Philip Levine launches campaign commercial citing Parkland massacre

Philip Levine

Before all of the 17 funerals are even held for victims of last Wednesday’s school massacre in Parkland, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine has launched a new television commercial promising to pursue a ban of assault weapons and declaring the shooting at Stonewall Douglas High School “a wakeup call we can’t ignore.”

Levine’s political committee All About Florida announced Tuesday it is putting $725,000 behind airing the commercial “We Will” in 10 media markets across Florida, unabashedly calling the ad “a direct response to the Marjory Douglas Stoneman shooting, and an urgent appeal from Mayor Levine for common-sense gun reform in the state of Florida.”

The commercial begins with Levine standing next to a school bus, and stating, “When we send our children off to school, we want to know they’re safe. But here in Florida, despite 14 school shootings in 8 years, we still have some of the weakest gun laws in the nation. And the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High is a wakeup call we can’t ignore.

“We need reasonable gun regulations, better background checks, and a permanent ban on assault rifles,” he continues. “And if the legislature won’t do it, we will.”

Levine is battling with former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Winter Park businessman Chris King in seeking the Aug. 28 Democratic primary nomination to run for governor. All four have made strong statements about seeking to ban assault rifles and assure background checks on all gun purchases, before and since the Parkland tragedy.

Leading Republicans are Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam of Bartow and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach.

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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]


  • Fed Up

    February 20, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    DeSantis hasn’t had time to make a comment about the massacre as he is too busy kissing Trump’s behind. Adam Putnam Adam Putnam has proudly called himself an NRA sellout and has has championed a bill that would allow the Department of Agriculture to issue concealed weapon permits without complete criminal background checks!

  • Richard Paul Dembinsky

    February 20, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Trump won this issue……he will do ZERO and Philip Levine will be on the Beach in November 2018 without his goal achieved. Philip Levine is spending enough money to maybe come in Second in the Democratic Primary….if he continues to spend money. Gwen Graham wants to break the glass ceiling and King well you figure that guy out………….then we have the poorest Democrat with the most determined number of voters (the minority voters)…Andrew Gillum……………okay, I don’t see any hope for Democrats and for this reason moved an inch closer to running as Independent instead. Both the leading Republicans have an easier road because the NRA will dump piles of money into their campaigns. Pray for Florida …this is just the being….I fear other school “events”.

  • Dan

    February 22, 2018 at 4:10 am

    Why does it always seem that the shooter in these mass killings has been on some kind of psychotropic drugs? As the New American magazine pointed out this week, at least ten high profile mass shootings have been committed by individuals who “were either on — or just recently coming off of — psychiatric medications.” The young killer in Florida was no different. According to his aunt, he had been on these medications to treat mental problems.

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