Gun-free zones don't work: Shootings are more likely where weapons are banned

Gun-free zones don't work: Shootings are more likely where weapons are banned

March 23rd, 2013 in Opinion Free Press

Recent shooting incidents in Connecticut and Colorado broke the hearts of millions of Americans. They also brought out the gun-control zealots in force. One common solution many anti-gun activists propose is expanding gun-free zones.

Gun-free zone laws, which prohibit guns in schools and other public areas enact stiff penalties on those carrying guns. But they turn out to be feeble efforts to minimize or eliminate gun violence.

They may prevent a high school student from bringing a handgun to school to show a friend. A deranged assailant with the conscious objective to commit murder, however, would not change his murderous intentions just because he encounters a "no guns allowed" sign on the door.

Dubbing an area as "gun free" provides a false sense of safety at the cost of jeopardizing the actual safety of students and other citizens. In reality, gun-free zones create an optimal environment for a mass shooter looking for a place where he would meet no resistance from his defenseless victims. What better place to open fire than a place where the victims will not be able to fire back?

What did Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech and the Century 16 movie theaters in Colorado have in common? They were all the sites of massacres that ended innocent lives. And they all were gun-free zones.

John Lott, an economist and gun rights advocate who authored the book "More Guns, Less Crime," recently examined mass shootings. He discovered that: "With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns."

In other words, not only are gun-free zones ineffective at preventing mass shootings, shootings are actually more likely to occur in gun-free zones because the shooter knows there will be less resistance.

In 1997, according to CNN contributor John Bennett, a scene similar to those well-known tragedies played out at a high school in Pearl, Miss., but it yielded a far different outcome. After stabbing his mother to death, a high school student drove to Pearl High School and shot and killed two students. As he got in his car to continue his killing spree at Pearl Middle School, the assistant principal got his gun from his car and aimed it at the gunman, causing him to surrender, and putting an end to his violence.

It was only because the assistant principal broke the law and brought a gun into a gun-free zone that the killings of innocent students was minimized.

In a misguided effort to prevent heinous mass shootings from occurring in public places by increasing and expanding gun-free zones, gun control fanatics are increasing the likelihood that more of these shooting occur.

No one can fault lawmakers and activists for trying to prevent mass shootings. But with their inability to protect innocent people and their proclivity to do more harm than good, gun-free zones are a terrible solution.