November 14, 2007
• Gun-free zones
Gun-free zones offer criminals, lunatics no-risk targets
by ALAN GOTTLIEB and DAVE WORKMAN
The recent shooting of a Miami Carol City High School algebra teacher identified as Sergio Miranda will no doubt bring wails from gun control extremists that the nation needs tougher gun laws – when it really serves as another failure of so-called “gun-free zones.”
By all accounts, Mr. Miranda and a colleague were minding their own business outside the school during a lunch break when two gunmen approached in what has been described as an attempted armed robbery that went bad.
Police tracked the two suspects to a nearby apartment complex and arrested them.
Our sympathies lie with Mr. Miranda and his family and friends, and the students and staff at Miami Carol, who have been victimized by a law that was perhaps well-intentioned but is so disastrous in its implementation that it may one day be viewed as one of the worst legislative atrocities foisted upon this nation by the anti-gun crowd.
These are the same people who have campaigned tirelessly in state after state against sensible concealed carry laws, feverishly working to keep honest citizens at a distinct disadvantage versus neighborhood thugs, rapists, robbers and murderers.
Unable to prevent passage of common-sense self-defense statutes, they have worked with anti-gun state lawmakers to create these so-called gun-free zones, which include schools and universities, government buildings and various other locales, such as restaurants, movie theaters, parks, sports stadiums, fair grounds and churches, depending upon the jurisdiction.
Within the self-defense community, such locations are commonly identified as “victim disarmament zones,” and time and again, this has been proven all too accurate.
Remember the Tacoma Mall shooting of two years ago? How about Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square shooting in February? Certainly nobody can claim ignorance of April’s Virginia Tech massacre, or a string of public and private school shootings that dates back more than a dozen years. The common denominator in every one of these deplorable crimes is that all of them happened in gun-free zones.
When was the last time you heard of a mass shooting at a gun store or a gun show, both places where firearms outnumber the people, and where there are doubtless a majority of armed citizens present?
Has anyone ever heard of a massacre at a gun range, where it is guaranteed everyone has a loaded firearm? Lord help the knucklehead who ever tries something like that at, say, an NRA convention. And there was not a hint of trouble at the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference in Fort Mitchell, Ky., where scores of people acknowledged being armed, many of them carrying handguns openly.
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul delivered a speech to that crowd and, dare we say, the Texas congressman was far safer in that environment than he is any day of the week in Washington, D.C.
The misguided misanthropes who foster gun-free zones have a paranoid distrust of their fellow citizens that can only be a severe manifestation of social bigotry.
They dislike firearms and are terrified of the people who own them – and for all the wrong reasons. Armed, law-abiding citizens – especially those who have gone through the hoops of obtaining carry licenses – are statistically the least likely to ever break a law. Yet, all data to the contrary, these gun control fanatics hold fast to the perpetuation of gun-free zones as a symbol, when it is clear that such places are nothing more than risk-free environments for criminals and lunatics.
A few months ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told reporters he favors widespread firearms carry and the elimination of gun-free zones. He is on the right track.
The time to abolish gun-free zones is long overdue. Their only measurable result has been a body count of innocent victims; bloody statistics on the altar of political correctness. That’s got to cease.
Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman are the authors of “America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age,” recently published by Merril Press. Gottlieb is founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org). Workman is senior editor of Gun Week.