Former State Representative and Palm Beach County Commissioner David Kerner and his heartfelt commentary on pending gun legislation in Florida in the Orlando Sentinel:
I remember well my first solo shift as a police officer. I was sitting in my patrol vehicle, enveloped in excitement and equipment. Sig Sauer P220 sidearm, Remington 870 shotgun, Taser, OC pepper spray, and of course, the AR-15 (M-4).
Police officers know each piece of equipment intimately through years of training. Each piece of equipment secured in its proper place. Each piece of equipment, and its use, governed by myriad laws and regulations. Each piece of equipment designed to protect us and the community. Some of the equipment is designed to take a life, if necessary.
When that first solo shift ended, I would immediately enter an alternate reality — one where I was a student, not an officer. It was a reality where I was safe in the classroom, free to expand and challenge my academic and conceptual limits. I entered the police academy at age 19, while at the same time attending the University of Florida. At 19, I don’t think I truly realized how deeply different my two worlds were. At night, I carried a gun and protected the city of Alachua. During the day, I studied at UF.