In the wake of another cluster of shootings, the issue of firearms regulations have come back to the forefront. Unfortunately, most of the discussion seems to center on whether or not to double down on bad ideas.
It’s time that we as a society woke up to this simple fact: there’s no such thing as a gun-free zone. In a time when we cover our schools with signs, lock them down for umbrella sightings, and even suspend a child for chewing a Pop-Tart into a shape that resembles that of a firearm, all of our efforts have been fruitless. Since 2009, there have been twenty-six mass public shootings in the United States, and a vast majority of them took place in areas where firearms were prohibited.
What is to be done about this? Should we put up more signs? One idea that the presumably well-intentioned people who administer these areas may not have entertained is that criminals simply do not follow laws or obey signs. Shocking, I know, but given the sheer number of times that weapons policies have failed, along with the inconvenient fact that there has not been one documented case of a sign generating a magical force field capable of repelling weapons, it might be time to come to terms with the possibility.
“Surely,” you might say, “these policies must have some consequence.” You’d be right. They have a profound effect on the law-abiding. Much as it is part of the criminal’s nature to break laws, it is part of the obedient’s nature to follow them. This creates something of a problem. Violent criminals need targets to carry out their crimes, and nobody makes a better target than an unarmed person, but the trouble is that it’s not always easy to tell who is armed and who is unarmed, so where will the criminals go to carry out their crimes? They will go to places where weapons are not allowed. [Read more…]