Embed America: In Miami, dirt bikes, T-shirts, fishing and guns
To some residents of Liberty City, Florida, being a dirt bike daredevil can help keep you safe.
July 11th, 2012
12:04 PM ET

Embed America: In Miami, dirt bikes, T-shirts, fishing and guns

By John Sepulvado, CNN

(Miami) - When they cover politics, the Embed America team hears politicians say over and over again how policy impacts people's lives. So in Miami, the team wanted to see how gun policy affects the day to day lives of regular people. What they found is that while the Second Amendment is one of the least debated issues in the 2012 campaign, it has a direct effect on people living in two different Miami neighborhoods.

Liberty City resident, Anard:  "I think it would eliminate some of the death going around here. If we took more guns off the street, there would be more lives spared, and not buried in the ground at a young age, like 12, or 13 or 14 where they aint even seen life yet." [5:25]

Firearms instructor, Carlos Gutierrez:  "I find the Second Amendment to be one of the most important things in our Constitution. The only thing that can top it is our First Amendment. And coincidentally the only way to protect the First is through the Second. Our First Amendment allows us to be free." [6:45]

Liberty City resident and dirt bike daredevil, Travis: "It’s like, nothing’s really going on in this community except shooting and robbing and sh** like that. So I guess by the time we come through, they be glad to see that. Nowadays, you can’t even have a party because somebody’s going to shoot it up." [3:26]

You can check out all our Embed America coverage here.

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Catfish

    I caught a catfish in Miami once and maybe I prepared it wrong but it did not taste like cat at all. Caught a chicken.

    I have also caught a chicken hawk once and surprise it did not taste like chicken at all either. I am not even going to bother trying BullDog because i doubt it tastes like Bull.

    July 13, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Flatsguide

      Try catching some Prozac, in your case, it can't hurt.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    The 2nd amendment was meant to arm citizens to help fend off a government or army taken over by hostile means, since a standing Army was deemed too impractical and expensive during the writing of the constitution. Arms were also a tool of the times to help feed your family. Today we have the strongest military in the world who have sworn to uphold and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The argument that civilians still need weapons to defend the country is absurd.

    July 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |


      For your info, the U.S. military is prevented by law from interferring with civil matters. The governor of a state can call out the National Guard to restore order in an emergency but that is the limit of it. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that no individual has a right to individual police protection. So, in time of civil disorder or a disaster like hurricane Katrina, there is NO ONE who will protect just YOU (that means YOU JOE) from robbery, rape, burlary, assault or just plain "cause we feel like killing you" violence!!

      Personnally, (because I do not fall into any of the categories forbidden to own firearms) the U.S. Constitution gives me the right to own firearms. The State of Georgia has issued me a license to carry a concealed weapon. I am not looking for trouble, I keep to myself and do my best to avoid problems. However, if civil disorder, mindless random drug or alcohol induced violence threaten me or my family, I will protect them and ensure their survival. You can call this absurd if you wish, but I guarantee the if civilization suddenly becomes uncivil, my family will survive it. I'm not so sure about yours!!! Remember: NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY BUT YOU!!!

      July 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe

        You're right, you don't know about me or mine. And I'm not talking about self defense or defense of your family. I'm talking about an enemy attacking the US or taking over the gov't. The Military CAN and WILL defend the US until victory is obtained. We have a standing military to handle this, unlike when the constitution was written. That is why the leaders of that day wanted citizens to be armed. If you don't think so you're dead wrong. The constitution didn't give people the right to vigilante justice or acts of subversion or treason against a legal gov't. Pick your arguments wisely next time.

        July 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
        • Joe

          The military is sworn to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC!!

          July 13, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
        • Joe

          All you anarchists need to know...

          July 13, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • bobby

      Sorry Joe, but if you want to put your life in the hands of an all knowing government yet, one that doesnt share info with you go right ahead....And when Martial Law is enacted again....ill have my .45 at the ready

      July 12, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flatsguide

      That was before Cbamunism.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Flatsguide

      That was before Obama introduced Obamunism into this country. Can't see why anyone would want to fifgt for this Socialist government any more.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Trayy

      So, would you live in Liberty City without a weapon???

