Boiling a live frog... and other threats to Florida Gun Owners. An open letter to the hunting enthusiasts of the great State of Florida from Senator Carey Baker Dear Florida Sportsman, My name is Carey Baker. I am a native Floridian, husband, father of three, gun shop owner, Iraq war veteran and State Senator currently representing Florida's 20th district. You may have heard the old story of how to boil a live frog. In the late 19th Century, researchers at Johns Hopkins University were trying to determine what makes our nervous systems react by performing experiments on, of all things, frogs. The researchers dropped a frog in boiling hot water and not surprisingly it jumped out immediately. In later experiments, they placed a frog in cold water, turned up the heat ever so gradually and two and a half hours later the frog was dead, in the same position he started in, now boiled. The anecdote of the boiled frog points out the dangers of seemingly minor changes our government makes and the resulting power we as citizens give up, ever so gradually. It is important for all of us to stay aware of the moves our elected officials make and the consequences those decisions may have for the future of our Republic. My father, Leighton Baker, instilled in me a deep and abiding respect for the traditions of hunting and the sanctity of our nation's founding principles that I have carried with me through my time in elected office and nearly 30 years of small business ownership. Our family business, The A.W. Peterson Gun Shop, the oldest gun shop in America, has been in my family for over a half-century. As an avid hunter and lifetime member of the NRA, I have fought relentlessly since my first day in the State House for the rights of hunters and gun owners and to preserve hunters' access to public lands. I know how important it is to protect our civil liberties, especially the 2nd amendment. In January of this year, the weakening economy caused state budget shortfalls which made it necessary for a special session of the legislature to make cuts to our current budget. Everything was on the table and as a Senate budget chairman my choices were difficult. One of my important commitments was, and still is, to protect Florida's Licensing Trust Fund. The trust fund provides money to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the process of approving concealed weapons applications and granting licenses. It is vital to preserve Floridians' access to carrying their firearms and protecting this fund is critical to that commitment. In recent weeks, many of us have felt the pain of the weakening economy and watched helplessly as the political direction of our nation has been aimed squarely towards Socialism. I am dedicated to shielding the principles of our Constitution from harm camouflaged as "necessary government intervention". I believe, and Our Founders knew, that the enemy of Liberty is not tyranny but the ever so gradual erosion of our God-given rights. As a Senator, I have been blessed with the ability to effect change on behalf of our traditional American ideals while overseeing the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's budget and through my position as the Senate Co-Chair of the Florida Sportsmen's Caucus. In order to further our successes in the legislature, last November I made the important decision to run for the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 2010. This Office touches our daily lives in many ways, including the processing and approval of concealed weapons permits and managing our state forests. I have the breadth of experience, the leadership under fire qualities and the perspective of Floridians to lead a department that is responsive and effective but never intrusive. It has been my honor to serve our great State in the Senate and as a member of the Florida Army National Guard. With God's blessings, the help of my family and your support it would be my continuing honor to serve you as Florida's next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org any time with your questions, thoughts, or ideas. You can also learn more about me and my vision for Florida's future at www.careybaker.com. I take nothing for granted and want to earn your support. Respectfully, Carey L. Baker email@example.com P.S. - Remember, The enemy of Liberty is not tyranny but the ever so gradual erosion of our God-given rights. As a legislator, gun shop owner and Soldier, I have fought relentlessly for the rights of gun owners and hunters. I need your help to take that fight to the next level.