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.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.