Gun Free Zones Don't Work
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Thread: Gun Free Zones Don't Work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Battle Creek Michigan

    Gun Free Zones Don't Work

    Interesting article from USA Today. I've been surprised after this recent tragedy in CT by some of the response in the news. Not mainstream media, of course.
    I've noticed that there appears to be more "pushback" from a lot of people than I've seen before after a shooting. There also seems to be more of a sense that it is not necessarily the "guns" that are the problem (except for the usual, automatic, immediate rants and attacks on "assault rifles, of course) but our approach to mental health. Or, lack of, I think.
    Without doing any research, and based on my aging memory, it seems to me that the majority of the multiple shootings have taken place since about the 1970's or 80's, mostly "disgruntled employees." Remember the term, "Going Postal?" I also read somewhere recently that, with one exception, ALL of the mass shootings since 1950 have occurred in "gun -free" zones.

    Here's the link to the article and another link to the study from The University of Chicago mentioned in the article. That too, was very interesting, but fairly long if you have a job: Column: Gun-free zones provide false sense of security Multiple Victim Public Shootings, Bombings, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handgun Laws: Contrasting Private and Public Law Enforcement by John Lott, William Landes :: SSRN

    Gun-free zones provide false sense of security
    Glenn Harlan Reynolds6:31p.m. EST December 14, 2012
    Killers aren't stopped by these policies.
    Story Highlights

    • Mass shootings generally occur in places where firearms are banned.
    • Gun-free zones are premised on a lie: that murderers will follow rules.
    • As gun ownership has expanded over the past decade, crime has gone down.

    "After a shooting spree," author William Burroughs once said, "they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it." Burroughs continued: "I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military."
    Plenty of people especially among America's political and journalistic classes feel differently. They'd be much more comfortable seeing ordinary Americans disarmed. And whenever there is a mass shooting, or other gun incident that snags the headlines, they do their best to exploit the tragedy and push for laws that would, well, take the guns away from the people who didn't do it.
    There are a lot of problems with this approach, but one of the most significant is this one: It doesn't work. One of the interesting characteristics of mass shootings is that they generally occur in places where firearms are banned: malls, schools, etc. That was the finding of a famous 1999 study by John Lott of the University of Maryland and William Landes of the University of Chicago, and it appears to have been borne out by experience since then as well.
    In a way, this is no surprise. If there's someone present with a gun when a mass shooting begins, the shooter is likely to be shot himself. And, in fact, many mass shootings from the high school shooting by Luke Woodham in Pearl, Miss., to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo., where an armed volunteer shot the attacker have been terminated when someone retrieved a gun from a car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.
    Policies making areas "gun free" provide a sense of safety to those who engage in magical thinking, but in practice, of course, killers aren't stopped by gun-free zones. As always, it's the honest people the very ones you want to be armed who tend to obey the law.
    This vulnerability makes some people uncomfortable. I teach at a state university with a campus gun-free policy, and quite a few of my students have permits to carry guns. After the Virginia Tech shooting a few years ago, one of them asked me if we could move class off campus, because she felt unsafe being unarmed. I certainly would have felt perfectly safe having her carry a gun in my presence; she was, and is, a responsible adult. I feel the same way about the other law students I know who have carry permits.
    Gun-free zones are premised on a lie: that murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers. That's an insult to honest people. Sometimes, it's a deadly one. The notion that more guns mean more crime is wrong. In fact, as gun ownership has expanded over the past decade, crime has gone down.
    Fortunately, the efforts to punish "the people who didn't do it" are getting less traction these days. The Supreme Court, of course, has recognized that under the Constitution, honest people have a right to defend themselves with firearms, inside and outside the home, something that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently acknowledged in striking down Illinois' gun-carry ban. Given that gun-free zones seem to be a magnet for mass shooters, maybe we should be working to shrink or eliminate them, rather than expand them. As they say, if it saves just one life, it's worth it.
    Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee. He blogs at
    Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia...Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

  3. Gun free zones are just as illogical as the push for more gun control which we already have. Thanks for sharing this. The only solution is to teach children respect in our homes and schools. We didn't have this problem when I was growing up but we probably had even more guns.

  4. #3
    What was the one exception to mass shootings occurring in "Gun Free Zones"? Just curious. Thanks for the good post.
    A man's life, liberty, and property are only safe when the legislature is NOT in session. Will Rogers

  5. #4
    The shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Gifford and others in Arizona was the exception that was not in a "Gun Free Zone".

  6. #5
    ezkl2230 Guest
    This is from a report entitled, "When Seconds Count: Stopping Active Killers":

    The other statistic that emerged from a study of active killers is that they almost exclusively seek out "gun free" zones for their attacks. In most states, concealed handguns are prohibited at schools and on college campuses even for those with permits. Many malls and workplaces also place signs at their entrances prohibiting firearms on the premises. Now tacticians believe the signs themselves may be an invitation to the active killers. The psychological profile of a mass murderer indicates he is looking to inflict the most casualties as quickly as possible. (emphasis added)

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