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Opposition to Gun-Free Zones Is Gathering Momentum

Vincent Smith's petition urging Virginia Beach's city council to repeal its "gun free zone" ruling is gaining even more momentum. As noted here last month (see Sources below), Smith, a city engineer, saw a gap in the security measures allegedly protecting city employees. He said, "The gap was not allowing employees to carry a firearm … instead, people were forced – like I am every day – to choose between earning a living and saving my life."

The first time he tried, his effort fizzled. His petition received only 260 signatures. But following the ghastly shooting at Virginia Beach's Municipal Center (where Smith works, but was absent on the day of the shooting) that resulted in the murder of 12 of his co-workers before police could intervene, he tried again. When this writer checked on June 27, there were 3,179 signatures (his initial goal was 2,500). As this is being written (July 18), Smith's petition now has 5,366 signatures, and Smith has raised his goal to 7,500.

Said Smith: "I want a real consideration by council and a real discussion about changing the HR policy … what happened [on May 31] could have been minimized." Once his petition reaches 7,500 signatures, the Virginia Beach city council will have that opportunity.

And so will the House of Representatives if Rep. Thomas Massie's bill continues to gain traction. His Safe Students Act, which would repeal the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, just received a massive boost by the 650,000-member Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). Its chairman, Alan Gottlieb, said on Wednesday that the federal ban on guns in "gun-free" zones has been an unmitigated disaster:

The Gun-Free School Zones Act was passed by Congress in 1990, and it's been a disaster. It has not prevented a single tragic school shooting, but instead has given students, teachers, administrators, and parents a false sense of security that evaporates the moment some madman ignores the law and invades a school campus to commit mayhem.

By declaring schools to be "gun-free," the law has simply turned schools into risk-free, target-rich environments for disturbed people willing to harm innocent children and teens.

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