Like most Americans, I was saddened and outraged by the shootings last week in Newtown, Connecticut. My heart goes out to the parents, children, and citizens of that town, and the responders and others involved.
As expected, the media and the President have completely avoided the true nature of this tragedy, and, in so doing, will avoid the best lasting actions we can take to prevent them in the future.
The real cause of this shooting wasn’t evil assault rifles, or high capacity clips, or lack of gun safes. It was the concept of the “gun free zone.”
The people in that school, as in schools across America, were completely at the mercy of anyone who decided to come in with the intent of doing them harm. The same goes for anyone at a venue that has been declared off limits to guns.
That’s because criminals and nutjobs don’t pay attention to the signs on the door. And it’s not because the penalties for violating the gun free zone are too lax, as someone from the CSGV once tried to argue with me. No amount of penalty will deter someone who is determined to break the law, especially since the threat of life in prison or execution isn’t going to deter them from murder.
So, how do we prevent this kind of incident in the future? Simply, do away with gun free zones.
Of course, the first argument that follows is that armed children, or teachers, or anyone, would not be expected to be able to prevail in a gun battle with someone so heavily armed. Unfortunately this argument misses the nature of these incidents as well.
You see, it isn’t the armed teacher or customer that wins this battle, so much as the threat of armed teachers or customers.
Just the possibility of the presence armed resistance will keep our children and shoppers and worshipers safe. Why? Because the people who perpetrate these horrific acts are cowards through and through. In every instance, when confronted by the first responder with a gun, they kill themselves.
If you need proof, look my home town of Kennesaw, Georgia. Famously, every homeowner is required by a city ordinance to own a gun. And the theaters and malls around allow guns to be carried. And, as a result, the crime rate here is among the lowest in the country, and, more to the point, there has never been a mall shooting or theater shooting here, ever.
In fact, even normal armed robbery has been prevented on at least one occasion, because of the presence of civilians, lawfully carrying guns.
So, the real course to take is two-fold. First, enhance the care we give to the mentally ill, and develop a system to integrate their treatment with the NICS background system. This is tricky ground, though, because of health privacy concerns, and I won’t offer anything beyond that.
But, regardless of what we do with the mentally ill, we must act to abolish government mandated gun free zones.
As gun owners and consumers, we can do our part by avoiding businesses that choose to prohibit lawful carry of firearms, and make sure the owners of those businesses know we are doing so.
And, in the meantime, we must continue the course, and remind those who want to latch on to an inanimate object as a cause of evil, that it is, instead, evil people who are at fault, and evil people, by their nature, will merely laugh at your attempts to take their guns. And, we must remind them that the end game of any gun confiscation scheme they may enact is that only the evil people will have guns, and that they will then be at the mercy of evil people. By then it will be too late.