As a favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 (if former President Donald Trump doesn't run), Florida governor Ron DeSantis has leapt to ingratiate himself with Republican voters.
Despite hailing Florida's 2020 election procedures as successful, DeSantis signed into law a restrictive voter suppression bill, and also signed legislation banning transgender girls from playing on girls' sports teams in public schools.
Now, DeSantis has signed into law a bill requiring at least one minute of silence during each school day to allow students to meditate or pray.
DeSantis said of the bill:
"It's important to be able to provide each student the ability every day to reflect and be able to pray as they see fit. The idea that you can just push God out of every institution and be successful, I'm sorry, our founding fathers did not believe that."
Now, Fred Guttenberg is calling him out.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Parkland, Florida remains one of the most devastating mass shootings in Florida history. On Valentine's Day of 2018, a shooter opened fire on his fellow students, killing 17 people. Among those 17 was Jamie Guttenberg, a student at the school and Guttenberg's daughter.
After her death, Guttenberg made it his life's mission to pressure lawmakers to pass common sense gun law reform.
But with Florida growing increasingly red and the gun lobby retaining its grip on Republican elected officials, little has been done to curb access to assault weapons and other firearms in the state.
Predictably, DeSantis has actively hindered efforts at increasing the regulation of firearms, signing a bill last month that could force local governments in the state to pay up to $100 thousand in fines if they're sued for implementing gun legislation.
Guttenberg skewered DeSantis' new prayer law and his opposition to gun reform.
.@GovRonDeSantis just signed bill requiring a moment of silence. Children can now pray in school that they won't b… https://t.co/N4zpoBrj5s— Fred Guttenberg (@Fred Guttenberg) 1623779959.0
People shared Guttenberg's misgivings.
Critical race theory, prayer in school, Dr Seuss - Anything to distract from the 600,000 dead Americans and their f… https://t.co/u5uQIHpmV8— Bill - Support Voting Rights - Hutt (@Bill - Support Voting Rights - Hutt) 1623839667.0
@GovRonDeSantis is the worse Gov ever. https://t.co/4oXQgnRrf5— Michelle Cuevas (@Michelle Cuevas) 1623783652.0
Consistently glad I don’t live in or near Florida. Kids can have a moment of silence but they can’t Have safe sch… https://t.co/wJmpWNgbMS— brit simps (@brit simps) 1623785428.0
All over FL students use moment of silence to wish for a new Governor https://t.co/TJACvi2vsn— Jersey life (@Jersey life) 1623807471.0
As a teacher in this tropical hellscape, I plan on reading the names of those students gunned down in school. We si… https://t.co/p42OlwvFHQ— Mike🇺🇸#BoycottNRA🚫 (@Mike🇺🇸#BoycottNRA🚫) 1623788200.0
So are they supposed to sit there and pray they're not the next mass shooting victims? Way to pass really helpful l… https://t.co/vZnNVRsQBl— Patty Foss (@Patty Foss) 1623792825.0
Some thought the bill was a legislative enshrinement of "thoughts and prayers," the useless sentiment after tragedies like Parkland that critics say absolves people of the need to take action.
Really codifying the “thoughts and prayers” meme right into the school day… https://t.co/DWIhqn3RHc— Mike (@Mike) 1623788581.0
Thoughts and prayers for gun safety in schools. https://t.co/u9q8eWGWSL— Robin F. Ormsby (@Robin F. Ormsby) 1623792580.0
@GovRonDeSantis says every school will have a moment of silence every day. He further promises to keep up the lev… https://t.co/0Urj0t2QSH— Veronica Szekely 🇺🇸 (@Veronica Szekely 🇺🇸) 1623866985.0
Meanwhile, DeSantis' law limiting gun reform goes into effect on the first of next