Gun Culture, Violent Crime Both Big in Fort Myers, FL

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When Jason Moore heard about the shooting in a Fort Myers, Florida, nightclub that killed two and injured more than a dozen others, he had the employees at his gun shop move roadside signs to just outside the club’s parking lot that said: “We come to you, concealed weapon permit,” The Guardian reports. The shooting early Monday happened after a party for teenagers was emptying out of Club Blu. Fort Myers is known both for white-sand beaches that attract spring break partiers and retirees, and for its gun culture. Schoolchildren learn how to shoot in county-run programs, and gun shops host church groups and book clubs.

This week’s incident is the second recent shooting in Fort Myers to gain widespread attention. In October, a zombie-themed event that attracts 20,000 people ended when a gunman fired shots into the crowd, killing a 20-year-old man and wounding five others. The ZombiCon gunman is still at large, and so are most of the suspects in the city’s murders last year. After 13 people were killed, police have made four arrests. In the Club Blu case, three men identified by deputies as “persons of interest” had their first appearances in court on Tuesday. Violent crime has risen by 10 percent in Fort Myers between 2010 and 2014, and those crimes committed with guns have increased the most, by 57 percent.

 

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