Monday, February 29, 2016

Rebutting Rick Diguette's AJC Campus Carry Dissent © 2016 by Phillip Evans

I'd like to address some of the statements made by Rick Diguette in his "Will guns on campus scare away high school students and their parents?" AJC article.

"Knowing that some classmates and/or professors have armed themselves suggests, at least subliminally, that a violent attack is always a clear and present danger."

At first glance it appears as though Mr. Diguette gets the point of being armed. We arm ourselves because in the real world, even in places like college campuses, we understand that an evil person intent on murder can get in and do a lot of damage before police get there.

A violent attack is always a clear and present danger anywhere people go. Just because a place seems like a nice, peaceful place does not endow it with any sort of invisible force-field against criminal entrants.

"It also suggests that the trained security personnel employed by the college are inadequately prepared to deal with emergencies."

Where has Mr. Diguette been the last few years? Hasn't he seen how even the best response times of law-enforcement leave multiple dead bodies piling up before good guys with guns and badges stop the criminal(s)?

Does anyone believe that hired security personnel, many of whom are unarmed at some colleges, are going to do any better?

Having the ability to effectively fight back against armed murderers turns potential victims into their own best first responders. Any time you have to call someone else to rescue you, there is precious time spent waiting for that help to arrive. In the meantime, innocent people die while they are hiding, running, or trying to throw chalk erasers and books at their armed attackers.

"If students are always worried that an armed and dangerous individual might at any moment appear at their classroom door, their ability to maintain focus and learn is bound to be compromised."

And somehow forbidding adult licensed-to-carry students from having the means to protect themselves is supposed to ease this concern? Really?

Let it become public knowledge that a particular college is not such an easy target due to potential victims themselves being armed with firearms, and criminals wanting to go out in a blaze of glory with a high body count will seek a different hunting ground.

"It is also quite likely that professors and students would be less willing to address controversial issues in the classroom."

Do the ten other states with legal campus carry have this problem? Remember, some of these colleges have had legal weapons carry for decades. This is merely more fear-mongering, which naturally comes from fear-mongerers.

"While there have been a number of deadly incidents on college campuses in recent years involving armed and dangerous individuals, I don’t think they warrant the intrusion of guns in our college classrooms."

Well, it seems like Mr. Diguette is thoroughly satisfied that current campus security measures do not need to be beefed up with vetted students and faculty being able to secure the safety of their own lives. Imagine, the "intrusion" of self-defense!

I predict that the fear-mongerers will have their prophecies once again proved false, and that enrollment in Georgia's public colleges and universities will be as healthy as ever after HB 859 becomes law, which it likely will, due to Governor Deal recently voicing his approval of Campus Carry.

Good for you, Governor! And great for Georgia!

Florida Open Carry and Campus Carry Bills - Call Them For A Vote! © 2016 by Phillip Evans

Emailed to: (407) 428-5800 or (850) 487-5013

Dear Senator Gardiner,

Regardless of whatever affection you may have for Senator Diaz de la Portilla, the citizens of Florida deserve even more.

Do you really see the value in having licensed adults remain unarmed on college campuses? Do they really need to remain defenseless against armed attacks by criminals just because they desire to get a higher education?

Do Florida citizens who are are vetted and licensed to carry really deserve to be jailed just because they wish to openly carry their holstered pistol in a visible fashion as a crime deterrent and as a First Amendment statement on their RIGHT to keep and bear arms?


Are Republicans in Florida now aligned with Democrats in an effort to suppress our LIBERTY?

Is the unwarranted concern over tourism and dollars a weightier matter than our FREEDOMS?

I can assure you, a LOT of people both in and outside of Florida WILL SEE THIS EMAIL.

Do you really wish to be EXPOSED as an anti-freedom politician?


You have the AUTHORITY to bring these bills to the Senate Floor. There are eleven days left in the session.

We are all watching!


Phillip Evans
Member Florida Carry
Member Georgia Carry
Pursuit of Patriotism Blog Writer

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Florida Getting Riled Up Over Open Carry! © 2016 by Phillip Evans

As of March 2015, Florida had around 1.4 million licensed carriers of handguns. A good portion of them would like the option in the law to carry openly, even if they would never or rarely choose to deliberately carry their holstered pistols in any manner other than concealed.

