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Florida State University President Thrasher Flip-flopped 4 times on Campus Carry

The media love to expose the underbelly of politicians whether it favors their own position or not.  Changing positions on issues only once apparently is acceptable but multiple times on the same issue rankles even the most understanding and tolerant person.

It is particularly significant when someone who uses his/her position to expend state funds to lobby the legislature against the constitutional rights of the people who pay those taxes.

Further, it is egregious when that position and power can be used to curtail First amendment rights to keep others from speaking out against the administration on Second Amendment rights.

Conservative, pro-campus carry faculty members and employees have expressed fear of retaliation if they speak out in support of issues which the anti-gun administration opposes.  There is a chill and a suppression of First Amendment rights when it comes to speaking out on gun rights.  If you support the administration’s position, you’re golden.  If you oppose their position, they’re afraid to speak out.

The following article published in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune strikes at the heart of the problem of people of power forgetting their true obligation.

Williams: FSU president flip-flopped on campus carry 4 times

By Lee Williams

Published: Herald Tribune, Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 1:27 p.m.

John-Thrasher

Florida State University president John Thrasher

Florida State University president John Thrasher has become one of the most vocal opponents of campus-carry legislation in Florida.

The bill introduced by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, would allow concealed-carry licensees to tote firearms for self-defense on college and university campuses.

Thrasher has very adamantly and very publicly criticized Steube’s bill, and similar legislation in the Senate.

“I’m personally opposed to it. I think it’s a bad thing for universities to do. I would love to see us have a gun-free zone frankly on our campus,” Thrasher said earlier this year.

It is a position that Thrasher has held on-again, off-again in the past five years: a Herald-Tribune investigation found that Thrasher has switched his position on campus carry four times during that time frame.

Two state representatives have told the newspaper that Thrasher personally lobbied them to vote against the campus-carry bill, even though state law prohibits him from lobbying lawmakers for two years after leaving the Senate.

“It seems as though he’s obviously taking the position he would take as president of the university,” Steube said. “I’d ask him why he’s changed his position back and forth.”

Flip-flopping

Thrasher supported campus carry in 2010, according to the “Florida Candidate Questionnaire” created jointly by the National Rifle Association and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, the state NRA-affiliate.

The candidates were asked: “Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licenses are only issued to law-abiding adults who are 21 years of age or older. Do you believe the constitutional right of self-defense does not end on the campus of a college or university and that anti-gun administrators should stop discriminating against persons licensed by the state to lawfully carry firearms for self defense?”

Thrasher agreed, putting a check mark by a response that stated: “Yes, and I would support legislation to stop colleges and universities from banning lawful self-defense on campus.”

The two gun groups gave him an “A” rating.

One year later, Thrasher, as Rules Committee chairman, single-handedly killed a concealed-carry bill that was sponsored by Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker.

The reason? The daughter of Thrasher’s dentist had been accidentally shot and killed by her boyfriend during a late-night party at an off-campus fraternity. The boyfriend, who at 18 did not possess a concealed-carry license, told police he did not know his rifle was loaded. He also admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

Thrasher told one newspaper that the decision to kill the 2011 bill was “beyond personal.”

A year later, in the 2012 candidate questionnaire, Thrasher for the first time opposed campus carry. He wrote a personal note on the form to former Marion Hammer, executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and a past-president of the NRA: “Marion, you and I have discussed.”

Based upon his response, the NRA and USF downgraded Thrasher’s candidate rating to a B-minus.

In 2014, facing reelection, Thrasher switched his position on campus carry again — this time supporting the bill — and he wrote another note to Hammer: “I am a strong advocate of the NRA and the second amendment and plan to continue to be.”

The two gun groups restored Thrasher’s A-rating.

FSU’s Board of Trustees selected Thrasher to serve as president in September 2014.

Just 10 days after taking office, there was a shooting in the FSU library. A 31-year-old alumnus shot a university employee and two students before he was fatally shot by police.

After the shooting, Thrasher changed his position again, and now remains opposed to campus carry.

Thrasher, in a brief interview Wednesday, said he had never flip-flopped since the death of his dentist’s daughter.

“When the young woman was shot on campus and killed accidentally by a student who had a gun, that’s when I changed my position,” he said. “I don’t care what I filled out. My position is that I’m opposed to guns. I don’t think it’s a good idea. That’s where I was last year. That’s where I was after the young woman was shot. I don’t care what the NRA says. Thank you.”

Hammer told the Herald-Tribune that she seldom sees anyone switch their position on the campus-carry bill, much less four times, since it “has no gray area.”

“Generally, we believe that when a candidate flip-flops, they have reasons that are not in the best interest of the Second Amendment that they profess to support,” she said.

Read more.

Florida Campus Carry: An Interview with Rep. Greg Steube

Reporter Lee Williams with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune conducted a special TV interview with Rep. Greg Steube on the campus carry issue and the bill (HB-4001) he has re-filed for the 2016 Florida Legislative Session.  The interview link accompanies his blog article.

Excerpt from blog article: 

“During the last legislative session, Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda broke ranks and supported the campus carry bill. The Tallahassee Democrat gave moving testimony about how she used a pistol to stop an assault while she was a college student.”

“Asked if Steube’s bill represents a choice between campus carry and campus rape, Hammer said, ‘I would not argue with that.’