      July 13, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mad Sam

    If the beasts stopped killing each other, there would not be a constant state of war in Liberty City. Guns are not the problem; the beasts are the reason behind the violence in that neighborhood.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • MuppetAntwerp

      Talk about the animals in Syria ? There are thousands of them in Miami, LA and so on. That's what they call self destruction of a nation. Free of import taxes.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ThE tRuTh

    and you wonder why the "stand your ground" law exists in Florida, these little thugs running around need to feel the touch of hot lead every once in a while to keep them in line

    July 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. clam

    Flatsguide has the best comment. The picture sums up the whole place. Also worth a mention is the statistics concerning obesity in this region of the country. The south sucks!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trayyy

      This is why I will move where there are no people. Florida is already gone

      July 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JJ


    July 12, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. DosRuedas

    As the law is written now, I can go to a gun store, buy 20 ar15's and take them home within the hour. I am then free to sell them with no obligation to check the background or record the purchaser details. We have people passing Bs laws and worrying about gays in the military.....guess what, that's not the threat. Explain how this makes sense, anyone.

    July 11, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John S

      Where could you buy 20 ak's in less than an hour. It's my understanding there's a background check involved.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Numb Butt

        It's easy, the ATF, FBI and DOJ allows it , only if you are in States that are next to our southern boarder. Think Fast And Furious! The main reasons behind the 2nd amendment are 1. The power rests in the hands of the people with the government small and weak in comparison. The ownership of firearms insured that tyranny would be very difficult with an armed populace. Remember we alone are guaranteed the right to dissolve the government by the ballot box or the bullet box if needed. 2. There was no provision for a "police force" it was to the individual to see to their own safety and protection. In the 60's while I was in High School we had rifle ranges in the schools and I carried my rifles and pistol to school 3 days a week to practice and for matches. This was in the Los Angles Unified School district. We did not have shootings or gang issues. That came later with the heavy influx of Minority gangs in the inner city that were then bused to the suburbs. When that happened we had a serious increase in crime both minor and major. The firearm is an inanimate object incapable of free action or intent. The problem is a human one and deeply rooted in some cultures within the communities. To address the issue the affected communities need to make a serious cultural shift and self police their community, make the violence and crime unacceptable within the community. Take personal responsibility for your and your's actions change the culture and rise up against violence and those that foment it within your people. Only your communities can end the problem. Keep in mind that Government entitlements are a means of enforcing economic enslavement. The gov't controls your quality of life, where you live, go to school, how you live, what you eat and if you can break free of the chains that bind you into poverty. As a Native American whose family rejected the government reservation and the handouts, I look at those who are on the reservation and see the truth to what my Grandfather taught me, the government handout comes with heavy chains that will only hold you down. Make your own path and be a proud free man to succeed or fail as you choose. Only a freeman can control his destiny. Our constitution and the bill of rights guarantee those rights and the second amendment gives the people the means to protect those rights from government tyranny. To say the gun is at fault is to say that mispelling (misspelling) is the fault of the writing instrument, it is the mind of the one wielding the instrument that is responsible.

        July 12, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
        • John S

          I think you raise a lot of good points about personal responsibility. I think a lot of Americans feel the way you do that a gun is an instrument, and that ultimately it's a personal choice how it's utilized.

          I also think a lot of Americans feel their freedoms are being taken away.

          Just a philosophical question here: if the government always thinks the worst of citizens and is eyeing to take freedoms away (in this case, 2nd amendment freedoms), and citizens are always expecting the worst of government so they arm themselves on the chance of a "bullet box" election, then how is this trustless relationship between the citizens and their government going to work?

          July 12, 2012 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
        • Joshua herrera

          Well see I do agree that you have to take self responsibility but how is it that the government controls every aspect of our lives when it comes to certain things. If I had the money I would go to a private school but can't becasue I can't afford it so I have to go and a public school. Now if the government can offer me the money for the private school than I would gldly go bu I still have to count on the goevernment to give me suppor in order to go to a private school. I can take public transportation and go anywhere I want. Last I checked its the consumers that make up what they want to eat. A person goes to a McDonalds becasue they made a choice to eat a hamburger and not eat a healthy snack. The government might force the food industry for healthy food but I don't see that happening soon. Like I said I do agree with the philosophy of self help and agree that something must be done so people can't be too dependent on government benefits but when it comes to certain things that the government does they don't control everything and besides is it not the private company or union who benefits the most from government when they push money to push their agenda.

          July 12, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
        • Richard M.

          @ Numb Butt
          Well Said!!! Guns don't kill people...people kill people. A gun, knife, pen is an inanimate object. It's the individual and the way they are raised, it's the person they choose to become, their decisions that lead to good or bad outcomes.
          @ Joshua Herrera
          I agree with both your comments.

