01/02/13 - Wednesday’s Topical Currents is with former New York Times reporter and editor, Craig Whitney. He reviews the long history of American gun control in his recent book, LIVING WITH GUNS: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment. Though his book was published before the Connecticut school massacre, Whitney says the rights of Americans to own and use guns can be preserved while also giving the public the right to live in safety. Over 30,000 die from gunshots every year.
Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been all over the news this week. On Monday, responding to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, he said all remedies must be "on the table" legislatively, including allowing teachers and principals to arm themselves on school grounds.
On Tuesday, after his comments had been reported widely, Baxley issued a statement that this is a time to respect the victims. "Contrary to media reports, no specific proposals have been advanced or filed by me," he wrote.
On the Florida Roundup: The tragedy in Connecticut hits home in what some people call “The Gunshine State,”as Florida has over a million concealed weapons permits, the most in the country. Do you feel safer? We hear your reaction to Florida’s milestone. And will gun control be on the agenda in Tallahassee?
The coincidence of two recent events has brought the issue of gun ownership to the forefront in Florida: the state has issued its 1 millionth active concealed weapon permit, the highest of any state, and the shooting of 20 first graders in Newtown, Conn.
Picking a fight with the gun lobby and legislative Republicans, State Sen. Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale) has introduced a bill that would substantially reduce the protections Florida's stand-your-ground law offers to armed citizens.
The law -- controversial because of its application in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin this year by a neighborhood watch volunteer -- allows the use of deadly force by someone who feels threatened. It also prevents police from arresting stand-your-ground shooters in many cases.
Gunfire on a charter school bus in Homestead this morning has taken the life of a 13-year-old girl. Police said the shooter was another student who is now in custody. Local10 News reported the death a few hours after the shooting:
The 13-year-old girl, who attended Palm Glades Academy, was shot in the area of SW 292nd Street and 137th Avenue before 7 a.m.