Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is trying to eliminate the ban on guns in U.S. Post Offices. Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Illegal Guns for Mayors Against Action (or something like that) opposes the move. “Prior to the current ban on guns inside federal buildings, mass shootings at U.S. Post Offices were so frequent that the phrase ‘going postal’ became a popular way to describe workplace violence in America.” Which implies that ‘going postal’ has gone out of fashion because the gun ban was/is so effective. Yes, well, in 1972, the Postal Service enacted 39 C.F.R. § 232.1(l) (“USPS Regulation”). That reg stipulates that . . .
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, except for official purposes.
So how many post office shootings pre-date the ban and, indeed, the turn-of-phrase? For that info we turn to the hive mind at Wikipedia:
The expression derives from a series of incidents from 1983 onward in which United States Postal Service (USPS) workers shot and killed managers, fellow workers, and members of the police or general public in acts of mass murder. Between 1986 and 1997, more than 40 people were gunned down by spree killers in at least 20 incidents of workplace rage.
Of the 21 entries in Wikipedia’s List of postal killings all of them occurred after the law went into effect. More to the point – well, my point – all of the incidents involved armed killers murdering unarmed victims. What’s more, “researchers have found that the homicide rates at postal facilities were lower than at other workplaces.”
So much for that then. Except of course, for Shannon’s shrieking. Here’s her full press release on the subject of gun ban reform in U.S. post offices:
(Indianapolis, IN) Feb. 3, 2014: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America vehemently objects to any attempt to amend existing federal law and lift the ban on guns in post offices, as proposed by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Sen. Paul’s amendment to the Senate postal reform bill would allow licensed gun owners to carry weapons inside post offices. Guns are currently banned in all American federal buildings, including post offices.
Sen. Paul is attempting to have the amendment included in a postal reform bill being debated by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to the current ban on guns inside federal buildings, mass shootings at U.S. Post Offices were so frequent that the phrase “going postal” became a popular way to describe workplace violence in America.
“As mass shootings continue to trend upward in America, it is unthinkable that Sen. Paul would attempt to remove a ban on guns in a workplace where mass shootings have occurred,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Moms will not sit idly by while our lawmakers pick apart existing common sense gun laws. We will fight tooth-and-nail to help protect our families from senseless gun violence.”
“There is simply no reason why post offices should be exempt from the ban on guns in federal buildings, especially given the history of shootings inside post offices,” said Watts.