There are two basic reasons for this. One is to stop the ongoing harassment of concealed carriers when their pistols become partially or fully visible inadvertently because of clothing snafus, or reaching up or bending over to pick up something, or because of a gust of wind. 

"Compromise" Not Always Helpful

A law passed in the Sunshine State in 2011 that supposedly addressed this was a "compromise" bill, SB 234. It was offered as a middle ground in order to keep full open carry from being passed, and was supposedly worded ("brief" exposure was made okay even though "brief" was left undefined) to protect citizens from harassment and arrest, but it has not worked as well as promised. These abuses still occur.

Simply decriminalizing open carry in 2011 would have solved with this problem once and for all, which is why it was pushed hard by and the NRA during the 2015-2016 session of the Florida General Assembly.

It's A Right - Not A Perverted Desire

The second reason is, well, the Second Amendment. Shall not be infringed surely means you don't have to hide your free exercise and expression of a fundamental human right. 

Handguns are not indecent things, though many left-wingers seem to have a fetish of associating pistols with a certain organ possessed only by males.

Perhaps allowing firearms out in the open removes the Victorian-type, suppressed-sensuality, fueled excitement for politically correct leftists who can no longer fetishize their twisted fantasies. If that makes them angry, I suppose they could seek professional help.

There is nothing vulgar about carrying a pistol on your hip in a holster as you go about your business. And nothing threatening about it, either.
Carrying openly is a First Amendment expression of your Second Amendment Rights. 

In 45 Other States, It's No Big Deal

I've shopped in various grocery stores with a gun on my hip, rode my bicycle on public trails, ate in many restaurants, played with my children at plenty of parks in the immediate presence of other parents and children, attended multiple crowded festivals, all while my firearm had no article of clothing covering it, and at many other places, including once at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport inadvertently when my shirt rode up over and behind my gun.

No one has fainted, fled in terror, or called (that I know of) the police to report me. Most people don't notice or just don't care, and some actually start pleasant conversations with me to glean information on how they can obtain their carry license, or to ask other questions about the law.

Liberty Deters Crime

In Georgia there is a documented incident of a robbery in 2010 being deterred by two customers at a Waffle House in the city of Kennesaw who were wearing their pistols in plain view. Deterrence is usually difficult to document, since if the planned crime does not occur, there is usually not an arrest. 

Read Ed Stone's article to get the details of this interesting case. He is one of the founders of Georgia Carry.

Open carry has been my typical mode of carry in Georgia for about five years, and I truly enjoy the freedom to not have to hide my firearm, and to not have to worry at all if it becomes exposed. 

I wear my exposed firearm deliberately by choice. It is my right. The sight of visible firearms deters criminals from committing their acts of evil. They can see and know that someone has a weapon that can stop them. Most criminals don't want to work hard, and thus seek out victims they feel won't fight back.

Thankfully, in Georgia, openly carrying a pistol has never been illegal - it's just that since 1910 you have needed to be licensed in order to lawfully carry one concealed or openly. 

In My Heart I Am A Floridian!

But we are talking about Florida, and I'm sure many licensed carriers there have the same love of freedom to exercise their rights just as Georgians do. 

Under current law, citizens may only openly carry handguns while fishing, target shooting, camping, or hunting, or going to or coming back from those activities. 

Unfortunately for Floridians who fully value their rights, their right to carry pistols openly was stripped from them in 1987, orchestrated by Democrat Janet Reno.

 Fast forward to 2016

One man, a Miami politician and RINO Senator, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla killed SB 300, the bill that was to restore it. As Judiciary Chairman, he did not allow it to have a hearing in the committee. Senate President Andy Gardiner could have overruled him, but chose to let the bill die. He is also a RINO.

Even though I am a Georgian, I love Florida, and wish to be able to exercise my right to carry my handgun openly when I visit. This is why I advocated hard for Floridians to be able to openly carry, by emailing and calling lawmakers in their state, by writing articles published on major websites, and by participating in discussions on Facebook and Internet gun forums.

Anger Brewing

From what I have observed so far, there is a good bit of anger over the failure of Open Carry to pass - probably more than the RINOs in the Florida Legislature might have expected.

Now, there are plans for more mile long open carry protest walks while going fishing, and things are in the works for activities that might be considered to be even more provocative than that, but still likewise completely within the law. 

In other words, peaceful protests are about to be afoot!

