Annals of Disarmament: Life in a Gun-Free Zone


By Ginny Kruta

This morning I was awakened by a text message at 2:30am. That isn’t necessarily odd, as my husband is a baker and is occasionally (OK, more than occasionally) at work at that hour. Except it wasn’t my husband. It was the emergency text alert system from my school – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. But I’m getting ahead of myself. SIUE, like much of the state of Illinois, is a gun-free zone. It’s not even legal to store a weapon on campus, which essentially means that aside from campus police, no one is armed. Which is awesome, because that means we’re all totally safe . . .

Except the text message I received this morning suggested otherwise in a big way.

A little after 1:00 a.m. today, according to Fox News, two suspects robbed a 20-year-old male student in Cougar Village (an SIUE apartment complex) at gunpoint. Only one of the suspects was armed, but surprisingly enough, when none of the victims are armed, that’s generally enough to do the trick.

The questions running through my mind were simple enough:

How exactly does an armed robber get into a gun-free zone? Doesn’t he set off an alarm of some sort? Aren’t there automatic sensors for that kind of thing? And if there aren’t, how can any politician claim that a gun-free zone is anything other than a euphemism for a “conveniently disarmed victim zone”?

Whatever the case, the words “gun-free” don’t make me feel any safer as I head to class less than 12 hours after receiving that message. With a .38 Special tucked discreetly into my bag.


Ginny Kruta is a political science and history student and a mother. She writes at Live, from the Catacombs. This post originally appeared there and is reprinted here with permission. 


  1. avatar Ian says:

    “gun free” zones suck. I recently received my VA Non Res CHP but my school does not allow possession of a firearm on campus.

  2. avatar DB says:

    Whoops. Do we have an OpSec fail here? GK heads to class packin’ heat in apparent violation of university policy….?

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      She didn’t say she parked on campus or carried the item across the boundary. It’s strongly implied, but not stated.

      And yes, I had the exact same concern when I read this the first time it was posted…

  3. avatar Michael B. says:

    Shh. The first rule of disobeying citizen disarmament edicts is you do not talk about disobeying citizen disarmament edicts, Ginny. Or use a pseudonym.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    The first rule of fight club . . . .

    1. avatar JWhite says:

      Hey, who said you could talk about fight club?

      1. avatar Russ Bixby says:


        And the final rule of illicit concealed carry club: if this is your first time here, you HAVE to carry…

    2. avatar DisThunder says:

      …unless you’re in a fight-free zone, anyway. Then talk is about all you’ve got.

  5. avatar speedracer5050 says:

    Rule #1: Rules suck!!

    1. avatar Conway Redding says:

      Speedracer5050, please engage brain before putting mouth in gear. Rules suck? How about the rule that when the traffic light is red, you stop? Or the rule, here in the United States, that we drive on the right-hand side of a two-lane road? Sorry, Speedracer, but some rules are necessary to keep things running smoothly and to avoid unpleasant accidents.

      1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

        if the cops went away today, do you think anyone would drive on the wrong side of the road, or continue to burn red lights?

        they’re might be one or two people, but they won’t survive long.

        rules may be unspoken social agreements enforceable thru obvious consequences, but laws are enforceable thru abject punishment, thinking that we must protect stupid people from themselves. ie seatbelt laws.

      2. avatar speedracer5050 says:

        Conway…..I apologize for the fact that you failed to see the ironic humor and sarcasm intended in my post. As the first rule being that rules suck is ironic since in fact it is rule #1!
        That being said rule #2 is that rule #1 still applies even though some people have apparently undergone de-humoring surgery!!
        It also seems to have worked quite well!!

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I see what you did there.

      But in reality, it’s true. It’s a cautionary tale: Rules suck, so think carefully before you create them. It goes along with “laws named after people are almost universally bad law.”

  6. avatar Buell301 says:

    Better judged by 12……..

  7. avatar Sam C says:

    Either she’s not giving her real name or she doesn’t understand the concept of OpSec.

  8. avatar Shawn says:

    She is not the brightest. Now, if anyone in SIUE reads this article, they now know she is carrying. OpSec fail.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Shawn wrote, “She is not the brightest.” With regard to stating her name and armed status, I agree.

      On the other hand it sounds like she is smart enough to realize that no one can secure her personal safety better than herself. And it sounds like she is smart enough to realize that there is no such thing as a “gun free zone” … or that such zones are any more safe than anywhere else. I think that adds up to a pretty bright person in my book.

  9. avatar David PA/NJ says:

    I go to Drexel in west Philly and we get these messages often, but not nearly as often as incidents happen. It’s as if the police put out the alerts every now and then to show us they’re there, but not as often as they could so as to keep us in the dark about the actual state of school security. Kid gets stabbed to death behind a sorority house? Shots fired in front of campus career center? No warnings. Drexel University is a victim rich gun free zone as well.

  10. avatar Sertorius says:

    I’ll echo everyone else. Posting this under her real name (if, in fact, she did) is horribly unwise. She’s likely given the campus police the “reasonable, articulable suspicion” of a crime that would be necessary to detain and search her. All it takes is one person who doesn’t like her to send a link to the campus po-po.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      It looks like it is. Not positive, but it seems that way. I think it’d probably be good if her name went down the TTAG memory hole but the article stayed up. Dan? Thoughts?

      1. Ginny was happy to have us post her article here. She has her name on it at her web site, too.

        1. avatar Sertorius says:

          I don’t doubt she was, but does she understand the significance of this? That she has, arguably, admitted to violating the law in a public forum with her name attached? In a place where the police will be very unforgiving and may use this as cause for a search?

