Last year, despite a 50-year ban on dyeing bunnies and chicks in festive Easter colors, the Florida Legislature repealed the ban. Never mind that this practice is a form of animal cruelty and results in animals being tossed aside after the novelty of having a pink bunny pop up in an Easter basket has worn off.
No, because Florida is now a "corporations are people too" state, and the lords of business must be protected at all costs and allowed to profit off most anything or anyone in the name of the "free market." So say Republicans in the Legislature and the governor. Be it the poor in need of Medicaid, children in need of a decent education, or defenseless animals, in Florida anything goes, and they're given the privilege of paying almost nothing in taxes to do so.
This is why the 50 year ban on dyeing animals had to end:
But Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, the amendment sponsor, said dog groomers want the ban on dyeing lifted so they can colorize pets for competitions and parades. "We neuter dogs without their permission. I've never asked my poodle if he wanted a hair cut," Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, said."
Yes, one's right to "colorize" a dog to resemble, say the American flag, to celebrate the Fourth of July must not be infringed! Despite objection from animal rights groups, Rick Scott naturally signed the bill post-haste.
Well, now Bogdanoff is gone, and the woman who defeated her, Democratic Sen. Maria Sachs has filed a bill to reinstate the ban.
I'm an animal lover and think it's great that Sachs wants to ban this practice. But while we jump to file bills to protect animals like this one, we're quickly told that any bills to protect children from gun violence will likely go nowhere in the upcoming session. Nor will gun bills of any kind. Why is that?
Sure, I know the answer, because the National Rifle Association owns most of our Republican lawmakers. But why, in the face of increasing mass murders, the latest being of children, are we still so quick to say that those are the breaks, and don't bother wasting time on legislation because it will never pass? Of course, the answer is the same, the NRA.
But this time it is, and should be different. In spite of the naysayers, some bills have been filed already. Another which passed last year, one that prevented doctors from asking patients and parents with children if they had guns in their homes, was struck down by a court. Naturally, the state is appealing that ruling. Also, like clockwork, the NRA is all over the issue and trying to sway public opinion in their favor. Because children's safety takes a back seat to profits for gun manufacturers and lobbyists.
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing, the Stand Your Ground law came to the fore. Instead of actually taking a realistic look at what was wrong with that law, Gov. Scott formed a so-called task force, stacked it with pro-gun lawmakers, including the funeral home owner who helped write and sponsor the law itself, Rep. Dennis K. Baxley (R-Ocala), who predictably concluded that the law was just fine, thank you very much.
Again, we've already been told that passing any gun laws in Florida in spite of the shootings on 12-14, is really just wishful thinking. No, I don't think so. Because as those in Tallahassee pat us on the head and dismiss our "silly" concerns, they'll not only be shameless, but will illustrate yet another reason why Florida is a laughingstock to those of the sane persuasion, and why Republicans here give the nuts in their party elsewhere a real run for their money.
Because while ignoring the sane view that children have a right to be able to attend school without being riddled with bullets, they have no qualms about protecting a chick from being dyed blue.
These are the same lawmakers who argue among themselves over whether taking photographs of farm animals should be a felony or a misdemeanor.
These are the same lawmakers who have urgently fought among themselves since 2008 over the illegality of bestiality. The need to avenge the "accidental strangling death" of a goat named Meg after intercourse was of the utmost importance in 2011.
These are the same lawmakers who are actively trying to put woman's uterus behind bars even if it kills her because they claim to be pro-life.
Yes, these are the same lawmakers who may, or may not finally stand up to the NRA and say enough is enough and protect children, and all of us, from the out of control gun culture that values profits over lives every single time.
When you take a stand by saying "We neuter dogs without their permission" and that we never ask a poodle if he wants a hair cut, and also do nothing to protect children, aren't you saying "we don't ask a defenseless child if they want to be shot and killed?"
To not act on this issue is worse than being spineless. I don't care whether you're a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or any other party.
For once, you need to do the right thing. Seriously.
These are children, not rabbits.