“As a mother who raised three daughters, and as a grandmother raising a granddaughter now in college, I would certainly not argue with that,’ Hammer said. And I would suggest to you, that Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda would not argue with that either.”  

Click Here to watch the TV Interview.


CAMPUS CARRY COMMENTS by Lee Williams

Few bills have been subjected to more myths and misconceptions than Rep. Greg Steube’s campus-carry legislation, which he recently re-introduced.

Opponents act as though the three-term state rep will be handing out Glocks during freshman orientation.

Mike Young and I invited the Sarasota Republican to a special edition of The Gun Writer TV, to explain his reasons for the legislation — his legislative intent.

For Steube, it’s about making sure that concealed-carry licensees are not stripped of their right to self defense, and removing another gun-free zone, which are magnets for trouble.

While his bill has garnered some opposition, it’s received even stronger support.

Marion Hammer, executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and a past president of the National Rifle Association, strongly supports the campus-carry legislation.

“A gun-free Campus creates a Sanctuary campus and safe haven for rapists and criminals. Don’t you think it’s odd for the League of Women Voters to engage in this anti-women, anti-self-defense movement?” Hammer said.

“Not only are opponents of license holders having guns on campus engaging in a war against the Second Amendment and self-defense, they are engaging in a war against women who need to be able to defend themselves against rape and physical violence on a college campus.

“Women should not be required to surrender their constitutional right of self-defense and they clearly should not left defenseless against a rapist.

“Those who oppose self-defense by women don’t have the facts on their side. When they can’t back up their political views with facts and reality, they resort to emotional rhetoric and predictions of doom,” Hammer said.

The Florida League of Women Voters has said they plan to oppose the bill, again. The League has a history of anti-gun activism, which began in 1990 with “support of banning assault weapons, requiring all dealers to run criminal background checks at gun shows, and opposing laws that grant special protection for the gun industry.

”The League’s activism continues to this day. Last week, Chuck O’Neal, the League’s First Vice-President, filed suit to stop the statewide bear hunt. The League also opposed the removal of the ban on using suppressors for hunting in Florida.

When the ban was lifted, they filed suit against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and lost. They also opposed campus carry during the last legislative session.

Bloomberg proxy group Everytown for Gun Safety has also voiced their opposition to Campus Carry in Florida last month.

During the last legislative session, Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda broke ranks and supported the campus carry bill. The Tallahassee Democrat gave moving testimony about how she used a pistol to stop an assault while she was a college student.

Asked if Steube’s bill represents a choice between campus carry and campus rape, Hammer said, “I would not argue with that.”

“As a mother who raised three daughters, and as a grandmother raising a granddaughter now in college, I would certainly not argue with that,” Hammer said. “And I would suggest to you, that Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda would not argue with that either.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Seattle Moves Forward with “Gun Violence Tax” on all Guns and Ammo

Danger: Public-private partnerships come to Florida

Governor Rick Scott signed into law HB 85 – Public-Private Partnerships (PPP or P3) on June 27th, 2013. HB 85 states:

Public-Private Partnerships: Provides legislative findings & intent relating to construction or improvement by private entities of facilities used predominantly for public purposes; provides for procurement procedures, requirements for project approval, project qualifications & process, notice to affected local jurisdictions, comprehensive agreements between public & private entities, use fees, financing sources for certain projects by private entities, & applicability of sovereign immunity for public entities with respect to qualified projects; authorizes counties to enter into public-private partnership agreements to construct, extend, or improve county roads; provides requirements & limitations for such agreements; provides procurement procedures; requires fee for certain proposals; revises limit on terms for leases that Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority may enter.

HB 85 takes effective on July 1, 2013

According to Joan Veon, author, journalist and expert on globalization, “Public- Private Partnerships are one of the most effective tools that are used by the globalists to implement Agenda 21 Sustainable Development, with the goal of destroying the structure of governments that represent the people, and puts profits and resources in the hands of those private interests.”

The below video is by Cassandra Anderson, based on an interview with Veon discussing public-private partnerships.

According to Veon:

The public part of the Public- Private Partnership (PPP or P3) is the government, which becomes corrupted and no longer represents the taxpayers, when it accepts funding from private interests. Further, the government becomes silent against abuses to the public when they have been compromised by PPP business arrangements, and, worse yet, may also sell off resources and utilities that were owned by the taxpayers. The government does this because they are broke and more taxation is unpopular.

The private part of the PPP is often a combination of these entities: * Corporations (usually multinational) * Foundations (like Rockefeller) * Associations * Universities * Any entity with a lot of money * Non-Governmental Agencies (NGO’s). NGO’s are usually environmental agencies, like the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy.

The private stakeholder in the business arrangement always has profit as its goal, not service. Service was formerly the role of the representative government. The assets that once belonged to the taxpayers are then transferred to private interests, in a transfer of wealth through the assets, to private parties that seek profit at any price. Frequently, deceit, deception and distortion are used to fleece the taxpayer into this ‘solution’ for governments that are broke.

American local, county, state and the federal governments have gone broke and are ripe for the sale of their assets to PPP’s because of deficit spending, and a lack of economic common sense. John Maynard Keynes promoted deficit spending to Roosevelt as a way to escape the Depression. This results in diluted government and loss of power.

For more information on PPP’s and related topics visit www.womensgroup.org.