          I’m guessing she does not understand the ramifications. Has this post been run by Chris Dumm? This lady seems very nice and I think we ought to try to look out for her.

  11. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Quoth L.A. Police chief Gates:

    “Being who I am, I cannot recommend that you carry a concealed weapon, but we’d all much rather that the cops caught you with it than that a bad guy caught you without it.”

    Pretty strong words for the ’80s…

  12. avatar Pulatso says:

    I wonder if enough victim (or family of victims) got together they could get a class action suit going.

  13. avatar cwp says:

    To play devil’s advocate for just a moment: here we have a female ex-servicemember who is a mother of four, studying political science at a public university receiving federal funds, and attending class at a campus on which an armed robbery has just occurred. Setting aside the problems this post could cause for her, the NRA, SAF, and the pro-self-defense community in general should be so lucky as to have the university administration or the police flip out over it. The ad almost writes itself.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:


    2. avatar Michael B. says:

      Things it seems you didn’t consider: her having to potentially pay thousands of dollars in legal fees, burdening her family, possibly losing a court case, and maybe spending time in prison.

      She’s doing the right thing IMO, but I hope she’s using a pseudonym.

      1. avatar cwp says:

        Those possibilities are why I said ‘setting aside the problems this could cause for her’, rather than ‘this would be an unambiguously good thing’. That was sort of the point — while this could be really bad for her, it would be great for the cause she presumably supports. And the fact that that’s kind of a cynical way to look at it is why I prefaced the original comment with “to play devil’s advocate.”

        To be clear: I hope she doesn’t get into trouble. If she does get into trouble, however, I think she would make an excellent cause celebre for the pro-self-defense movement.

  14. avatar William says:

    “Cougar Village”? Hmmm.

    But I think there must be some way to attack the term, “gun-free zone”. “Victim Disarmament Zone” is good, but doesn’t go far enough. How about “Mortal Danger Zone”?

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      How about Happy Hunting Ground, or perhaps Hunting Preserve?

    2. avatar GenghisQuan says:

      Danger Zone? Doubleplus points if it’s accessible via highway?

  15. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    Ginny isn’t the only”good person” packin in that utopia. I talked to an Illinois resident that said a lady was mugged, beaten & dragged into a bld & raped stabbed & then set on fire. About 5 days later she took her life. She was only white though, so no need for jerkson & sharpmouth, & didn’t look like bo’s former maid, & a no mention for the bradys, hollywood stars didn’t give a sh.t./// WE are remedying this, Randy

    1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

      The ONLY reason Hollyweird and the like did not come out on that case, was……NO GUN. Yeah- a person was defiled and killed……but-no gun was used-sooooo…… see Randy, crime only matters in today’s political environment if and when a gun is used. For some reason that eludes those who actually think-there is an inherent value in the method used which is greater so than the crime itself. Proven by the chirping of crickets being the only sound heard over this and many other crimes where the offenders did not use a firearm.

  16. avatar Rob says:

    Officially: I don’t support people breaking the law like this woman is, and I recommend that her name be removed for her own protection.

    Unofficially: You go, girl!

  17. avatar ST says:

    Wow. I used to live in that complex, in another life.

    She has little risk of discovery, so long as she tells no one on campus. The idea of someone carrying a gun who’s not a cop is so foreign at the SIUE campus the author is in little danger of being made, so long as the campus shuttlebus isn’t too packed.

    FYI; Cougar Village is an upperclassmen-only apartment complex located on the outskirts of the SIUE campus.The unit I was in is a two bedroom, one bath,one full kitchen with two students per room.Its far enough away from the campus police station that 911 is a joke.

  18. avatar Ginny Kruta says:

    Check the link to the original article: I don’t carry on campus. Or anywhere in the state of Illinois. That last line was edited in such a way as to make it appear that I do, but the original line was only meant to imply that *if* I were allowed to carry on campus, I would feel safer.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      That’s a really good point, Ginny.

      RF, if y’all are going to pull a post from someone else’s blog, make sure you do it accurately. The edit in question might have been an honest mistake, but I’ve seen things around here in the past that make me wonder.

      Original post:
      Whatever the case, the words “gun free” don’t make me feel any safer as I head to class less than 12 hours after receiving that message. A .38 Special tucked discreetly into my bag, however…

      As posted here:
      Whatever the case, the words “gun-free” don’t make me feel any safer as I head to class less than 12 hours after receiving that message. With a .38 Special tucked discreetly into my bag.

      The difference is subtle, but it is a difference. The original phrasing says, “The words ‘gun-free’ don’t make me feel safer, but a .38 Special might help.” The edited phrasing is a flat statement of, “I am heading to class 12 hours after receiving that message, with a .38 Special tucked away.”

  19. avatar TSgt B says:

    Good for you, Ginny. I’ve worked in Chicommieo too many times to count, and I ALWAYS CARRIED. Never got caught, because I didn’t have to shoot anyone. Had I, though, my gat has no papers, was loaded while I wore surgical gloves, and I was ready to swear (through an attorney, of course) that “honest, officer, the deceased thug turned his head to look at a noise source, I disarmed him, and in the struggle, the gun went off several times. Dang, that was lucky; darned near lost a $400.00 watch (to paraphrase Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles)”.

    1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

      “Durn near lost a $400 handcart too”!!! Great movie reference!!!
      My question to the US Government though is:
      “What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is going on here? I pay you to work, not dance around like a bunch of Kansas City Faggots!!”

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