Gun Free Zones: Not a Gun Issue?

The Fayetteville Observer complains today that the state legislature is going to take away the city’s power to ban guns in parks: “This isn’t a gun issue. Our parks are not high-crime areas. We will have guns in Festival Park and Mazarick Park and most others not because the Second Amendment or some jurist says we must, but because state lawmakers surrounded by serious problems once again ran off to indulge in political posturing.” I can’t count the number of times I have heard a variation on that theme: “Well why would you need a gun in …” a park, a mall, a church, a school, yadda, yadda, yadda, from people who assure me that it isn’t a Second Amendment issue (shades of the classic “I’m not prejudiced, I have lots of black friends”). Most of them can’t explain just why exactly relegating guns to the back of the bus is not a civil rights issue, but we’ll let that pass for the now…

The matter at hand is the idea that posting a sign or passing a law will do anything except to disarm all the people who aren’t going to commit a crime. Which is exactly what these laws do. The run of the mill permit holder will not carry in a prohibited zone, but no sign is going to stop a predator.

So just who does a “No Guns” sign protect? Will it protect anyone from an armed mugger or rapist? Don’t be silly, they don’t care about legal niceties. Will it protect you from some nut-job on a mission to shoot as many people as possible before he blows his own brains out? No, he wants a target rich environment full of disarmed prey, the better to ensure a high body-count.

So just who do those signs protect us from? The only people “No Guns” signs protect you from are people who are law-abiding enough that they will obey the sign, but psychotic enough that they would whip out a gun and shoot someone who cut in front of them in the coffee queue. And they also have to be rational enough such that the walk to their car (or drive home) to retrieve their weapon before shooting the bastard takes enough time for them to change their mind about committing murder. Doesn’t sound like very many people would fit that description.

The fact of the matter is, the Tucson shooting aside, there has never been a mass casualty shooting that was not in a supposed “gun-free” zone. Columbine? Virginia Tech? Pearl High School? Westroads Mall? Tacoma Mall? Trolley Square Mall? New Life Church? Living Church of God? Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church? Various Post Office shootings over the years? All of these events, all of them, took place in nominally ‘gun-free’ zones.

So is Fayetteville so sure their parks are safe that they are willing to disarm the law-abiding? Maybe the city would like to pass a law stating that anyone who’s been disarmed by a no guns law is due full recompense for medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, pain, suffering and emotional distress. They can limit the award amount to $10 million, or the cash equivalent of 5800 Troy ounces of gold, whichever is highest.

If you aren’t willing to put your money where your mouth is then shut your pie-hole and keep your laws off my guns.

avatar

About Bruce W. Krafft

I am a bit of a Johnny-come-lately to the civil rights (firearms flavor) movement, having not really gotten involved until after I hit 40. I am not really a "gun guy"; I can generally hit what I aim at, but I'm not a competitive shooter. I enjoy the craftsmanship of a fine pistol or rifle, but I am not particularly knowledgeable about firearms in general nor am I a Glock guy, or 1911 guy, I'm just a guy. What I am is passionate about civil rights, especially those of the firearm flavor.

33 Responses to Gun Free Zones: Not a Gun Issue?

  1. avatarTexan says:

    So just who do those signs protect us from? The only people “No Guns” signs protect you from are people who are law-abiding enough that they will obey the sign, but psychotic enough that they would whip out a gun and shoot someone who cut in front of them in the coffee queue

    Well stated. Good post and video – thanks, Bruce.

  2. avatarRobert says:

    The government should not be asking why we should be given certain freedoms, but why not. As far as I know, no state with park carry has seen an increase in crime or civilian casualties, so I think that ‘why not’ can already be answered.

  3. avatarRalph says:

    “Gun free zones,” like all gun control laws, have only something to do with guns and everything to do with political power and control. The statists who oppose self-defense are losing their power over the rest of us, and they don’t like it. They will look for any excuse to wield power, any crack in the Second Amendment, anything they can exploit to retake the power to control the lives of others.

  4. avatarCharles says:

    “The matter at hand is the idea that posting a sign or passing a law will do anything except to disarm all the people who aren’t going to commit a crime. Which is exactly what these laws do. The run of the mill permit holder will not carry in a prohibited zone, but no sign is going to stop a predator.”

    It really is that simple. The incredible thing is that this doesn’t seem to register with the street-level gun control crowd which leads me to believe that, for them, this is an issue driven by emotion. Mike?

    • avatarTexan says:

      Spot on.

      I do volunteer work at a place in Tx with a “30.06″ reg – meaning no guns allowed. I have a CHL, but I’m not willing to risk a felony to carry there, so I don’t – but all this does is to tell the predators Loud and Clear “Hey, Y’all, No Guns Here.” It’s my belief that the place is well-intentioned with respect to an idealistic “No Guns On The Premises,” but misinformed regarding the real-life ramifications of that rule. People like me don’t carry, nutjobs and criminals will.

      It’s interesting (and smart) that the convenience stores, Walmart, etc. do NOT have a 30.06 sign. After all, why would they want to discourage law-abiding CHL-ers? The fact that customers may have a concealed weapon is a very effective deterrent, in my opinion.

      • Nitpick: Violation of 30.06 is a Class A Misdemeanor, but your point stands.

        I volunteer at several places. None have a 30.06 sign. One has a “no unauthorized weapons” policy, but when I asked the director said, “You have a Texas CHL; you’re authorized.”

  5. avatarJoe Grine says:

    I’ve always believed that the law should make landowners who prohibit otherwise lawful concealed carry on their premises to be strictly liable for the safety of their invitees. I realise that that is probably not the current state of teh law, but it should be. If a landowner is going to effectively take my right of self defense away from me, they should be responsible for my safety. Any thoughts / comments ?

    • avatarSilver says:

      I witnessed quite a debate arise from this question, and I think eventually the consensus was that a landowners’ property rights trump someone else’s rights. Like, if someone came onto your property and started spouting some nonsense, your right to have them removed trumps their 1A rights. Likewise, is a restaurant wants to ban guns from its establishment, they cannot be forced to accept it. Property rights are just as important as any other right; ownership is what separates a free man from a serf.

      Should they then be forced to be liable for your well-being? I don’t think so. If a place doesn’t seem like it has adequate security, it’s your right to go somewhere else or let the manager know he’s lost a sale and tell him why. I don’t agree with places that ban guns and I loathe some of the half-assed reasons they give, but at the same time it is their right as property owners to set the rules as they lawfully are able, and they should not be forced.

      Public property is a whole other matter.

      • Private property owners also have the right to install a swimming pool and not put a fence around it. But if someone falls in they’ll be sued, and will have to pay. It’s called “negligence.”

    • Any time I have to enter a gun-free zone I’m wearing an empty holster. You bet I’ll file a lawsuit. It’ll be worth it, if only for the publicity.

    • avatarJack says:

      Out state does have a clause in the CCW law that puts liability on a property owner if a permit holder was unable to defend himself from a violent crime in a posted gun free zone.

  6. avatarsomeguy says:

    Using the logic behind the target rich umm, I mean gun free zones, shouldn’t the gubberment just pass laws making areas crime free zones? Convenience stores could be “robbery free zone”, Post office can be “No shooting zone”, how about just making schools “no killing zones” and colleges could be “rape free zones”. That would fix the crime problem.Just so that everyone is aware, please don’t report me, I don’t have a licence to exercise my rights protected under the first amendment.I have a headache, can anyone point me in the direction of the nearest “speech free zone”?

    • avatarRalph says:

      And Congress and the 50 statehouses can be “Brain Free Zones” where no thinking is allowed.

      Oh, wait . . . .

