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Mitch Perry Report for 6.13.16 — What happens now?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

So, what now?

America suffered through yet another gun shooting massacre over the weekend in Orlando, and by now you know all the relevant details.

The question is: as a society, do we just stay sad and then move on stoically?

“This massacre is, therefore, a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school or in a house of worship, or in a movie theater, or in a nightclub,” President Obama said Sunday afternoon. “And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.”

The country, as of last night, didn’t seem prepared to want to answer that question.

In a statement issued last night, Donald Trump boasted about how he predicted such an incident, and said that the President’s decision not to use the terms “Radical Islam,” made him ineligible to serve as commander in chief. ‘For that reason alone, he should step down,” Trump said.

“If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said. “Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen — and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”

Of course, Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims wouldn’t apply to Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, a U.S. born citizen of Afghanistan parents.

Tampa Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor said that now was the time for Congress to “reinstate the military, high-capacity assault weapons ban and pass legislation to prohibit any person on the national terrorism watch list from being able to purchase a firearm.”

Castor notes that data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) show that between 2004 and 2010, people on terrorism watch lists tried to buy guns and explosives more than 1,400 times. They succeeded in more than 90 percent of those cases, or 1,321 times.

“Confronting the threat of violent homegrown ‎radicalization is one of the greatest counterterrorism challenges our law enforcement and intelligence community faces,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “‎We must do more at every level of government and within our own communities to identify and mitigate this cancer on our free society and prevent further loss of innocent life.”

In other news …

Though it seems like a lot longer ago, Donald Trump did come to the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday at high noon to entertain several thousand of his fans, undeterred by the nearly universal revulsion to his comments regarding the judge overseeing the Trump University lawsuit against him.

And we met up with Tampa attorney Bob Buesing last week — he’s the Democrat taking on Republican Dana Young in the Senate District 18 race in Hillsborough County later this year.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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