"I don’t believe if somebody wants to defend themselves they should have to garner the permission of the government," Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, told reporters.

State Rep. Anthony Sabatini is seeking to render the state’s concealed carry license law for handguns moot.


He’s filed HB 273 for the upcoming January session, which would allows all Floridians to openly carry guns in public with or without the carry license.


"I don’t believe if somebody wants to defend themselves they should have to garner the permission of the government," Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, told reporters.


We suppose, following that line of reasoning, we shouldn’t need to ask permission to build a 90-foot wall complete with a pride of lions - and hungry ones at that - patrolling the premises regardless of zoning or animal training knowledge or, well, you get the picture.


Sabatini’s idea isn’t new. It’s called "constitutional carry" and is in place in 16 other states today.


In Florida a carry permit is required except for hunting, fishing and evacuating from a hurricane. That would end. Open carry is not a current option.


But the bill goes further. It continues prohibitions of carrying guns in courtrooms, college campuses and legislative meetings. But the penalty for breaking that law would be reduced from a third-degree felony to a second-degree misdemeanor.


Sabatini’s reasoning would be laughable if it were not so dangerous. He explained it this way: "You should have to prove actual malice, in my opinion, to give someone a felony."


He said gun owners accidentally carry guns into courtrooms and the chambers of Florida’s Senate and House and shouldn’t be so severely penalized for that mistake.


First, there are no mandatory sentencing guidelines established for being caught with a gun in a courtroom. And a felony charge - think your right to vote - is more of an incentive to not be "forgetful" of that particular prohibition. Besides, a judge might be the better arbiter for meting out severity of the infraction. But, what do they know?


The bill would also reverses a law passed in the wake of the deadly Parkland shooting — allowing those under 21 to legally purchase weapons again.


Finally, perhaps the most dangerous proposal: that of what’s called "reciprocity." It would require Florida to recognize concealed weapons licenses and prerogatives from all other states, including those with stauncher or looser requirements.


We get the Second Amendment. We get what freedom means.


But freedom is a two-sided coin upon which society is balanced. When one’s freedom endangers another, one side gains a freedom while the other loses one.


Carrying guns isn’t a freedom like voting or free speech. It is a larger responsibility. And society by definition sets parameters for the larger good.


It was John Locke who said, "The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom."


Among the bigger issues facing society is the casual slaughter of innocent people by bad people. We’re not making much ground in solving the problem, but the last thing we need during this crisis is a step backward.


That’s what this is.