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GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Perry went on record this weekend opposing the general concept of ‘gun-free zones’ on CNN’s State of the Union. “I will suggest to you that these concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea,” Perry said. “I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms, to carry them. I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there’s as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette.” . . .

Perry said shootings in gun-free zones like movie theaters and churches — such as the one in Charleston, South Carolina, the scene of a racially-motivated bloodbath that killed nine last month — happen because of a failure to enforce existing gun laws. He said current laws should have prevented Houser from obtaining his gun.

“I think we have the laws in place. Enforcement of those laws is what seems to be lacking, both in Charleston and here in Lafayette, Louisiana,” he said. “We see individuals who are obviously mentally impacted. These are individuals who I think that somewhere, somebody didn’t do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws” that are already on the books.

I haven’t been a huge fan of Gov. Perry’s in the past, but I find myself in complete agreement with him on this issue. The idea that passing a law declaring a certain property to be “gun free” — or simply posting a sign to that effect — will automatically make invitees into that property safe from violence is probably the worst gun control idea ever to be mislabeled as ‘common sense’. It’s little more than security theatre of the worst sort that simply insults the intelligence of anyone who walks through the door.

These ‘gun free zones’ are not being promoted to enhance safety. Anyone with a dose of common sense (actual common sense, that is) could tell you that. They’re being pushed to simply get in the face of people who own guns. As our colleague and occasional TTAG contributor Dan Baum pointed out last year, guns are seen as a totemic symbol of “the enemy” to those on the left. Own a gun? You’re the enemy. It’s an easy way to identify people to hate without going through all the time and expense of getting to know them first.

If we agree that gun owners possessing a license to carry firearms should have the freedom to go about their business of safely and legally carrying a firearm as they see fit — and apparently we, as a society, have agreed to this in principle — this right needs to be respected. That means that if you’re a business owner serious about trying to make people ‘safer’, then do something real about it. Install metal detectors and bag scanners at the front door. Hire trained and armed security guards ready to respond at the first sign of trouble. That would tell me that guest security is something that you take very seriously.

Wait — you don’t want to do that? It’ll be too expensive to do all of that? It might scare people off from going to your establishment? Then get out of my face with your signs.

In the meantime? Between my LED TV, sound system, and variety of streaming choices, I’ll be watching movies at home for the foreseeable future.

DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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  1. I have yet to see a better candidate on the GOP ticket than Perry, fiscal and social conservative with legitimate pro-2nd Amendment cred. If anybody is going to get the Obama era mess under control it’s this guy.

    • Not sure if serious.

      Remember, this is the guy whose best answer last time he ran for president was “Oops.” But now he’s wearing glasses, so I guess he’s smarter now, right? He’s a clown, just like the governor before him. And thankfully, he will never be president.

    • He was governor of Texas for over 14 years. Did he work to repeal the gun-free zones in Texas (like hospitals)? If not, it’s apparently not a priority with him, and might just be an attempt at pandering to gun rights voters.

      I’d prefer somebody like Rand Paul, who not only talks a good pro-gun game, but has introduced the good legislation, opposed the bad, and even filibustered in support of gun rights. Also, unlike Perry, Rand can name the government agencies he wants to cut (which includes the IRS and ATF).

  2. I’m willing to believe( to save time) once upon a time “Gun free zones” might have been perceived as a way to make kids safer, but we now have 20 years of experience showing they have the opposite effect. In politics it seems to be that if something doesn’t work, just do more of it. Instead let’s look for different ideas. I’ll propose treating the 2nd amendment like a civil right. If you can’t afford one, one will be provided for you. Plus training equal to your local state police.

  3. Perry had a dozen+ years in office to do something about it, but did nothing. Even as he’s supposedly supporting doing away with these now, he still spews in the same sentence the usual litany of daily infringements with which he’s fine. Perry is a pure empty suit unqualified for any job he’d consider.

    • DItto. The guy hung around in Iowa 4yrs ago and he ain’t got it.

      And the new birthcontrol glasses don’t make his smarter (Trump called that one).

      • I’m relieved I am not the only one who finds those things just absolutely butt ugly. But then that’s true for almost any glasses that have been designed since 0bama took office.

      • Wow…so there’s something I agree with Trump on? Let me check the weather report… “Hades: snow flurries expected, slight chance of freezing rain.”

    • Total BS. Perry was the biggest champion for concealed carry in Texas and has always been a vocal opponent of gun free zones. A governor in Texas has no power to propose law, so he cant, but he not only vocally supported removing gun free zones but also used his executive authority to remove them from many state owned properties.
      Not only that, but he was widely ridiculed in liberal Austin for being the dissenting voice for metal detectors in the Capitol. He went so far as to put a sign on his door, which was the first door to the right seen as you walked in through the south steps, that said “The Governor does not support metal detectors in the People’s Capitol.”

      • That’s not how the political system works. So what if the governor cannot personally introduce legislation? Neither can a president, for that matter. That’s not what it goes by.

        What’s relevant is whether he campaigned on these issues and motivated the public to pressure their legislative representatives, the people who actually do introduce bills. He did nothing noteworthy in that regard.

        What matters is if he uses his veto power, or the threat of it in negotiations, and moral suasion to pressure the legislature himself into passing pro-2A bills. He’s done nothing noteworthy in that regard, either.

