associated with the use of illegal drugs. You need to put your energy and passion to work asking for stricter and more harsh punishment for both the sale of and use of illegal drugs. It is simply the cause of most violence, most illegal behaviors in the U.S. Instead of jumping on this fantasy ‘pro gun control’ train, stop and think…do the math. It’s really not that hard to figure out.

      • No, it’s not hard to figure out. No matter how many times the NRA folks want to pretend that our gun culture is not the main factor in our gun deaths and mass shootings, the data is indisputable.

        Criminals think that as long as they deny their guilt and deny it loudly and long enough, they are right, and won the argument, even when they are led away in shackles. The NRA folks seem to be of the same mind.

        • Ok you win. We’re all sorry for being such Neanderthals sir. Can you forgive our temerity to question your judgement over our own . I’m not sure why people advertise their credentials though in terms of LMHC as its not terribly impressive?

          • I hold no grudges. Forgiving is one of my best qualities.

            The showing of credentials is only to identify my profession, as most of the comments I make have to do with mental health and social issues. It’s done so that people know that my comments come from someone with mental health expertise and licensed by the state Department of Health.

          • Being forgiving is important I agree albeit not a license to continually transgress . I value anyone that works with mental Illness as its often a thankless and under appreciated task. That having been said I still disagree with you 100% !

          • Thanks, Martin.

            I agree, forgiving is not an OK’ing of transgression, or an allowance of it. Transgressions need to be stopped post haste. Forgiving is letting go of grudges, not punishing. We can incapacitate without hate.

        • paul vincent zecchino on

          Bill –

          You do realize that regurgitating shopworn anti-NRA slogans from the ’70s no longer works, don’t you?

          Twenty three years ago, the Massachusetts State Police, not exactly a rabid pro-gun group, published its comprehensive findings on the ordinary rifles cynically misnamed as ‘assault weapons’ by Josh Sugarman, who hoped to ‘prey on public ignorance to’ build his anti-gun gang.

          The State Police found that so-called ‘assault weapons’ figure in a miniscule number of crimes and many more are used to stop criminals.

          Nice, the way the left in its reliably tiresome manner, continues to make this all about the gun so as to excuse the jihado-marxist punk shooter.

          This is not about ‘lax gun laws’ or any other leftist straw man. This was an islamist attack on innocent Americans, announced several days in advance.

          Government yet again failed to prevent the attack and people died.

          So the Left, always on to excuse hamfisted state failures, blames guns.

          And you think that after all these years during which the citizens have educated themselves and now see thru the left’s disingenuous rhetoric, they’ll still buy the gun-control lies? Why?

          Show me where gun bans work. Let’s start with Paris….

          And please don’t cite the UK, where crime skyrocketed after blair and jack straw grabbed the guns at soros’ insisitence. The UK doesn’t consider murder to be murder unless the perp is caught and convicted and sentenced. And multiple murders by one killer count as only one murder in the UK’s twisted statistical hokum.

          And let’s not get started on Australia, where crime is up three hundred percent since guns were stupidly banned by weak-minded capons doing the bidding of the internationalist gangsters who’ve long designed to take our liberty, property, and very lives.

          The sham is over, scales are dropping from citizens’ eyes. The reds had a good run of it, one hundred years more or less, thanks to the marxstream media, hackademia, and hollyred.

          Once people see thru the gag, they’re no longer disposed to play along with it.

          • paul vincent zecchino on

            Oh, so you’re sufficiently brave as to wade into the thicket known as comparing America’s crime rate to that of Canada’s?


            As and LCSW surely you’re aware that firearms ownership plays a miniscule role in the overall crime rate. Surely you’re aware of that.

            By all means, proceed.

          • It would be interesting to look at murder rates via all means, rather than simply “gun violence.” Death is death regardless of the weapon or method.

          • And you refer to a 23-year-old report about assault rifles? The AR15 sales skyrocketed after the Assault Weapons Ban expired a little over 10 years ago, and in the past few years, we’ve had an explosion of mass shootings with these semiautomatic assault guns. Everybody knows this. It’s not like you can fool people who read. You NRA guys don’t even try to use logic, you try to get your way with volume, and gin up your ranks.

            And talk about Islamic terrorism? All I hear is hate and blame from you guys, no talk about what to do that makes sense, like shutting down the jihadist media, keeping up the pressure we’ve been successful with. Heck, you guys even stop our preventing suspected terrorists from getting these weapons, Geez.

