Unarmed and Afraid in a Gun Free Zone
There are places in America where is ILLEGAL…yes, actually AGAINST THE LAW…to save the life of someone who is in danger.
You read that correctly. Imagine it being a crime to act as a first responder inside a first-aid-free zone. Politicians have passed laws that say “a person who possesses the instruments and skills to save lives may not, under threat of legal action, use their training and tools in these protected-areas”. Does that sound ridiculous to you? Well, it does to me too. But, that is EXACTLY the reality of so-called “gun-free” zones.
Can a business owner welcome the public, yet tell his customers they can’t protect themselves?
I understand the property rights arguments, but I can’t condone these so-called “gun-free” zones. What bothers me even more is that some states have passed laws making it a crime for a gun owner to enter an area “protected” by plastic signs. Yes, it is a crime for Good Guys with guns to stop Bad Guys on the other side of a plastic sign.
Stop! Stop right there.
You can’t enter because you have a medical kit in your purse. Medical accidents kill almost a half-million people a year, and this is a first-aid free zone.
You can’t enter here because you’ve been trained in fire rescue. There are thousands of structure fires each year, and we only want professionals to fight them. This is a fire-extinguisher-free zone.
You can’t go here because you know water rescue and CPR. Thousands of people drown each year. Lifeguards promote unsafe swimming so this is a lifeguard-free zone.
You. Stay. Out!
I’m as libertarian as the next person, but a property owner’s rights end where my rights begin. If a property owner claims the right to disarm us, causing us to be vulnerable, he should assume the liability and responsibility to protect us with trained staff and equipment to stop criminals. Most property owners don’t do that. They don’t install metal detectors and x-ray machines. Instead, they stick a thin piece of plastic on their window, a printed sign saying no-guns-allowed. It seems criminal.
On one hand, business owners routinely buy insurance to cover property damages caused by violent criminals, while the same business owners do nothing to protect their law abiding customers from the same risk. The owner of a “gun-free business” is telling us that his property and staff are valuable… but his disarmed customers are worthless.
That goes beyond an owner exercising personal choice over his property. That is criminal negligence! The plastic sign is designed to stop honest people, yet the sign does nothing to stop a violent criminal.
Gun free zones are a failure. Almost all of our mass murders happen in gun free zones. When we look inside our most violent cities, most of their violent crime takes place in gun-free zones. There is a reason. Thugs look for gun-free zones and disarmed victims.
When I ask property owners if they think a thin plastic sign will stop criminals, they say “But I had to do something.” What these property owners are saying is that violence is too toxic to think about. Violence is so abhorrent that they want to cover their eyes and make violence disappear. I understand that sort of reaction from a child, but not from an adult. Most adults understand the harmful effects of closing their eyes to a threat. Mature adults won’t play peek-a-boo with violence. Blindness costs us too much.
Self-defense is what you do to stay alive until the police arrive. Firearms are simply tools. Firearms allow the weak to defend themselves from the strong, and the few to defend themselves from the many. Firearms are one choice along a spectrum of tools. If it weren’t for their political implications, guns would be as unremarkable as knowing CPR and carrying a medical kit… except in a gun-free zone.
Armed citizens save lives every day… where they can. Let’s change the laws and end gun-free zones.
Read my friend David Cole for a cold-hearted view of gun-free zones and financial risk assessment.
My friend Dr. John Edeen talks about the legislative issues in eliminating gun-free zones.
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