Democracy Dies in Darkness

Opinions

A rarity for the NRA: Defeat

March 8, 2018 at 7:29 PM

State Rep. Jose Oliva (R-Miami Lakes) is congratulated by House members. (Scott Keeler/AP)

IT IS now beyond doubt: The fearless student survivors of the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting are changing the debate about gun control. Proof lies in the Florida legislature’s vote for new firearms regulations and other gun-violence prevention measures.

The students didn’t get everything they wanted in Tallahassee, and clearly more changes are needed. But their victory over the National Rifle Association in a state that has long done the gun-rights group’s bidding was nothing short of stunning. Hopefully it will embolden efforts in other states — not to mention in Congress — for stricter gun-control laws that will help protect public safety.

Less than a month after the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that gave rise to the powerful student movement, Florida lawmakers Wednesday approved the first gun- ­control measures to pass in the state in more than 20 years. Among the new restrictions: raising the legal age to purchase all firearms to 21, banning bump stocks, closing a loophole that allowed gun purchases without completed background checks and establishing a “red-flag” process to remove guns from those seen as a danger. The bill was sent to Gov. Rick Scott (R) , but he hasn’t indicated whether he will sign the measure. As he gears up to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D), Mr. Scott is feeling the same pressure that was brought to bear on the legislature.

Florida lawmakers for decades, as detailed in a recent New Yorker profile of the state’s NRA lobbyist, have been under the unhealthy sway of the gun lobby. Some of the most extreme gun-rights laws in the country, including the first “stand your ground” law and a measure (later ruled unconstitutional) that barred doctors from asking their patients about gun ownership, were rubber-stamped by the legislature, while any bill that appeared to hinder gun owners never came up for a vote. So, as John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, observed, breaking the NRA’s stranglehold while the whole nation was watching is “a big deal.”

Given Florida’s sorry history and Republican control of the legislature, it is not surprising — albeit still disappointing — that lawmakers were unwilling to meet some of the bolder demands of the Parkland students, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. That the bill contains a controversial provision long desired by the NRA that would allow school personnel to be armed under a voluntary program shows there are still battles to be waged. Good, then, that the students have also become involved in voter-registration drives and are focused on the need to elect lawmakers, state and national, who are willing to represent the public interest and not that of the NRA lobbyists who fund their campaigns.

Watch more!
Members of The Washington Post Editorial Board appeal to President Trump and Congress to stand up to the gun lobby. It takes moral courage, they say, to back gun-control legislation and prevent mass shootings. (The Washington Post)

Read more on this issue:

The Post’s View: The public has spoken on gun control. Don’t wait for the White House.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: On gun violence, we are a failed state

