Florida crime rates dropping
Interesting data released today. Florida is, of course, the inventor of liberalized handgun concealed carry permits, of "castle doctrine" laws that allow lethal force in self defense without having to retreat, and a few other such measures.
Naturally, the Brady Campaign used Florida as their poster child for a gun-crazy state. Brady began an advertising campaign to warn tourists against entering this dangerous state. "The �Shoot First� law is a new law in Florida that police, prosecuting attorneys and gun violence prevention advocates worry may lead to the reckless use of guns on the streets of Florida cities." Sarah Brady intoned, ""The net effect of the new 'Shoot First' law in Florida is, unfortunately, precisely what we feared. People are dying who did not deserve to die." Just for good measure, Brady added "Gun violence in Florida could increase in 2005 because Congress failed to renew the federal assault weapon ban, which expired last fall, and Florida has no state law restricting assault weapons or rapid-fire ammunition magazines. Florida also does not require background checks at gun shows, does not require child-safety locks to be sold with guns, does not have any handgun safety standards to limit Saturday night specials and even forces police to let people carry hidden handguns in public."
Well, the Palm Beach Post reports that Florida's crime rates have fallen to the lowest level since 1971. "A telephone message left for comment after hours with the The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. was not immediately returned."
You can get the report, in pdf format, here. It shows that, even though the state's population is growing, total homicides fell by 6.9%, and firearm homicides by 6.1%. Given the population increase, the decrease in rates would have been greater.
[UPDATE: Welcome, instavalanche! Take a look at the main page. Blogging has been a bit light since I've been working on creating the first Second Amendment documentary film. Starring, among other academics, Instapundit himself, not to mention Gene Volokh and Dave Kopel of the Volokh Conspiracy. All by coincidence -- when I started filming in early 2003, blog were unknown.
[UPDATE in light of comment: I know that NRA and Gun Owners of America rate candidates. I suspect that, come election time, you can find the ratings online somewhere, but don't have a url cite for it].