Political Animal


April 03, 2012 10:54 AM Don’t Forget Your Shootin’ Irons, Protesters!

By Ed Kilgore

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 is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • paul on April 03, 2012 11:10 AM:

    It is, of course, unreasonable to feel threatened by a republican delegate.

  • schtick on April 03, 2012 11:29 AM:

    As long as they are members of the tealiban party they will be allowed to do whatever they want. If they are a member of the dimwit dems, they will be hauled off to jail and asked questions later. You should know by now that the tealiban is right, right, right and the dimwit dems are wrong, liberal, wrong, lefties, wrong.

  • Josef K on April 03, 2012 11:35 AM:

    Why do I suspect this madness will culminate with some anti-establishment lunatic taking pot shots at Romney on the Convention floor?

    Believe it or not, I seriously don't want that happening, but it seems the most logical conclusion to this recent trend.

  • sick-n-effn-tired. on April 03, 2012 11:37 AM:

    What's it going to take??!! Someone shooting a congressman.. oh wait

    never mind.

  • kevo on April 03, 2012 11:45 AM:

    Never trust a man who has a continual need to polish his gun! -Kevo

  • Caffiend on April 03, 2012 11:48 AM:

    What's it going to take??!! Someone shooting a congressman.. oh wait

    Close. When it's a CREEPUBLICAN who gets shot, it will matter.

  • jpeckjr on April 03, 2012 11:50 AM:

    One -- the Secret Service will find a way to keep guns out of the convention hall. Once again, the federal government interferring with the Second Amendment right to carry a gun anywhere we want.

    Two -- just to be on the safe side, the designated protest zone will be set up in St. Petersburg,

  • Anonymous on April 03, 2012 12:02 PM:

    From the linked article:
    "Citywide, there would be a ban on carrying . . . [long list of things] or any container containing urine, fecal matter or other bodily fluid."

    Does this include diapers? Can't a parent and baby walk the streets with a diaper bag and a few used diapers, to be disposed of or cleaned at home?

  • Daniel Kim on April 03, 2012 12:09 PM:

    (Sorry, forgot to add my name to the previous comment. That was me.)

    Another quote from the article:
    "In the Clean Zone, the ban would be expanded to prohibit ropes, straps, tape or string longer than 6 inches, glass containers, ceramic vessels, light bulbs, padlocks and bicycle locks, things that could be used as portable shields and gas masks."

    No shoelaces? How about a belt to hold up your pants? A bra cup may be used as an improvised gas mask, especially if the padding were replaced with activated carbon. So, no bras?

    Maybe the city should just provide orange jumpsuits and booties for people to wear inside the "zone". Or maybe protesters can just go naked. The Supremes just ruled that you can be strip-searched for *anything*, so it would save a lot of time.

  • TCinLA on April 03, 2012 12:18 PM:

    They could also decide to lower their arms, take better aim, and create some "good" Republicans.

  • dms on April 03, 2012 12:39 PM:

    What's the ruling on band-aids?

  • Kathryn on April 03, 2012 12:39 PM:

    A relative of mine lives in Tampa and has already has put in for leave for freak week. I must tell him to forgo protesting with a water gun. Personally, I'd vote for leaving town or pulling down the shades and double locking all doors till it's over.

  • stinger on April 03, 2012 12:48 PM:

    Guess we're doubly lucky Perry won't be there, at least in any important capacity.

    Rootin' Shootin' Perry

  • paul on April 03, 2012 1:11 PM:

    Nothing that can be used as a shield? So no briefcases or laptops, then. Oh, and if no string or rope, no wired earphones.

    Cue arbitrary and capricious enforcement in 3,2,1...

  • John Robert BEHRMAN on April 03, 2012 1:18 PM:

    Hey, Florida is awash in Anglo-Austrian, very modern, libertarian fascism and gun-nuttery. Give us a break here in Texas: Here is what our state Constitution says, ...

    Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

    That's right, judicial activists and Western Movie fans: "Open Carry" plus "Gun Control". Real Texans did not need "no stinkin' Magna Carta!"

  • martin on April 03, 2012 1:34 PM:

    I'm completely confident that a convenient "threat" will be found just prior to the convention that will require extra security for all who enter the convention. Alert level Red. And as their authoritarian overlords say it is to fight terrorism, I'm sure everyone of them will be happy to receiver their complimentary full cavity search, sponsored by the Supreme Court.

  • Howey on April 03, 2012 1:38 PM: