Did Florida Rep. Randy Fine just threaten the president's life? Secret Service better find out | Editorial




 

Rep. Randy Fine, a Republican member of the Florida House with a proven lack of impulse control, common sense or human decency, tweeted what sounds like a threat against the president.

The Secret Service should take it seriously. We don't know Fine's true intent, and his denial is more muddying than clarifying, so the authorities must find out.

Here's what Fine said on Twitter: "I have news for the embarrassment that claims to be our president - try to take our guns and you'll learn why the Second Amendment was written in the first place."

He made this wretched comment after President Biden responded to the horrific massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, in which 19 children and two adults died.

The president said, in part: "When we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down. When the law expired, mass shootings tripled. The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong.

"What, in God's name, do you need an assault weapon for, except to kill someone? Deer aren't running through the forest with Kevlar vests on, for God's sake. It's just sick.

"And the gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons, which make them the most and largest profit.

"For God's sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry."

Angry words from a decent man weary of having to offer national solace again and again - this time, right on the heels of a fatal shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in which 10 people were killed.

Nowhere in Biden's complete statement did he say, "We're going to come for your guns," as Fine glibly accuses in his TV interview about his tweet. There was no "hatred on the left for the Second Amendment" from the president. There was no mention of it at all, in fact.

Fine, himself, is a piece of work - a public servant, purportedly. After Tuesday's school shooting, he did tweet: "I will never forget presenting a bill on the floor as I watched my colleagues become frenetic as we learned about Parkland. I think of how heartbroken we were - and are - as we pray for those children, staff and families in Texas. May the murderer spend eternity in hell."

In 2018, Fine, indeed, did vote for a massive package of school safety and gun control reforms after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, in which 17 students and faculty members died. Just a few weeks after that vote, though, Fine said he wanted to repeal the legislation's gun-control measures, including a three-day waiting period, a higher minimum age to buy guns from a dealer and a ban on the possession and sale of bump stocks.

In February, Fine evaded criminal charges after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into allegations that the state representative committed corruption via threats against a public servant, cyber-intimidation, voter fraud and stalking. Though Brevard County prosecutors ultimately said Fine's actions didn't rise to the level of criminal behavior or were permitted by state law, State Attorney Phil Archer said that: "I am concerned that the continued use of heated rhetoric on social media and public statements by both sides could produce a volatile and dangerous escalation we should all seek to avoid."

Fine, obviously, has ignored this grave concern, as evidenced by his repugnant tweet. But the Secret Service cannot ignore Fine's words, which indeed could "produce a volatile and dangerous escalation" among the most easily swayed among us.

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