Provocative Ways To Protest

1. Open carry of black powder antique-style revolvers either made before 1899 or their replicas may be openly carried, even without a license to carry! 

Caveat: These weapons are outside the definition of "firearms" under state law, and therefore may be restricted by local ordinances, so check the city or county you are in to make sure you will not be breaking any local laws by carrying them. Also, do not put any modern accessories such as sights or grips on these revolvers just to keep them firmly in the antique category.

Note: If you want to carry them loaded, you don't have to deal with messy black powder. You can use Pyrodex Pellets as the propellant.

2. Modern pistols merely need to be completely covered to be considered "concealed". That means you can openly wear a pistol shaped holster on your hip in full view, as long as it hides your Glock, M&P, Beretta, etc. - every bit of it.

Holsters made for WWII P38 pistols have a lid that work great for this. These holsters are large enough to hold a variety of pistols. Make sure nothing is visible of the gun inside. Attach some fabric to the holster around the lid with strong glue to cover any gaps.

3. Spare pistol magazines and their carry pouches do not have to be concealed by law. Wear them openly with confidence.

4. Here is my favorite option: Openly wear a holster like the one made for the P38 and put only your spare ammo magazines in it - or keys, wallet, etc. Carry your pistol inside a regular fanny pack on your other hip.

This option is perfect for extra peace of mind from fear of a false arrest for carrying openly, because your gun will not even be in an obvious pistol holster, but hidden in a regular fanny pack, which is how many Floridians already carry their pistols! 

However, the visible, closed holster that no one knows what is inside will be your protest statement, as well as being a good way to carry accessories like spare magazines, or anything else you want to put in it.

State Preemption Protection

Options 2,3, and 4 all fall under state preemption, so you do not need to worry at all about local ordinances regarding them. Also, these last three options may be utilized ANYWHERE you can legally carry a concealed pistol as a license holder.

That means concerts, festivals, plays, fairs, carnivals, and other activities that are held on public property and in publicly owned parks are legal for these carry options. Owners of private property can always ask a weapons carrier to leave under pain of trespass, so stick to public property where you cannot be trespassed merely for being peacefully armed.

Impact Of Protests? Victory!

What about the fallout from this push-back type of protesting?

Well, understand things can only go one of two ways:

1. Politicians can move further toward tyranny and crack down on firearms carry, but where can they go with that from here?

Look at the options - other than black powder antique-style pistols, these are ALL concealed carry options! Really, what can they do? To be honest, the only way to restrict options 2, 3, and 4 would be for them to do some nasty stuff. This would not only further infringe on Second Amendment Rights, but First Amendment Rights as well. 

Trust me on this - they won't go that route! If they do they will have even those licensed carriers who have never pressed for open carry, in an outrage. 

RINOs for the most part want to remain hidden as much as possible. Portilla and Gardiner are special in that they are out in the open - but this is not the usual case. Gardiner is term limited so he doesn't care, and Portilla has to run again in the redistricted 37th which is even more heavily Democrat territory.

You will not see enough Republicans willing to earn the label of RINO to come down like Communist China on licensed gun carriers.

2. The other way they could go is to relent and pass open carry! Folks, this is an issue of liberty. Liberty that men and women fought and bled and died to preserve. We don't hide our free speech rights. Our right as a free people to keep and bear arms is no less sacred.

Put the ball in their court and force lawmakers to make a public decision. Portilla and Gardiner were their cloaks, giving them the cover that enabled them to duck and hide, and still claim they support the Second Amendment. Embarrass them to the point they must come out in the open. Shine that light!

In Texas, C.J. Grisham, the Head of Open Carry Texas had his members protest by openly carrying long arms (legal in Texas but not Florida) and black powder revolvers, until they finally got legal open carry of pistols that took effect January 1st this year.

Ramp Up The Pressure!

Publicly exercise all of your legal carry options every chance you get, and you will win this thing! 

As people around you know you are peacefully armed, they will get used to it, so when you get the real deal, it will be no big deal.

Some will never like it, but so what? 100% approval from the general public is never the test to determine whether you can openly exercise your rights.

A Small But Unified Effort

If only 1% of the licensed carriers in Florida rallied and peacefully protested, that would be about 14,000 citizens publicly demanding of their lawmakers to have their open carry rights fully recognized. 

