The greatest danger presented by a “gun free zone”: a bad actor or actors slaughtering unarmed innocents. A possibility that’s both sickeningly well-established and obstinately, irrationally ignored. But this post isn’t about that. This is about the three relatively minor — but no less serious — dangers presented by “gun free zones.” Starting with . . .
1. Disarming/rearming for a “gun free zone” is dangerous
I shop at Whole Foods. Despite the fact that my local branch’s 30.06 and 30.07 signs (banning concealed or open carry) aren’t legally compliant, before entering, I remove my gat from my Raven Concealment holster and stash it in the glove box. A process repeated by tens of thousands of legal carriers every day, as they leave their vehicle to enter “gun free zones.”
A car’s crowded confines may not be the most dangerous place to disarm or rearm, but it sure as hell isn’t the safest. Careful contortionists need apply. If nothing else, it’s difficult to keep a gun pointed in a safe direction inside a car — given passengers, surrounding pedestrians and/or occupants of nearby vehicles. Self-muzzling may not be inevitable, but it’s likely enough.
Disarming/rearming outside of a car carries its own risks. Gun muggles may freak at the sight of a firearm, creating a dangerous scene (at least in the legal sense). While we’re at it, where can a car-free or public transport-riding pedestrian safely disarm before entering a “gun free zone”? Nowhere. Which may lead them to carry illegally into a GFZ. And God knows how dangerous that is. [/sarc]
2. “Gun free zones” lead to firearms theft
Check out the Corpus Christi’s cops’ reaction to the startling rise in the number of firearms stolen from local cars. Take your firearms (love the plural) when you leave your car! Great idea! Thieves can’t steal a gun that’s not there.
Only you can’t take it with you. Not if you’re a law-abiding American about to enter a “gun free zone.” Of which there are plenty.
Gun owners around the country face this dilemma: leave your gun in your car and risk theft or take it with you and risk the permanent loss of your gun rights. No need to guess which one they choose. Or why thieves target car guns (hint: for their immediate value on the black market).
As the antis constantly remind us, bad guys getting “easy access” to guns is a danger to society. Of course, bad guys get guns no matter what. But there is real danger in having criminals cruising the streets looking to break into cars likely to have guns — and then being armed with those guns as they make their way back to their crib.
3. Disarming leaves you disarmed
After disarming for Whole Foods or my daughter’s school, I often forget to rearm. For hours. This isn’t just an OFWG thing. Nick Leghorn, TTAG’s resident twenty-something, reports that he’s gone to put his gun away for the night only to discover that he’d left it in the car. More than once.
What are the odds that you’ll experience post-GFZ Empty Holster Syndrome during a defensive gun use? Lower than a snake’s belly. But it’s still dangerous to walk around thinking you’re strapped when you’re not.
Bottom line: the less “gun free zones” the better. For everyone.