          Ultimately some common sense can make a big difference. I'm in NYC and it took some time to get my pistol permit. Was it a pain, yes, but the required documents were not an outrageous demand. (3 Character references, really if 3 people can't say good things about you and stand up for you when questioned should you really own a gun?)

          Requiring people to take a safety course on pistols/rifles benefits everyone. Requiring people to take a course on conceal carry benefits everyone. NYC doesn't allow me to sell my handgun to someone directly, and that's fine. I can't speak for Florida or any state for that matter, but if I did want to sell my handgun to someone, some common sense guidelines/laws such as requiring the other person to have a pistol permit (which would imply they have had a back ground check and were cleared to own a handgun legally) and registering the sale with the police department or atf isn't too much to ask. I went to a gun show in Vegas and Arizona and in both cases the sellers were willing to sell me pistols or rifles with out doing a back ground check. I get it, the 2nd amendment grants us all rights to arms, but there has to be some limit. Convicted criminals shouldn't have easy access to weapons. At least in a gun store I was asked for ID to do a back ground check, and once I showed them my NYC license they said we can't sell these items to you since you are a non resident. And that was perfectly fine, common sense laws benefit everyone.

          @SOUTH4EVR & jmissal & Tommy
          i couldn't agree more.

          As far as what to do with the illegal weapons that are out there...well that issue isn't going to be fixed over night. People have to be responsible; take responsibility for their actions.
          (I get i just went on a bit of rant here)

          July 12, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Flatsguide

        Another stupid statement by someone who knows absolutely nothing about what he's talking about. John S, please, do the world a favor, and keep your stupidity to yourself.

        July 12, 2012 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Flatsguide

        You really are a moron, aren't you?

        July 12, 2012 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
      • Flatsguide

        Must have bought the AKs from Eric Holder, and the rest of Obama's Murder Inc..

        July 12, 2012 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Hector Machado

      This is not true in Miami. You have to wait three days and if you sell it you must transfer license to them.

      July 12, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • OregonTom

      There is nowhere in the US that you can buy 20 firearms in an hour without paper work. Maybe if you had hustle you could round up 20 private sellers in a day but that is very unrealistic.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John S

    This is John Sepulvado. I reported this story. Just a few comments for the commenters:

    To ronbro51: Mr. Bro, I appreciate your criticism of the reporting. However, I personally object to your characterization of Florida citizens. My daughter is a Floridian, and I can guarantee you she was taught to wear a helmet on a bike.

    To Mdrizzy and others who made similar comments about criminals obtaining guns: I think thats spot on. I also remember reading a report by longtime Miami newsman Jim Defede about how police in this are are concerned gangs are using existing gun carry laws to game the system-basically they are obtaining guns legally and eventually, those guns are being used in crimes.

    On the flip side of it, I think Carlos Gutierrez makes a strong point that the second amendment is a fundamental constitutional right. And over the years of my reporting, I've heard many constitutional scholars say, as Carlos does, that the 1st amendment was designed as the bark, and the 2nd amendment was designed as the bite to protect society from the government.

    I don't know who is right, or even if there is a"right" in this. If I did, I would switch careers and run for office or lobby or go into some other career.

    But what I do know is that guns-and by extension gun policy-shape people's lives in Miami, in ways that seem to surprising to me. And that's what we reported.

    The questions I have for the commenters: Do you think America is at a place to even consider debating gun policy this election? Does the economy trump all? Do you see any common ground between the parties on this issue?

    July 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua herrera

      On the one hand I do understand that a person has the right to protect themslves. They have a right to own a gun in their homes or say carry a weapon if they are in say jogging a path that is isolated and if they feel they should bring a gun for protection just in case they get kidnapped. But when it comes to a restaurant or bar or certain places why do you need a gun. A man developmentally disable was shot becasue of a confrontation when a guy rushed him with his car. I am worried about indicdents such as this were a person gets in a fight takes out a gun and then says it was self defense. Gun owners always say that the government is takin away their guns and this is not true especially when the current president just signed a bill stating you can carry a weapon in a public park. Should gun policy be part of this election no becasue right now there are other situtions that are more important right such as the ecnomy.

      On the one hand I feel if a person wants do own a gun they have a right to do so of course. My worry is that a gun is not like a ciggerate or a cell phone. If I see a guy with a gun in a mall of course am going to think that he is up to something. Why does a person feel the need to protect themselves with a gun in a mall or an amusement park is beyond me. If you are using it for recreation is one thing but a gun in certain places a person has to reallly wonder why do you need it for. Also it does not help when you have people in the NRA who come up with hypocrisy it does not make the argument sound any better.

