Opposition to Gun-Free Zones Is Gathering Momentum

Jul. 19, 2019
Bob Adelmann

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.

On the other hand, Massie's bill, if it becomes law, would allow local and state jurisdictions the freedom to decide on the issue for themselves. Said Gottlieb:

But Massie's effort, which follows similar attempts in 2017 and 2018, is a common-sense approach to a serious problem. It would allow teachers to carry firearms for self-defense and the defense of students in emergencies.


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As the congressman noted in a news release, "Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals."

Gottlieb thinks that the third time is a charm:

The time has come to trash this ineffective mandate and make the nation's schools safe again by allowing teachers and administrators the means to fight back in an emergency.

In his press release announcing his third try at getting the bill to the floor of the House for consideration, Massie referred to John Lott's study: "Gun-free zones are ineffective and make our schools less safe. [According to Lott,] 98 percent of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns. Banks, churches, sports stadiums, and many of my colleagues in Congress are protected with firearms. Yet children inside the classroom are too frequently left vulnerable."

Massie said his bill "would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act, eliminating the one-size-fits-all federal ban on guns in school zones, making it easier for state and local governments and school boards to unambiguously set their own firearms policies."

John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime" and founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, examined every school shooting from 2000 through 2018 and learned that not a single school that allows teachers to carry has experienced a death or an injury from a shooting. On the other hand, shootings at schools and campuses where teachers and staff are unarmed have "increased significantly – doubling [in number] between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018." In those shootings, 193 people died and another 267 were wounded.

Put another way, thanks to the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act (which not coincidentally was introduced by then-Senator Joe Biden), nearly two hundred people have been murdered and hundreds more wounded, all in the name of "school safety."

With citizens of Virginia Beach signing Smith's petition, and with the endorsement of Massie's bill by the CCRKBA, momentum is building toward the day when common sense will override anti-gun ideology and posturing that continues to cost people's lives. On that day, the myth of "gun-free" zones saving lives will be buried permanently.

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Sources:

McAlvany Intelligence Advisor: Will Virginia Beach's City Council Members "See the Light"?

Vincent Smith's petition: Allow Employees of Virginia Beach to Defend their Lives During Workplace Violence (5,366 have signed the petition as of July 18, 2019)

TheAdvocates.org: Rep. Thomas Massie Introduces Legislation to Repeal Gun-Free Zones

Massie.House.gov: Congressman Massie Introduces Bill to Repeal Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act

Ammoland.com: Gun Group Lauds Rep. Massie's Effort To Repeal Gun-Free School Zone Act

SecondAmendmentDaily.com: Congressman Thomas Massie Introduces "Gun Free School Zones" Repeal

History of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990

PersonalDefenseWorld.com: Safe Students Act to Would Eliminate Federal Gun Free Zones

FreeRepublic.com: Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 explained (introduced by 'Shotgun' Joe Biden)

Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 explained

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