          • paul vincent zecchino on

            So when Mr. Mateen proclaimed his allegiance to ISIS and professed solidarity with the Tsarnaev Brothers prior to and during his murderous islamo-marxist terror attack, his statements were just made in jest?

            Those zany jihadis! They oughta have their own TV show, they’re so funny!

            So it really wasn’t a terror attack?

            You hear blame from ‘you guys’? You bet you do, the truth the Left can’t face.

          • Of course they were terrorist attacks. Who’s saying they weren’t? As I said before, “All I hear is hate and blame from you guys, no talk about what to do that makes sense, like shutting down the jihadist media, keeping up the pressure we’ve been successful with. Heck, you guys even stop our preventing suspected terrorists from getting these weapons,.”

        • paul vincent zecchino on

          “Gun culture”? Oh my. Yet another media chimera, the ‘gun culture’.

          Yeah. Right.

          What gun culture? Are they in the Yellow Pages?

          Do they have an office in town to which one might pay call?

          Same as ‘gun violence’, the only sort of violence to which the Left objects, all other forms of violence being just peachy keen.

          Because the Left wants the guns all to itself, for the same tiresome historically genocidal reasons.

          That’s why people have come to never, ever trust gun-controllers. Ever.

    • paul vincent zecchino on

      When you devise a method by which to inscribe morality on the human heart, get back to us.

      It’s long been against the law to shoot up a barroom filled with disarmed citizens.

      DId you know the bar was one of those imbecilic ‘gun free zones’ beloved of the marxstream media?

      Why do you think this gutless jihado-marxist rat chose the bar as a target rather than, say, the local VFW, gun club, or police station?

      Killers prefer their victims to be defenseless.

      As the two million Armenians about the wonders of ‘gun control’. Oops, that’s right, we can’t. Because they’re dead, slaughtered in 1915 by the Ottoman Islamists who first disarmed them to make killing them much easier.

      Gun control begets genocide. Always.

      The Left is hate. Revenge is its pastime. Genocide is its legacy.

  11. Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie said “This statute has prevented us from speaking out on behalf of residents,”

    Puhleeze, I don’t want an idiot speaking for me.

    • She is more than foolish, she’s duplicitous too which is why she’s known as Lyin’ Shelli Eddie after her taking LGBT support to get elected with 800 votes and then “Finding her conscience” and denouncing them after she got elected!

  12. Barwin should be replaced immediately. Not because of his political positions, but because he does not know his job. He very clearly does not understand Florida law. How can we have a city manager with incompetence like that?

    • Good point, we should have more solid residents—instead, the City pays a headhunter $50k to find this guy in another State—not knowing the community? Yep, I can do the job, show me the money !! Failed policies—we would do better having a bunch of Leprechauns doing the City’s work—hey, how about those parades down mainstreet—what do the bands do? the floats? Poorly lit intersection at Orange—-someone is going to get killed, and the commisioners who approved it? I would sue them till the end of time….

  13. Kevin’s suggestion should be taken up by all reasonable people. To disarm the citizens when the government (mainly the Federal government by not eliminating the enemies we are at war) is unjustifiable. We just had the most recent example of 49 innocent defenseless people killed. if a good percentage of the 300 trapped defenseless people say 50 to 100 were armed, the attack would almost certainly not occurred. If a few were armed, the number killed might have been many fewer.

  14. I live next door to an anti gun person who when the cops had someone suspected of hiding in our back yards asked when he saw me, “you got your gun?”….that type of mentality always forces the observation that despite your anti-gun stance, you will RUN not walk into the arms of a person with a gun when their lives are on the line….if you want to shut up an anti gun person ask “your wife and one of your kids is being assaulted. The guy is holding a knife to your kids neck. On a desk within your unobstructed reach is a gun or a phone for you to dial 911…which do you pick up?…you know they are going to say the phone (because they are trying to win an argument), when they do ask how (later) will you explain your choice to whoever is left to hear it?

  15. paul vincent zecchino on

    Another knee-jerk grandstand at the expense of citizens’ liberty and property which would do nothing, absolutely nothing, to stop criminals including islamist terrorists. On contrary, the jihadist thug ‘imam’ who radicalized the dead shooter was on TV last week scolding Americans that we needed more ‘gun control’.