Eugene Robinson: Don’t let the absurd ploy to arm teachers distract you

Marc A. Thiessen: Attacking the NRA is really attacking everyday Americans

{'_id': 'U1260914814259Nn', 'type': 'text', 'content': 'IT IS now beyond doubt: The fearless student survivors of the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting are changing the debate about gun control. Proof lies in the Florida legislature’s vote for new firearms regulations and other gun-violence prevention measures.'} {'_id': 'SF3VUN6DX5HVTPZMYFZNT3AAEA', 'type': 'text', 'content': 'The students didn’t get everything they wanted in Tallahassee, and clearly more changes are needed. But their victory over the National Rifle Association in a state that has long done the gun-rights group’s bidding was nothing short of stunning. Hopefully it will embolden efforts in other states — not to mention in Congress — for stricter gun-control laws that will help protect public safety.'} {'_id': 'Z4TYSZOYLFAEPMQTKMZBQD5D4M', 'type': 'text', 'content': 'Less than a month after the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that gave rise to the powerful student movement, Florida lawmakers Wednesday approved the first gun- \xadcontrol measures to pass in the state in more than 20\xa0years. Among the new restrictions: raising the legal age to purchase all firearms to 21, banning bump stocks, closing a loophole that allowed gun purchases without completed background checks and establishing a “red-flag” process to remove guns from those seen as a danger. The bill was sent to Gov.\xa0Rick Scott (R)\n, but he hasn’t indicated whether he will sign the measure. As he gears up to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D), Mr. Scott is feeling the same pressure that was brought to bear on the legislature. '} {'_id': 'FBQ5NPYXR5B7TFQKJFLJMTMFBU', 'type': 'text', 'content': 'Florida lawmakers for decades, as detailed in a recent New Yorker profile of the state’s NRA lobbyist, have been under the unhealthy sway of the gun lobby. Some of the most extreme gun-rights laws in the country, including the first “stand your ground” law and a measure (later ruled unconstitutional) that barred doctors from asking their patients about gun ownership, were rubber-stamped by the legislature, while any bill that appeared to hinder gun owners never came up for a vote. So, as John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, observed, breaking the NRA’s stranglehold while the whole nation was watching is “a big deal.” '} {'_id': 'MN46WA7U5FFM3LDNMMNZK6T464', 'type': 'text', 'content': 'Given Florida’s sorry history and Republican control of the legislature, it is not surprising — albeit still disappointing — that lawmakers were unwilling to meet some of the bolder demands of the Parkland students, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. That the bill contains a controversial provision long desired by the NRA that would allow school personnel to be armed under a voluntary program shows there are still battles to be waged. Good, then, that the students have also become involved in voter-registration drives and are focused on the need to elect lawmakers, state and national, who are willing to represent the public interest and not that of the NRA lobbyists who fund their campaigns. '} {'type': 'video', '_id': '19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02', 'version': '0.5.8', 'canonical_url': '/editorial/president-trump-end-this-american-carnage/2017/10/06/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_video.html', 'short_url': 'http://wapo.st/2xZUgwK', 'created_date': '2017-10-05T15:01:40Z', 'last_updated_date': '2018-02-15T23:52:14Z', 'publish_date': '2017-10-06T23:09:36Z', 'first_publish_date': '2017-10-06T23:09:30Z', 'display_date': '2018-02-15T21:00:00Z', 'headlines': {'basic': 'Opinion | President Trump, you can do much more to reduce gun deaths', 'meta_title': 'Trump Parkland Florida School shooting Gun control'}, 'subheadlines': {'basic': 'Members of The Washington Post Editorial Board appeal to President Trump and Congress to stand up to the gun lobby. It takes moral courage, they say, to back gun-control legislation and prevent mass shootings.'}, 'description': {'basic': 'Opinion | The Washington Post Editorial Board appeals to Trump and Congress to stand up to the gun lobby and prevent mass shootings.'}, 'credits': {'by': [{'type': 'author', 'name': '', 'org': 'The Washington Post'}]}, 'taxonomy': {'tags': [], 'primary_site': {'type': 'site', '_id': '/editorial', 'version': '0.5.8', 'name': 'Opinions', 'path': '/editorial', 'primary': True}, 'sites': [{'type': 'site', '_id': '/editorial', 'version': '0.5.8', 'name': 'Opinions', 'path': '/editorial', 'primary': True}], 'seo_keywords': ['opinion', 'editorial', 'guns', 'gun', 'obama', 'control', 'ebola', 'epidemic', 'president', 'president obama', 'shooting', 'gun control', 'sandy hook', 'las vegas', 'mandalay bay', 'mass shooting', 'rampage', 'health epidemic', 'semiautomatic rifle', 'AK-47', 'AK47', 'bumpstock', 'bump stock', 'bump-stock', 'trump', 'president trump', 'DJT', 'Jason Aldean', 'lone wolf', 'terrorism', 'EMT', 'hospital', 