It’s ironic, though, that a Republican state legislator recently filed a bill to allow guns at Florida airports.
Originally filed last month on December 9, Steube introduced his bill to the Judiciary Committee on January 3, just three days before the tragic shooting at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Called “one of the Legislature’s fiercest opponents to gun-free zones” by The Tallahassee Democrat, Steube has support from Florida Open Carry, Inc., a gun-rights group in the Sunshine State, which called SB 140 “the most important pro-Second Amendment rights bill of the 2017 legislative session.”
When asked for comment after the January 6 shooting, Steube told Miami New Times:
“Obviously, just like any of these shootings, this is a tragedy, and it's sad, and my prayers and thoughts go out to all the victims and their families.”
"I think it further enforces the point: People should have the ability to defend themselves."
Steube also believes today’s incident defends his argument. Terrorists go to “gun-free zones” because they know no one can shoot back, he said.
In-depth research on mass shootings says otherwise, however, proving that a “gun-free” status plays no part in such actions of shooters and terrorists.
The Judiciary Committee of Florida’s state senate has canceled its January 10 meeting about SB 140. The bill was only for show anyway, state Rep. Evan Jenne (D-Broward) told The Tallahassee Democrat earlier this week. Said Broward:
“We’re in a perpetual campaign in the House and this is just red meat to keep people riled up. When you have to run every two years keeping your base engaged and motivated is very important.”
His access to a weapon in the airport today appears to be an unexpected fault in security, which may have led Santiago-Ruiz to seek opportunity to create disturbance.
When boarding his flight from Anchorage to Florida, Santiago-Ruiz checked in a weapon with his non-carry-on luggage, CBS News reports. He was able to access that weapon when retrieving his baggage, and then apparently loaded the gun and began firing.