Scott Plakon, Carlos Smith to duel in Young Dems’ guns panel

Scott Plakon and Carlos Guillermo Smith

State Reps. Scott Plakon and Carlos Guillermo Smith – opposite sides on most gun rights debate in Tallahassee – will headline a debate panel being sponsored Tuesday by the Young Democrats of Orange County.

Plakon, a Republican from Longwood who has sponsored a guns on campus bill and supported open carry bills; and Smith, the Democrat from Orlando who has been a fiery advocate for gun control, especially since the Pulse nightclub massacre last summer, will be joined on the panel by conservative political commentator Michelle Ertel and University of Central Florida Professor Barry Mauer.

Local attorneys Earnest DeLoach and Eddie Fernandez will moderate the 6 p.m. discussion at the Gray Robinson office in downtown Orlando.

“We expect a lively discussion and a packed room because of the controversial nature this topic can arise from both sides of the debate,” Robert Walters, president of the Young Democrats of Orange County, stated in a news release. “In Orange County alone, we have lived through Pulse, the recent shootings of police officers, and several scares at the nation’s second largest university, UCF. We think it is important hearing from both sides of the debate, even though Democrats generally are in favor of tighter gun laws, however we want to thank all who are participating in the debate.”

The event is sold out and YDOC expects a crowded room. The event will be live-streamed on YDOC’s Facebook page, which can be found at

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


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