'emergency', '911', '"the bullets kept coming"', '"American carnage"', 'newtown', '2nd amendment', 'senate', 'background checks', '"Stephen Paddock"', 'Pulse', 'Sandy Hook', 'Newtown', 'Columbine', 'Texas Tower', 'massacre', 'legislation', 'gabby gifford', 'jared loughner', 'Aurora', 'Harvest Festival', 'Route 91', 'Route 91 Harvest Festival', 'country music', 'America', 'rifle', 'handgun', 'machine gun', 'ruth marcus', 'fred hiatt', 'jo-ann armao', 'jackson diehl', 'jonathan capehart', 'christine emba', 'molly roberts', 'lee hockstader', 'quinta jurecic', 'stephen stromberg', 'kate woodsome', 'adriana usero', 'australia', 'luby diner', 'San Bernardino', 'ISIS', 'Muslim', 'immigration', 'terrorist', 'mental health', 'mental illness', 'video games', 'second amendment', 'right to bear arms', 'constitution', 'NRA', 'national rifle association', 'Brady', 'Brady Law', 'Brady Campaign', 'Steve Scalise', 'Congressmen Scalise', 'Scalise', 'congress', 'congressmen', 'house of representatives', 'lobby', 'gun lobby', 'gabby giffords', 'mark kelly', 'Planned Parenthood', 'Robert Lewis Dear', 'Eric Harris', 'Dylan Klebold', 'omar mateen', 'adam lanza', 'chris murphy', 'senator chris murphy', 'Fort Hood', 'Dylan Roof', 'Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church', 'Mother Emanuel', 'AME', 'Charleston', 'Washington Navy Yard', 'Virginia Polytechnic Institute', 'Virginia Tech', 'Seung-Hui Cho', 'Amish', 'hunting', 'going postal', 'Luby', "Luby's Cafeteria", "McDonald's", 'University of Texas', 'bullets', 'gun-control', 'AR15', 'AR-15', 'AR 15', 'pistol', '.44 Magnum', 'Magnum', 'revolver', 'arsenal', 'assault weapon', 'war', 'casino', 'concert', 'shooter', 'debate', 'ammunition', 'james holmes', 'FBI', 'Federal Bureau of Investigations', 'Federal Bureau of Investigation', 'AK-73', 'ban', 'target practice', 'Parkland Florida', 'Parkland School Shooting', 'President Trump', 'Nikolas Cruz', 'Marjory Stoneman Douglas High']}, 'promo_items': {'basic': {'type': 'image', 'version': '0.5.8', 'credits': {}, 'url': 'https://posttv-thumbnails-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/02-15-2018/t_1518738728188_name_maxresdefault__1_.jpg', 'width': 1280, 'height': 720}, 'gif': {'type': 'image', 'version': '0.5.8', 'credits': {}, 'url': 'https://posttv-thumbnails-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/02-15-2018/t_1518726113163_name_headline.gif', 'width': 500, 'height': 281}}, 'owner': {'name': ''}, 'planning': {'scheduling': {'planned_publish_date': '2017-10-05T15:01:00Z'}}, 'revision': {'published': True}, 'syndication': {'search': True}, 'source': {'name': 'The Washington Post', 'system': 'Goldfish', 'edit_url': 'https://washpost.arcpublishing.com/goldfish/video/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44'}, 'tracking': {'in_url_headline': '06'}, 'additional_properties': {'trackAsPool': False, 'subsection': 'Opinions', 'videoCategory': 'opinion', 'gifAsThumbnail': True, 'videoId': '59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44', 'vertical': False, 'embedContinuousPlay': True, 'published': True, 'imageResizerUrls': [], 'advertising': {'adSetUrls': {'tablet': 'http://ad.doubleclick.net/N701/pfadx/wpni.video.opinions_tablet;frmt=2;frmt=1;frmt=0;vid=15;vid=30;sz=640x480;ord=[TIMESTAMP]', 'desktop': 'http://ad.doubleclick.net/N701/pfadx/wpni.video.opinions;frmt=2;frmt=1;frmt=0;vid=15;vid=30;sz=640x480;ord=[TIMESTAMP]', 'mweb': 'http://ad.doubleclick.net/N701/pfadx/wpni.video.opinions_mweb;frmt=2;frmt=1;frmt=0;vid=15;vid=30;sz=640x480;ord=[TIMESTAMP]', 'apps': 'https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640x480&iu=/701/wpni.video.opinions_apps&ciu_szs=300x250&cust_params=vid%3D15%2C30&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&description_url=[description_url]&correlator=[timestamp]'}, 'forceAd': False, 'playAds': False, 'playVideoAds': False, 'enableAutoPreview': False, 'commercialAdNode': '/opinions', 'autoPlayPreroll': False, 'allowPrerollOnDomain': False}, 'videoAdZone': 'wpni.video.opinions', 'lastPublishedBy': {'email': 'Kate.Woodsome@washpost.com', 'name': 'Kate Woodsome', 'lastname': ''}, 'platform': 'desktop', 'playVideoAds': False, 'playlist': 'Opinions', 'forceClosedCaptionsOn': False, 'doNotShowTranscripts': True, 'useVariants': False, 'playlistTags': ['opinionsvid'], 'firstPublishedBy': {'email': 'Adriana.Usero@washpost.com', 'name': 'Adriana', 'lastname': 'Usero'}, 'current_uuid': '19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02', 'original_uuid': '19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02'}, 'duration': 85717, 'video_type': 'clip', 'streams': [{'height': 720, 'width': 1280, 'filesize': 24573480, 'stream_type': 'ts', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_t_1518730053086_master.m3u8', 'bitrate': 2000, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 360, 'width': 640, 'filesize': 8588216, 'stream_type': 'ts', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_t_1518730053086_mobile.m3u8', 'bitrate': 600, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 1080, 'width': 1920, 'filesize': 58571875, 'stream_type': 