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Letter: Gun-free zones do not prevent violent crimes


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Arnie Krause

Columbus

In response to Bruce Thomason’s letter, “Policy needed for guns in public places,” I recommend he research the past failure to prevent shootings in public places with postings of “Gun-Free Zone” signs.

This is naive to think that individuals who intend on shooting innocent people will follow rules. Those who propose these zones fail to realize they are contributing to these tragic situations by preventing legally armed citizens the opportunity to intercede and reduce the number of casualties from these shootings. By the time law enforcement arrives, the shooter either committed suicide or in some cases has escaped.

 

Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999 and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools. In fact, recent statistics show as gun ownership has expanded over the past decade, crime has gone down. Many states with increased issue of permits for carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) have confirmed a reduction of violent crime with more armed citizens.

The recent deadly California rampage started with a stabbing and then with legally purchased firearms. This is an area where the local sheriff restricted the issuance of CCW permits to law-abiding citizens who could have prevented this carnage, if only one armed citizen was in the area. California has the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation, and this did not stop this shooter.

A North Carolina restaurant that posted a sign out front saying it was a gun-free zone was robbed at gunpoint recently. A Colorado Starbucks was also robbed despite having an anti-gun policy. If a “gun-free” sign works, Mr. Thomason, would you consider posting one in your yard to prevent a criminal from robbing your house or home invasion?

There is no excuse for an accidental discharge of a weapon in a public place. Every CCW permit holder who carries a firearm should take every caution to follow all safety procedures for proper carry and safe firearm handling.

The Walmart incident was an anomaly that is not common and fortunately did not result in a horrendous incident, and it suggests more training for that person. I personally choose to avoid “Gun-Free Zones,” as I prefer to not be a sitting duck.

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