February 21, 2018

Yesterday's ridiculous vote in the Florida legislature to declare pornography a health risk while tabling any debate about an assault weapons ban has sparked outrage among the students who witnessed the craven bows of Florida Republicans to the will of the NRA.

But no worries, the Republicans have their talking points ready, and they all center on process. Watch this Florida Representative try and bury Brooke Baldwin in BS. She would have none of it.

"Representative Caldwell, why is pornography a bigger health risk than semiautomatic weapons in the hands of a deranged individual?," Baldwin asked.

To that, she received a bogus response about what will make a difference. So she repeated the question. Pointedly, demanding he answer that specific question.

"Listen, i believe -- and we shouldn't have weapons in the hands of deranged individuals," he finally responded.

Baldwin pounced. "Why is that worthy of a debate? Why is pornography worthy of a debate and not semiautomatic weapons? Just answer me that."

She was having none of it, interrupting him and ordering him, "Stop going back to the talking points, sir. Stop!"

On and on he went about process, and how it could all be debated in the committee and how there was no need to show those kids in the gallery yesterday that any Republican gave a hard damn about them because they'll just follow the process like they always have and get nothing done like they always have and like the NRA demands.

Unfortunately, she let Caldwell filibuster a bit. "We don't have an ability for people to defend themselves in our schools," he claimed. "Our schools are targeted because they are gun-free zones, because no one on the campus is able to defend themselves."

That, sir, is bull. We know it, you know it, Brooke Baldwin knows it, and every sane viewer in the universe knows it. And Baldwin could have corrected it, and didn't.

Baldwin did bring on Florida Democratic State Senator Kevin Rader on to rebut Caldwell and to make the case for why the legislature should consider something right now.

"They could have had the debate. It's not a new debate," Rader said. "It is something that has been around for many years. and everyone has probably a strong opinion about it."

"They did not want it to happen. period," he said.

The end of this clip is Senator Rader recounting what he went through last week in response to Baldwin's question about students' specific demands. It's jarring, particularly his conclusion.

"This is real. Parkland is the sister city next to where i live in Del Ray Beach. We know people. We break bread with people."

To the mental health issue, Rader reminded viewers, "There's no way we can hold the young man on anything. He was a 19-year-old who had a number of guns. He hadn't done anything at that time. and we need to have something in force. It's ridiculous we have 19-year-olds and 21-year-olds and 25-year-olds with these type of weapons. and in Las Vegas, i believe the man was 49 years old."

I have a better way of putting that: There is no such thing as a "bad guy with a gun" until the moment he aims that gun at someone and fires it. Up to that point, he's just another "good guy with a gun."

Baldwin closed the segment by reminding viewers about some facts: The vote Florida Republicans took yesterday was to debate a measure to ban assault-style weapons. Not all guns. Just guns that massacre people.

Republicans refused, and they will pay a price for that.

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