      July 12, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
      • TonyM

        Joshua, let me ask you this. Are the only places I should be able to defend myself or my family be at my house, or while on a desolate jogging trail? As I recall criminals cannot just attack me at those places. One could be targeted anywhere. Also I have personally seen a drug crazed person trying to attack people in a public environment. When you can guarantee where something bad will happen I will first avoid that location and if I have to travel there I will only carry my gun there. But since drug addicts on mind altering drugs can be anywhere, sex offenders are raping people in public places, and gangs have initiations that include violent crimes in public settings you are darn sure that I will keep my 2nd amendment right close by.

        July 12, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Dude

        Why have a gun at the mall? At my local mall, a man was shot to death in the Macy's Parking lot. He was allegedly a counterfeiter and some sort of deal had gone bad. A couple of years prior to that 4 men dressed as security guards entered the mall with shotguns, robbed a jewelry store, and got away before police arrived. We basically don't go to the mall or go early in the morning when the hoodlums are still sleeping. It's easier just to order things off of the Internet. Since many people in our community are still working on the content of their character, we have two choices: carry a gun or move into the farthest reaches of suburbia. Gun policy is a red herring. The real issue is the bad behavior of too many African-American men between the ages of 16 and 24. But, that would requiring touching the third rail of American politics and culture. We're choosing to move.

        July 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hector Machado

      Hi John,

      I am a lifetime resident of Miami. Born and raised. You have depicted all of the wort neighborhoods in Miami. Miami has come a loooong way from the 80s and by today's standards is one of the safest, I repeat, safest cities in the U.S.. We have a very large population and the percentage of gun related activities is extremely small. It seems that Miami is always held under a microscope since that great decade but the fact is that there is much worse in America. Cinn, Detroit, heck the whole rust belt. The fact is that many in Miami respect one another more because of the second Amendment and other gun related policies that allow individuals to defend themselves while they wait for the police to arrive. Liberty City is a small, and I mean small area of Miami one which is being gentrified each day and making way for the City which is going to cosume it eventually. This is not the Miami in "Vice City" and I would appreciate it if responsible reporting of Miami is done. In the agregate, Miami and Miami Beach are one of the funnest, safest cities in the U.S.

      July 12, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
      • John S

        I agree with you Hector, in that Liberty City is not representative of Miami. The people that live there know that: I heard from one guy that lived in the projects that "this ain't palm trees and beaches (quote from memory)"

        I know that if somebody reported on my hometown of San Diego and just reported from the worse off neighborhoods I would be annoyed. We tried to really contrast Liberty City with South Miami, which we found really peaceful and normal.

        Also on the blog, we sent in an audio post card from Little Havana where we saw a lot of strong families, happy adults, and really patriotic immigrants.

        And for the record, we had a great time in Miami-we spent some time at the beach, downtown, by UM. Both Gavin (the producer) and I joked we wanted to be reassigned there.

        But fair point. It wasnt our intention to imply in any of our stories that one place or person is indicitive of the whole. I don't believe that, and I wouldn't want it to seem that way.

        July 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ronbro51

    Thanks daredevil for showing us how to ride stunts with dirt bikes with no helmet. Only in Florida can we find such utter stupidity both in reporting and citizens.

    July 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dale

    Yeah it'll be dirt bikes and fishing but no guns if Obama gets reelected, fast and furious did not work he'll come up with something else to control guns.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John S

      This is something I heard a lot in Texas. I know many people are concerned this administration are actively looking for ways to take or confiscate guns. Do you know anybody this has happened to? I've been trying to find an example of this and if I can I'd report on it.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ


      July 12, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
      • SOUTH4EVR

        Sorry JJ but Fast and Furious was a program set up by Eric Holder's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to intensionally allow "straw buyers" to buy firearms (against the protests of the dealers being told to sell them) and watch as they were transported across the border to Mexico. The idea was to "trace" the illegal weapons to the point of their use in a crime. There is one draw back to this plan....BATFE doesn't have a presence in Mexico!!! Once they crossed the border they were off the grid!! The trail ended when some of the weapons sent across the border by our government were used in an ambush that killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry. Nice work there Obamites!!!

        For this and other things, Eric Holder may be sited for Contempt of Congress!