Not to mention the numbers of others coming to Florida who hold firearms carry licenses that are recognized by the state of Florida. All of us can help protest, too!

How about 50 of us attending a major festival on public property in Tampa or Miami? No signs, no noise, no chanting, only mingling and enjoying the festivities, while openly carrying pistol holsters with no guns visible. What a powerful statement that would make!

And not obviously empty holsters, either. That would only be an empty protest.

Use closeable holsters that look like they might have something in them! 

Just don't let anything show if you have a pistol in it.

What if the gate-keepers won't take your money for a ticket if they see you with a holster on your hip? Easy, have an extra unbuttoned shirt over it, and then take it off privately in the restroom after you get in.

Remember, with state preemption you cannot be legally ejected or trespassed from publicly owned property merely for being armed within state law.

Civil Rights Violations

What about possible harassment from police officers? Only the ones who don't know the law will give you any true grief. Wear at least a small pocket audio recorder and have friends with cell phones document any abuse. And if abused, sue them!
Floridians, go for it!

And whenever I visit, I will use carry method 4 above to stand with you!

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Answer To "The Case Against GA Campus Carry" © 2016 by Phillip Evans

Eric Gray wrote on his website"Why are lawmakers intent on deputizing college students to uphold the law, when a few extra bucks would do the trick much safer? Especially at a time when the state budget is bursting with new cash after several years of funding cuts!"

First of all, I do not carry a gun to uphold any law, and that would not change one iota were I a college student licensed to carry a firearm. The only reason I carry a gun is to prevent criminals from harming me or my family. I would also assist an innocent third party being attacked, if possible, but I do not look for those situations, nor do I go on patrol. 

He proposes that two additional police officers patrol the GA State University library and neighboring courtyard, actually preferring double that in order to have almost 24-hour coverage.

So, a few extra police officers scattered here and there just like in the real world will keep people safe? You know, like where in the real world when seconds count, police are only minutes away? Is this the same scenario he is proposing for colleges? Oh wait, they already have that!

I will have to admit that if these officers were dedicated to the library during all hours it is open would keep it safer, but by this same logic, why not close that safety loophole everywhere on college campuses? 

If you are going to rely only on the police to save you, then any place on campus where you might be victimized must have a clear and continuous police presence. 

Without that, you are just playing whack-a-mole by pulling officers from one place to the other, leaving unarmed people to fend for themselves until police can come to the rescue.

Eric did not propose the solution of a constant police presence in all areas of college campuses, because he knows that even with "bursting with new cash", there would not be enough money to cover the cost of providing enough police to blanket even one campus. However, he could make the argument that if it saves just one life, it would be worth it no matter the dollars spent, right?

Sorry, but tweaking the same old system by providing two to four extra officers to "patrol" does not even come close to ending a victim-rich environment. And even if GSU takes this incremental step to try and beef up security, what about all the other colleges and universities? 

The present system is simply not working, as crime stats clearly show. There have already been numerous "we must do something" meetings by the Georgia Board of Regents pictured below, other college officials, and bureaucrats, ad nauseum. So far, none of the tailored suits have proposed any effective solutions. 

They "study" the issue and belch an awful lot of hot air, but students are still being victimized. Perhaps it's because they didn't have Eric available to explain to them in their meetings just what two to four extra officers at one college could do?

It's high time that licensed adults who can legally carry guns in virtually all other public places (with few exceptions such as jails, mental institutions, courtrooms, and government buildings that have weapon screening) should be able to defend themselves from thugs that would assault, rob, rape, and murder them on college campuses.

Do we have Quentin Tarantino movies played out whenever adults defend themselves with firearms out in the real world? Eric, it sounds like you watch too many movies.

And given the choice of a pistol or cell phone in your hand to protect yourself when criminals strike, you would prefer a firearm, so who are you kidding?

Thankfully, it looks like Georgia's HB 859 has a great chance to become law this year, and that will give students more options to keep themselves and others around them safer.

Call your House and Senate members in the Georgia General Assembly to encourage them to pass this bill and send it to Governor Deal for his signature.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Georgia House Bill 1060 - A Great Pro-Freedom Bill!

