'Sunshine State' or 'Gunshine State': Florida leads in handing out more gun permits than any US state
Dubbed the 'Sunshine State' for its sun-soaked climate, Florida is also ironically branded the 'Gunshine State,' a place where firearms are easy to come by — especially for perpetrators of violence.
Miami: Dubbed the "Sunshine State" for its sun-soaked climate, Florida is also ironically branded the "Gunshine State," a place where firearms are easy to come by — especially for perpetrators of violence.
The state, home to 21 million people, has handed out more gun permits than any other state — around 1.9 million as of January, according to official statistics.
But this only makes up part of the total number of firearms, an unknown figure that cannot be estimated.
Comparing the number of firearm permits with the number of inhabitants puts Florida at mid-range for gun ownership — trailing a number of mostly-white rural states.
But the peninsula, located in the southeast of the country, has been the setting of several particularly deadly shootings in recent years.
The worst remains an attack on an Orlando gay nightclub on 12 June, 2016, which saw a heavily armed man — who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group — kill 49 people.
Six months later, a man opened fire at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, killing five people on 6 January, 2017.
On Wednesday, a 19-year-old man expelled from a high school for disciplinary reasons returned to the building in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 people.
But despite the repeated tragedies, Floridians make no secret of their attachment to the right to bear arms.
Florida was the first US state to adopt controversial "Stand Your Ground" legislation in 2005, backed by the gun lobby.
The law allows a person to use lethal force if they believe they are in serious danger — even if there is a possibility that they could escape or retreat from that threat.
As a result, the concept of self-defense is particularly prominent in Florida, as illustrated in February 2012 with the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager killed by a neighborhood watchman. The perpetrator, George Zimmerman, pleaded self-defense and was acquitted by a jury.
Russian troop buildup near Ukraine signals possible invasion; a look at stand-off between ex-Soviet neighbours
It's unclear whether the Russian troop concentration heralds an imminent attack. Russian president Vladimir Putin has pushed for Western guarantees precluding NATO's expansion to Ukraine, and the buildup could reflect an attempt to back up the message
On viewing the red tail boa moving around on the couch, the man panicked and called the police for help. The cops rushed to a condo and rescued the reptile before anyone was injured
Last month, US senators and India Caucus co-chairs Mark Warner and John Cornyn sent a letter to President Joe Biden encouraging him to waive CAATSA sanctions against India for buying military arms from Russia