Gun-free zones…..got to love the idea, that a simple sign would prevent would-be criminals from doing what they do, commit crimes. I would love it if the world were so simple that with a simple sign, our schools would be safe, malls would not be targets and hotels would be a haven in a crazy world for the traveler.
But that is not the world we live in. In fact, gun-free zones are typically a hotbed of criminal activity because it is a beacon to predators that the sheepdogs in this area don’t have any teeth. There are success stories of course of the people that wrestle a would-be shooter to the ground or go hand-to-hand combat with a knife-wielding assailant, but these are the outliers.
Imagine if you will, charging at an armed assailant with just your fists, hoping that he doesn’t send a 147gr 9mm hollow point at 1000 feet per second while you on your best day can run 40 yards in 15-20 seconds. Who wins that speed race? What happens when you get there?
If we look at some of the major shootings in the last decades, they all took place in gun-free zones. Columbine and Aurora shootings, both in Colorado occurred in gun-free zones. The attacker in the latter even stated that he chose that movie theatre because it was a gun-free zone. Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Naval Yard, Fort Hood…. all those locations law-abiding citizens are prevented from carrying a firearm for self-defense.
It may sound odd, but yes, military members unless part of the Police force or an agent can’t carry a firearm on post for self-defense, which is why Fort Hood, the Washington Naval Yard, and the Marine Recruiting shooting are so tragic because these “good guys” were left helpless against someone who didn’t follow the law/rule that they couldn’t carry on a military installation.
You also can’t carry in any Federal or State building, something I find odd, because all of our politicians have either Capitol Police, Secret Service, or other armed security for THEIR protection, but you can’t. Why is it ok for them to have protection, but you aren’t allowed?
I have many theories as to why the rules are the way that they are. First is that most politicians and some policing agencies feel that they know better and don’t trust you, John Q Public, with owning a firearm for self-defense. There are those who that feel if you are able to carry say in the Smithsonian, or in the Post Office, or to the DMV you will just go crazy and create issues, and having a gun will make the situation worse. I think this is flat on its face false…. except maybe the DMV…that place will make even the calmest person become insane.
Second, I think it’s about control. If you must rely on someone else to protect you, they can manipulate you to do what they want. Imagine saying that you are going to enforce lockdowns similar to 2020, but this time everyone in that building might be armed. Now you have to change your calculus on is infringing on people’s rights to go to church worth sending in the SWAT Team against granny and her 12 gauge and her 10 armed fellow church members. Imagine the optics of that being replayed on CNN.
Finally, I think it scares other people. I have personally seen people leave restaurants, cross streets, or verbally chastise legal gun owners for open carrying when it was legal. I think the signs are a placebo, a feel-good to weaker folks who suffer from Hoplophobia (irrational fear of guns), and therefore the sign pacifies them because they have already resigned themselves to being too weak to defend themselves or others.
Now I am not saying you should ignore those signs (though I would suggest seeing what is actually legally a sign in your state as most are not) but it would be near impossible for most to identify my CHL/LTC in my Original or High-Ride holster. In fact, I have had friends who are avid gun owners unable to tell where I had my gun on the first 2 guesses because they don’t print near as badly as KYDEX. Just food for thought. I am not a lawyer, but I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6 any day.
Author: Ian Bolser