Saturday Feb 20th, Georgia Representative Rick Jasperse, John Meadows, Alan Powell, Mandi Ballinger, and others have sponsored HB 1060, a gun-rights bill that helps restore our freedoms by doing the following: 

1. It gives a grace period for those who are moving to Georgia to lawfully carry their pistol for a maximum of 90 days after establishing legal residency, so long as they possess a carry license issued by a state that is recognized by Georgia. This will give citizens ample time to apply for and receive a GWL (Georgia Weapons Carry License).

Under current law, once you establish residency, your lose your handgun carry rights until you apply for and receive a GWL. In Georgia, long gun carry does not require a license.

Property Rights Vindicated

2. It strengthens property rights of churches and no longer forces them to opt into HB 60, passed in 2014, if church authorities wish to allow certain church members to carry a weapon but not others.

Under current law, a church that does not want to "opt in" might still want to legally allow certain citizens to carry firearms in their buildings, but cannot not legally do so now. A full "opt in" would be required. This new bill fixes that. A win-win! This new bill is a church empowerment bill!

3. It removes the "gotcha" of an automatic weapons penalty, which could mean the loss of a person's GWL for three years upon discovery and conviction of being armed in a place of worship which had not "opted in" to HB 60.

However, if an armed person refuses to leave church property when asked, he would be charged with both trespass and also a weapons violation. Churches should be very happy with this provision of current law that is kept in place by HB 1060.

State Preemption Strengthened

4. It will allow licensed citizens to carry on public property even if there is an event hosted by a private entity, if the public is invited to attend. 

With HB 60, the General Assembly addressed this by changing the word "property" to "private property" four times in the weapons code to try and exclude private entities in control of public property from having the authority to ban weapons.

If local governments do not have the authority to regulate the carrying of weapons on public property per state preemption law, there is certainly no authority flowing from local government authorities to any private entity that leases such public property to do so. 

However, back in 1963, a Georgia Supreme Court case ruled that public property which was leased was to be considered private property for the purpose of taxation, so apparently HB 60 did not go far enough to correct the issue. It did not give a definition of "private property" - this new bill does.

Other Benefits

5. Auction bidders will have the opportunity to buy unclaimed firearms once a year.

6. Firearms instructors will have legal liability protection put in place.

This bill also addresses other issues as well, but I invite you to give it careful read in its entirety to see all it contains, and to make up your own mind as to whether or not it is a good bill.

If you are a Georgian and like this bill, contact your state Representative and Senator and ask them to support it!

Thanks to Georgia Carry for working with our lawmakers to help craft an excellent bill!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Florida Open Carry Plug Pulled - It's Dead © 2016 by Phillip Evans

Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla is a happy guy. He single-handedly (with the approval of his boss, Republican Senate President Andy Gardiner) killed SB 300, letting it die in committee by refusing to allow it an up or down vote by committee members.

"Open carry is not going to happen; it's done...On all of these gun bills, I don’t believe any of them are necessary. They could result in unintended consequences. I think we need to prioritize in our committee, as far as what we hear. We can’t hear every bill that’s referred to us", said Diaz de la Portilla.

There you have it. He purposely held the bills back not because he thought they didn't have the votes to pass, but because he personally did not like them (Campus Carry, and Airport Carry in non-secure areas being the other two).

First Amendment Protests

Some (myself included) view the open carry of firearms as a legitimate statement of support for the Second Amendment, as well as a statement to criminals that they may wish to look for easier pickings.

What folks may not realize is that Florida law does not classify black powder revolvers made before 1899 (or their modern replicas) as being firearms, unless they are used in a crime. Since openly carrying a non-firearm object is not a crime in Florida, black power revolvers such as this 1858 Navy model are legal to carry in a holster in plain view:

It also is not a crime to carry any modern-design pistol in any fanny-pack, bag, or purse of any kind as long as it remains completely concealed. This is true even if that container is shaped like a pistol - hint, hint. The next best thing to open carry is concealed open carry, such as with holsters like one designed for the P38 pistol, which can be found on Amazon:

Just as the open carry of long guns as a means of protest helped to facilitate the passing of legal open carry for pistols in Texas, such First Amendment protests as suggested above could also help pave the way for legal open carry of pistols in Florida.

Tyranny is not on life support in the Florida General Assembly. It will remain healthy as long as RINOs such as Senators Diaz de la Portilla and Gardiner are able to ram their Democrat agenda down our throats by crushing liberty restoration bills under their boots.

