Re: Guns in Florida
Thu, 9 Jul 1998 03:39:58 -0700 (PDT) wrote:
>Allright. I keep seeing these reference to Florida. I live in Florida,
>and I don't see gun violence decreasing. I fully believe that murders
>may have gone down, but gun violence seems to be way up since they
>allowed concealed weapons permits. Anybody got real statistics about

If you trust the Florida state government:

Basic answer: number of crimes has gone up in many categories, but the per-capita rate has generally gone down. It's hard to compare current figures to those before the concealed carry law because the government changed the way they collect statistics around that time (presumably this is why they don't list anything for 1988), but whatever the case it has not gone up as the anti-gunners predicted.

>I was born here and have lived here most of my life. When I was
>younger, I don't remember all the violence we have now.

When you were younger the population was probably a lot lower. Florida may be more violent than it was a decade ago, but the risk to an individual is significantly lower. And if you look back to the seventies even the per-capita crime rates were much lower... when there were probably far fewer restrictions on gun ownership.

>Every day there
>is some sort of armed robbery or shooting reported in the local paper.

Yes, but looking at the number of crimes comitted is more useful than looking at the number reported in the newspaper; who's to say that they haven't started reporting more crimes than they used to?

>Foreign countries warn their travellers about
>Florida's gun laws,

And probably encourage travellers to go to nice safe LA where they're ten times as likely to be killed, but there are stricter gun laws. Just because foreign governments are anti-gun does not say much about Florida.

> Before that,
>I don't ever recall someone going into a McDonald's and starting
>shooting at strangers.

Before that it was quite rare on a national level; today, after the sensationalist publicity given to earlier shootings around the world it's far more common everywhere. Even in those countries such as Britain which have anti-gun laws which would make New York's look lenient.

>So-called "road-rage" is up, where people get
>mad about traffic problems and shoot other drivers. There are lots of
>new phenomenon concerning guns that have just become common since the
>new gun laws.

"Road rage" murders, with or without guns, are also more common in Britain than they were before the new Floridian gun laws (when they were almost non-existent). Did those laws cause the murders in Britain too?

>Sorry to ramble. It may be that the "murder" rate is down, but
>shootings have definitely gone up. I live here, and that's my

That's probably true; but the population has increased dramatically so while the number of shootings may have increased (I can't read the Web while sending mail to check the figures) the per-capita rates have gone down.