When it comes to the 2nd Amendment and the right to possess and carry a firearm, there may be not topic more divided. People opposed to the right often point, albeit incorrectly, to gun ownership causing a rise in crime. People for the right to carry point to the right to protect themselves, their families, and their property.

What it boils down to is this: People want to feel safe. No one wants to think that they may fall victim to violent crime. Criminals target “other” people in “other” cities. The FBI has recently released a report detailing Florida’s most violent cities. The statistics are based upon the population counts in each city versus the number of gun and other violent crimes. Here’s the breakdown:

Miami Beach
Topping the list of Florida cities with the most violent crimes is Miami Beach. After reading the report, the conclusion is that for every 1,000 residents of the city, there are 109 violent crimes.

Fort Lauderdale
This popular city in Broward County ranks number seven on the list. If you live in or visit Fort Lauderdale, you have a 1 in 15 chance of becoming a victim. There are 68 crimes committed per every 1,000 residents.

Other cities to top the list include Pompano Beach at 11th, Riviera Beach at 13th, Lake Worth at 14th, West Palm Beach at 15th, and Oakland Park at 16th. Broward and Palm Beach are home to seven cities on the top 20 list. If you include Miami-Dade, more than half of South Florida’s largest municipalities are considered dangerous.

Do you find this list surprising? South Florida is home to cities with some of the densest populations in the state. What was surprising, to many, were the cities that were absent from the list: Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Tampa among a few.

Florida is not unique in its report. Look at any state and you will find that gun and other violent crimes occur at a higher rate in the most populous areas. It stands to reason that these crimes are fewer in rural areas and smaller cities due to lower populations.

Does gun ownership lead to crime? Not if we are discussing legal ownership. You are unlikely to become a victim at the hands of someone with a legally-registered firearm than at the hands of someone who has obtained a weapon be nefarious means. If these statistics tell us anything, it is that people in Florida have a right to defend themselves.

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