Let the tyrants know that WE PROTEST!

Monday, February 15, 2016

My First Pistol - Glock .40 Caliber Model 23 and Why I Bought It © 2016 by Phillip Evans

By 1989, officers in about 2000 police departments in the United States were carrying around 150,000 Glock pistols.

1990 was when production began on the model that I ended up purchasing in the Spring of 1991 as my first pistol, the first generation Glock 23. At the time I had no savings, but wanted to be able to protect myself from criminals, so I charged it on a credit card. It cost a reasonable $399.00.

Here are my reasons for buying this particular model Glock:

1. I wanted a semi-auto because a six-shot revolver was not my idea of protection if a poor boy could have only one gun, and if there were ever multiple attackers. But I knew that semi-autos sometimes jammed, so reliability was of primary importance. I was aware that many police departments carried Glocks, so that spoke volumes to me about reliability.

2. .40 cal was desired in order to have a little more power than the 9mm parabellum round.

3. At least a 4" barrel length was preferred.

4. The firearm had to be fairly easy to conceal.

That's it, that was my criteria. After looking at a lot of pistols in gun magazine catalogs, the Glock 23 was the perfect choice for me. I have to admit that I liked the fit and feel of the Glock 22 better in my hand, but at the time I considered it a little too large for concealed carry. With plenty of cool, modern holster designs available now, even the model 22 will conceal well.

Shortly after purchasing my Glock, I learned from Glock's efforts that a voluntary recall was offered. The internal trigger bar was to be replaced with a stronger one, for free. So I drove to the Smyrna Glock plant, and had my pistol quickly and cheerfully upgraded, at no cost as promised.

Other modifications I've done myself are a Hogue grip sleeve, a steel guide rod, a slightly stronger recoil spring (20lb to replace the stock 18lb spring) in order to fire +P rounds without causing premature wear to my pistol, and tritium night sights.

If ease of disassembly had been my fifth criteria, Glock excels with this as well. Field stripping is easier than boiling water, and detail stripping is not very difficult, as I've done it once with help from Youtube videos, in order to polish the trigger components. Not that it really needed it - I didn't notice a difference afterward. But I enjoy fiddling with mechanical things sometimes.

Multiple accessories abound for Glock - everything from conversion barrels to sights to competition triggers, and more. 

Speaking of triggers, the Glock stock trigger is absolutely fantastic. It is easy to find the reset point, and as a result it can be rapidly fired even with my fumble fingers.

As for reliability, I'd say my Glock gets an A+++. The only time it has ever failed to properly cycle was when firing lightweight 84 grain Magsafe ammo. It eats everything else flawlessly, and goes "bang" every time the trigger is pulled. It's comforting knowing it will perform when called upon. To be fair to Magsafe, my less than satisfactory experience with their ammo occurred more than 15 years ago. Their present ammo may function perfectly now, but I have not tested it recently.

If you are considering buying your first pistol or your tenth, you can't go wrong with a Glock.

This article was not written to sound like a commercial for Glock, nor did Glock ask me to write it. For quite a while I've been wanting to tell the story of my first pistol. I've had it for 25 years and will never sell it.

Campus Carry May Cause Georgia's Public Universities and Colleges To Attract Florida Students © 2016 by Phillip Evans

If Florida Senators Diaz de la Portilla and Andy Gardiner do not allow SB 68 a vote on the Senate floor this week, then it dies in committee. Perhaps they are afraid the Senate will pass it? Or, are they giving cover to timid Senators who are afraid to vote for Campus Carry, but who wish to still be able to claim they support the Second Amendment?

However, it looks like there is an excellent chance this year for campus carry to pass in the form of HB 859, sponsored by Representatives Rick Jasperse and Mandi Ballinger, pictured below. Perhaps Florida politicians should watch and take notes on how it gets done.

Could the ability for a 21 year old licensed adult to legally carry a concealed pistol on a college campus be an enticement to cause a student to come to Georgia for an education? You bet it could! Our schools are already very competitive, and Georgia is a great place to be. Add to that the fact that if HB 859 becomes law, students won't be sitting ducks on campus for rapists, robbers, and murderers.

Interviews with Florida citizens who choose Georgia colleges and universities with campus carry being a deciding factor is something I'm planning for future articles. So stay tuned!

