JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida lawmaker Randy Fine drew criticism Wednesday after tweeting a message aimed at President Joe Biden who called for the nation to act after a gunman shot and killed at least 19 children at a Texas elementary school.
“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,” tweeted Fine, a Republican from Brevard County.
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.— Rep. Randy Fine (@VoteRandyFine) May 25, 2022
An anguished and angry Biden delivered an urgent call for new restrictions on firearms after the tragedy in Texas.
He didn’t go into specifics during his address, but Biden has previously called for a ban on assault-style weapons and tougher federal background check requirements and “red flag” laws that are meant to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental health problems. According to reports, the 18-year-old suspect had a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines when he was killed by law enforcement. The Houston Chronicle said he bought an AR-15-style rifle the day after he turned 18.
Twitter users and Florida Democratic lawmakers condemned Fine’s tweet after it was posted Wednesday morning. Some Twitter users tagged the FBI and the Secret Service, interpreting the tweet as a threat.
“You’re a damn disgrace Randy Fine. A disgrace,” Florida Rep. Angie Nixon, who lives in Jacksonville, tweeted. “This sounds like a threat to the President of the United States. First you pillage education funding, then you try to steal funding from Special Olympics programming and now you’re threatening POTUS. Your rhetoric and that of DeSantis causes things like the Buffalo Massacre.”
After the backlash, Fine posted a follow-up tweet.
“The reaction exposes the lie of the left that they just want ‘common sense gun control.’ They want one thing and one thing only — gun confiscation and an end to the 2A — and the notion that Americans will exercise their right to fight them makes them go crazy. Boo hoo,” Fine tweeted.
The reaction exposes the lie of the left that they just want “common sense gun control.” They want one thing and one thing only — gun confiscation and an end to the 2A — and the notion that Americans will exercise their right to fight them makes them go crazy. Boo hoo. https://t.co/IGi2mTRkJF— Rep. Randy Fine (@VoteRandyFine) May 25, 2022
Biden spoke Tuesday night from the White House barely an hour after returning from a five-day trip to Asia that was bracketed by mass shootings in the U.S. He pleaded for action to address gun violence after years of failure — and bitterly blamed firearm manufacturers and their supporters for blocking legislation in Washington.
”When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said with emotion. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?”
Fine again addressed his tweets in an interview with reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
State Rep Randy Fine says his tweet is not a threat against President Joe Biden, but rather pointing out politicization of a school shooting.— Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) May 25, 2022
Fine responds to questions about calls for gun reform:
The Second Amendment says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
According to the National Constitution Center, recent debates about the amendment “have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms, or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard.”