Don’t Forget Your Shootin’ Irons, Protesters!

As you may have deduced from the Trayvon Martin saga, the state of Florida has gun laws intended to let civilians packing heat walk tall, the better to keep criminals, not to mention Skittles-eating black kids, in their place. But here’s an even more graphic example, if that is possible:

If Tampa’s proposed rules for the Republican National Convention are passed, protesters could not bring squirt guns into a designated protest zone.

But they could bring real guns if they have concealed weapons permits.

That’s because state law does not allow local governments to enact laws regulating guns, City Attorney Jim Shimberg Jr. said.

“Even if we tried to regulate it, it would be null and void,” Shimberg said Monday.

So I guess if protesters at the convention get riled up, they can fire their guns in the air in the classic Wild West manner. It does seem to be a language the GOP delegates would understand.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.