WFTV 9 Investigates Gun Ownership and Violent Crime Rates
WFTV 9 of the city of Clermont in Lake County, Florida did a local investigation as to the connection between concealed weapons permit holders and the amount of violent crime rates. Lake County boasts the most highly armed county in the state of Florida with 7.1 percent of the population having a concealed weapons permit. What is also interesting and what likely spurred the investigation is that Lake County also has central Florida’s lowest rate of violent crime.
To contrast another central Florida county, Orange County has Florida’s lowest percentage of concealed weapons relative to population coming in at just 4 percent. Orange County also has the area’s highest violent crime rate citing an interesting inference regarding concealed weapons permits and violent crime. Local gun shop owner T.J. Byrnes says criminals think twice about committing crimes when they know that an area has a lot of concealed weapons permit-holders. “If I know that you have a firearm, I’m going to really process that info before I decide to commit any type of violent act,” Byrnes said.
Correlation Not Causation 9 Reports
To contrast the above, 9 also reported that Seminole County also has a low rate of violent crime but they also have a low rate of concealed carry permits (4.2 percent). Similarly, Brevard County has a relatively high percentage of concealed carry permits (5.9 percent) but also has a high rate of violent crime. So why the disconnect?
University of Central Florida professor Jay Corzine argued that poverty, urbanization and population age impact violent crime rates more directly than do gun ownership rates. He also said that gun ownership doesn’t really have much impact on crime at all. Corzine is a sociology professor who studies crime rates and says that “most, not all, people agree that it just doesn’t seem to make much difference one way or the other.”
Concealed Carry Applications Tell Another Story
Despite professor Corzine’s findings the fact that Florida has witnessed record concealed carry applications, has seen a significant rise in women’s applications, and has seen other studies connecting violent crime decline with concealed carry permits, it remains to be seen that Florida residents don’t feel that gun ownership is a self-protection measure. The basic truth is that people want to protect themselves and their families and having a firearm gives them the peace of mind that they can do this accordingly.