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Mar
28

Editorial 633


Missy Layfield - Editor

Happy Easter

While Easter symbolizes rebirth and a fresh start for both religious and secular celebrations, finding a way to illustrate that here in the land of perpetual greenery and flowers can be difficult compared to northern climes where early Spring growth is just beginning, if they can find it under the snow that is. Maybe our return to warmer temperatures will help this weekend feel like spring. In any case, we wish a Happy Easter to all of our readers!

This time of year finds many of our visitors packing their bags to head back north. With the busy April calendar, we hope many of them are tempted to remain on the Beach for a few weeks longer. From Sand Bash beginning next Friday, April 5th to the Fort Myers Beach Film Fest on April 24th-28th and Taste of the Beach on April 28th, there are great reasons to stick around.We hope you do!

One of our visitors departing this weekend is the Privateer Lynx. First coming to our shores in January for what was to be a three-week visit, the Lynx Educational Foundation appreciated the island hospitality they found here and decided to make Fort Myers Beach their winter port returning to stay through the end of March. They sail now to St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach before heading north for this summer’s Great Lakes tour. Look for their return to our shores later this fall once hurricane season has passed.

Speaking of hurricane season, we know that seasonal property owners prepare their properties for hurricanes before they depart. We hope they also prepare their properties for Turtle Season. Turtle Season is May 1-October 31. Last year we had a record number of nests, though many were washed out by our tropical storms. Do your part now, before you leave, to help turtle nesting-if you have a property on or near the beach, make sure that you don’t have lights left on that can be seen from the beach. Remove any beach furniture. Want to know why we need to do these things? Check with Turtetime.org.

Second Amendment

The Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution this week in support of the Second Amendment and the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The resolution will be sent to Governor Scott and the Southwest Florida legislative delegation.

It’s good to know that our local elected officials support the Constitution. We expect that all of our elected and appointed officials support the Constitution. That is a requirement of the job, is it not?

Why the resolution supporting just the 2nd Amendment? What about the 4th or the 15th or the 1st? Aren’t those as important as the 2nd?

It seems there can be no discussion of guns at all without immediate cries that they’re taking away our second amendment rights, closely followed by the government will be coming for your guns, so you need your guns to protect yourself from the government.You have to give credit to the NRA and gun companies for their ability to mobilize and market their message.

None of the gun related bills we’ve read about in the US House or Senate involve going into anyone’s home and removing any guns they already own. So nobody is taking anything away from anyone. Nobody is under attack.

What is being discussed is a limit on the future sale of high capacity magazines, universal background checks for gun purchases, school security and stopping "straw man” gun sales."Straw man” gun sales refers to the legal purchase of guns with the intent to provide them to individuals who cannot legally purchase guns themselves. Kind of like the guy who stands outside the gas station and buys beer for 17 year olds.

The assault weapons ban is no longer on the table after being dropped from any serious Senate consideration.In a recent Gallup poll, only 60% of Americans favored an assault weapons ban while 91% favored universal gun purchase background checks.

So, where’s the attack?Why did our local county commissioners feel that they had to stand up and say they support the 2nd Amendment?

We wish they were as concerned for the 4th or the 1st Amendment. Or maybe the National Defense Authorization Act that sailed through Congress whilst everyone was panicking about the fiscal cliff and 2nd Amendment.

The NDAA allows detention of American citizens without due process at the discretion of the President.Under last year’s version of the NDAA, a citizen could be detained indefinitely. At least that was corrected in the 2013 bill.

Or how about the Patriot Act? In 2011, President Obama signed a 4-year extension on 3 key provisions including roving wiretaps, the library records provision and surveillance of "lone wolves.”

The FBI can walk into your local library and demand a record of every book you have checked out. And the library can’t tell you they gave it to them. Government surveillance and warrantless wiretapping are a fact of life and "legal” right now.

As Americans we have rights already lost or in jeopardy that have nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment or whether you can buy an Uzi in 5 years. And while we expend our national energy on the gun control debate, we are losing sight of many of the other rights guaranteed by the Constitution that are fading away.

Missy Layfield