Saturday, September 26, 2015

Why "gun-free zones" are magnets for mass murders

I don't usually address topics like this, but Marshall Lewin makes a pretty good case for how I would explain, among other things, the otherwise seemingly counter-intuitive reason why I avoid movie theaters which have signs prohibiting firearms. Yes, it IS counter-intuitive. It doesn't mean you yourself necessarily have to be armed. But public gathering places that explicitly ban arms inadvertently advertise themselves as easy targets for mass murders. Here's how: Marshall Lewin, "Let's End The Charade Of Gun-Free Zones" (America's 1st Freedom, September 25, 2015) - abridged and edited:
“Gun-free zones” don’t protect anyone except the evil. How? By disarming law-abiding, peaceable people. By giving the lawless and the merciless a monopoly on force. And by guaranteeing that suicidal mass murderers will have zero resistance and 100-percent success against disarmed and defenseless victims....

Gun-Free Zones At Military Facilities

This summer’s attacks on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn.—in which Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez murdered four Marines and a Navy sailor at a recruiting office and Navy reserve center—are far from unique. From the 2009 Fort Hood shootings, where an Islamic jihadist killed 13 people and wounded 32 more while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” ... to the 2013 Washington Navy Yard shootings, where a lone gunman shot 15 people, 12 of them fatally ... to the 2014 Fort Hood shootings (again) in which four people were killed and a dozen more were shot—every one of these crimes was committed at military facilities where our own soldiers and sailors were rendered helpless by “gun-free zones.” ...

Magnets For Mass Murder

... Consider the case of the Aurora movie theater shooter. As [John] Lott wrote for Fox News, “There were seven movie theaters showing ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ within 20 minutes of the killer’s apartment.” Yet he didn’t choose the theater closest to home. And he didn’t choose “Colorado’s largest auditorium,” which was only 10 minutes away and surely must have been tempting for someone who wanted to kill as many people as possible. Why not? Because, as Lott wrote, “all of those theaters allowed permitted concealed handguns.” Instead, the killer chose “the only one with a sign posted at the theater’s entrance prohibiting guns.”

Internationally renowned self-defense firearms instructor Massad Ayoob, who refers to “gun-free zones” as “hunting preserves for psychopathic murderers,” has analyzed many such events. Here are just a few examples:

Pearl, Miss., 1997: A 16-year-old stabs his mother to death, then takes a 30-30 rifle to his school, where he murders two young women. As he tries to drive away to continue his shooting spree at a nearby junior high school, Vice Principal Joel Myrick retrieves a Colt .45 from his truck, intercepts the killer and holds him for police.

Edinboro, Pa., 1998: A 14-year-old brings a gun to an off-campus school dance at a banquet facility and opens fire, killing a science teacher and wounding three others. Restaurant owner James Strand retrieves a shotgun and, as the killer is reloading, points it at him, forcing him to surrender.

Santa Clara, Calif., 1999: A 21-year-old man rents a 9 mm handgun at a gun range, then takes it into the adjoining store, fires it into the ceiling, and herds three store employees into an alley, where he tells them he’s going to kill them. One of those employees is secretly armed with a pistol, however, and uses it to end the attack.

Grundy, Va., 2002: After a 43-year-old former student shoots two faculty members to death, two students, Mikael Gross, 34, and Tracy Bridges, 25, immediately and independently run to their cars, retrieve their firearms, return to the scene, disarm the gunman and hold him for police.

Tyler, Texas, 2005: A man enraged over his divorce proceedings and wearing body armor opens fire on the courthouse steps, killing his ex-wife and wounding his son. Police fire upon the killer with handguns, but he drives them back with his rifle. Hearing gunfire, Mark Allan Wilson rushes to the scene with his Colt .45 and shoots the gunman, who flees without inflicting additional casualties. The gunman is later killed in a shootout with police.

Colorado Springs, Colo., 2007: After killing two and wounding two more at a nearby religious center, a gunman opens fire at New Life Church, killing two and injuring three more. Jeanne Assam, working volunteer security at the church, rushes the killer, shooting him with her Beretta 9 mm before he kills himself.

Moore, Okla., 2014: An Islamic jihadist who has pictures of Taliban fighters on his Facebook page returns to Vaughan Foods, where his employment had recently been suspended, and beheads a 54-year-old grandmother. He then slashes the throat of a 43-year-old female employee, but before he can behead her, company CEO Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy, retrieves a rifle from his car and shoots the assailant.

Chances are, you haven’t heard about most of these cases—or if you have, you haven’t heard about the armed citizens who stopped the attacks. And the reason is because that truth doesn’t fit into the media’s anti-gun narrative.

But the truth is [not on the] side of [that narrative]. Although it’s now almost 20 years old, the most exhaustive research study ever conducted on the Right to Carry and its effects on violent crime—in all 3,054 counties of the United States, both before and after the adoption of Right-to-Carry laws—concluded: “If those states which did not have Right-to-Carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders; 4,177 rapes; and over 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided yearly. ... [W]hen state concealed handgun laws went into effect in a county, murders fell by 8.5 percent, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by 5 and 7 percent.”

History bears out these conclusions solidly. Over the past 25 years, while the number of Right-to-Carry states has grown from just a few to 42, violent crime rates have fallen to the lowest levels in decades—in fact, almost to the lowest levels ever recorded.

Here’s the truth: “Gun-free zones” don’t protect anyone except those with evil intent. And lawful armed citizens don’t endanger anyone except the bad guys.

As presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee wrote in July, “When our soldiers are safer at Wal-Marts and Bass Pro Shops than American military bases, we have a serious problem. ... American military bases should be the cornerstone of safety and security, not the crosshairs of senseless insanity.”

Or, as Thomas Jefferson wrote more than 200 years ago, quoting Cesare Beccaria: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

1 comment:

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

ABS lives in Florida where the all kinds of Gun Shows regularly well advertised and attended and there has NEVER been any crimes committed at them, say nothing about gun violence.