The state Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee was considering the bill yesterday when an unexpected speaker arrived: Robert Cowie, whose daughter Ashley was killed last month at a Florida State fraternity house when an AK-74 owned by one of the fraternity members accidentally discharged. Reading from a prepared statement, but frequently overcome with emotion, Cowie — who described himself as a registered Republican
that never missed an election — pleaded with legislators not to pass the bill:
COWIE: As parents, we send our children to college campuses hoping that they are safe enough places, and that university officials are doing all that they to monitor the safety of our young people. When we packed Ashley’s belongings into boxes to take her things to Tallahassee, we never expected to be bringing her home in a different sized box. This proposed change to the law will place an undue burden on the universities to keep our campuses safe. Ashley was shot to death at a time when the law prohibited weapons on campus, and still this tragedy has occurred…. Allowing guns in an atmosphere of college parties puts everyone involved at increased and undue risk.