cartoon by Chan Lowe, South Florida Sun Sentinel

Security for the Broward County Commission (April 8, 2013)

I was speaking to a group the other night and the subject of letters to the editor came up. Correcting page proofs (and, in particular, the letters section) for spelling, grammar and typos is the least rewarding part of any editorial board member’s job.

 

Nevertheless, we give letter writers a platform, because providing a forum is what a newspaper’s editorial page is about. I told this group, half-jokingly, that the most incoherent, ungrammatical letters come from tea partiers, followed by gun rights advocates, followed by pit bull owners. That isn’t to say that everyone who falls into these categories is illiterate; it simply means that the letters most in need of correcting and decoding into English tend to come from these groups. I’m sure my colleagues will back me up on this.

 

My mention of pit bull owners provides me with an appropriate segue to today’s cartoon subject. It was because the Broward County Commission was considering a countywide ban on the breed that pit bull owners—who had packed the commission chamber—stormed the dais, terrifying the commissioners and causing them to order the implementation of an airport-style security system for their personal protection.

 

The biggest surprise here is that the county government building hadn’t installed such a system years ago. Broward County is a large metropolitan entity, with more than its share of lunatics. Thanks to the Legislature’s obeisance to Marion Hammer and the NRA, we also have more than the average number of firearms washing around the state.

 

We should be grateful they came up with this solution, rather than something more radical. For instance, allowing commissioners to arm themselves in self-defense would be an even more unappetizing concept; some might say that they do enough damage with their mouths already.