The pistol strokers of the Gunshine State

Media Matters photo

Marion Hammer, gun lobbyist, worries about the children. What will happen if the voters of Florida pass a proposed constitutional amendment to ban assault rifles?

I’ll tell you what’ll happen: the hearts of precious young ‘uns from Wewahitchka to Carnestown will break like the heel on a plastic Barbie stiletto.

As the Hammer lamented, “How do you tell a 10-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to the government or be arrested for felony possession?”

How, indeed? What kind of monster would want to deny little Kayla the good, clean fun of blowing the heads off squirrels with her adorbs semi-automatic?

As it happens, that monster may be the people of Florida, 59 percent of whom favor banning assault weapons.

The Hammer, who has been shilling for Second Amendment fetishists since the 1970s, feels that any attempt to limit firearms is an affront to George Washington, Jesus, and gun manufacturers, not necessarily in that order.

Shooting irons are big bidness in Florida, you know. Rick Scott, late of the governor’s office, now trailing his snailish mucus all over our nation’s capital, muscled through $1.66 million in state and local money to lure firearms manufacturer Colt to the state, creating a grand total of 63 jobs.

Wait, there’s more–lots more. Florida boasts more than 500 makers of guns, large and small, from Vengeance International in Longwood to Ammo Dump in Madison to AK-USA in Fort Myers: you can get yourself an AR-15, just like the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooter!

And the Dayton shooter!

And the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter!

Unless, of course, the killjoys behind the assault weapon ban get their way.

Still, you barrel-polishers out there will be thrilled to hear that while a majority of the citizens of Florida think hunting Bambi should not require a semi-automatic with a 30-round magazine, the state government has your back.

Attorney General Ashley Moody is working hard to keep that confusing, Satan-inspired gun ban off the 2020 ballot.

Ashley Moody has an “A” rating from the NRA.

But really she’s just worried that the ballot language is “confusing.”

I mean, who, other than a native speaker of English, can decipher “prohibits possession of assault weapons, defined as semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition feeding device”?

UnAmerican, ain’t it?

Moody is also appealing a circuit judge’s ruling that the state’s threats to penalize local governments and elected leaders who regulate guns for their municipalities or counties are unconstitutional.

It’s not fair that Miami or Tallahassee or wherever restrict the heat-toting public. Everyone in Florida should have an equal chance to be shot by a disgruntled white guy.

That includes college campuses, which, according to Rep. Anthony Sabatini, are gun-free zones dangerously alluring to members of the armed community who, driven insane by that C in Biology back in the day, cannot resist the temptation to shoot up a lecture on Natural Selection.

But if you give the nerds guns, they can defend themselves! Or maybe get even with that snotty prof who always gives them a hard time about apostrophes. Or that Tri-Delt ghosting them.

Rep. Sabatini, a passionate young pistol-stroker, had his credibility somewhat damaged when the Fake News Lamestream Media Enemies of the People revealed that not only had he appeared in blackface at a high school party, he blossomed forth in “brownface,” too, dressed as a “Mexican.”

Who knew Eustis, Florida was so cosmopolitan?

As a Eustis City Commissioner, Sabatini suggested his town collect and display rejected Confederate monuments, but that was all the way back in 2017, so we can put it down as mere youthful hijinks.

Rep. Mike Hill, R-1853–an actual black man, more or less–agrees with Rep. Sabatini on the Confederate monuments and the guns. Hill wants to repeal the state’s red-flag laws. He’s determined to get rid of those wicked “risk-protection orders” which allow the cops to take guns away from people who, say, offer to murder their wives or children.

Man up, wives and children! Get your own guns!

Marion Hammer will be glad to help you. She’s probably feeling pretty bouncy these days, now that she’s been “cleared” of lobbying malfeasance. She kind of forgot some paperwork, but the Republicans gave her a do-over and now everybody’s fine.

Especially gun manufacturers.

And the NRA.

And the Hammer, the Muse of the Massive Magazine.

Diane Roberts
Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.


  1. Excellent article on the corruption about pistols strokers Diane. You should also do an investigative article on the Family Court system and guardianship system in the state of Florida I’ll send you what I went through
    Also look at Dr Sam Sugar‘s work on Guardianship and his book about Guardianship dangers Guardianship and the elderly the perfect crime

  2. Just one question: where in the Second Amendment does it say “assault rifle”? I’m a gun owner, but I see no need for civilian ownership of assault rifles, semi-automatic or any other gun or magazine holding 10 or more rounds of ammo. Some argue that civilians need guns of that type to defend ourselves from an oppressive government. That is a ridiculous argument. If that were a logical position it, would stand to reason that civilians should possess bazookas, grenades, bombs, tanks, you name it. There is no logical peace-time reason for civilians in a civilized society to be in possession of semi-automatic rifles.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here