gun-free zone no guns sign mall of america
Officials lock down the west wing of the Mall of America after a shooting was reported, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022 in Bloomington, Minn. (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)
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By Rob Morse

Few of us act like criminals. That’s a good thing. We’re law-abiding gun owners after all. Even fewer of us think or act like mass murderers. That’s good too, and I’m grateful for your restraint.

Most of us think like honest citizens and that lack of imagination has deadly consequences. Thinking like a choir boy won’t stop mass murderers who want to kill us and our children. I wish I was describing some abstract theory, but unfortunately I’m describing a harsh reality we face everyday. Ignoring evil gets us killed. Consider two points of view and judge for yourself.

One perspective says we should forbid people from bringing firearms into buildings where we gather. That should make all of us safer while we’re there. That line of thinking makes complete sense to most honest people. Without guns around, there are fewer ways that an attacker can hurt innocent victims. That should be obvious to anyone who gives it even a moment’s thought. The more buildings and outdoor areas that are “gun-free,” the safer we’ll all be.

Now reconsider that from a different point of view. When it comes to violence, we’re completely uninterested in limiting the behavior of honest and law abiding citizens. We want to change the behavior of criminals and violent attackers. Ask yourself how a criminal thinks and how he acts.

Laws are for honest people. Barring honest people from being armed in “sensitive places” does nothing to change the behavior of people who break the law. In fact, criminals look for easy victims and a plastic “no guns allowed” sign delivers those defenseless victims on a platter.

No guns allowed sign gun-free gun free zone

A “no guns allowed” sign doesn’t turn criminals away, it attracts them.

Do you really think that thieves and murderers obey our rules and put down their weapons because of a sign on a door? Sadly, too often, the answer is yes.

Yes, I expected criminals to obey our rules. Maybe some of them will.

The proponents of “gun-free” zones say that the plastic signs might help and that they do no harm. That statement depends on us not knowing the truth that brightly brands that claim as a lie.

You already know the truth. Criminals attack the elderly and handicapped precisely because they are easy victims. Mass-murderers attack us in so-called “gun-free” zones 49 out of 50 times because they want easy victims and a high body-count. Put another way, we’re almost 50 times safer from mass-murderers when we are outside of a “gun-free” zone.

You might not know this, but mass murders do. Attackers know that almost one in five attempted mass-murders are stopped by armed citizens where those citizens are allowed to go armed. That’s why killers select “gun-free” zones 96 percent of the time.

When ordinary citizens are allowed to go armed, we are about 99 times safer than if we are in a “gun-free” zone that’s only guarded by a plastic sign on the door. This makes more sense once you remember that about one-out-of-12 citizens go legally armed in public today. One out of a dozen doesn’t stop every crime, but it spreads doubt for every criminal and would be mass murderer.

Most of us already knew this intuitively. It isn’t the plastic signs that defends the courthouse and the statehouse, it is the guards with gun on their belts. Judges and legislators insist on uniformed defenders, but most of us don’t have armed security to protect us at the taxpayers’ expense. Unless you’re a billionaire, a politician, or a celebrity who hires armed guards, it is up to you to protect yourself and our family.

Tens of millions of us do that every day. We go armed at home and in public. Most of us never notice our armed neighbors because concealed is concealed. We tend to forget about our armed neighbors and we don’t appreciate what we can’t see. In contrast, criminals pay very close attention.

Criminals avoid armed victims the way they avoid armed police officers. The bad guys look for places where honest citizens are prevented from arming themselves. Criminals and killers have hunted us at prohibited places like schools and train stations where it’s illegal to go armed.

They hunt for us at bars late at night because we can’t be armed if we go drinking. The plastic “no-guns” sign disarmed the designated driver as well as the evening drinker. Again, those “no-guns” signs help criminals and the mass murderers by sorting out the easy victims.

Those thin plastic “no guns allowed” signs may stop lawsuits, but they don’t stop bullets. The signs protect property owners, but they don’t protect the public.

Take down the signs. It is time we stopped making life easier for the bad guys. You’ll know how to do that once you start thinking like a criminal.


This article originally appeared at Slow Facts and is reprinted here with permission. 

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      • Florida is good that way. ‘No Carry’ signs don’t have the force of law, as long as you keep yours concealed… 🙂

        • Ours in CA don’t either, unless/until you’re specifically instructed by the property owner or business manager to remove your gun or yourself from the premises. Only from that point forward does your (otherwise legal) possession of your gun become material in a future report.

