Today on Context Florida: Guns & mental health, Koch bothers, redistricting and political ads

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Today on Context Florida:

On the recent killing of six college students in Santa Barbara, Marc Yacht writes that although sensible gun policy is urgently needed, gun restrictions alone will not end the carnage. The lack of mental health services point right to the nation’s dysfunctional health-care system.

If the Koch Brothers and radical-right groups get their way in November, Stephen Goldstein says, Republicans will maintain or increase their power in state governments nationwide and things will be as bad, or worse, than ever in Washington, D.C. Think Rick Scott’s disastrous years in office multiplied. And if Scott raises $100 million to get re-elected, what payback will his contributors expect — and dollar-wise what’s in it for him?

The landmark Florida redistricting trial is exposing partisan hijinks and shady backroom conniving that enabled Republican leaders to pick voters instead of the voters picking them, writes Mark Ferrulo, something that is a clear violation of the Fair Districts Constitutional Amendments.

Former Sen. John Grant is already tired of the negative, cheesy and underhanded political ads aimed at pulling opponent candidates down, with the political season only in its semi-annual infancy. Americans are fed up with 21st century campaigning, where the real winners are the people who sell the airtime and produce the media.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.