Thursday, March 18, 2010


We couldn't make this up if we tried: The Florida Legislature, in a mad dash to pander to the gun lobby, to gun nuts, to the NRA, and in general to right wing lunatics, have spent their time in session drafting and approving a bill that PROHIBITS adoption agencies from inquiring of prospective adoptive parents whether there is a firearm in their home.

Let's give special recognition to perhaps the only two members of the legislature with a brain and the courage to vote against this idiotic law: Frederica Wilson and Ted Deutch.

Gun accidents kill more than one child a day in the United States. (500 a year).
The figure rises to more than 10 per day when you add intentional acts. Over 3500 children are killed every year in this country by a firearm.

There are over 200 million firearms in the United States.
And just two members of the Legislature in Florida who aren't morons.

See You In Court.


Anonymous said...

This is one I disagree with you on Rump. You're criticizing them for passing a bill banning a supposed solution that would have no efficacy.

Why does it matter if there's a firearm in the home and the owner properly handles it (ie. puts it in a lockbox, puts on a lock, etc.).

Who do you think would say "yes?" The ones who are irresponsible? I doubt it. The people who would lie are the ones I'd worry about, so the question accomplishes nothing.


CAPTAIN said...


But that's only half the story. The bill originally included language that would prohibit the question about sexual orientation and permit same sex couples to adopt.

But that part of the bill was taken out of the one passed out of committee. So, they can't ask about guns in the household, but they can still ask "Are you gay"?

Florida remains the only State in our country prohibiting same sex couples from adopting.

In other legislative business, their is still a bill going through committee that would address another area where Florida stands alone. Putting juveniles in prison.

In a national study of children 14 or younger sent to adult prison for nonhomicidal crimes, three-quarters of the cases were in Florida. In the 2007-08 fiscal year, nearly 3,600 juvenile cases were transferred to adult court, and 443 people under the age of 17 were sent to adult prisons.

A bill moving through the state House and Senate would offer some of those very young offenders a second chance. The legislation - approved by key committees in both chambers - would make parole possible for juvenile offenders convicted of nonviolent crimes who have served at least eight years of their sentence.

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

Political expediency is a corrupting force which knows no bound. Those seeking approbation of special interests advance ill-conceived ideas and agendas simply “because.” Ironically, these half-baked ideas become law, adhered to and enforced by others subscribers of the politically expedient agenda. It occurs in all facets of life, there are always those who will advocate propositions which make little or no sense except to them or their special interests, simply because of temporal popularity, a quid-pro-quo, or a future chit. The epidemic of “political correctness” which breeds “political expediency” is present in all public persona, no matter the rank or stature.
We are all to blame for the epidemic. Our apathy fosters the absurdity in legislation, enforcement, and the deterioration in our system of government and concept of justice. By maneuvering legislative policy, special interests dictate enforcement and adjudication at all levels.
Through our apathy we allow empty suits, devoid of substance, principal, and integrity, not to mention common sense, to get elected by dismal voter participation, often less than 30 to 35% in this community. We empower them by our complacency and silence, because it is easier or less risky to kowtow than to participate in the process, working to awake and alter public opinion. We stroke the egos of these pretentious public servants, paying them public homage while silently, privately behind close doors, complaining of their actions or inactions, but again either because of complacency or fear of political retribution doing nothing. Our inactions embolden their delusions of grandeur, so much so that they actually see themselves as “scholars,” who can legislate morality and responsibility, and are politically “untouchable.” Our apathy empowers special interest groups to tighten their grip and continue as puppet masters, controlling every though and action of these public personas, and consequently affecting all of our lifes.
However, if we are to take aim at the NRA, we cannot avoid expressing disdain for other special interest groups, i.e., MADD, FOP, PBA, PIRG, PETA, CSPI, AIF, etc., whose agendas have had and continue to have profound effect upon all of our lifes. All these special interest groups ply their trade in much the same way.
While some criticize and harbor contempt for the NRA, as is their right, the fact remains that the NRA advocates for the protection and preservation of essential rights, including the right to privacy, the right to keep big brother out of our lifes, the right to self defense, and yes the right to possess firearms for lawful purposes. If you get past the innate prejudice stirred by the “NRA,” you have to admit that the principals for which the NRA stands are not that much different from those we, as criminal defense lawyers, espouse. As criminal defense lawyers we fancy ourselves as “defenders of the constitution,” tireless fighters against oppression, and guardians of individual rights, so where is the philological difference, or are we simply evolving to be as hypocritical as the empty suits we so silently suffer and criticize. The NRA is a formidable political force, politically astute, organized, and effective. The organization will make you pay at the poles for your disloyalty or transgression. NRA members and their families vote in higher percentages than the national average. Indeed it makes a difference. Access to the NRA support, even sub silentio makes a difference, and has made a difference in many local elections. A lesson many lawyers and lawyer organizations have not yet learned, and much less mastered. So, do not assail the organization, learn from it.

