Top Of My Head

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Tag: Florida

Concealed Carry – Part One

Real Facts

Look at any pro-Concealed Carry website and you will find a statement about how it makes us safer or reduces crime.  Since Wisconsin decided to join the other 48 states and become a Concealed Carry state, I thought I would go back to the crime statistics and see what’s what.  If the pro-Concealed Carry crowd is correct, than next year, Wisconsin should see a huge drop in crime, right?

According to Concealed Campus, that would be true.  According to a PDF on their site, Florida’s homicide rate fell from 36% above the national average to 4% below (as of 2005).  I decided to do some checking on my own.

In 1982 – five years BEFORE Florida passes Concealed Carry – Florida had 1409 Murders and Non-Negligent Manslaughters.  The entire Country had 20818 (includes Florida’s numbers).  The average is 416 (rounding down, you can’t have .36 crimes).  In 1982, Florida is 993 crimes higher than the national average.

Five years later, in 1987 when Florida passes Concealed Carry, Florida had 1371 Murders and Non-Negligent Manslaughters.  The National Average that year was 397.  Florida was still higher.

Five years after Florida passed their Concealed Carry law, they had 1208 Murders and Non-Negligent Manslaughters.  The National Average was 466.

That doesn’t seem to be much in the way of improvement.  Certainly it doesn’t appear that Concealed Carry had much of an affect at all.  However; perhaps, I’m not being fair.  What percent of all murders are committed in Florida?

What about the murder rate?

The murder rate is the number of offenses per 100,000 people.  Florida’s murder rate in 1982 was 13.5; the Nation’s murder rate was 9.1. To put it in perspective, California’s was 11.2 and Texas was 16.1.  Sadly, the District of Columbia had a murder rate of 30.7 – the highest in the nation.  In fact the District of Columbia always has the highest murder rate.  This is a sad state of affairs when we can’t look after our nation’s capital.

Since 1982, the Nation’s murder rate has dropped from 9.1 to 5.  Florida’s has dropped from 13.5 to 5.5.  Still higher than the National murder rate, but still pretty impressive.  In the same time span, the National murder rate dropped from 9.1 to 5.

Is the website correct?  Nope.  Florida in 1982 was 32.59% higher than the National murder rate.  In 1987, Florida was 27.19% higher than the National murder rate.  In 2005, Florida was 10.71% lower than the National murder rate, which is very impressive.  As of 2009, Florida is roughly 10% higher than the National murder rate.

{Part Two coming soon}

Anyone Seen a Ark Builder?

Throughout the years, right wing religious commentators have blamed everything from hurricanes to 9/11 on homosexuals.

In fact, Jerry Falwell appeared with Pat Robertson just two days after the the 9/11 attack and pretty much blamed everyone who is left of him and Robertson for 9/11.

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.” – Jerry Falwell

Here’s a quote from Cindy Jacobs:

“According to Biblical principles, a marriage is between a man and a woman. So, we have to say what happens when a nation makes a decision that is against God’s principles. Often what happens is that nature itself will begin to talk to us, for instance violent storms, flooding.”

Now, I want you to know, that I’m not using the whole quote here – not yet. She’s actually going to help me make this point.

This morning, when I saw the news that North Dakota is next on the list for severe flooding, I started thinking about how these extremist like to blame gays and it made me wonder.  Why are we having all of the flooding that has hit the nation?  What in the world could be going on?  Is God mad at us?

According to Cindy Jacobs, the answer is yes.  To continue the quote from above, she says:

“There are actually some patterns you can see where a nation will make a decision that is contrary to the principles of God and after that there is some kind of answer that God gives.”

Based on her beliefs, God is most likely punishing us for something. Now, she thinks that God is punishing us for the removal of DADT, but I think she’s way off base. (She, also, was referring to the death of some birds.)

I think these right-wing Christian extremists are right. God has removed his protections from us. God has literally rained down upon us huge floods.  But, if you look at where he has chosen to take out his anger, you’ll see that he’s taking it out on the Red states.  The states who have declared a war on health care for all.  The states that have declared a war on marriage equality.

I thought, perhaps, we should look at what has happened to the states that banned gay marriage.  I’m finding that quite a few of them have had their answer from God.

Nevada passed an anti-gay amendment in 2002.  In 2003, “The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized firefighting funds to help Nevada fight the Red Rock fire that began July 10 in Washoe County northwest of Reno. The authorization is only the second granted to the state this year.”  They needed a lot of help in 2003.  Think God was mad at them for something?

Florida passed their anti-gay amendment in 2008.  In 2009, “Nearly 1,300 north Floridians have registered for federal-state disaster assistance following the storms and flooding of late-March through early May and there are still a few days left for others to do the same…Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance was approved for eligible homeowners, renters and businesses in the following counties: Calhoun, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.”

I know what you’re thinking, but that’s no proof, Florida is always getting hit by storms and needing Federal Aid. There’s more.

In 2004; Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah banned marriage equality.

In 2005, Huricanne Katrina ripped through Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and caused millions of dollars of damage. A severe winter storm cause parts of Kentucky to be declared a disaster area by FEMA.

Also in 2005, 26 counties of Oklahoma were declared disaster areas because of the Texas-Oklahoma wildfires.

I think all of this just proves that God isn’t happy with these states for passing bans on marriage equality.  I don’t think He’s really into all the right-wingers.  Think about it.  He’s pulled his protection, but He’s aiming for states that lean the farthest to the right, not the left.

Glad I don’t live in a Red State.

 

 

 

Florida Court Health Care Ruling

Once again, Florida has managed to screw the entire country.  A Federal judge in Florida has ruled that the Health Care Law is unconstitutional, particularly the part about the mandatory coverage.  I don’t recall anything in the Constitution that states our Federal government cannot make Health Care a mandatory item.  In fact, our Constitution gives Congress the right to regulate commerce over state lines and internationally.  Insurance companies certainly work across state lines and now with globalization, I feel safe in saying that they work across international lines as well.

It is probably a safe bet that when the US Supreme Court eventually hears this case (after all of the appeals), they will most likely rule the way of Florida.  After all, these are the same people who ruled that Corporations are people and should have the same rights and privileges as we do.

I don’t believe that the Health Care law is unconstitutional.  I don’t believe that making insurance mandatory is anything more than common sense – something we’ve been lacking in this country for years.  By making it mandatory, you do two things: 1) You lower the price of everyone’s premiums.  The more people on an insurance plan, the less money paid per premium.  2) You protect the insurance companies.  Yes, I said protect the insurance companies.  I know plenty of people who wouldn’t buy insurance and then, when their seriously ill, run right out and purchase an insurance plan knowing that the insurance companies cannot turn them down because of a pre-existing condition.  Of course, with this ruling, that flies out the window.

I hope the small-minded and short-sighted states that brought this challenge into the Florida courts are satisfied.  They’ve, most likely, effectively killed Health Care in this country for a very long time.  There’s 45 million people who will not be able to have health care.  There’s millions of college kids who will not be able to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.  And, now, my pre-existing condition won’t be covered.

Thanks for nothing.

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