Florida Home to Fresh-Squeezed... Handguns?
A study published last month by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group lead by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, says that not only do lax gun laws lead to more murders, higher crime rates, and more law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, guns from those states are used more often in out-of-state murders.
And as you may have guessed (assuming you were not shot while reading the first paragraph), Florida is at the top of the list of states where the most "crime guns" originate. It ranks second, right in front of Texas, and just behind Georgia. That's good company, folks. Unless, of course, you aren't fond of gun crime.
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Not only are these states supplying the armament for violent crime elsewhere, the rates of gun-related crime within their borders are higher than those states that have fewer weapons illegally exported.
The study makes a point of saying that most gun owners are law-abiding and that most crimes are committed by a small fraction of society. They also explain that the goal of responsible legislation should be to keep guns away from criminals without infringing on the rights of good 'ol Americans (the folks who believe the government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around). The study says Florida is an anchor in what it calls the "iron pipeline" of illegal weapons.
Plenty of level-headed gun proponents (and by level-headed, I mean they have buzz cuts) will continue to argue that stronger gun laws, such as required background checks at gun shows and required reporting of lost or stolen guns, have no effect on crime rates. But this study, at least, says otherwise.
-- Michael J. Mooney