Spring break curfew in effect for Miami Beach

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

It’s springtime and you know what that means. Rain showers, flowers blooming, warmer weather, and tens of thousands of screaming kids flocking to our nation’s beaches in an annual right of debauchery and intoxication.

It makes me miss school, I tell ya.

One of the places many like to hit is Miami Beach. However, authorities there say the violence is so bad, they’ve had to take some unusual steps to mitigate it.

Police in Miami Beach have confiscated about 100 guns over the last few weeks of spring break, and at least five people were shot over the weekend. The situation has gotten so bad that local officials declared a state of emergency and instituted a midnight curfew.

“Officers are EXHAUSTED,” the Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police tweeted Sunday, with video of spring breakers swarming officers and cop cars on the town’s popular Ocean Drive strip. “The party needs to end. City officials must take immediate and firm action to ensure the safety of officers and residents.”

At least 371 officers from the Miami Beach Police Department were patrolling the streets over the weekend, according to Mayor Dan Gebler.

The state of emergency followed two shootings in Miami Beach, the first of which left two people with non-life-threatening injuries near Ocean Drive around 12:15 a.m. A third person was later found to have been shot, according to police, but they had already been taken to the hospital.

Two others were found less than 24-hours later who had been shot and had non-life-threatening injuries as well. A 19-year-old man was arrested while trying to dump the weapon.

Now, understand, five people shot over a weekend isn’t ideal. Especially when people are just trying to enjoy themselves for a week before they have to go back to class.

However, is a curfew really the best idea?

I honestly don’t know. It seems to me that all it will do is confine their shootings to the hours when there’s not a curfew. At best.

But it should be understood that while some will look at this as evidence more gun control is needed, the one arrest made is of someone who isn’t lawfully allowed to purchase a handgun in the first place due to their age.

Second, let’s put some of this in perspective. Miami Beach has a population of over 450,000 people and thousands more show up for spring break each week during the season. Five people being shot isn’t good, but I’m not convinced it’s a huge problem.

Obviously, it’s bad for those who got shot. The proper number of innocent people being shot is zero and always will be.

Yet we’re never going to hit that mark no matter what we do.

With Miami Beach’s population plus the influx of people there for the week, I can’t help but wonder if the issue is really all that bad from a statistical point of view.

I also wonder about what all isn’t being reported by the media. Were any of these five people involved in criminal activity such as trying to buy drugs? Were any of them heavily intoxicated and possibly trying to start trouble?

Also, who shot them? Was it spring breakers or was it locals?

Either way, there are a ton of unanswered questions, but we all know someone is going to blame the guns.