MIAMI
12/17/2012 12:54 pm ET Updated Feb 16, 2013

Miami Mass Shootings, Gun Violence Haven't Stopped State's Permissive Gun Laws

Miami's gun violence rate has dipped over the past years, but it'll come as no surprise to learn that it wasn't great to begin with -- and it claims a lot of young people.

According to The Atlantic's Richard Florida, Miami area suffered the 4th-highest rates of total gun-related deaths among U.S. cities with complete data from 2006-07. It also notched the 7th-highest rate of gun-related homicide in the nation.

And a recent publication by the Center for Disease Control reports that 112 people between 10 and 19 years old were killed that year in gun-related violence across the metro area.

While South Florida hasn't yet seen a tragedy on the scale of Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut -- during which a lone gunman murdered 20 elementary school children, 6 school employees, and his own mother -- it has suffered horrific mass shootings.

A 5-year-old girl was among the 14 people struck when someone in a car opened fire with an assault rifle on a crowd gathered outside a funeral in North Miami in March. Two did not survive.

In June of 2010, a gunman from Coral Gables murdered his wife outside a Hialeah restaurant before targeting 6 more women inside. After killing three of them and wounding the others, he shot and killed himself.

And there are others, including a 1982 incident in which former junior high teacher Carl Robert Brown killed eight people at a local welding shop with a brand new shotgun, angry over a $20 lawn mower repair bill.

What are your personal experiences with gun crime? How have they affected your attitude toward gun laws, rights and control? Please share your thoughts and stories with The Huffington Post by emailing: openreporting@huffingtonpost.com.

Unlike these tragedies, the Sandy Hook shooting has prompted some high-profile federal lawmakers to suggest it could be a "tipping point" in passing meaningful legislation on stricter gun laws. Will politicians in gun-happy Florida take any steps? Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado joined a campaign in 2011 asking the federal government to reform the nation's gun background check system. But lawmakers in this "will issue" state have pushed through some of the most lax firearms laws in the country on Florida's way to handing out its one millionth concealed carry permit, expected to be processed sometime this week.

And despite a lengthy history of such shootings in Florida and across the U.S., at least one legislator is already cautioning against any laws enacted in the wake of the tragedy.

"I think it's very important that we recognize the entire country is shaken and grieving by the loss of innocent children, confronted by a horrible massacre," Rep. Dennix Baxley (R-Ocala), who sponsored Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, told NBC6 on Monday. "We need to respect those victims, those families and be careful that we don't simply use them to advance other agendas."

According to the Associated Press, Baxley is also in favor of ending Florida's ban on guns in schools.