        July 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tommy

    All the guns worldwide could be banned, but you can bet your bucks every criminal who wants one will get their dirty hands on one. Go back in history and you'll see from the good guys to the bad guys there will always be a weapons formed (Whether it be Offense or Defense). Take the prisons for example: They have no guns, but sure now how to make weapons and explosives. Come on man you know these types of articles are geared toward ripping the second amendment from honest tax paying citizens who by all means have a God given right to protect our loved ones by the use of a firearm. Beleive me I hate the fact we have to bear arms in this beautiful world we have be given, but the reality is: Wickedness and all sorts of evil are always right around the corner. So if your reading this please by all means be a responsible citizen of the USA and treat others as you want to be treated. Remember: You Reap What You Sow..........

    July 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |

    What do dirt bikes, fishing and t-shirts have to do with this article??

    July 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      The thing is that the guns that are being used in crime are not being obtained legally. Their is a huge black market for stolen guns, as well as modified illegal imports. I'm not sure when some of the people in the capital of this country are going to realize that restricting the legal ownership of guns will do nothing to lower gun crime among certain geographic areas, or demographics. Where there is a will, there's a way.

      I don't think that responsible gun owners should be punished for the acts of criminals. I will admit, gun violence does exist where legally obtained guns are used by their rightful owners, but I believe that a majority of gun violence is due to stolen guns (i.e stolen from private citizens, gun shops/pawn shops, etc.) and those that are brought illegally into the country.

      Frankly, if legal guns are being used by their rightful owners in crime, then this should be brought down on the head of the owner of that firearm, not the general populous. As has been said before, one cannot simply shrink their responsibility to bear arms in a safe, responsible way. If we give that to the government, then we're going to be left with nothing, or have a huge bickering between 2 parties that can't get anything done because they refuse to work together. Do we want that?

      These crimes should be punished severely for both illegal and legal users in these cases where firearms are used as a means to violence, not a punishment for the entire country.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John S

      The headline refers to the full audio story available on the player under the picture.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |

    In the 'hood, gun laws are meaningless! People who want a gun for "shooting, robbing and sh** like that" will get one through the black market or steal it. They are not going to go to Walmart, provide proper identification, fill out the federal paperwork as well as comply with Walmart firearms regulations to legally obtain a firearm. That's too complicated and it leaves a paper trail back to the owner!!

    Misuse of a firearm should be punished by the most severe penalties possible. The message needs to be sent to some of America's youth that it is not "cool" settle disagreements with "my piece" by "bustin' a cap on his a$$"!! Tough guys in these neighborhood need to be sent to spend a couple of nights in the trauma center of a major city hospital so they can see first hand what bullets do to a human body. Maybe then they would find better ways of settling differences!!

    Just sayin'!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jmissal

    People are always shirking their personal responsibility. If parents were being parents, then these 12,13 and 14 year olds wouldn't have the time to find themselves in the ground.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • John S

      We did see a lot of kids by themselves in Liberty City.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • SOUTH4EVR

        Of course there are no kids by themselves. They are all together....it's called a street gang you boob!!

        July 12, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. i3raveheart

    this could possibly be one of the stupidest things i have ever read

    July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  16. kambmomto3

    ok.. i've lived in miami my entire life. I went to high school in Liberty City (Miami Northwestern Sr High.) Sorry to say, but it's really that bad there. lol and i went to Northwestern for the performing arts program.. imagine how bad it was for us! but seriously, folks – the inner miami is no joke.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hector Machado

      What is Liberty City today? It was bad when we were growing up but how has it changed over the years. Midtown? Brickel Area. Even Camilus House was moved. Liberty city IS NOT representative of Miami. I disagree. It's the usual reporting tactic of reporting on the worst but not really reporting accurate. http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/florida/miami.html

      July 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jim

    Hmn. Dont knives kill people too? Fists? We should take more butter knives and peoples hands off the street!

    July 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flatsguide

      And doing wheelies on dirtbiks with no helmets. Darwinism at it's strongest!

      July 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  18. MDrizzy

    Because we all know that criminals acquire firearms and firearm permits legally. That way their fingerprints are in the system when they commit the crimes. Makes it easier on the Police. "Taking guns off the streets" actually means to make it illegal for those who go through the processes of obtaining the firearm and the necessary permit to legally carry it. That way those who are going to break the law by the crime they are committing, and therefore do not follow firearm regulations, will encounter unarmed citizens when they show up for "shooting, robbing and sh** like that" at someone's party. Must not be much going on in the world if this is one of the main stories on the U.S page. Awful reporting.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |