Opinion: Gun-free zones keep civilians from defending themselves
The rationality of gun-free zones is again under fire after the shooting in gun-free YouTube headquarters of San Bruno, California, on April 3 and from new murder statistics released by London’s Metropolitan Police. It should be.
New data is showing that London’s murder rate is topping New York City’s, as homicide numbers for February and March are 32 in NYC and 37 in London. London, now with a handgun ban, has had a surge in knife killings, though NYC’s 2018 murder total is still above its U.K. counterpart.
The rationale of gun-free zones is to eliminate gun violence within them, but the exact opposite has become reality. People with the intent to kill are going to do so with or without a firearm.
“No Guns Allowed” signs are interpreted as “No One will Shoot Back” to persons with the intent to kill.
It is only rational to ban firearms in zones where this rule can be appropriately enforced. Some examples of this are the White House, courtrooms, places of interrogation and sections of military bases. These make sense because none are true gun-free zones; there are still armed persons present.
It is not rational to ban firearms in an area where the rule cannot be appropriately enforced such as a school or environments such as the YouTube headquarters. Without a detection system or authorized persons to immediately respond to a threat, people within these zones do not have a proper means of defense and have otherwise set themselves up to be easy targets.
This reasoning translates into large regions of banned firearms, like today’s London. Law enforcement cannot reasonably be expected to patrol every complex, street and building to immediately respond to a threat. Not even in a strict authoritarian dictatorship is this viable. Gun-free zones are open season to those who can acquire a firearm.
Ninety-eight percent of mass shootings happen in gun-free zones, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. This should not be surprising, considering the faulty logic behind such a ridiculous solution.
Recall the Chattanooga, Tennessee, shooting at the gun-free military recruitment center and US Naval facility where four Marines were murdered because they were unable to defend themselves on American soil. Recall the Aurora, Colorado, shooting where 12 were killed and 58 were injured by gunfire because no one was there to shoot back. There is no rationality in gun-free zones such as these — people in these areas have too minimal means of defending themselves.
“I didn’t have a gun on me, but I wish I did,” a local resident from the YouTube headquarters area said.
Blindness and ignorance cause people to blame responsible gun owners for these tragic shootings. The evidence is apparent after any shooting is publicized. “Ban guns, ban the NRA, and never vote for Republicans. All three made this possible,” Abe Hassan, a Google employee present at the time of the Youtube headquarters shooting, tweeted.
Anti-gun activists who try to take guns away from everyone only end up taking guns away from lawful gun owners. What they should be doing is making them less accessible to the ones who do not obtain them legally.
The rationality of gun-free zones should be important to any educational institution, especially ones like Liberty University. Unlike the majority of post-secondary institutions, Liberty allows for students to carry concealed weapons anywhere on campus, provided they have a concealed carry license and receive approval from the Liberty University Police Department. This right to bear arms needs to be exemplified, as Liberty is one of the safest colleges in the nation.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Utah is the only state that names public colleges and universities as public entities that do not have the authority to ban concealed carry weapons. Schools do not have the resources to respond to a threat within seconds, but they can if there is a student or faculty member in every classroom with that capability.
Certain zones should be banned of firearms if and only if there is a means of lethal authority present and able to respond to any threat within seconds. That is the only way people can feel safe and be safe.