    • avatarAnthony Meruelo says:

      Just make the entire U.S.A. and its territories a Crime Free Zone and watch crime rates plummet like a lead zeppelin.

  7. avatartdiinva says:

    I have been checking the local malls in Northern Virginia the last few weeks for signs banning firearms (and other weapons) from the premises. I too have been musing about how effective these bans are. They certain keep me from carrying on the premises. I can only assume that the DC gangbangers respect the restriction at the Pentagon City Mall. After all they would be commiting criminal tresspass if they brought their hardware on their drug money fueled shopping sprees!

  8. avatarAharon says:

    “This isn’t a gun issue. Our parks are not high-crime areas”.

    So therefore what is the claimed problem to solve or end-goal to achieve for wanting to require banning guns if there isn’t now a gun or a crime problem in the parks?

  9. I love that video, but you guys are just too much with the victimhood. You wear it like body armor.

    • avatarCharles says:

      Do you have any mirrors handy?

    • avatarBraden Lynch says:

      Hey mikebbunchofnumbers,
      Maybe we get a little sensitive because people like you make it your goal in life to take away a fundamental right. If you minded your own business we would not have much cause for angst.

      I bet you would get your knickers in a twist if I asked for laws to take away your freedom of speech.

      The premise of the article still stands. Gun control laws primarily inhibit the law-abiding and impair self-defense, while “gun free zones” and such other nonsense only harm the innocent.

      • Braden, honestly that sounds like a repetition of what others have been repeating.

        Demanding that gun owners be better trained and qualified does no such thing as inhibit the law abiding and assist the criminals.

        You gotta stop repeating the company line and think about it.

        • avatarBruce W. Krafft says:

          Mikeb302000 Try this statement on for size: Demanding that colored voters be better educated does no such thing as inhibit voters.
          Civil rights are civil rights, and you can’t have any of mine.

        • avatarBruce W. Krafft says:

          Oops: You can’t have any of mine or anyone else’s either!

        • Sounds good, until you remember that Chicago and D.C. require training for a license to own a gun, and prohibit the teaching of the class in the city. Forgive us if we’re a bit gun-shy about training requirements.

        • avatarBraden Lynch says:

          Yes, I do think on my own. However, recognizing and repeating axiomatic truths, does not make me mentally dull. All of the dubious logic and so-called evidence from the gun control advocates has been quite weak. If you want a tired refrain, how about the “blood in the streets” lie from anti-freedom types that has never been fulfilled?

          You have not offered any evidence or arguments to contradict the assertion that gun free zones infringe on our rights (which they do) or their failure to stop bad guys from using them for evil acts (their supposed purpose).

          I noted no comment from you on why the Second Amendment needs extra special restrictions that we do not see with the rest of the Bill of Rights. I wonder if it is because the Second Amendment is critical to protecting the others?

          Also, you are changing the subject. I was focused on gun free zones as an example of the gun control schemes and now you want to talk about training requirements. Responses from Bruce W. Krafft and Larry Arnold decimate that idea.

        • Branden, You’re right repetition is not necessarily a sign of anything wrong with one’s argument.

          Gun-free zones diminish your freedom exactly the same way driving regulations diminish the freedom of drivers. If cars are prohibited from entering a certain area, does that constitute an interference of freedom – yes sure it does. Just like the gun free zone does for the gun owner.Is that acceptable according to Justice Scalia, your main man, yes it is.

        • avatarBraden Lynch says:

          Thanks for the pertinent reply.

          I disagree with “not-my-man” Justice Scalia though. Driving is a privilege; it is not an enumerated constitutional right like the RKBA. It’s pretty hard to get “shall not be infringed” to co-exist with any laws that are not very superficial in their impact.

          Also, there is nothing inherently sensitive about parks and schools that require disarming and there are little or no provisions for good protection from violence provided by them (unless you call hiding under a desk a great option). So, in effect, the GFZs have so greatly diminished my RKBA as to make them worthless. That is the heavy hand of a right denied. Try having your 1A right to free speech stop when you go onto a playground. Do you recognize how offensive that is? …and that’s not even with the remote chance of a street thug talking you to death while you are muted.

