What do violent video games, gory movies, and high-powered assault weapons have in common, asks the Miami Herald? They have all been blamed for mass shootings, including last month’s at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. — and are all subsidized by Florida taxpayers. With Florida’s tax code more business-friendly in recent years, economic incentives and tax breaks have flowed to companies and industries under fire for their roles in gun violence.
Meanwhile, the state has cut funding for mental health care and school safety programs, two areas at the forefront of the national gun-control debate. While it has become more difficult and expensive to access mental health care in Florida, it is getting easier and cheaper to obtain high-powered weapons. Last year, the legislature cut the cost of obtaining a weapons license by $5, and a string of gun-friendly measures has boosted the number of concealed firearms carriers past one million. Nationally, Florida ranks 49th in mental health funding, and first in gun ownership. The state has been a trailblazer in providing lucrative tax incentives to a smorgasbord of companies in return for promises to create jobs.