"Florida leads the pack in passing bills written by the gun lobby that block any sensible attempt to control the purchase and use of firearms. The dangerous folly of these laws was on display in the Trayvon Martin shooting, and will again be on display when Republicans gather for their presidential convention in Tampa this August.
The City Council is sensibly preparing tight security precautions for the downtown area by temporarily banning clubs, hatchets, switchblades, pepper spray, slingshots, chains, shovels and all manner of guns that shoot water, paint or air.
But not handguns that shoot actual bullets. In other words, someone outside the convention hall will be entitled to pack a handgun, but not a squirt gun.
This down-the-rabbit-hole situation is the result of a law passed last year by state legislators at the behest of the gun lobby. It ended longstanding local gun controls, prohibiting city governments from enacting any ordinances on the sale, possession or use of firearms.
Tampa officials wanted to ban handguns outside the convention hall (the Secret Service has undisputed power to ban weapons inside the hall) but came up against the state law, which imposes $100,000 fines on local governments that try to meet such obvious public-safety needs. This lethal parody of gun control should be repealed, like the notorious Stand Your Ground law. But voters cannot expect common sense from the Republican-controlled Legislature, which is on a leash held by the gun lobby.