My name is Hollye Merton and I am running for Florida House Representative Seat for District 21. I am new to politics and am running because I believe strongly that our rights as citizens are being slowly eroded through attacks that are many times sold to the public as safety measures.
I am a Desert Storm Veteran that served 18 Years in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician. After retiring in 1993 I worked as a production manager in an antenna manufacturing plant in Maryland.
I was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and our family moved to Lake City when I was around 11 years old. After retiring in 1993 from the Navy I spent time in Virginia and Maryland where I attended the UMUC earning a MBA and Masters of Science in Technology Management and worked as a production manager in an antenna manufacturing plant before moving to Gainesville in late 2003.
I have two beautiful and bright children, six grandchildren, including recent identical twin girls, and three great-grandchildren. I believe strongly in the family unit and feel it is the basis for a sound, moral society.
Since moving to Gainesville, I have worked in technical services roles for Shands, Alachua County Library District and, currently, at GRU. I am also an inventor of sorts having developed a unique simplified method of sensing water level in a reservoir, which I hold a U.S. patent for. In 2010, I started a light manufacturing company, Aquility Systems, Inc., to design and produce innovative filling systems for ponds, fountains, water gardens and cooling tower make-up water. I love fishing, guitars and take flying lessons when possible to work towards getting my pilots license one day.
As a Floridian I believe it is essential that we keep Florida free and our economy healthy. At the same time, we must address very challenging issues facing us, such as:
- Making our schools safe for our children without infringing on the 2nd. • Protecting parental rights to allow them to make the decisions they need. • Fighting hard against infringements against our 2nd Amendment right.
As your Representative, I vow to work diligently on these issues and others and will never vote yea on any bill that would limit your rights, nor will I favor any bill that is fiscally irresponsible. I believe that government’s role is to serve the citizens and to protect their rights, not limit them. I will work alongside anyone that has the best interests of the citizens of Florida regardless of their party affiliation, yet I will always be steadfast when it comes to the Second Amendment and citizens’ right to self-defense.
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
I believe that law-enforcement does not fall squarely on the shoulders of those in blue, nor do I believe that banning commonly held weapons helps keep us safe. I believe that the responsibility of keeping our streets safe is a joint effort and is shared with the judges, attorneys general that mete out sentences, and community leaders as well. As such, I will work to ensure criminals that demonstrate a violent tendency will be sentenced appropriately. Use a gun in a crime? You will be going away for a very long time if I have my way.
I believe a society must foster a good work ethic and, at the same time, encourage personal growth and one’s right to the pursuit of happiness. By this I mean, that each person is responsible for their path in life and should strive for their own dreams.
This also means to me that individuals have a primary responsibility to their communities to support their community by first being the best at what they do and producing. In return, the community should provide opportunity to those who seek it. Each one of us is responsible for our future and the futures of our fellow citizens. Responsibility is the bedrock of a free society. As your representative, I would work to provide opportunity, not equity and will hold myself responsible for listening to my constituents for guidance on what they need.
Our nation was conceived from the ire of its citizens at the mistrust and malevolent acts of a power-hungry king. As such, it was the bold actions of those willing to take up arms against such tyranny that led us to where we are today. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was King George’s move to disarm the colonists.
Floridians are some of the most industrious and fun loving people on the planet. We work hard and play hard. The true American Dream.
Yet there is a growing culture of those averse to guns in Florida and the US as a whole that would make us defenseless if successful. We must not give up our rights. The 1st and 2nd Amendments to the Constitution are ‘natural rights’. Rights that are given by our creator and then codified in the Constitution.
“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
I hope you will support me on November 8th and feel honored to have the opportunity to serve my community.
My Plan to Make a Difference
Our nation has become more divisive in recent years. Our differences stem from different world views and because of the firmly-held beliefs of both sides, our unwillingness to compromise can cripple even the best endeavor to solve common problems. My goal is to bring people together on difficult issues rather than divide them over differences.
One of my first goals is to develop a consortium of experts to devise methods to safeguard our children while they are at school. In the wake of recent demonic school shootings we must come to the conclusion that we have failed in doing what is necessary for our children’s safety. In light of this, we must find ways to deter the horribly sick-minded individuals that commit these heinous acts. Among other steps, I will work with the media to come to a consensus on not giving the perpetrators a platform or any kind of recognition.
