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St. Pete Councilor Wants Resolution on Gun Control

Council member Steve Kornell wants city council to vote on a resolution for the city's lobbyists to go to Tallahassee to fight for more stringent gun laws.

In the wake of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. many organizations, government officials and businesses are rethinking and challenging America’s policy on gun control.

Local Rep. Kathy Castor is calling for a limit on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons; former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said there needs tougher background checks and even Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods are curtailing their sales of assault weapons.

In St. Pete, one council member is seeking a resolution to ask city lobbyists to pressure state officials in Tallahassee to have a discussion on stricter gun laws in Florida.

“I think the two things for sure that need to happen, No. 1, an assault weapons ban,” said council member Steve Kornell. “That and tightening up the laws that allow you to prosecute someone for purchasing a gun for someone that can’t buy one legally.”

He said "assault weapon" is too loosely defined, too easy to obtain and just too dangerous to do any good. 

Council will discuss the proposed resolution, which was submitted by Kornell this week, at the Jan. 10 council meeting.

While his new business item is about having a gun control discussion, Kornell insists his action was not a knee-jerk reaction to the shootings in Connecticut that left 27 dead.

“That was a horrific tragedy. My heart and prayers go out to the families,” Kornell said. “But, I’m also concerned with what’s happening right here.

“Since the elementary school shooting, we’ve had the guy in Clearwater Beach found with a cache of guns and we had a shooting (yesterday) morning at a hotel in Kenwood,” Kornell added.

Kornell, who is also a school social worker at Dixie Hollins High School, tried to bring a similar gun control resolution before council in June 2011. However, his proposal was rebuffed by half of the council out of fear of legal repercussions from Gov. Rick Scott.

A new Florida law prohibits municipal governments from passing laws pertaining to state gun law. Those who do, face legal action from the state.

For Kornell, this is part of the problem.

“Tallahassee is so beholden to the NRA, they don’t want to hear anything from the people,” Kornell said on why cities hands are tied in making gun laws. “The NRA has stopped representing gun owners and hunters and really started representing gun manufactures that pump millions of dollars into these lobbying efforts.

“To continue to bury our heads in the sand and let the NRA write gun laws and influence policy, I don’t think it’s going to have a positive result for the people of St. Petersburg,” Kornell added.

