Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No Murders in October in Miami

CBS News reports that for the first time since 1966, the city of Miami Florida had no murders for an entire month. But why? That's what I want to know.

Mayor Manny Diaz says zero murders in October is partly a result of good leadership at the police department and dedicated officers. "Here we are in a major city in America in a very difficult economic period and we were able to go over a month--my hats off to the men and women who risk their lives every day."

The Miami Herald reports it like this, with a different explanation.

Homicide detectives credit ever-improving emergency care with saving people who, perhaps 20 years ago, might have met their demise.

''It helps us tremendously,'' said Miami Cmdr. Delrish Moss, a spokesman and former homicide investigator.

"They don't become murder victim, they become witnesses and help us get the offenders off the streets.''

Bob S. in commenting on another thread pointed out that in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, there have been hundreds of murders this year compared to only 87 in Miami. He had this to suggest as an explanation:

Is the gun control laws in Chicago the only reason, probably not but Miami has Concealed Carry laws and Chicago doesn't.

What's your opinion? Why has Miami been able to do what seems inconceivable in the larger cities? None of the above explanations really works for me. The mayor says it's good leadership and dedicated officers. The former homicide investigator says it's the improved emergency medical treatment. Bob says it has at least partly to do with the fact that in Miami concealed carry is legal.

What do you think? Does the fact that ordinary citizens might be carrying guns legally, deter crime?


  1. i suspect it's mostly good policing, effective leadership and utilization of the police department, good work from the district attorneys and public defenders in getting accused criminals through court and either into jail or acquitted as appropriate, and --- which could have been the root of all this --- good civic leadership from the city officials and leaders.

    concealed carry might have an impact too, but it's likely far down the list. more important would be the many other effects of that attitude to citizenship and civic responsibility that would allow citizens to carry concealed in the first place.

    Sebastian Sassi has written at length about his civic leadership efforts to clean up a "bad" neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, and of his need to carry concealed as a result of that (the drug dealers he's pushing out aren't appreciating it). that attitude to citizenship is exactly what's needed, the courage and drive to go out and set things right on a local scale. once you have that, i think you'll find most folks can be trusted to carry handguns, too; but that's just one more side effect of the underlying attitude, which is what you really need.

  2. Hospitals are NOT the answer that's for sure. Mass hospitals are some of the best in the WORLD, and yet we can't go for more than a few weeks without somebody being killed.

    I'd agree with nomen to some extent. It depends on the type of crime is going on. If its gang warfare, then citizen conceal carry is irrelvant, and law enforcement and sentencing are paramount.

    If citizens are being preyd upon by career criminals, then citizen coceal carry and avalibility of defensive arms in the home will have the biggest impact.

    BTW I like this new angle, Mike!

  3. Mike,

    I think the others raise good points and there is a lot of truth but those efforts don't exist in a vacuum.

    The policing efforts work because the culture is changing; people are seeing the impact of crime in their neighbors and are starting to take them back.

    In many cities there is a strong culture of "don't snitch", I think that strong policing efforts don't succeed in the face of that culture. Change it and people see results, the have less to fear from the criminals, etc.

    I think that a culture that allows and encourages concealed carry is one shows it stands behind it's law abiding citizens.

    Think of the message it sends when a homeowner shoots a burglar or rapist and the police instantly start talking about "no charges will be filed". Castle Doctrine laws that remove the financial liability of defending your home reduce the reward possibility for criminals or their families.

    I don't think that Concealed Carry is the only thing that is making the difference. I think it is an indication of how much faith the government puts in the law abiding citizens.

    I carry a pocket knife everywhere. Going to pay a traffic ticket at a county courthouse, I have to leave it in the car. Do they trust me?
    Other states all carrying of firearms in all government buildings, are those citizens trusted?

  4. Weer'd, What new angle? I'm the same open-minded flexible guy I've always been.

    Wait till you see the comment I posted on Jay's blog this morning.

  5. Mike,

    I don't know if you were being insulting or inquisitive at Jay's blog.

    I took it as very insulting after all that we've talked about here regarding safe handling of firearms.

    If someone told you they drank 6 beers would you ask if they drove themselves? Or would you assume that they took the proper precautions of having a designated driver? Would you ask them if drinking makes them dangerous to be around kids?

    If you are wanting to know how people handle activities like drinking and handling firearms, there are more polite ways of asking. Or this may be a medium issue; the printed word doesn't allow for much nuance to be conveyed.

