By Tom Rhodes, 5/3/2012
"It is unclear how disarming law abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law." ~ Gov. Rick Scott, 2012
That was the response to the Mayor of Tampa’s request to have the Florida Governor to take away the right of the people to keep and bear arms in Tampa during the RNC convention this August. When faced with the actual evidence the fears expressed by Tampa Mayor and city council are completely irrational. Furthermore it is incumbent upon those who would restrict a fundamental right, ostensibly to make us all safer, to actually provide evidence that such restrictions of a constitutional right will in fact produce the increased safety they use to rationalize limiting liberty. There is no evidence that disarming licensed concealed weapons carriers will make anybody except criminals safer, however there is evidence to conclude that the increase in private gun ownership and number of armed citizens has resulted in increased safety.
Looking at the numbers since both the right to carry concealed arms in Florida was protected by law, and since the passing of the Stand Your Ground law in 2005, regardless of what anti-gun people want to say or claim, Florida is safer not more dangerous. Opponents can note that the number of justifiable homicides in Florida (excluding police shootings) has just about tripled since the law was passed. The average number of justifiable homicides between 2000 and 2004 was 12 while the average between 2006 and 2010 has increased to 35. Considering the size of our population, and the fact that now 6.5% of the Florida residents are licensed to carry concealed weapons the number is very low. Looking at that increase in justifiable homicides would be unjust and unfair and untrue without also noting that Florida's overall violent crime rate fell by 23% in the five years since the Stand Your Ground law was passed.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence claims that Florida’ liberal concealed carry law is responsible for "year after year of carnage," that is quite simply a lie. If you look at the data you would find that since 1987, when the nondiscretionary carry license law was passed, Florida’s overall violent crime rate has been cut just about in half. In fact the evidence is clear; the crime rate of those people whom Florida has issued a license to carry a concealed weapon is far less than that of the general public and the violent crime rate related to firearms of those people is so minuscule it is virtually nonexistent.
Governor Scott’s response to the Tampa Mayor was not just political, it was logical. His response provided clarity based on facts and evidence; disarming law abiding citizens will not protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law.
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” ~ John Adams, 1770