PeggyCR December 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I'm with you Steve! Let's do this!
Dharma December 20, 2012 at 02:11 PM
lets just do it, and see if there is a difference. we will never know without doing it.
CJ December 20, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Steve Kornell made my list of politicians to not support. How about a law like this instead: If a caregiver such as (especially) a parent gives weapon access to a person they know is unstable, make it a zero tolerance felony with a huge fine and min jail time of 7-30 days. From then on, they'd be banned from owning weapons since they would now be a convicted felon. The guns would need to be locked in a gun safe that the mental person does not have the combo to. The guns must be in the safes unless the gun was out to clean, or in a conceal and carry manner, or under the control of someone that is actively checking out a security threat in their home. Yes...I'm suggesting that a person in this situation have a conceal and carry handgun on them even in their own home, or have it in the safe. Some people take a gun to bed and keep in right under their pillow, which would be the same as conceal and carry. That's our right to bare arms. Most people have gun safes to prevent theft. If there are no unstable people declared in the home, the gun safe would be at the discretion of a gun owner. Freedom of choice. Gun's in safe provide protection. They need to be kept ready. Homes that have mental people will just have to deal with more restrictions than others. That kind of legislation has teeth to it. Most of the gun restrictions tabled now will unfairly restrict law abiding citizens..and the criminals will continue to do what they want will total disregard of the laws.
Sandy Heins December 20, 2012 at 03:38 PM
I agree. Ban those assault rifles and a much more in depth background check. The gun people shouldn't have a problem with that. If they have nothing to hide, it shouldn't be a problem. I would think they would want the nutcases being checked out and not allowed to carry weapons as much as the non gun people.
CJ December 20, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Sandy. Now explain how any of what you suggested would make a difference in this school shooting? It wouldn't. Where do I begin showing holes in your typical anti-gun views? 1-None of the guns belonged to the 20 year old who did the shooting. 2-They belonged to his Mother, who had gone through the background checks. 3-The Mother was trying to obtain conservator-ship over her son, the shooter, in order to have him committed for mental evaluation. 4-A background checked wouldn't show mental issues with the kid at that point, because the mother hadn't yet obtained the right yet to have him declared unstable. 5- Even if she ''had'', law does not prevent guns in homes with other house members that have mental issues. I'll stop there. My comment above addresses that issue. Let me propose a hypothetical, but very possible scenario for you. Suppose you and/or your family are home alone and you can tell there are 3 thugs with unknown weapons who are obviously intending to break in your home. They either don't think anyone is home (burglary), ''or'' they don't care (home invasion and burglary). It is very likely they are heavily armed. Even with no guns on them, 3 thugs could easily kill you. Even if you are lightly armed. You have 3 guns in your home. One...a ''legal'' small handgun. The other, an assault weapon that has been stored aside now because it is now illegal. You still have ammo, etc for it. Which one are you going to want to use? I ''know'' the answer to that question.
CJ December 20, 2012 at 04:38 PM
..my math or fingers got messed up...I mean't...''You have ''2'' guns...'' (not 3).
Lava December 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM
My god, the very first sentence "in the wake of the horrific shooting" the government promptly makes sure that people will die the next time.!!! Every shooting, the gov promptly ensures the survivors don't have weapons to protect from the next shooter!! I can't finish the article until i vent about this.
Rider December 21, 2012 at 10:38 PM
CJ this isn't anti gun....it's anti assault weapons.....big, big difference.....
CJ December 22, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Don't be silly mincing words. You obviously don't know much about guns. What makes "assault" attached is it built to the rigors of combat, police work, etc. Even a .22 rifle could be made into an assault rifle. The fact a gun is semi-auto, use high caliber bullets, etc, have little or nothing to do with it being an assault weapon. That is all besides the point. I see you are the type who reads a persons comment and then only attacks a single phrase of sentence they write. How convenient of you to completely ignore the scenario I portrayed. Why do you think you are so special that you have the right to define what type of weapon we should have the freedom to choose to protect ourselves? You are wrong in your comment. Assault ''or whatever'', those against assault weapon ''are'' anti-gun. You are also wrong about there being any difference. I am telling you that I, or anyone have the right to determine for themselves if they want fire power to equal what they might be up against. In my scenario, if 3 thugs are on my porch and I know they are planning to break in, then I want an '''assault'' rifle or other gun that has the same firepower where, "if I choose to", I don't have to wait until they bust through my door and have the jump on me. I want to be able to , "if I decided I wanted to", shoot right through my walls and kill them dead on the spot without them even having a chance against me...and I want to shoot them with as many bullets I can to make sure they are dead.
CJ December 22, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Rider. Since you are so confused, I will summarize what I wrote with only one of the sentences I just wrote..it's the only concept you need to try and ''get''... ''Why do you think you are so special that you have the right to define what type of weapon we should have the freedom to choose to protect ourselves?'' Huh? Tell me. How many examples do you need to wake you up to why citizens need equal fire power to what they might encounter? As far as that goes...who says I want ''equal'' power? Even if 3 thugs with Saturday Nigh Specials, they probably can barely use, are at ''my'' house to do harm to me and/or my family...I ''don't care'' if my ''assault rifle'' or my semi-auto deer rifle (which is virtually the same weapon) ''way'' overpowers what ''they'' have...then so be it. I still want to shoot them dead, and have a magazine with extra rounds to chase them down and be sure I get them all...and kill them. I don't want to wound them. I want them dead. I don't exercise compassion to 3 thugs who were ready to break into my house and do harm to me and/or my family. Don't call me a hater. I'm not. Don't call me too harsh. ''Harsh'' is what ''they'' were intending to do...''not'' what I would do to them instead with the weapon of my own choosing. Do you really think I want to ''wound'' 3 thugs...them possibly not dying...then they go to prison...and get out later...and then I have to worry about them the rest of my life? Be serious. I want them dead.
Rider December 23, 2012 at 12:22 AM
CJ, good luck! The ban on these weapons whose sole purpose is to maim or kill many people within minutes will probably pass, just like the 30 day cooling off/registration did (the Brady bill) If you recall, Mr Brady was maimed by gunfire and he wrote this piece of reasonable legislation and someone similar (actually, a coalition of reps from both parties) will come together and make it difficult as possible to obtain these weapons that are wreaking havoc on too many innocent families and innocent people. The 2nd Amendment stands as it should. There is a more-than-ample supply of guns available now and this number will increase after assault weapons and magazines for them are banned.
CJ December 23, 2012 at 02:56 AM
You said ''good luck''. Sorry, but I don't catch your meaning and don't see what I am supposed to get from that. How can you expect to seriously debate a person on a subject when you do not addresses questions and examples given for you to respond to? You have already ignored several things I have taken the time to suggest to you. It is ''you'' who challenged my comments..not the other way around. All you do is read people comments and then come back with some scripted robot reply. What...are you a paid blogger? Why should I waste my time trying to talk sense to you? Why is it that people like you just don't ''get'' the fact of an old saying: ''if you take guns away from citizens, then it will only be the criminals who have them''? Now, I realize that no one is talking about literally taking away every gun...but in regard to assault weapons...it is unfair to remove them from our choice of weapons to own so that we can keep an even edge with any threats we may encounter.
CJ December 23, 2012 at 03:15 AM
..oh...and try skipping all the drama such as your childish comments such as ''these weapons whose sole purpose is to maim or kill many people within minutes''. Murders use weapons to kill people. Citizens use them to keep themselves from being killed and fight back against crime...and for pleasure such as hunting and/or target practice to hone their skill at using these weapons effectively. I don't agree entirely with the NRA position that is being taken out of context and exploited that we put an armed policeman in every school. I have issue with that for several reasons. 1-it's too expensive 2-it's a lot to ask of any patrolman to be assigned to a task like that. He would likely be killed, and killed first. It is very probable any attacker would simple shoot the officer from a hidden position from a distance without the officer ever knowing there was even a bad guy around. 3 how about a ''better idea''. For example...go into schools and first see which teachers would be willing to be on call and armed while still teaching a class? Don't require ''all'' teachers to arm themselves, but allow the ones who want to, to do so. But for the teachers who volunteered to become part of the organized armed group...have them take turns on a schedule by the week. Pay them more those weeks for being armed. Then if doors are shot open, like this guy did, and alarms sound, then armed teachers trained to respond tactfully, will have a very great chance of taking out a shooter first.
Rider December 23, 2012 at 04:27 AM
You are obviously committed to your cause. Good luck as it is probably in the minority of opinions and, based on precedence, reason will rule. Don't worry, there are lots and lots of guns available and there always will be. There is no need to be so didactic. It is healthy to scrutinize any attempt to regulate a right and you will strengthen your position by avoiding personal slams. Passion is good, really good, yet it does not require a disrespect for other positions. Have a great Sunday.
CJ December 23, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Hh ..go change your diaper and get off the porch. Don't start something if you can't take it in return. You are your silly ''big, big difference'' remark. And what the heck does ''didactic'' mean? Don't use language like that around here..go wash your mouth out with soap. You don't listen to a thing people say to you in that little box of a world you live in. I tried to make sense to you, but some people simple are too think headed.
CJ December 23, 2012 at 08:48 PM
''Oh''
TBInCW January 09, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Steve Kornell is ignorant about guns, and the law. Semi-Autos are not Automatic Rifles. Automatic Rifles and "Assault rifles" are banned by NFA1934 and GCA1968. This law is in effect already. These words and feel good knee jerk crap is ridiculous. You guys can say what you want, but Chicago is the Utopia of Gun Control Laws. If you want stricter gun control move to Chicago. Also CT has an "Assault Rifle" ban and the ban states that it is illegal to sell or transfer an "Assault Rifle" in the state of CT. CT Law Chapter 943 Sec 53-202c Possession of an "Assault Rifle" Prohibited. It lists by name the Bushmaster as a banned weapon. So tell me how that ban worked in Newtown?
TBInCW January 11, 2013 at 06:10 AM
I forgot to address his second point about straw purchases. Apparently 10 years and $250000 is something he is not aware is the law, so maybe he should be aware of what laws exist before telling us that we need more, abd stating that we need laws that are already on the books. http://www.dontlie.org/FAQ.cfm

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