This is a new local blog for Florida's sixth Congressional district and watching the actions of Cliff Stearns, the Republican representative who misserves us in Washington. If you are interested in posting at The Case Against Cliff, drop me a line at with some idea of your Democratic and/or progressive credentials and I'll add you as a blogger.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cliff Embarrasses Us Again (and Again)

It has been a very bad month for constituents of the Sixth District of Florida. Cliff Stearns has risen to new levels of embarrassment for the district.

On January 7, he achieved the honor of being Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World". He achieved that honor by asking Nancy Pelosi to delay votes in the House so that he could attend the college football national championship game:

One week later, he joined with 136 of his fellow Republican child-haters, in voting against the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. Why does Cliff not want children to have health insurance?

This week, Cliff has topped himself, by taking to the internet with a posting at, which bills itself as "Headquarters of the Conservative Underground". I don't think they are quite far enough underground.

Here is Cliff's latest burst of genius:
That is why I, along with Representative Rich Boucher (D-Va.) introduced H.R. 197, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act. Our legislation proposes a federal law that would entitle any person with a valid state-issued concealed carry permit to carry in any other state, as follows: In a state that issues carry permits, its laws would apply. In states that don’t issue carry permits, the Federal law providing a "bright-line" standard would permit carrying in places other than police stations; courthouses; public polling places; meetings of state, county, or municipal governing bodies; schools; passenger areas of airports; etc. The bright-light standard in itself is not a license -- the individual would still have to possess a valid state permit issued by their state of residence. It doesn't make sense to me for Americans to forfeit their safety because they happen to be on vacation or on a business trip. This legislation would greatly enhance the safety of this nation's ever-increasing mobile society.

That's right, Cliff wants to make it possible for people from a state that allows concealed weapons permits to carry concealed weapons in states that do not allow their own citizens to carry. What ever happened to the old conservative mantra of "states' rights"? Shouldn't a state be able to decide on its own that it doesn't want concealed weapons to be carried?

Stearns goes on to claim that violence rates have dropped steadily in states with concealed carry laws. However, as pointed out in the Ocala Star Banner:
Yet a spokesman for a leading gun control group cautioned against putting too much faith in the safety or constitutional arguments for the Stearns-Boucher bill.

For one thing, Florida is a "terrible example" of the effectiveness of concealed-carry laws, said Doug Pennington, spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Pennington pointed out that the same FBI reports Stearns relies on show that since 1987, when Florida enacted its concealed weapons law, until 2004, the state was the most violent, or second-most violent, state in America. The most recent report had it fifth.

"Exporting the Florida model to the rest of the country is probably not the greatest policy idea ever conceived," Pennington said.

A visit to the Brady Campaign's website provides even more good information on the lunacy of those who promote the radical right's agenda of more guns for everyone. Take this, for example:
In the four years since the federal assault weapons ban expired on September 15, 2004, at least 163 people have been killed and 185 wounded with military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, including at least 38 police officers killed or wounded, according to a report being issued today by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

But finally, as they state on the main part of their website, the Brady Campaign tells us that in 2004, murderers used guns to kill 5 people in New Zealand, 37 in Sweden, 56 in Austrailia, 73 in England and Wales, 184 in Canada and 11,344 in the United States. Those guns are doing a heckuva job, just like Cliff.

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