          I’m fortunate that my local mall (formerly owned by national corporate chain WestField) was bought out by another entity not long ago. Westfield’s “no gunz” signs have been removed, and I’ve found no mention nowadays of prohibition at any of the entrances. I’m not sure who the current owner is, but so far I see this as a positive.

        • Haz…Anyone in CA calling for the democRat Party to be held liable for the monetary Reparations gov. newsob is calling for? After all the democRat Party owns the legacy of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, the kkk, lynching, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities…Atrocities that occurred in the North, South, East and West.

          As for the topic…To think like a criminal first one must realize criminals come is all shapes, sizes, genders, colors, etc. Failure to realize the aforementioned may cause one to drop their guard and suffer great bodily harm.

        • Deb, that reparations board is only able to act in an advisory role. They admitted the high price tag they recommended is not feasible, and the entire exercise is nothing more than a lopsided PR stunt that’s not able to stand on its own legs.

          For example, Victim A has two “African American” parents and a full bloodline he can prove back to his ancestral roots from Africa. Victim B has the same, but only on one side of his parents, while his other parent is (gasp!) Caucasian. Even Biden himself publicly gloated not long ago that interracial relationships are purposefully being pushed by the entertainment industry under strong guidance from the Democrat Party. But wait…Victim B is only half African, so does that mean she receives only half of the reparation amount?

          What about white-skinned people from Africa, such as those born in…oh, I don’t know…South Africa? Like Elon Musk? He seems to check off all their required boxes.

          Or my favorite…how about extremely dark skinned Cubanos who are darker than many Africans and are often mistaken for Africans? Do they get no soup?

          Finally, the Board admitted that the City does not have the funds to implement even a fraction of the recommended payouts. The entire thing is a circus meant only for the Woke of San Francisco to pat themselves on the back and tell the cameras they did something that “feels good”.

          Clown world.

  1. I do my best to avoid places that display the no-guns signs. I do that for two reasons. I do not want to get shot. I also don’t want to spend my hard earned money in places where I am not welcome. Weather I am carrying a gun or not makes no difference. Management is making clear that I am NOT welcome and it’s somewhere I’m likely to get shot.

    • Agree completely. That’s the exact same way I think about it. “No Guns” equals none of Todd’s dollars either.

  2. Fortunately, where I live, I can totally ignore the gun free zone sign on private property. Everyone and his brother carries in this town. I can even carry into a school IF I have a CCP permit. If a property owner with such a sign (or not), finds out I’m carrying, all he can do is ask me to leave. Legally, I’m required to do so immediately, or I’m trespassing. I was in one such place recently where another customer saw someone’s concealed weapon when he bent over to get something off a shelf and pitched a fit and called the police. The manager asked him to leave, but the hysterical female customer wanted him held for the police. The manager said he had no right to hold him as long as he left; which he did. I was carrying too.

    One of my neighbors called the police on a man open carrying on our street and was ticked that the dispatcher told her that was his right as long as he wasn’t breaking any other laws.

    • I would watch her carefully, and turn her in for anything. If I saw a man come by her husband would find out.

    • There are plenty of people out there who do not know or realize that carrying a firearm in compliance with applicable law is perfectly legal. They assume that if you have a gun, you must be breaking the law. That belief system is what killed “open unloaded” carry in California (which at the time back in 2012/2013 was the only way to carry a firearm without an unobtanium CCW) because Karens would invariably call 911 to report a man with gun, resulting in an excessive police response, even when the police knew that the activity was perfectly legal. It took almost no time at all for the Legislature to ban the practice. Rifles and shotguns followed a year later.

      • Hmmm…and the same karens tell us we’re a bunch of conspiracy nuts whining about some imaginary slippery slope.

  3. “Few of us act like criminals.”

    That changed in 2020. We now have many, many more people who act like criminals. And we should be able to shoot them dead on site. Which is how it use to be.

        • No it’s not. “On site” means it’s posted out of ignorance of the English language. It’s not shorthand for anything. “On sight” means only when you see them. “On site” refers to a particular location.

  4. Never mind a sign. My takeaway on this article was, “think like a criminal”. Apply that principal to the idiot ahead of you that keeps changing lanes in heavy traffic. He’s dangerous too. The thing to remember is, if it doesn’t feel/look right, it probably isn’t. Be prepared to act.

