googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Why are there gun free zones?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Why are there gun free zones?

An Oregon college campus was the site of another mass shooting. Nine innocent victims were killed before the deranged shooter took his own life. Before nearly any facts behind the shooting were known, the President was already on the air calling for more gun control laws. Since we knew hardly anything about the shooting, how could the President know that any gun law he was suggesting would have done anything to prevent the shooting? He couldn't have known, obviously. He was merely exploiting the tragedy to push his agenda. Shame on him. However, we did know one thing about the shooting almost immediately – it happened in a “gun free zone.”

I saw this meme on FaceBook the other day. We defend the President with guns. Celebrities defend themselves with guns. When money is delivered to my office, I've noticed the armored car courier carries a gun. Why then do we “protect” our most precious treasure, our children, with signs that say, “This is a Gun Free Zone”? It seems counter intuitive that if guns can help protect the President from harm, that they couldn't also help protect children. Why then do some people still want gun free zones – especially in the case of protecting the children?

Not being able to completely understand the insane logic known as, “liberalism,” I did an internet search, trying to find out why people think gun free zones are a good idea and found a lot of rhetoric rebutting criticisms of the concept. Here are some of the “facts” being presented by defenders of gun free zones: I took these quotes from one source, but I've found the same points being made by many people so I'm considering them to be representative.

Mass shooters are completely unconcerned about whether or not an area is a “Gun-Free Zone.” A study conducted by Mother Jones found that, in 62 mass shootings over 32 years, there were exactly zero instances of a killer targeting a place because of a gun ban.

OK, that's interesting. I've read some criticisms of the Mother Jones study but let's assume this point is true. Even if mass shooters never target any place because he thinks unarmed people are softer targets, how is that an argument for gun free zones?

Furthermore, thirty-six mass shooters in the Mother Jones study committed suicide at or near the crime-scene, and 7 more committed ‘suicide-by-cop’ by engaging in a knowingly unwinnable shootout with police. This is not the sort of behavior that suggests that mass shooters are deterred by the prospect of gun-imposed security.

Hmmm. It also shows the shooter is not deterred by a sign that says, “this is a gun free zone.

Instead of guns deterring crime, not one of the 62 mass shootings surveyed was ended by an armed civilian

I'd laugh if it weren't so tragic. If law abiding citizens are observing the “gun free zone” restriction, it's not surprising that there weren't any around to prevent or stop the shooting once it started.

Also, does this study take into account those times when guns are used to stop crimes? There is the case, for example, where an armed, “resource officer,” Carolyn Gudger, confronted a gunman at Sullivan High school, Blountville, TN, and held him at bay until deputies arrived. The gunman was killed in a shootout with the police. Since no students were harmed, this incident didn't qualify as a mass shooting. However, it is certainly a case where an armed civilian very possibly stopped a massacre. I might post some videos sometime of showing guns being used by civilians to stop criminals. It happens all the time.

Despite the fact that one-third of our nation’s schools have armed guards or officers, there is no evidence that these measures have deterred or de-escalated mass shootings.

I believe the Gudger incident I cited above is one example where an armed guard deterred a mass shooting. Maybe there are more. But let's again assume armed guards do not deter mass shootings. We can still see clearly that neither are mass shooters deterred by gun free zones! At least if there are armed guards present, there is someone on hand to stop a shooting spree once it's started. That's not the case in a gun free zone.

As I read article after article defending gun free zones, what I mostly saw were weak rebuttals to the criticisms of them. I found very little arguments as to why we should have them in the first place. The article where I found the quotes above only had this to say in favor of gun free zones:

While there is little evidence to validate the efficacy of armed guards or officers, there is a plethora of research showing that a large armed presence on school grounds institutionalizes the early criminalization of Black and Latino males. Armed officers at schools are quick to make arrests and write tickets, fast-tracking these students into the criminal justice system, rather than college, having an overall negative effect on net educational outcomes.

Am I reading that right? Does it really say that if we have armed guards in schools then blacks and Latinos are more likely to become criminals? But then again, liberals are racists so it shouldn't surprise me that they would think if a security guard arrests a student, it must be a black student.

The more common argument made in defense of gun free zones is the possibility of accidental shootings. The cartoon I reprinted from the Armed With Reason article paints a straw man image of students walking around with rifles and lunch boxes. You do realize we're not talking about having students carrying guns, right? Now, I concede that it is a reality that the mere presence of a gun comes with the risk of accidental injury. After all, it's impossible to accidentally discharge a gun if there is no gun present. But apparently the President isn't so worried about that possibility that he won't protect himself with armed guards.  And by the way, how is it that celebrities and the President think they should protected with armed guards but don't think “the masses” have the same right?  We as parents in local school districts should be the ones to weigh the risks and make the final decision on how to protect our children.  If Rosie O'Donnell wants to protect herself with armed, security guards, I demand we have the right to make that same choice to protect our children.

So what's left then? Why are liberals so bent on imposing gun free zones? I have a theory: I think liberals would really like to have all of the US become a gun free zone where only the aristocracy (liberal politicians, celebrities, and the mega-wealthy like Warren Buffet) have guns and “the people” are unarmed. I believe that they think if students are raised in a gun free environment, they will be less likely to protest tighter gun restrictions in the future. I sincerely believe that gun free zones aren't intended to make kids safer but are all about controlling us. It's always about control with liberals.

No comments: