The “Gunshine” State

On Monday, June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Constitutional rights for Americans to keep and bear arms. Without a doubt, it must have been an interesting day in Washington. Every day in Washington during which a ruling goes against the liberals and they speak out is an interesting day.

While many of the gun-supporters will hail this as a victory, those of the Sunshine State know it will have little effect in Florida. Florida was the first state to enact laws allowing for the carrying of concealed weapons. In 1987, the liberals and critics of the concealed carry laws began referring to Florida as the “Gunshine State,” rather than the Sunshine State. As with most outspoken opponents who speak about a topic from an emotional base rather than factual, what they said would happen just did not come true.

Many of the liberal critics said “those licensed gun toting Floridians” would be shooting each other in the street. They noted violent crime would increase; they said armed robberies would multiply; they believed drug trafficking would become commonplace with gunplay; and they thought no one on the street would be safe. Unfortunately for the critics, none of this became true. Their arguments lacked a base grounded in fact and in statistics.

Here’s a fact: from the time Florida enacted the concealed carry law, only one homicide was the result of a permit holder. Here’s another fact: allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes without increasing accidental deaths.

After reading the preceding paragraph, the liberals are reacting as they always do—emotionally. They are about to yell and scream at the top of their lungs in their loudest voices the facts cannot be true. But yes, the facts are—historically, factually, and statistically—true.

Fact one from above, that no CCW permit holder committed homicide in Florida comes from a book written by Gary Kleck, a professor from Florida State University teaching in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. If you desire to read it, the title is Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control.

The second fact above comes from the gun control study, Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns by John R. Lott, Jr., and David B. Mustard. In this study, the authors analyzed data from 1977 to 1992 and determined “allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes, without increasing accidental deaths.” Additionally, Lott and Mustard concluded that in the states without concealed weapons laws during this time, approximately 1500 murders, 4000 rapes, 11,000 robberies, and 60,000 aggravated assaults happened because of the lack of deterrence in the form of law-abiding, armed citizens.

In Kennesaw, GA, the city leaders faced a situation where home burglaries increased year after year. In 1982, they took action by enacting a law requiring all competent heads of households to own, maintain, and have ammunition for a personal firearm. The first year after the ordinance was enacted, burglaries fell from 65 to 26 and further dropped to only 11 during the second year.

An interesting point about the Kennesaw experience is this: over the years, the crime rate has been exceedingly low, beating national averages substantially. The criminals know every law-abiding citizen in the small town has a weapon. They have chosen to take their criminal activity elsewhere, places which prove to be easier targets than the citizenry of Kennesaw.

Here’s another fact: if someone breaks into your home or is about to attack you, or rape you, you don’t have time to call 911. If you are able to call, the response time by the authorities will be so long that the criminal will have carried out his intentions before the police arrive.  The only thing the police will be able to do is take your statement afterwards—if you are still alive.

These are interesting facts and the story of Kennesaw is unique. Did you ever read about it in the papers?  See it on the news? No, you did not. Gun ownership and deterrence is not the message the media wants you to hear. It is a liberal agenda…

What the liberals want you to hear are their emotional outbursts about how awful gun ownership is and how it will ruin America. Yes, the liberals speak and Mark Twain’s quote comes to mind: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”


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