guns

Galvano: Gun-toting teachers on the table

IMG_1251One of the most fiercely debated components of the sweeping school-safety law crafted in response to the deadly Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is back.

The commission tasked with investigating the Parkland massacre and making recommendations wants to expand the controversial “school guardian” program to allow armed teachers to bring their guns to their classrooms.

(More about that here.)

Teachers, parents and gun-control advocates raised heck over the proposal during the legislative session that ended in March. The state ended up with a watered-down version of the original bill, which now allows school personnel who are specially trained but are not full-time classroom instructors to be armed.

But Senate President Bill Galvano told reporters Thursday he’s open to the idea of allowing teachers to pack heat.

He said the commission made the recommendation after viewing video of the horrific attack at Stoneman Douglas, which left 14 students and three faculty members dead and 17 others injured.

Realistic conversation about “what can work and what seems like it could work and just makes us feel good.”

“They realized that just having responsive support and counter-defense was not enough,” the Bradenton Republican said of the commission, led by Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

“I am very open to looking at that suggestion,” Galvano said of arming teachers.

He noted that he objected to Gov. Rick Scott’s request to allow schools to use left-over money that had been earmarked for the school guardian program for the traditional school-resource officers, who are generally sheriff’s deputies.

The Senate leader acknowledged that the teachers’ union and others would likely participate in talks about the proposal.

“It will have to be a matter of everybody understanding, including myself, and having that realistic conversation about what can work and what seems like ti could work and just makes us feel good,” Galvano said.

Family members whose loved ones were killed by confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz, however, aren’t sold on the idea.

Broward County teacher Debbi Hixon’s husband, Chris, was the Parkland school’s athletics director and wrestling coach and was among the victims.

Teachers already have to prepare students for standardized tests and are responsible for their emotional and physical well-being, Hixon said.

“To add the burden of knowing that you’re responsible for taking out a shooter if they come into your room, even if a teacher thinks they are up to that task, I just think it is unfair to have that expectation for them,” she told us Thursday.

Watch it: DeSantis and “the big man himself”

Days after snagging the endorsement of “the big man himself,” U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis launched his first campaign ad in his bid to capture the GOP nomination for governor.

DeSantis is trailing state Ag Commish Adam Putnam in the polls and in fundraising, but could have a priceless asset in the GOP primary: President Donald Trump.

The ad is “part of a $12 million ad buy between now and Election Day,” according to a release issued by DeSantis’ campaign.

Apart from the glowing praise from the president (called “the big man himself” in the 30-second spot) of DeSantis as a “brilliant leader” and a “warrior,” the ad highlights DeSantis’ resume as an Iraq war vet and JAG officer who “dealt with terrorists in Guantanamo,” is “100 percent pro-life” and who is “leading the charge against illegal immigration.”

Oh, and DeSantis also has “the guts to fight establishment politicians in both parties to drain the swamp,” according to the ad.

 

Hammer: YETI stuff too expensive to blow up!

IMG_5658(1)It’s no secret to Truth or Dara followers that the National Rifle Association and Texas-based YETI are in a shoot-out over the high-dollar cooler-maker’s decision to abandon the national gun-rights group.

The decision prompted NRA supporters and Second Amendment advocates to turn to social media sites to launch an all-out assault on YETI, using the #BoycottYETI campaign, pics of YETI coolers turned into port-a-potties and videos of folks blowing up pricey YETI supplies — the coolers range from $200 to more upwards of $1,200 — in retaliation.

So it might come as a surprise that NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, a former president of the national gun lobbying-group, sent out an alert urging gun owners to drop their assault on YETI equipment.

“Don’t blow up your Yeti cooler. Don’t shoot your Yeti cooler full of holes. Don’t chain your Yeti cooler to the back of your pick-up truck and drag it down the highway. Don’t glue a toilet seat to Yeti cooler. Don’t hang your Yeti cooler in a tree and beat it with a baseball bat,” Hammer wrote in an email alert .

We’re not sure if Hammer’s message was meant to add to the bag of tricks already employed by disgruntled YETI owners.

But the Tallahassee-based great-grandma advised unhappy NRA folks to convert their YETI into a statement.

“Put a big ‘I stand with the NRA Foundation’ sticker on your YETI cooler and keep using it. They cost too much money to destroy to make a statement. Let a sticker make your statement,” she wrote in the alert.

By our kitchen-table standards, she’s right.

YETI coolers start at $200, and can run upwards of $1,200 for boaty brand-conscious buyers.

The NRA will be handing out stickers to cover YETI labels in Dallas at its annual convention in Dallas this weekend. The stickers will be available at the “NRA Foundation Wall of Guns” raffle, according to Hammer’s alert.

President Donald Trump is expected to attend the convention.

 

 

YETI spin doesn’t sit well with Marion Hammer

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We’re not bored with the NRA-YETI feud yet.

NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, a former president of the national gun-rights group, gave us a little more detail about the intensifying battle between hipster cooler company YETI and the National Rifle Association.

According to Hammer, YETI cut off its affiliation with the NRA Foundation in response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which left 14 students and three staff members dead.

The massacre prompted demands for stricter gun laws and calls for companies to cut off their affiliation with the NRA.

Last month, YETI — whose coolers were coveted by NRA supporters at banquets and auctions — did that, sparking a social media backlash and a #BoycottYETI movement.

Here’s what Hammer told us this morning about the origin of the spat:

“YETI severed ties with the NRA and is now engaging in damage control after a backlash from many of its customers. In early March, YETI refused to place a previously negotiated order from NRA-ILA, citing ‘recent events’ as the reason – a clear reference to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. YETI then delivered notice to the NRA Foundation that it was terminating a 7 year agreement and demanded that the NRA remove the YETI name and logo from all NRA digital assets, as well as refrain from using any YETI trademarks in future print material. While YETI is trying to spin the story otherwise, those are the facts.”

