I think we all know that Florida’s gun laws leave something to be desired. I will be traveling there with my grandchildren to visit Disney World and I’m looking forward to it. Like everyone else, we understand Disney World to be a happy place where people are safe from a lot of things that happen in the outside world. It is, as is intimated by the title, a world of its’ own. But just in case, Disney has issued some common sense safety advise so your experience will be a good one. Here’s a list of incidents and “altercations” at Disney World. See if you can find a reason for carrying a gun in the parks.
The Brady Campaign has issued its’ new state report card along with a video and website called CrimAdvisor. You can watch the video here:
According to CrimAdvisor, Florida is one of the best states in the country for felons to buy, carry and traffic guns. No surprises here really. According to the Brady Campaign’s rating system, Florida gets a score of -20.5 out of a possible 100 points. You read that right. It’s a minus 20.5. You can see a more detailed explanation of the report in the link above. Also Florida’s rate of gun deaths per 100,000 at 12.49 ranks the state as 20/50. Since the nation’s first Stand Your Ground law was passed in 2005, according to this article, gun deaths have increased in Florida. Here is one more article among quite a few about Florida’s recent increase in the gun death rate. States that have high gun ownership rates and weak gun laws also have higher rates of gun deaths.
I noticed a post somewhere a while ago with a comment from a gun rights extremist saying that he carries his gun at Disney World in spite of Disney World warning on its’ website that guns are permitted inside. Never mind. These guys know better than anyone else that they can and will carry wherever they want. And if they can’t they will pass laws to make sure they do. It’s an insane view of the world and is not making us safer. Disney World can prohibit guns in their parks. In 2013 a grandmother on an Animal Kingdom ride found a loaded gun. She was with her grandchild. This is not the experience I want to have with my grandchildren. From the article:
The discovery of a gun aboard a ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has raised questions about what park security does to keep firearms from slipping inside and whether its no-weapons policy for visitors is clear.
A grandmother handed a Cobra .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol to a park attendant Sunday after getting off the Dinosaur ride. “My grandma found it in her seat,” her young grandson told park security.
Minutes later, an apologetic Angelo Lista returned to claim the firearm, which was loaded with five hollow-point bullets — but none was in the chamber. He told the Sentinel it had fallen out of his buttoned back pocket during the bumpy ride. He was escorted out of the theme park.
He returned to the parks the next day without the gun.
Lista, 44 of Royal Palm Beach said he had no idea Disney prohibited guns on its property, raising questions about whether the company’s restrictions on firearms are explicit enough.
Disney spokeswoman Kathleen Prihoda said in a statement Wednesday that the company’s policy is no guns are permitted. The company’s website says “weapons of any kind” are not allowed on Disney property.
Disney officials would not say whether there are posted signs on property spelling out their restrictions. Prihoda would not say how often security intercepts a firearm brought into the parks or what happens when a gun owner is found to have one on property. She wouldn’t discuss any security measures.
The incident may not indicate a broader safety gap, said Dr. Abraham Pizam, dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida.
“Does it happen? Yes, it does. Does it happen frequently? Absolutely not,” Pizam said. “Security is one of the issues that if it works, everyone takes it for granted. But it if doesn’t work, everyone is a critic.”
Thousands of people are free to walk through the parks’ front turnstiles uninhibited unless they are carrying bags. Disney employees inspect and feel the bags for anything on the restricted list. There are no metal detectors at the entrances, and guests are rarely searched.
This bears repeating: “He returned to the parks the next day without the gun.” So the obvious question here is why this man NEEDED a gun while at Disney World. After stupidly leaving his loaded gun on a ride and getting caught, he evidently decided that gun wasn’t so important after all. Isn’t Disney the happiest place on earth? What’s the fear? What’s going to happen at Disney World that would require a gun? Most likely nothing. But this is the world of the gun rights extremists. They have been led to falsely believe that there is danger around every corner. The corporate gun lobby is masterful at deceiving people into this view of the world. Why? It drives up gun sales. Follow the money.
Let’s take a look at some pretty well known shootings in Florida:
- Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in 2012 by gun permit holder George Zimmerman while walking in a neighborhood wearing a hoodie and holding a bag of Skittles. Zimmerman’s record before and since the shooting reveals him to be a man who should not be carrying a gun around in public. But he was granted a permit to carry in the state of Florida and, after his acquittal for the second degree murder charge for killing a teen-ager, is now free to be involved in more stupid and dangerous incidents.
- Teen-ager Jordan Davis was shot and killed in 2012 for playing loud music in a car. His shooter, also a “law abiding” Florida gun permit holder, did not fare as well as did George Zimmerman. He is now sitting in prison for what looks like the remainder of his life for his terrible and tragic judgement while carrying a gun.
There are many others. After the Stand Your Ground law passed, a long list of victims whose shooters have claimed self defense is available for our perusal. Take a look at this compilation of photos and information about shooting victims provided by the Tampa Times. I think we can safely say that blood is running in the streets. The gun lobby denies this of course. But facts matter. Real people are being shot every day. They have names, families, and most were contributing members of society whose potential will never be reached.
This is sobering information for visitors to Florida like myself. Let’s hope that all will be safe in the parks of Disney World. It will be interesting to see if anyone is noticeably carrying a gun around where my family and I will be enjoying the sun and the fun. I think most people believe in common sense when it comes to guns at Disney World. There is no need for loaded guns in a place where so many families from all over the world are gathered for enjoyment. Even gun rights extremists must believe this.
And I do like this image, courtesy of the Brady Campaign’s CrimAdvisor site.
Cross posted at www.commongunsense.com