  5. I’ve lived and worked in dangerous situations for over 50 years. I am constantly evaluating personal and family safety. In my town I’m more likely to be trampled by a Moose than attacked by a bad actor. I keep my attention for both and more.

  6. It’s called Operational Security. We aware of your surroundings. Make a threat analysis of everyone you see or encounter.

    Don’t leave visible valuables in your car. If you buy something valuable cut up the box and put straight into your rubbish. It pays not to advertise. Lock your dwelling’s doors even when at home.

    And if you can, get a dog.

    • A dog, like only 1?
      No way, 120 one pound chihuahuas beats a 120 pounds of one dog all day long.
      Become a dog collector, like a gunm collector, ghost dogms, short legged dogms, long barreled dogms, spotted, brown, black or white, a whole safehouse full of dogms, a plethora if you will of dogms

      • I didn’t think possums liked dogs. 🤔

        Especially when there are no trees around…

        120 one pound chihuahuas attacking at the same time reminds me of the movie “Ben”.

    • cameras,security lights and an alarm system…all good investments…upgrade your locks too…

  7. *You’ll be better able to defend yourself once you realize the government already sees you as a criminal.


  8. I’m armed around the farm because of 4 legged varmints. I’m armed when in town because of 2 legged vermin.
    Always be aware of what is going on around you. Pay attention to what the guy off to the side is doing. If something doesn’t look/feel right, leave.
    Was at the bank this morning. Had my side arm on my hip. As did the sheriff’s deputy in line ahead of me. He even said hello as we were waiting our turn to see the teller.
    There is a sign on the door that says weapons prohibited. I know the deputy saw I was armed. As did the teller. No one said anything or even acted like it could be a problem.
    Of course both the bank teller and deputy know me by name etc. Still, if it was a real issue I would think someone would at least mention that perhaps next visit I might no come in armed.

    • Nobody knows but you … until someone else knows as well.

      And that could happen if an observant person is able to distinguish your handgun on your body: I certainly have (observed armed people in places with those pesky “NO GUNS” signs).

      The only question is whether that observant person is a property manager, security guard, or law enforcement officer who will enforce their “NO GUNS” sign.

      Sure, you could carry a very tiny handgun in “deep concealment” mode and all-but-guarantee that no one “makes you”. And how effective will such a tiny handgun be if a spree-killer or stalker attacks you? I would much rather carry a full-size “duty gun” with 15 or more cartridges in the magazine. Unfortunately, that will potentially print at various times.

      • The only two places I disarm are the post office and kids’ public school (both unbelievable, but the world we live in). Everywhere a no gun sign is present I do avoid but for example today at a convention center…please, criminal won’t see or care about sign. I’m on heightened awareness, especially because so many people are around, can you imagine the stress of a good shot? Hope it never happens, won’t let it continue if it does.

  9. All them signs do is add another charge to the crime.
    No Gunms In Tombstone didnt keep the gunms out but it did get a few fellers legally shot.

  10. You’ll Be Better Able to Defend Yourself When You Start Thinking Like YOUR POLITICIANS ARE a CriminalS.

    There. That’s a better title for this article.

    • That ship sailed long ago, the new shit is worse.

      I hear a lot of terms bandied about these days, “Cold Civil War”, “Cultural Revolution”, “Fifth Generation Warfare” etc.

      Whatever you want to call it, we’re already balls deep in it whether you know it or not. And it will be exacerbated by a series of troubles we are not prepared for in the next 6-36 months. Troubles that will be denied by the majority until they are undeniable, making it very much worse.

      “Thus, long before our own times, the force of hereditary manners of itself moulded the most eminent men; and admirable citizens, in return, gave new weight to the ancient customs and institutions of our ancestors. But our age, on the contrary, having received the Commonwealth as a finished picture of another century, but one already beginning to fade through the lapse of years, has not only neglected to renew the colors of the original painting, but has not even cared to preserve its general form and prominent lineaments.
      For what now remains of those antique manners, of which the poet said that our Commonwealth consisted? They have now become so obsolete and forgotten that they are not only not cultivated, but they are not even known. And as to the men, what shall I say? For the manners themselves have only perished through a scarcity of men; of which great misfortune we are not only called to give an account, but even, as men accused of capital offenses, to a certain degree to plead our own cause in connection with it. For it is owing to our vices, rather than to any accident, that we have retained the name of republic when we have long since lost the reality.”

