Conversation about the Connecticut shooting eventually turns to gun laws, specifically gun laws that could have prevented the tragedy. The prevailing attitude of the country seems to be “we must do something quickly, anything.” Regardless of if it helps or makes things worse. In panic we suggest extremes like banning firearms, which would without doubt, be as effective as the current ban on drugs, or the previous ban on alcohol.
What is one thing mass shootings have in common? They happen in gun free zones. One of the most well-known gun free zones are post offices, and because violence there is so common, we even have the term “going postal” for outbreaks of violence. However, many would-be mass killers have been stopped because there was an armed citizen. Examples include the ’97 Pearl High School shooting (assistant principle had a .45, no shot necessary), the ’07 New Life Church shooting (Security Guard, shot gunman, saved many lives), and the recent Portland Mall shooting (Armed Citizen, no shot necessary).
When an armed individual is present at the site of a shooting, the death toll averages no more than 2, while the intent was to kill as many as possible. Mass Shooters almost always shoot themselves or surrender at the sight of armed opposition. Many shootings that would have been even more tragic never make more than the local media, because of the low death number and media bias against the positive exposure of guns. Virtually all mass shootings, consisting of 4 or more deaths, happen in “gun free zones.” Criminals know exactly where they can find many unarmed victims, and know that they have a substantial amount of time to do as they please. We need to ban criminals, not disarm their victims.
Banning gun free zones removes a mass murderer’s greatest advantage. By reducing the vulnerability of potential victims, many crimes will be prevented from happening. The only probable law that could have prevented the Shandy Hook Elementary Shooting, and nearly all other mass shootings, would be to ban gun free zones. Cost to taxpayers: $0.00