    See it from his perspective: a disarmed populace is easy pickins for those who’ve long been crafting our doom.

    Americans are sick of this attack on their liberty every time government fails, yet again, to protect them.

    ISIS warned of attacks on Florida four days prior to the shooting. FBI and government agencies said not to worry, they were being vigilant and would protect the citizenry. Yeah, right. Bang-up job.

    France has the toughest gun laws in ‘gun free’ Europe, which worked very nicely to stop the jihado-Marxist goons who attacked the Bataclan club in Paris, right?

    And Massachusetts has boasted for forty years of its moronic ‘Bartley-Fox Gun Law’ which was passed in stupid, knee-jerk reaction to a couple of ex-Manson family imbeciles who tried to croak Jerry Ford and yet those zany Brothers Tsarnaev had no trouble obtaining pressure cookers to murder and maim citizens at the Marathon, did they?

    Not one of these obnoxious laws present or proposed will stop a determined killer, if anything, they empower killers by rendering law abiding citizens defenseless, and thus empowering the killer to prey on them with impunity.

    Gun control begets genocide. Always.

    You doubt that? Just as Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Castro, Hitler, Idi Amin, Mugabe and the rest of the Marxist clowns who give criminals a pass by blaming their serial crimes on innocent citizens.

    We’re sick of this, and this cheap, cynical publicity stunt fools no one.

    Good that so many great citizens of Sarasota who respect liberty turned out to defend it from those who would steal it from us by means of clever words.

  16. Brent Freeman on

    Hey William (Bill) Anderson. Here are the REAL & FACTUAL Statistics of TODAY in the U.S.A. For being such an educated person, I’m surprised you don’t do more research. If the firearms are the problem please explain to me why Switzerland is the highest ownership of firearms per capita in the world, every household is required to have a fully automatic firearm within it and yet one of, if not the lowest firearm crime in the world?

    • Brent, your comment is so silly. Switzerland requires people to have guns? Ludicrous. Even sillier to say they are required to have automatic weapons. Aren’t you embarrassed?

      And to point out that people die of other things more often is even stranger. You think that because more people die from other things that mass murder should not be prevented?

      • paul vincent zecchino on

        You can call Brent’s comment silly all you wish, but it won’t change facts.

        Switzerland requires adults to own firearms, that’s where we get the ‘Swiss Army’ in Swiss Army Knife from.

        In Switzerland, an adult may lawfully possess a fully automatic rifle, which is known as an assault rifle.

        Switzerland’s crime rate is very low.

        A few years ago, the Swiss voted to retain their right to keep and bear arms – America is not unique in this Right, more than forty nations have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms and their crime rates are lower than ‘gun free’ thugocracies.

        The Swiss were being persuaded to vote to ban guns and almost went along with the gag, until it was exposed that the communists were behind this ‘ban the gun’ vote. Laugh all you wish. You think I care? I don’t. It’s public record.

        The Swiss, upon realizing the usual communist termites were pimping the ban-the-gun vote, instead voted to retain their rights.

        Why were the communists in Europe pressuring the Swiss to ban guns? Because the Swiss Army comprised of Swiss citizens presents a formidable front to invading armies. Which is why Switzerland has never been invaded. Even Hitler told his generals to leave Switzerland be, saying were they to invade, within five minutes the Nazis would have five million rifles pointed at them.

        Funny, the way historical fact demolishes leftist agitprop.

        Please, by all means, laugh away. Perhaps you can toss off a few more glib insults and moralistic scoldings, the stock in trade of leftist propagandists.

  17. paul vincent zecchino on

    If semi-auto rifles are so bad, and banning them is so good, then why did the big liberals in government send thousands of the ‘under the radar’ to Mexico’s drug lords for the express purpose of ‘creating a crime wave to blame on The Second Amendment to create pressure for gun control.’

    If gun control is so good, why must you always pimp it with lies, deception, and the murder of American agents on the Mexican border, killed with fast & furious guns by illegal thugs? Why?

    We’re sick of defending facts. It’s time the anti-Second Amendment subversives were called to account for their serial fanciful tales, emotional outbursts, and moralistic scoldings.

    The gun-control gang has a lot of blood on its hands, always promising peace by rendering citizens defenseless, and laying the groundwork for genocide.

    Hmmm? Please explain. Use as much space as you need.

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