Just to rub it in, I've emailed this to all of the Florida House and Senate members:

Dear Florida Lawmakers,

Florida is in for a bit of embarrassment soon if SB 68 fails to pass in the Senate. It looks like Georgia will probably get campus carry this year under HB 859.

If so, some students who had planned to attend public universities in Florida will instead choose public universities in Georgia, and some already enrolled will transfer!

And I will be interviewing some of those students and publishing those interviews widely.

Also be aware, from now on, victims of violent campus crime will be asking some of you why you failed to give them the chance to avoid injury from assault, robbery, and rape.

For those of you who truly stood with us on the side of liberty, thank you! Keep fighting the good fight!

Phillip Evans
Atlanta, GA
Member Florida Carry
Member Georgia Carry

Will The Real Anti-Liberty Villain Please Stand Up? © 2016 by Phillip Evans

If you're as old as I am, you remember that delightful game show, "To Tell The Truth", that can still be seen on cable TV, where three players tried to fool the celebrity panel as to which one was the genuine expert in a particular field, and who were the imposters. The imposters were allowed to lie, but the expert could not. It was great fun, and I still love those old black and white episodes with Kitty Carlisle, Bill Cullen, and others of that era.

There is another show being played out in Florida with regard to who is behind derailing the restoration of our human right of self-defense, and the three contestants are all Republicans.

Rights Denied

The right of licensed citizens to openly carry a holstered pistol in public (with a few exceptions such as while hunting, fishing or camping) was stripped away in 1987, orchestrated by Clinton Democrat Janet Reno of Waco fame or infamy, depending on your point of view.

Adult college students 21 and over who are licensed to carry a firearm have never had their Second Amendment Right to bear arms on a college campus in Florida recognized. It has always been infringed by Florida politicians who enjoy in their immediate vicinity armed protection, but who claim that campus police scattered about here and there is fine and dandy for you, and would have you wait until police can either rescue you or draw a chalk line around your body. 

But politicians are special, being servants of the people, so their lives get the premium protection, while you get "good enough".

If college students had the same high level of protection as state politicians, then perhaps we can talk about why it might not be so bad to keep licensed adults on campus disarmed - although even in that case, a right is still a right, regardless of how much some may believe we need it. Remember the Bill of Rights? It's not called the "Bill of Needs", and for good reason.

And Today's Contestants Are...

Who are the three players in Florida? From the top down, they are: Governor Rick Scott, Senate President Any Gardiner, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla.

One would think that with a Republican majority in the Florida Senate, things would be moving along pretty well in the rights restoration department.

However, open carry failed to pass in 2011 when SB-234 and HB-517 were amended on the Senate floor to remove the open carry provision, and campus carry failed to pass last year. 

For two years in a row, Senator Diaz de la Portilla has refused to allow campus carry to have a full vote on the Senate floor. And now he is saying that the Open Carry bill is on "life support", meaning there is a slim to none chance of it receiving a full vote. How ironic and thoughtful of him to use that phrase to describe the chances of SB 300, a bill that would help deter crime and save lives!

Just Following Orders

Let's assume for a moment that this is not by his choice, that he is following orders from his boss, Senate President Gardiner. At best then, he favors his position more than our rights, and at worst, he actually desires to keep citizens defenseless on college campuses, and to prevent us from openly carrying elsewhere in public, in a free-speech exercise of our Second Amendment Rights, and in the manner we decide best to carry for the protection of ourselves and our families.

Senate President Andy Gardiner could send both bills to the Senate floor for a vote on his own. He has that authority. His only excuse would be pressure from Governor Scott to not do that. So, same situation. Does Senator Gardiner have some reward in mind more important to him than our rights, or does he just simply hate the idea of restoring them?

Now we come to Governor Scott. Has he publicly advocated for bills he wants to see passed? Of course he has, and has taken credit for "working with the legislature" to get it done.

When first asked about the Open Carry and Campus Carry bills, was his response a resounding, "Yes!"? No, it was the whimper, "I haven't seen the bills".

Well Governor, have you seen them yet? I have spoken with someone at his office on the phone, who explained to me that the Governor is letting the bills "go through the legislative process". In other words, the Governor is content to let the bills die once again in committee. He is content to not work with the legislature in this case. Why?

Perhaps Gov. Scott is just too busy to bother with trivial matters such as the safety and rights of his citizens?

