Important headlines for May 30th - The value of guns in Florida & your DNA

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Important headlines for May 30th  The value of guns in Florida and your DNA to thieves 

Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them... 

Excerpt: From small shops tucked away in strip malls to factories churning out tens of thousands of guns, the arms and ammunition industry now employs more than 7,000 people in Florida, producing a $1 billion economic impact, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry. 

In comparison, the state estimates that tourism supports more than 875,000 jobs, producing $53 billion in wages. Still, only Texas has more gun manufacturers licensed with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  

At a time when blue-collar work has been strained by globalization, jobs in the firearms industry are paying an average of nearly $50,000 a year... 

ATF’s 2008 production report shows 38 gun manufacturers and exporters in Florida. That number climbed to 155 in the 2016 report, according to a South Florida Sun Sentinel analysis of ATF records. 

In the 2016 report, Florida manufacturers reported producing 729,064 guns, making Florida the No. 5 state in terms of production.  

Hot Take: There's an important point or five within this story. First, the overall economic impact of the industry to our state. Sure, to those who're fearful of guns generally, the fact that it's a billion dollar plus industry in our state probably doesn't matter. To the 7,000 people who make above average incomes in our state I'm sure they'd say differently but that's only one facet of the under-told story. If guns rather than people are the problem in our society today, how is it that we could create more than 729,000 guns in our state alone annually and have any degree of safety in our society? Think about that logically for a moment. Plus here's the reminder that just last week Florida's crime rate hit a 47 year low. This while Florida's concealed carry permits are at record highs along with gun ownership generally. Florida now leads the country with 1.78 million concealed carry permitted holders. That's 500,000 more than the 2nd closest state! Nearly 2,000 new guns entering our society per day. Why isn't every day more violent than the next if it's the product that's the problem?  

Excerpt:  It markets its DNA kits with promises that tug at the heartstrings: Discover ancestors. Strengthen family ties. Understand your life. 

Aided by venture capital and a flood of savvy marketing, Ancestry LLC has grown to become the world’s largest DNA testing conglomerate. Since 2012, it has lured more than 5 million people to spit into tubes and add their genetic code to the world’s largest private database of DNA. It has also banked away the world’s largest collection of human spittle, numbering in the hundreds of gallons. 

In the age of Facebook and Google, consumers seem comfortable surrendering their personal information to corporations that aggregate it and monetize it. But Ancestry and other DNA testing companies have added an audacious tweak: Consumers are now paying to hand over their genetic code, their most sensitive individual identifier, to companies that could monetize it far into the future.

Hot Take: It's an interesting point. In this age of ID theft here we are handing over genetic information to a third part to learn about our family. In the story it's pointed out that Ancestry has been the target of hackers seeking this info and while this hasn't been addressed. It makes me wonder if one family member submitting information could potentially lead to negative implications for other family members if that data fell into the wrong hands. The bigger point is simply considering the scope of what we're doing when we're trying to find out more about our family history. Probably to no one's surprise people aren't reading the fine print to fully consider the implications of what they're submitting to when sending samples and info. At a certain point we can make ourselves paranoid but being fully informed before using these services is probably a good idea. 

Until tomorrow...     

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