Anonymous said...

Do they ask if the potential parent has a pool at home? More kids die in swimming pools by far than by gun accidents. Seems like that is a far better question to ask if the question is meant to pick out unsafe homes.

Anonymous said...

The right to bear arms is protected by the 2nd amendment. I think we should also ask if prospective adoptive parents exercise the 1st amendment. If they do, by your argument, no kids for them. Let em sit in an orphanage

what if the prospective adoptive parents also believe in the 4,5 and 6 amendment? Again, no kids for you - put the kids in a run down orphanage.

Out of curiosity, how many of these legislatures have DUI's? I'm sure that's no danger to kids. The hypocrisy never ends. And I can almost guarantee not one legilature adopts kids. They are too busy accepting bribes and furtherer their own agenda. Thank goodness I'm
not a politician. At least the majority of workers in the MJB are honest, unlike those in Tallahassee

Anonymous said...

republicans have lost their minds

Anonymous said...

The 2nd Amendment is antiquated and is a lame excuse to have a bazooka in your house.


I have a gun in my car because the 2nd amendment and the "liberal" (ahh irony) gun laws in florida don't allow me to drive around without worrying about my family getting carjacked.

F u NRA.

Anonymous said...

I wish we State Employees [esspecially in the Justice System] had lobbiest as effective as the NRAs. No raises for 5 years, no COLAs for 5 years, increased insurance costs and reductions in our retirement benifits. Marrion Hammer kicks ass.

Ellis Berger said...

From Ellis Berger
The responses seem to ignore the key question (and answer): What is the purpose of the asking protential adoptive parents whether they own guns? Is it to then reject their application, or perhaps to make sure they take courses in the proper handling of firearms? I don't know the answer, but it seems any further comments on this subject would be benefit from that information.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, the gun question was no longer being asked anyway (rightly so) but was still in some old forms. What's your "indignation" about? Would you be as outraged if the Legislature had banned questions about any other amendment? Wouldn't you agree that it would be awful if prospective parents were asked "Are you a criminal defense lawyer who enforces the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendment?" C'mon... This post shows nothing more than attempted creation of a mountain out of a mole hill because you were either bored or you felt the need to express an anti-gun position or prejudice. Frankly, you sound like a newby ASA arguing for an adjudication and jail time on a county ordinance violation.

Jim Was the Best said...

Remember the old Friday afternoons with the Jim Best law firms when he all dug in to a BIG PILE O CASH?? Every Friday it was raining green.

older asa said...

Wasn't that Wesiberg, Best, and Associates.? At the SAO In the DUI division we called it "The WB". It was Kenny Wesiberg and Jim Best and one of them brought in all the business and one tried the cases and they had that hot hot associate who looked like an 18 year old Penelope Cruz who used to go and meet the male clients.

Anonymous said...

Ticket Attorney Scott Hidnert in trouble with the FCC


Anonymous said...

I'm a big believer in the 2nd amendment, along with the 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. You are wrong on this one Rump. There are plenty of law abiding citizens that have guns and keep them away from kids.

NRA members vote. That is why they are such a powerful lobby.

Look at the bright side Rump. The NRA gave us the "stand your ground" self-defense law that helps our clients.

Anonymous said...

Whose cell phones was Scott Hidnert jamming? His secretaries' and staff's?

We Be Jammin' said...

Poor Scott Hidnert. Just wanted his employees to stop their chisme (n., spanish word for gossip) on their cels at work.

Anonymous said...

I'm down with Rump on this one. This is simply giving the NRA anything they ask for no matter how outrageous.
First, we are talking about the placement of a child in someone's home. Don't all of you 2d Amendment defenders think a certain amount of due diligence is in order?
Second, no one said that gun owners weren't allowed to adopt. Perhaps the question is along the lines of what the individual gun owner would do to make sure that there wouldn't be any safety issues. The question might be analogous to asking if the couple has a dog, what kind, how big, etcetera.
But now the adoption agency can't ask, so maybe if the agent sees an "NRA" sticker on the car of the prospective adoptive parent as she/he drives up to the agency, the agent will summarily assume gun ownership and therefore unfit for adoption. Now, that would probably be a violation of an individual's 2d Amendment right, but since no one ever brought up the ownership in the interview, it will be awfully hard to prove.

The Professor said...

I generally agree with Rump here, and I think those clinging to a VERY expansive definition of the 2nd Amendment should realize that (perhaps ironically) they are relying on the same types of "penumbras" as those in the abortion case law context.

Yes, you have a right to bear arms. Absolutely. However, you do not have a "right" to adopt. So, if you choose to own a gun, the State may (constitutionally) decide not to let you adopt.