And The Winner Is...

If Florida's Governor truly advocated for our rights, he would find his voice and use it. He would exercise the prerogative of his office to be a leader and stand on principle. Does he honor our rights? His inaction to speak a word on our behalf speaks louder than the words he uses to claim he supports the Second Amendment. 

On the television show mentioned earlier, there could be only one correct choice. Who is the winner among the three Florida players? It would seem they all are. They have all effectively fooled the voters to believe that they stood for freedom. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Open Carry and Campus Carry Held Hostage by Key Republican © 2016 by Phillip Evans

Do you know why Florida's Open Carry (SB 300) and Campus Carry (SB 68) bills have been stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee since last October?

It's because Senate Judiciary Chairman, Republican Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla does not want them to be voted on by the open Senate. His boss, Senate President Andy Gardiner is in agreement with him, and refuses to let the bills out of jail.

Let's look at Portilla's admitted reason he does not like the Open Carry bill:

"It's not looking really good for open carry unless some agreement surfaces that provides for some safeguards that you don't have a Wild Wild West situation with people walking down the streets of, say Miracle Mile or International Dive or Brickell, like they are walking to the O.K. Corral," said Diaz de la Portilla. (underline and italics mine)

Folks, "Wild Wild West" and "O.K. Corral" in the context of people walking down the street is Democrat code for OPEN CARRY! Just say those phrases to a Democrat sometime, and watch him drool like you just rang the bell for Pavlov's dog.

Sen. Portilla doesn't like the Open Carry bill because it would allow people to openly carry their holstered pistols in plain sight. He believes it will scare people and hurt Florida tourism. Bull-Cow!

Tourism Excuse Debunked

Do any of those tourists visiting Florida come from 45 other states that have open carry as an option for legal carriers of firearms? If so, they've already seen it! Are they going to flock to Canada when seeking warm beaches if Florida legalizes open carry of pistols for those who hold a carry license?

Open Carry has always been legal in Georgia, and we have plenty of tourists from Japan, India, China, Africa, Germany, France, Britain, etc coming to various concerts, festivals, fairs, and other events in public parks and other public venues where citizens can legally carry holstered firearms openly. It hasn't seemed to have hurt us in the tourism-dollar pocketbook. 

One very popular tourist spot in Georgia is Stone Mountain Park. I've openly carried my holstered pistol there dozens of times (including twice at their huge July 4th celebration) as people from many varied nationalities walked right by me without crying out in fear, running away, calling the police, or grabbing one of the police officers that patrols the park. The crowd seems to get greater each year, so what does that tell you?

Lives More Precious Than Dollars

But even if open carry did somehow present a minuscule risk to tourism, does not Sen. Portilla know that being able to deter crime and save lives is more important than tourism dollars? And wouldn't less crime help tourism?

Perhaps Republican Sen. Portilla enjoys too much support from Miami Democrats? If so, then he knows where his bread is buttered, it would surely seem.

Talk Is Cheap

So what possible "agreement" coming to the surface would make Sen. Portilla happy? Why, an amendment that would strip open carry out of the open carry bill, of course! That's exactly what Representative Dave Kerner, a Democrat, tried with the House's version of Open Carry, HB 163, with his failed Committee Substitute 2, amendment number 354865.

Sen. Portilla has talked the talk when it comes to supporting the Second Amendment, but he has not walked the walk. With Open Carry and Campus Carry, both Portilla and Gardiner are Republicans acting like impudent Democrats who typically do what they can to block pro-freedom, self-defense bills that restore to citizens the rights that belong to them.

If SB 68 and SB 300 die in committee, it is my sincere hope that Senators Portilla and Gardiner never, ever utter another word about supporting the Second Amendment.

True Leadership Needed

What is needed now is true leadership from Governor Rick Scott. He has stated in the past that he would sign an open carry bill if it reached his desk. However, he is now silent and dodging the issue with the current Open Carry bills in the House and Senate. He is refusing to take a public stand on either Open Carry or Campus Carry. 

What is with this laissez faire attitude exhibited by the Governor with regard to citizens having the option to openly carry firearms for their self-protection, and to carry concealed on a college campus for the same purpose?

If you support these bills, call and write the Governor to ask him to publicly urge that they be released from captivity in the Judiciary Committee and receive an honest and open vote by the full Senate.