          Let’s not forget that the Supreme Court gave us decisions like Plessy v Ferguson, Roe v Wade, Kilo, and others that are so dubious legally as to be laughable. When they do follow the Constitution I am very satisfied. When they create laws out of no where or alter common sense interpretation, not so happy.

        • avatarBraden Lynch says:

          See Dean Weingarten’s brilliant reply below to complete my response. GFZs are USELESS for their stated purpose and do very much infringe on my rights. Since you have not addressed how drastic GFZs are in their impact in your previous posts, and are not at all comparable to a driving restriction, we will have to remain in disagreement. I’m tired of this exercise, so I probably won’t check back.

  10. avatarDean Weingarten says:

    The ugly truth is that gun free zones are not about irrational dreams of safety. They certainly are about power and control. The irrational spouting about safety is just a way to get emotional support from those who don’t realy think about the issue.

    Gun free zones are just another incremental way to move toward total control. The idea is simple: make an example of a place where guns are not allowed, with no rational reason other than “we do not tolerated armed citizens *here*” . This lends legitimacy to the thought that citizens with guns are a bad thing, and the idea that more such zones should be created and encouraged. Havn’t we all heard a variant of “If we do not allow guns in (school, legislature, church) then we certainly should not allow them in (school, legislature, church, parking lot, mall, store, DC.)

    Gun free zones are designed to grow and spread, like small pox.

    The other purpose of gun free zones is to make carrying a gun as uncomfortable, legaly dangerous, and impractical as possible. Look at any map that shows the impact of the insane “Gun Free School Zone” act of 1996. In any urban area, it becomes impossible to conduct business in a normal manner while carrying a gun that is not licensed in that state, without breaking the law.

    Neither of these clear purposes is discussed openly by those who detest free citizens and fear the power that they gain from carrying guns, and the independent mindset that it fosters.

    The left is based on lies, derives its power from lies, and cannot exist when its lies are exposed.

  11. avatarGary says:

    Was just wondering if they would be willing to also include a ban on the use of cellphones in an automobile. Distracted drivers with cellphones kill thousands of innocent victims every year. I won’t carry my S&W if they give up their electronics in the car

  12. This isn’t a gun issue. Our parks are not high-crime areas.

    As a CHL instructor I hear lots of “I’m glad I had a gun” and “I wish I would have had a gun” stories. Almost without exception they take place where no one would expect to need a gun.

  13. avatarCarlosT says:

    I carry everywhere I can legally (except at work, because the bills need to get paid, so I can’t afford to take a chance on that policy) because of the simple fact that I can’t know when and where I’ll be threatened with death or grave bodily injury, if ever. If I knew that, I’d just stay away.

    The problem with gun free zones is they’re focused on the wrong thing, which is the item. There mere presence of a gun does nothing. There’s nothing magical about a gun that magically causes people to drop dead as soon as it crosses some imaginary line. It’s not going to jump by itself out of somebody’s holster and start blasting away. No, what needs to be addressed are dangerous behaviors.

    For example, here in Washington state, bars and the portions of restaurants that are 21 or over are gun free zones. It’s the kind of thing that sounds sensible on the surface. Guns and alcohol aren’t a good mix, right? All well and good, until you realize that even if everyone complied with the law, you can still carry and get drunk in public places. Instead of having your beer or wine in a bar, sit at a table in the rest of the restaurant and have as much as you want.

    A much more sensible approach is to focus on the undesirable behavior, which is carrying while intoxicated. Make the law about keeping your BAC under the limit and not about where your butt happens to be planted. That way, you can accompany your friends to the tavern, spend the night drinking diet Cokes, and drive everyone home. And if your group is attacked, you can be the designated gunner as well.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.