Really, Al Higginbotham, your fundraiser on Thursday is at a gun range?

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I really want to Republican Hillsborough County Commissioner like Al Higginbotham. I really do. His friends, like Commissioner Mark Sharpe, Matt Blair, and Todd Pressman are my friends. 

But Commissioner Higginbotham doesn’t make it easy.

Two months after casting a vote against a sensible domestic partnership registry, Higginbotham has a fundraising event scheduled for Tuesday night that leaves me scratching my head. It’s scheduled at Shooters World, a new gun range and retailer on Fletcher Avenue in Tampa.

I get it that Higginbotham is a Republican and this naturally means he needs to put the Second Amendment above all of the other amendments. Especially if Higginbotham wishes to appeal to the conservatives in Burgin-Storms country of rural East Hillsborough.

Yet, and maybe I am being waaayyy oversensitive here, is right now, with the raging debate about gun control and gun violence, the time to have a fundraiser at a gun range of all places? 

There are a hundred other types of venues for Higginbotham to schedule a fundraiser — bars, community centers, dining halls, restaurants. A hundred other places where there aren’t guns nearby. 

Again, I understand Higginbotham is a Republican and he needs to win a Republican primary. But, eventually, he will be running against a Democrat, in a county which just went for Barack Obama by 29,000 votes. Being insensitive on gun control and gun violence, even if its just a matter of optics, will end up hurting Higginbotham.

If only one of Al’s friends would tell him that.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.