Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

FSU President Flip-flopped on Campus Carry 4 Times

Sunday, September 27, 2015

FSU President Flip-flopped on Campus Carry 4 Times

 

DATE: September 27, 2015
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director 
  NRA Past President

 
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.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20150924/COLUMNIST/150929818/2416/NEWS?Title=Williams-FSU-president-flip-flopped-on-campus-carry-4-times



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. 


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.

Lobbying?

Even though he’s now in charge of his alma mater, Thrasher remains one of the state’s most-powerful political figures.

He was first elected to the House in 1992, and ran unopposed in his next three elections.

In 1998, he was unanimously elected Speaker of the Florida House of Representative.

He was elected to the Florida Senate in 2009. A year later, he became chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

He chaired the Senate’s powerful Rules Committee, and served on seven other committees, including the Joint Legislative Budget Commission.

Last year, he chaired Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election committee.

For those reasons, two state representatives who said Thrasher personally lobbied them about the concealed-carry bill during the last legislative session asked that their names not be used in this story.

One representative said Thrasher told him “we don’t need this bill” and “we need to put this on the back burner.”

Another lawmaker said Thrasher told him, “I want you to know I oppose the bill.”

TRENDING NOW
Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

With anti-gun Democrats back in control of the House of Representatives come January, now is the time to prepare for a new onslaught on the Second Amendment. Emboldened by the mere thought of controlling the ...

Toledo Mayor Plays Politics With Officer Safety Via New Firearm Procurement Measures

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Toledo Mayor Plays Politics With Officer Safety Via New Firearm Procurement Measures

Bad ideas have a way of recurring within gun control circles. And when they do, they are usually accompanied by self-congratulatory rhetoric about their supposedly “innovative” and “forward-thinking” nature. That was certainly the case this ...

Yes, George Soros is a Gun Grabber

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Yes, George Soros is a Gun Grabber

In 2015, billionaire gun control financier and potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg financed the creation of the anti-gun propaganda outlet The Trace. Ever grateful for their wealthy benefactor’s unfettered largesse, the Bloomberg advocacy group now views less-profligate anti-gun tycoons as ...

Indulgences for Hollywood as Movie Studio Buys Gun Offsets

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Indulgences for Hollywood as Movie Studio Buys Gun Offsets

In 2014, Hollywood movie mogul and fierce NRA critic Harvey Weinstein appeared to acknowledge the movie industry might be able to have a positive impact by reducing its glorification of criminal violence. Weinstein explained, I have to ...

NRA Challenges Constitutional Violations in Initiative 1639

News  

Thursday, November 15, 2018

NRA Challenges Constitutional Violations in Initiative 1639

The NRA was joined by the Second Amendment Foundation in filing a lawsuit challenging gun control measures recently passed in Washington ballot initiative I-1639.

California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances

Friday, November 16, 2018

California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances

The City of Palm Springs decided to repeal the reporting ordinance to avoid litigation and the City of Saratoga also withdrew an ordinance that would have imposed the same type of reporting limitation on victims of firearm ...

Surprise: Physician Group Rehashes Same Tired Gun Control Policies

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Surprise: Physician Group Rehashes Same Tired Gun Control Policies

Everyone has hobbies. Some doctors’ collective hobby is opining on firearms policy. Half of the articles in the “Latest from Annals” email from the Annals of Internal Medicine journal are related to firearms. The most prominent of these ...

Missing the Marx: Gun Control’s Future is … Communism?

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Missing the Marx: Gun Control’s Future is … Communism?

After every high profile crime committed with a firearm of any sort, there are always calls for gun control. But one particular proposal this week managed to distinguish itself amid the usual din, if only ...

Ohio: House Passes Self-Defense Legislation, Contact Your Senator

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ohio: House Passes Self-Defense Legislation, Contact Your Senator

Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 228 by a 64 to 26 vote.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.