    This is what I mean when I talk about how you seem to always have a negative perception of law abiding gun owners.

  6. Mike,

    Here is a great article from Florida; Why I intend to carry a handgun

    Read the whole thing, but there are a couple of points I want to excerpt.

    I wanted training before purchasing a gun, so I enrolled in class at Shooting Sports of Tampa. When I arrived, my nerves calmed. Half of my class of 15 was female. And a quarter of us were black.

    I see this type of comment often on classes. Women may not be getting to the sports aspect of shooting, but they are definitely getting into firearms.

    At Shooting Sports, the building smelled as if it were on fire, and all 15 people in my class were herded into a tiny room off in the corner where our instructor put the fear of God in us before we even got into the gun range.

    See my other comments about what you said at Jay's blog. This is common and is paramount. Every person that I have talked to regarding firearms ( only know legit owners so far) has stressed safety at one point or another in the conversation. Some have gone as far as saying things like "don't buy until you know what you are doing", etc.

    My father was gunned down while he was leaving a convenience store. I was 2. He wasn't a criminal, and he had never owned a gun. He was in the Air Force. He knew how to use a gun. He learned it in basic training. He could have had one easily, but the law wasn't on his side.

    Probably not coincidentally, Washington, D.C., was known as the murder capital for much of my childhood.
    The law is on my side here, and I intend to take advantage of the opportunity.

    I would be interested in seeing your thoughts after reading the article.

  7. If he reads the Article.

    Mike's lack of interest to carry out any sort of meanignful debate, and zero investment in expanding his knowlege, or attempting to gain a deeper understanding of gun culture, plus these plucky little snipes as people, and never an interest in responding (either with a heart-felt apology...or at least an admission to ignorance that would at least partially excuse his rudeness) has lead me to be close to the edge that Mike, on these serious issues is simply an internet troll.

    Also, Bob, because Mike felt the need to exlaim with pride about his little comment really points to raw rudeness and trolling.

    If it was a legitimate question, he would have also asked us to see how our answers differed.

    (FYI, when I got home from work last night I filled a glass with ice, added gin, took it downstairs to my computer. Opened the safe and put my gun in, locked the safe, then took my first sip. The safe was not re-opened until this morning....not that I have ANY inclination that you give a shit)

    I think you've just lost me as a commentor.

    Don't feed the troll, kids.

  8. Bob, I wanted to be a little strong with Jay because I didn't like the way he wrote about Obama. To me he sounded like a whining sore loser who actually wishes the winner doesn't succeed out of spite or something. Weer'd on the other hand wrote a beautiful post about the same thing.

    Jay's a big boy. If he wants a blog where everyone agrees with him he can have it. I'm offering him an honest dialogue like I've enjoyed with you guys for months. It's up to him to be insulted if he chooses. I very well might ask someone if they intend to drive after drinking 6 beers. I very well might ask them if they think it would be wise to do so if they have kids on the scene. So that's basically what I asked Jay. I went back to try to continue the conversation, let's see if he handles it as well as you have.

    I'll get to that article soon as I can.

  9. Weer'd, I don't know what to say. I think you've got me wrong in that last comment.

  10. Mike, I won't lie, I don't really belive you.

    I'll let your actions prove me wrong.

    Also your above post to Bob further enforces my observations.

  11. I read the article, Bob. I've also read, and have even bookmarked, a number of sites you've directed me to. These are great stories, often moving. I enjoy them very much.

  12. Mike,

    I glad you read the article and have enjoyed the sites. Some of the ones I've posted are some of my favorites. It's amazing the talent and skill that goes into "just blogging".
    I wondered after reading that article if that person would have done it any differently if there were any laws about carrying concealed?

    Think about it, there is absolutely nothing but time and energy stopping anyone from purchasing a firearm. Even in Italy, you could probably find one to buy without going though a legal hassle. Why not reduce the hassle and cost.

    For some people that class and learning process is redundant but it most be sat through to "qualify" to exercise a protected right.

    Shouldn't it be more like a driver's license, if you want to take a class do it, but you have to pass a written test and show proficiency.

    Now I also think the penalties for misusing a firearm should be greatly increased. Isn't that what happened with drunk driving? Once upon a time, cops would look the other way at it or even drive someone home after catching them drunk driving. Now the penalties are much higher, enforced more. Note it does not stop anyone from drinking like the current laws stop people from owning firearms.

    One of the proposals for curbing drunk driving is a breathalyzer to be installed on every car. Would you support that requirement?

    Why or Why not?