We must begin to realize that the friendly, open schools of the past are no longer. Criminals bent on wreaking havoc realize that they are ‘soft targets’ since they are considered ‘gun-free zones’ and will continue to take advantage of it so long as we do not take the steps necessary to harden them. I will work to find effective measures to make our schools safe and not overly burden students or faculty. We have the money, we just need to decide what other area is less important than our children’s safety.
My plan also involves work to organize a volunteer force of vetted and trained retired military and law-enforcement to inconspicuously patrol our schools. We will have to offer training on an ongoing basis and we will need a small staff to oversee the operation and ensure those volunteering stay ready and able.
I will also work with Governor DeSantis and other law-makers to enact Constitutional Carry and provide incentives for citizens to train. Guns are used hundreds of thousand times annually to save lives of innocent civilians in self defense situations. It may be cliché, but the saying, ‘An armed society is a polite society’ rings true. And while law-enforcement officers do a tremendous job, police are sometimes minutes away, when seconds count. Our safety is our duty. It cannot be delegated to others.
Another area that our plan addresses is parental rights. School staff represent the parents of the children that attend their schools. As such, curriculum and supplies should represent the values the parents in the community wish to convey on their children, not agenda-based grooming programs. No child should ever have anything pushed on them that does not instill the values of their parents.
Children that express interest in transitioning should be monitored without coercion towards that end until they are of age to make that decision as an adult.
Additionally, they should not be dissuaded or ridiculed for their feelings. Adults have an obligation to mentor and develop our youth, not force them into one ideology or the other. I will support legislation that enables students to grow and prosper and ensure they are surrounded by honorable people that will guide them without selfishness.
Ultimately, through hard work, engaging peaceably in discourse, a willingness to listen and working together, we can make Florida even better than it already is. And that is what I intend to do if elected this November.
Common Sense Government
Common sense seems elusive and not too common these days with all of the divisiveness in our nation, yet I believe that we can arrive at common-sense legislation if we just find common ground and start from there. If we find those things that bind us together, ones in which we disagree will be more easily tackled.
We entrust our children to the teachers who they study under. It is imperative that parents decide what is best for their children, not the government. School faculty have a duty to the parents in ensuring that students are being taught lessons that will help them navigate the difficulties in life and live a productive, happy life. Parents should also have a say in school choice for their children. Not all schools are the same and a parent should be able to decide where their child is taught. We should stay focused on the basics. Faculty must include parents in decisions and state government should aid in providing the tools needed by both for the success of our future; our children. “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” – Tom Bodett Let’s work together to make sure our children are taught well so they are able to pass the tests of life and not have to learn a hard lesson from them.
Over the last several decades criminal attacks on everyday citizens have been on the rise. As we all know, an attack can occur anywhere (usually in areas perceived to be soft targets) at any time. Because of this, many people who rightly decide that their own safety and the safety of their loved ones is their own responsibility have begun carrying a weapon for self-defense. In fact, according to the US Supreme Court, police have no duty to protect an individual, “the duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists” Warren v. District of Columbia (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981) Every citizen that is capable should carry wherever possible, however, carrying a firearm levies a heavy responsibility on the one who does. With the power to maim or kill, it becomes imperative that the carrier take that very seriously and be responsible by learning the law and training regularly.
One must be responsible enough to learn to control their emotions and work to avoid or de-escalate heated situations if unable to avoid them. While shooting at the range may seem like it is good training, it merely helps one better their marksmanship but does nothing to teach them about what to expect in a gun fight during a self-defense situation.
There are many physiological things that occur when confronted with a situation where a weapon is needed. Most rational thought is shut down by adrenalin and only course motor skills that one has trained and practice in will be useful. Each person that makes the difficult decision to carry a gun should seek out a competent, qualified, experienced instructor and invest in and develop their own skills. Having a gun does not guarantee success. Many fail in their attempt to defend themselves (usually because a lack of training and practice) and succumb to their attacker. However, as the saying goes: It is better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have it.
And the subject of why the Founders enshrined the 2nd Amendment in our Constitution is one of self-defense on a much larger scale. The mere mention of it invites scoffs and ridicule, but it is real. Most carriers hope they never have a reason to use their gun and certainly no one hopes there will ever be a need envisioned by our Founding Fathers.
With guns we are citizens. Without them we are subjects. Carry, but carry responsibly.