YETI fires back at NRA over sponsorship shoot-out. Hammer: Shame on you again!

YETI-COOLER-01-800x416With social media posts of folks shooting up their YETI mugs and coolers, or repurposing them for less sanitary activities, the Texas-based company responded yesterday to attacks from gun owners.

The flap started after YETI withdrew its discounting and sponsorship for the NRA Foundation, a non-profit that’s focused on youth and education programs, according to the gun-rights group.

YETI’s decision sparked an outcry from NRA supporters, who quickly launched a #BoycottYETI social media campaign.

But, yesterday, YETI released a statement saying the NRA’s statement issued on April 20 was “inaccurate.” And the company denies it targeted the NRA, saying it had eliminated “a group of outdated discounting programs” for the NRA and “number of other organizations.”

The company also took issue with the NRA’s accusation that YETI had abandoned its commitment to helping young people enjoy the great outdoors.

“Nothing is further from the truth. YETI was founded more than 10 years ago with a passion for the outdoors, and over the course of our history we have actively and enthusiastically supported hunters, anglers and the broader outdoor community. We have been devoted to and will continue to directly support causes tied to our passion for the outdoors, including by working with many organizations that promote conservation and management of wildlife resources and habitat restoration,” the company said.

Here’s the YETI statement, issued on Twitter yesterday:

A few weeks ago, YETI notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs. When we notified the NRA Foundation and the other organizations of this change, YETI explained that we were offering them an alternative customization program broadly available to consumers and organizations, including the NRA Foundation. These facts directly contradict the inaccurate statement the NRA-ILA distributed on April 20.

Further, the NRA-ILA stated in that same public communication that “(YETI) has declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.” Nothing is further from the truth. YETI was founded more than 10 years ago with a passion for the outdoors, and over the course of our history we have actively and enthusiastically supported hunters, anglers and the broader outdoor community. We have been devoted to and will continue to directly support causes tied to our passion for the outdoors, including by working with many organizations that promote conservation and management of wildlife resources and habitat restoration. From our website to our film footage and from our social media posts to our ambassadors, YETI has always prominently featured hunters pursuing their passions. Moreover, YETI is unwavering in our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment.

YETI’s response only seemed to inflame the already red-hot NRA.

Marion Hammer, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, blasted the Austin company for “calling us liars” in an alert issued this morning.

“Perhaps the people writing YETI’s damage control statements are not talking to the people who enforced YETI’s decisions and refused our orders. We had even offered the YETI Roadie in one of our sponsorship levels for 2018 – which we’ve had to cancel,” Hammer wrote. “We told you the truth.”

Here’s Hammer’s missive:

“If it wasn’t bad enough that YETI dropped The NRA Foundation as a client, now they’re calling us liars because we informed our members and friends of their actions.

The NRA Foundation has over 1,100 “Friends of NRA Committees” around the country. These committees host banquets and auctions that are attended by hundreds of thousands of guests each year.  These events raise funds to support charitable causes and programs.  The NRA Foundation supports the needs of  youth programs for education, safety and training, as well as law enforcement needs, shooting ranges and conservation programs.

For many years we have purchased coolers from YETI for our auctions. We have auctioned off many thousands of YETI coolers each year. YETI recently dropped The NRA Foundation as a client.  Not only would they not take our orders for more coolers, they forced us to cancel orders already in the system that they said they would not fill.

Three days after we notified you of YETI’s decision to drop The NRA Foundation, YETI issued their prepared statement in which they admit they dropped us but claim they simply eliminated the discount program and dropped other (unnamed) organizations as well.  That’s news to us.

Perhaps the people writing YETI’s damage control statements are not talking to the people who enforced YETI’s decisions and refused our orders. We had even offered the YETI Roadie in one of our sponsorship levels for 2018 – which we’ve had to cancel.

We told you the truth.

YETI’s attempts at damage control is to say our statement is not accurate.  Shame on you again YETI.  You know you made a mistake.  A big one. Now you must live with your mistake.

NRA supporters hot and bothered over YETI coolers

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The picture sums up what National Rifle Association supporters think of YETI, the maker of spendy coolers that we’re pretty certain weren’t designed for the repurpose captured above.

It’s all part of the #BoycottYETI movement launched over the Texas-based company said it no longer wanted to be a vendor for the NRA Foundation.

The high-dollar coolers were a huge hit at NRA Foundation banquets and auctions throughout the country, according to an alert sent out by NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, a onetime president of the national gun-rights group.

The foundation events “raise money to support youth programs and education programs nationwide,” Hammer wrote in the alert.

“The youth of America who benefit from these programs are the future hunters, hikers, fishermen/women, bikers, campers, wildlife photographers, mountain climbers, sportsmen/women and conservationists who will protect our natural resources and recreational lands,” according to Hammer.

Here are a few more samples of the reaction to YETI’s decision:

 

Now Hammer’s set her sights on YETI

L_Main_Blue_F_Up_Expanded_Tundra_RoadieThe National Rifle Association is targeting YETI after the Texas-based maker of high-dollar cups and coolers dropped its sponsorship of the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country, according to an alert issued by NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer today.

The YETI coolers “have been a hot item for sportsmen” at the events for years, according to Hammer’s alert.

“Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor, and refused to say why.  They will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation.  That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed.  They have declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.  These activities enable them to appreciate America and enjoy our natural resources with wholesome and healthy outdoor recreational and educational programs,” the alert reads. “In this day and age, information is power.  We thought you needed this information.”

The NRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, according to the alert, which also includes a link to YETI’s online contact service.