I'm sorry I didn't grow up in Florida for one reason: proximity to Disney World. It would have been awesome to be able to get on a bus and ride to the most magical place on earth whenever the mood struck me. A land of make-believe where excitement and adventure are around every corner. Of course, the same could be said for Florida itself.
But not in a good way. For now, I'll just skip that whole section about election fraud, missing ballots and voter disenfranchisement. I won't even make the Bieber association, even though it's as fresh as the Bieb's orange jumpsuit. Instead, I think the reason that I'm glad that I didn't grow up in Florida is that I might not have lived very long.
For one, I have been known to take a walk now and again. Sometimes I do this while wearing a jacket with a hood on it. In my youth, I was also known to imbibe periodically in a Skittle or two. Though I was raised with a great deal of respect for authority, I'm not sure how I would have reacted if an armed man started to chase me through a strange neighborhood. I might have ended up being shot by some overzealous member of that neighborhood's watch.
Or, perhaps more likely, I would have been killed for playing my music too loud. When I think about how I listened to my stereo, whether in my car or in my home, in those days the volume knob was pegged on "excessive." While I was blessed with very understanding parents, it was when I moved out that my habits began to impact those who were less understanding. I knew this because sometimes when the walls of my apartment were shaking, it wasn't the bass, but the pounding of my disturbed neighbor's fists on the other side. I wasn't shy about sharing my music tastes on my car stereo, either. Often at stop signs or red lights, I was discouraged by other drivers or pedestrians on the sidewalk from sharing my music tastes. That's not the way they do it in Florida, apparently.
In Jacksonville, the volume control is found at the end of a gun. Michael Dunn believed his life was in danger when he fired into a car full of teenagers back in 2012. He killed Jordan Davis, who will never be any older than seventeen. Mister Dunn was not convicted of that killing. Instead, a jury found him guilty of multiple counts of attempted murder. Dunn's defense was that he was "standing his ground." Prosecutors argued that he recklessly shot at the teens after complaining about the volume of their music in a convenience store parking lot.
Happily, this kind of thing almost never happens in Disney World.