      -Cicero The Republic

      • strych9,

        … a series of troubles we are not prepared for in the next 6-36 months.

        That would not surprise me at all, although I am not sure what those troubles would be. Please share three categories of troubles that you anticipate and provide enough detail to ensure that I understand what you are describing. Thank you in advance.

        • I can do you better than three and in fairly short order. Spark’s Notes style.

          #1 The Fed’s inability to deal with inflation because not all inflation is monetary based. Ours is currently undergirded by demographics and input shortages. The Fed’s raising of rates can take the top off the real level of inflation (~15.2% based on the 1980 Fed methodology) but cannot affect the others. This will lead to major disconnects in the system.

          #2 Our major supplier for most goods, China, is in free-fall regardless of what the Sinophiles/Sinofearmongers believe. They have a currency crisis, financial crisis, housing bubble, import shortages across a host of major necessary inputs, food shortages, major protests, a demographic crisis and they’re run by a dictator who’s managed to silo himself to the point that the country barely actually functions.

          #3 Ukraine and it’s attendant issues.

          #4 Fertilizer shortages last year and persisting into this year, the draw down in stocks last year and the inability to replace them bodes poorly for later this year. Especially since the issue is world-wide.

          #5 Inflation itself.

          #6 The crisis in automotive loans.

          #7 The really rather obvious tit-for-tat “low intensity conflict” we have with Russia but which no one will talk about.

          #8 Cratering (still!) respect and trust in institutions across the board.

          #9 A utter and complete lack of serious leadership.

          #10 A government that has been openly lying about quite literally everything for years and is currently trying to gish-gallop its way out of the situation while lying about even more shit.

          #11 Pick your terminology, we’re already in a cultural revolution/cold civil war/5G warfare situation against ourselves and other countries leading to the fraying of even a semblance of social cohesion nationwide. The hatred on both sides is palpable.

          #12 Of course, I can’t go a post without mentioning my hobby horse, 95% of people still can’t recognize propaganda when they see it.

        • strych9,

          Thank you sir for that nice explanation. At first glance I do not see any factual errors. I will be digesting that for the next several hours.

        • Unfortunately that’s the short version of the list. And doing a 2-3 layer analysis of each one isn’t something I’m going to bother to type out for the short list, never mind the long list.

          Basically, each of them is like that meme of the guy in the gas mask sitting on the front of the APC rolling through some blown-out shithole city. The top image is him saying “Hey, friend, remember when I told you things were going to get worse?”.

          The lower half of the meme is the image zoomed in to just his face/gas mask and says “They’re getting worse now”.

          The reason I get annoyed when people, as I put it, “Ask me to do their homework for them” is because I know what that does.

          Best case; It hands them the answers to the homework but leaves them with zero clue how to arrive at the answers themselves and sets them up for failure in the future. Mostly, the truth is, they get the answer, ignore the answer and then get bit on the ass later during the exam to boot.

          In a nutshell, this is my problem with Conservatives. They’ve paid about zero attention for 40 years (LOL, OK, like 150) and now deny that they’ve played a roll in creating an absolute fuckton of serious problems that will all probably hit at once or in rapid succession following three years of insane governmental policy that ensures there’s very little resiliency currently left in the affected systems. Generally, they have absolutely no idea how fast things can get bad and no concept of how bad they actually can get.

          And as things *gradually* get more serious they have zero interesting in catching up. They’ll be the ones howling the loudest when the shit hits the fan because, ultimately, they don’t really believe it can happen even though they’re shown the problem. That is, until it does and they’re reacting poorly AND trying to save face.

  11. Be Polite. Be Professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet. Words to live by.

  12. I likes dawgz.

    Have a 90 lb rot inside and a shepard mix outside. We love that rotty, she’s new to the fold. That dog is awesome. If youve never had a rottweiler I strongly recommend checking into getting one next time you’re dawg shopping.

    • We have a 85 lb lab. A great watchdog! Not a guard dog.
      Unfortunately, criminals have no problem with killing any dog, for that matter, criminals have no problem with killing people.

    • We have a 85 lb lab. A great watchdog! Not a guard dog.

      Unfortunately, criminals have no problem with killing any dog, for that matter, criminals have no problem with killing people.

      Recent studies indicate that 10% of the population are engaged in criminal activity at any one time. This contrast sharply with what law enforcement agencies had observed for over a century (one percent of the population engaged in criminal activity at any one time).

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