Similarly, you have the RIGHT to have 18 children. It's a fundamental right under the substantive component of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amend. But, if you exercised that right to have 18 children, wouldn't you agree that the State could rightly decide not to let you adopt becauses your 1500 sq. ft. home is too full?

Therefore, those of you saying that the 2nd Amend bans an agency from asking question about guns must also necessarily believe that the 14th Amend bans the State from asking if you have any children in your home.

Really? Seriously?

As a policy matter, I agree that owning a gun should not absolutlely BAR adoption, per se. But, those of you sayiing that the 2nd Amend controls this issue are way off-base.

Fact Checker said...

Less people in prison for the first time in 38 years.


Who is your Facebook friend? said...

Who is your best friend online? It may be an undercover FBI agent.

Check out the breaking news coming from a public records request in a lawsuit. The link takes you to the document.

READ! said...

check it out

Anonymous said...

The law simply codified what was already the curent standard form. The old form asked about gun ownership and was changed by DCF to eliminate the question. Some old forms remained out there and this law eliminates the old form and preserves the current status quo. This was just a lot of ado about nothing by the anti-2nd Amendment crowd desperate to get some publicity about their cause. Notice how everyone but two representatives, Republicans and Democrats and liberals and conservatives alike, voted for the measure without controversy.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:24 am:

The PEW report indicates that Florida's prison population grew in the past year. Only Pennsylvania added more prisoners than Florida.

Florida ranks third in the country behind Texas and California. Those two states are jockeying for first with over 170,000 inmates each. Florida has more than 103,000 inmates in prison. The drop to fourth place with over 45,000 less prisoners than Florida is NY with 58,000.

Republican Party or the KKK .... said...

This is what the hateful angry old white men of the republican party have been hiding since the 1960's. It is nothing short of a branch of the KKK. I just cried when I read this news alert. If I ever hear another piece of shit republucan say another coded racist remark I am will have at it!

Read this excerpt:

"As police held demonstrators back to clear areas for lawmakers outside the Capitol Obama's speech, some protesters jeered and chanted at the officers, "You work for us."

Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., told a reporter that as he left the Cannon House Office Building with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a leader of the civil rights era, some among the crowd chanted "the N-word, the N-word, 15 times." Both Carson and Lewis are black, and Lewis spokeswoman Brenda Jones also said that it occurred.

"It was like going into the time machine with John Lewis," said Carson, a large former police officer who said he wasn't frightened but worried about the 70-year-old Lewis, who is twice his age. "He said it reminded him of another time."

Kristie Greco, spokeswoman for Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said a protester spit on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., who is black and said police escorted the lawmakers into the Capitol. Cleaver's office said he would decline to press charges, but Sgt. Kimberly Schneider of the U.S. Capitol Police said in an e-mail later: "We did not make any arrests today."

Clyburn, who led fellow black students in integrating South Carolina's public facilities a half century ago, called the behavior "absolutely shocking."

"I heard people saying things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus," Clyburn told reporters."

Racist Pigs!

Anonymous said...

I am so with BTDT on this one. Citizens have a right to bear arms, why should legal gun carrying citizens be discriminated against? If all law abiding citizens were armed, we really wouldn't have anymore crime against citizens, would we?

Rumpole said...

The right to "bare arms" is noting more than the right to wear tank tops or short sleeve shirts.

EYEONQ said...


political shumie watcher said...

It's Shumie time, but I'm not sure if it's for the democrats or republicans. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that those of you who disagreed with my post continue to focus on the 2d Amendment issue, rather than my primary point.........

Asking about guns or trying to prevent responsible gun owners from adopting kids is stupid because it doesn't accomplish anything (ie. it's a solution looking for a problem that really doesn't exist..........when is the last time you heard about a child hurting himself or herself with a gun owned by a parent? It's an exceptionally rare happenstance). Regardless, and again, the people who say "yes" are not the ones we should be worried about (which is why the law would accomplish nothing even if there was a real problem)..........it's the owners who would say "no" that pose the threat.

Responsible gun owners are not a threat to their families.

Rather than waste time on solutions that don't do anything (but arguably feel good), how about we focus on things that can make a difference?


Anonymous said...

Re: Alternatives to prison

There are a slew of great programs popping up that are designed to reduce jail/prison time while addressing offender needs. They save time and money and reduce incarceration. That may sound to good to be true, but it's not. Some are even prosecutor driven.


Proud to know the Bill of Rights said...

Let's not forget our Bill of Rights. Guaranteeing us the freedom to protect ourselves with firearms. Because you want to exercise your right as an American citizen, should not affect anything else you may want to do legally. Your slanted 'blog" on this matter proves how much of an Un-American douche you really are.

Anonymous said...

And if the adoptive parents have a firearm in the home...you propose the judge deny the petition.......