        To be fair, he has signed some bills that expand firearms freedom in Texas; including unlicensed concealed carry in cars, removing the stautory ban on concealed carry in hospitals, as well as barring employers from banning guns from employees’ private vehicles on company property.

        None of that was his idea nor from his effort, though. He’d have been fine had those bills never crossed his desk, so he wouldn’t have to deal with them.

        Rick Perry is just a campaign conservative.

        • I am by no means in love with the guy (nor do I have serious qualms), but maybe executives should stick to their roles as executive, and stay out of legislative responsibilities. We would be in a far better place.

  4. Typical RINO POS. Could he qualify the right to carry with any more “appropriate’s “. How about I will support the “appropriate ” candidate and it ain’t Perry.

    • Like who? The only ones that are not obviously corrupt or juvenile are Trump and Perry. Would you rather have another Clinton in the White House?

        • pwerserge is what Lew Rockwell called a “red state fascist”. His idea of conservative is someone who believes in high taxes (or debt spending) to pay for large military expansions, torture, domestic spying, warrantless arrests, imprisonment without trial, and forcing his social views on everybody else, and “reasonable” gun control. Basically the exact opposite of the founding fathers.

          While Rand Paul believes in eliminating all infringement on the rights mentioned in the Bill of Rights. That’s way too kooky, for the RINOs in charge of the party, but resonates quite well with the voters.

  5. Perry’s comments ring clear in my ear, all steam ahead. I have one concern with, “allow the citizens of this country, who have appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms, to carry them.” What exactly do you mean Rick?

  6. “I will suggest to you that these concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea,” Perry said. “I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms, to carry them.”
    ALLOW? See, there’s that nasty word again. ALLOW us to exercise a right? And how many other rights shall he deem necessary to be appropriately trained and backgrounded? And what the heck does backgrounded mean? Is that a wrestling thing? Maybe it’s just me, but my knickers get all bunched up when politicians start using the word ALLOW.

    • Perry has also said, and I will quote a close as possible, “The second amendment GIVES you the PRIVLAGE of owning and keeping firearms.

      When did the bill of rights give you anything?

  7. Piss on “Good Hair”, he isn’t all that 2A friendly. OC and CC would not be, if he was still Governor.

  8. Have not been to a movie theater since 2000 something. Not because I think something will go down, but because they wish to disarm me and not respect my rights. As you said sir, I’ll just stay at home, cheaper anyway….

  9. If “gun free zones” were actually gun free, there would be fewer dead moviegoers and school children. So please, let’s stop calling them “gun free zones.” They are nothing more or less than killing fields. They are Self Defense Prohibited Zones.

  10. Just imagine if Perry somehow managed to get the GOP nomination. As a major party nominee, he’d get automatic Secret Service protection. As a defendant currently under felony indictment, he’s not even eligible to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise.

    • What’s Perry under indictment for? Remember when politicians had enough respect for the voters that even the possibility of an indictment would get them to withdraw?

      • Firing an embarrassing drunk bitch for being an embarrassing drunk bitch. That’s apparently exceeding his authority in some peoples’ book.

      • Settle down. The first felony indictment was *just* thrown out by the Appelate court on Friday. The “times” is a bit grandiose and too sweeping a term, even for you.

        The second felony indictment is only a misdemeanor now because the court, all Republicans, unilaterally changed it to a misdemeanor, overruling the Grand Jury. The court claims that as the case was presented to the G.J., it’s only a misdemeanor. Well. That sounds like an abuse of power on the court’s part! That’s a matter for the trial jury to decide.

        Nevertheless, the court specifically refused to throw out that second charge. I guess they’re willing to cheat for Perry, but not outright give him a get out of jail free pass. So it’s going to trial as the misdemeanor. All the prosecution has to do is go back and re-indict as a felony, though, and he’s back in jeopardy. Believe it, watch it happen.

        Perry (the former Democrat, until he saw Texas turn GOP, then he switched parties) is toast. His is a vanity candidacy. He’s just raising his national political profile so he can spend his golden years pulling down six figure speaking fees on the lecture circuit. Once an opportunist, always an opportunist.

  11. I liked the Baum article especially the final paragraph…..

    Speaking to The New York Times, former Guns and Ammo editor Richard Venola
    essentially wrote the epitaph for my effort.
    “The time for ceding some rational points,” he said, “is gone.”

    I agree, we don’t yield a G-D inch and we scratch and claw to maintain every piece of ground.

  12. Perry is quoted as saying: “I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms, to carry them……”

    It seems as if the underlying yet openly seen ethic/philosophy/belief of Perry is missed or willfully ignored.

    From where I stand, govt has zero just authority to ‘allow’, or the obvious converse position, to ‘disallow’ a free individual from keeping and bearing arms. The other glaring belief of conservative statist-collectivist, Rick Perry, is that ‘govt’ should only ‘allow’ people who he/it deems as being ‘appropriately trained’ and having been forced by govt to go through a govt approval process to exercise this ‘purported’ fundamental Liberty, aka ‘appropriately backgrounded’.

    In any world viewed by any person who grasps fundamental Liberty principles and who has basic reading comprehension of Amendment II, Perry and any like him who believe his stated position comports in any way with support for Amendment II or with the overall ‘fundamental right’ to keep and bear arms, well, let’s just say that their statist skunk-stripe is showing.



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