'mp4', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_1439411933958-zgatlb_t_1518730052698_1920_1080_5400.mp4', 'bitrate': 5400, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 360, 'width': 640, 'filesize': 4521510, 'stream_type': 'mp4', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_1462301751346-fs7oqd_t_1518730052698_640_360_300.mp4', 'bitrate': 300, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 180, 'width': 320, 'filesize': 3078060, 'stream_type': 'mp4', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_1439413190599-3q5d44_t_1518730052698_320_180_160.mp4', 'bitrate': 160, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 360, 'width': 640, 'filesize': 7635769, 'stream_type': 'mp4', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_1439412153584-wn5qra_t_1518730052698_640_360_600.mp4', 'bitrate': 600, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 720, 'width': 1280, 'filesize': 22594743, 'stream_type': 'mp4', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_1439399835595-cf9g26_t_1518730052698_1280_720_2000.mp4', 'bitrate': 2000, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 180, 'width': 320, 'filesize': 3642124, 'stream_type': 'ts', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_t_1518730053086_mobile.m3u8', 'bitrate': 160, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 480, 'width': 854, 'filesize': 13889950, 'stream_type': 'mp4', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_1439412357318-vhunw0_t_1518730052698_854_480_1200.mp4', 'bitrate': 1200, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 1080, 'width': 1920, 'filesize': 53320184, 'stream_type': 'ts', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_t_1518730053086_hd.m3u8', 'bitrate': 4500, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 360, 'width': 640, 'filesize': 5204028, 'stream_type': 'ts', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_t_1518730053086_mobile.m3u8', 'bitrate': 300, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 720, 'width': 1280, 'filesize': 15384792, 'stream_type': 'ts', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_t_1518730053086_master.m3u8', 'bitrate': 1200, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 1080, 'width': 1920, 'filesize': 1102160152, 'stream_type': 'hls', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44/5a85fb3de4b0fb568d4180f3_t_1518730053086_hlsv4_master.m3u8', 'bitrate': 4500, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}, {'height': 281, 'width': 500, 'stream_type': 'gif', 'url': 'https://dvxnovzlk2ax2.cloudfront.net/02-15-2018/t_1518726113163_name_headline.gif'}, {'height': 280, 'width': 500, 'filesize': 225492, 'stream_type': 'gif-mp4', 'url': 'https://videos.posttv.com/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20171005/custom/59d64954e4b0629cd0bfff44_custom/1518726145267_500_280_277528.mp4', 'bitrate': 277528, 'provider': 'elastictranscoder'}], 'subtitles': {'confidence': 1, 'urls': [{'format': 'WEB_VTT', 'url': 'https://closedcaptions.posttv.com/2017/10/05/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02/3_1518734163127/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_5a85fb26e4b07250c01c15c7.vtt'}, {'format': 'DFXP', 'url': 'https://closedcaptions.posttv.com/2017/10/05/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02/3_1518734163676/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_5a85fb26e4b07250c01c15c7.dfxp'}, {'format': 'RAW_TEXT', 'url': 'https://closedcaptions.posttv.com/2017/10/05/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02/3_1518734163714/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_5a85fb26e4b07250c01c15c7.txt'}, {'format': 'SRT', 'url': 'https://closedcaptions.posttv.com/2017/10/05/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02/3_1518734163742/19b78e70-a9de-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_5a85fb26e4b07250c01c15c7.srt'}]}, 'promo_image': {'type': 'image', 'version': '0.5.8', 'credits': {}, 'url': 'https://posttv-thumbnails-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/02-15-2018/t_1518738728188_name_maxresdefault__1_.jpg', 'width': 1280, 'height': 720}, 'embed_html': '
'} {'_id': 'Q7TGONSV7NG4PKX5SDKKE6EO4A', 'type': 'element_group', 'content_elements': [{'content': 'Read more on this issue:\n', '_id': 'ZME6JYAYBBDC7ACCJHRKXAAVCM', 'type': 'text'}, {'content': 'The Post’s View: The public has spoken on gun control. Don’t wait for the White House.\n', '_id': 'PPINQETSW5CUJD65L2PX4AAIPA', 'type': 'text'}, {'content': 'E.J. Dionne Jr.: On gun violence, we are a failed state\n', '_id': 'Q2CPJS62VRFOHLAHTSS5R3BW5A', 'type': 'text'}, {'content': 'Eugene Robinson: Don’t let the absurd ploy to arm teachers distract you\n', '_id': '62ZVZXUXPZGHRO7XVOOM5Z2KKM', 'type': 'text'}, {'content': 'Marc A. Thiessen: Attacking the NRA is really attacking everyday Americans\n', '_id': '7NL5OUQA5JHTLODZG2Q2YHVAKI', 'type': 'text'}], 'subtype': 'extra'}
Post Recommends
Outbrain

We're glad you're enjoying The Washington Post.

Get access to this story, and every story, on the web and in our apps with our Basic Digital subscription.
Keep reading for $10 $1
Show me more offers