“Gun Free Zones” Are A Myth

WaffleHouse

Sadly, early this morning another f&*#ing nutjob with a gun went to a posted gun free zone and committed yet another mass shooting.  This one took place in Antioch, TN, which is essentially a suburb of Nashville.  A naked man with a rifle walked into a Waffle House and began shooting people (Note:  As more info comes out, it appears he may have been wearing pants. Early reports had him nude).  He managed to shoot a total of eight (8) people before a patron, a big damn hero, managed to wrestle the gun away from him.  The naked suspect fled and is actively being hunted by my brothers and sisters in law enforcement as I type this.  Four (4) of those innocent, random victims have since died from their wounds.

This tragic, yet potentially preventable incident, happened inside a Waffle House, which according to corporate policy is a posted Gun Free Zone.  Also, thanks to Tennessee state law, unlike many other states, gun free zone stickers on private businesses carry the full weight of the law thus anyone who chooses to ignore that sign could be arrested for a gun crime.

Unfortunately for all those people inside that Waffle House, this incident is yet another perfect example of the complete and total failure of “Gun Free Zones.”

A sign in the parking lot, a sticker on the door, cannot, will not ever prevent someone intent on murdering people from entering the location to do so.  Seriously, what sort of magical, childlike, fairyland thought process is required of someone to make that seem remotely plausible?

In reality, you know, the realm where we actually live, what those signs do is prevent law abiding people from carrying their guns, thus preventing them from protecting themselves and other people.  The incident this morning is the absolute perfectly horrible example of that.  You see, to most of us, a naked guy carrying a rifle is a HUGE warning sign.  You see that coming towards you and you know something bad is about to happen.  Had there been a concealed carrier inside this restaurant, they could have been ready before this nutbag got off a single shot.  Potentially, they could have prevented the entire incident as this is one of those cases where one would not even need to hear a gunshot before you knew something bad was happening.

So let’s talk a bit about “Gun Free Zones” and their failures.  Seems that every time we have a mass shooting, it is almost always in a gun free zone.  According to the statistics, more than 98% of mass shootings in the US since 1950 have all taken place in “gun free zones.”  This is a point that conservatives make repeatedly.  In fact, President Trump has even talked about this glaring problem.

However, the rabidly anti-gun left argues this blatantly obvious fact with semantics.  Take for instance this article from Mother Jones where they claim that mass shooters do not intentionally choose gun free zones as their targets.  “There is zero evidence to support it.”  The problem with Mark Follman’s entire basis of his article is, who cares why the suspect chose the gun free zone as his target? The fact is they killed people in a “gun free zone.”  Who gives a rats ass what the crazy guy’s logic is, the statistically proven fact is that these cowardly mass shooters attack “gun free zones,” where law abiding people are prevented from defending themselves.

That line of thought is like saying back on September 11, 2001, we should have been more concerned about why terrorists attacked the United States rather than being concerned that they actually did.  Who cares what their reasons were for attacking were.  They brought the fight to our doorsteps.  It was time to take it back to them.

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I have also read other articles (sadly I am unable to locate any of them now) that examined a number of mass shootings and claimed that they did not occur in gun free zones, because the shooter was firing from a place that was not a gun free zone, while completely ignoring the fact that the victims were in a gun free zone and unable to fight back.  One article specifically used the 2015 shooting at the Chattanooga Military Recruitment Center as an example for this argument, saying that, despite the recruitment center being a gun free zone, the fact that the shooter was on the street meant this was not a gun free zone shooting.  This is yet another completely semantical argument.  If the victims were prevented from carrying a gun due to the location being a gun free zone, does it matter where the shooter was?

Drawing on my cold war era childhood for this one, that would be like saying if Russia launched some ICBM’s toward the US, it was not an act of war because Russia was not on US soil when they did so.  Who thinks like that?

Here is the thing, Gun Free Zones do not work.  They do not keep anyone safe, and in fact, I would argue, and like it or not, the evidence supports my argument, gun free zones get more people killed.  A “Gun Free Zone” sign no more prevents a person intent on killing from bringing in a gun than a speed limit sign prevents people from speeding.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or a fool.

 

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Matt
Deputy Sheriff at California
Matt is a full time Deputy Sheriff that has been on the job since 1996. During his time as a LEO he's attended countless training classes and is a court recognized firearms expert. Matt brings a unique perspective to discussion regarding the second amendment given his LEO experience and life time appreciation of firearms and our 2nd Amendment rights.