This feature appears in the April ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
I’m no expert on so-called “gun-free” zones. In fact, I leave that title to researcher and author John Lott, who you will find answering several questions on this very important topic this Thursday.
However, there’s one thing about gun-free zones I do understand, but that gun-banners apparently don’t: There’s really no such thing. Like the so-called “gun show loophole,” gun-free zones, in practice, simply do not exist.
Some might argue with me on this point. After all, in nearly any city can’t you see businesses, offices, stores and schools with the recognizable sign depicting a circled pistol with a line through it?
Sure you can. But despite the sign, there is one segment of society that still carries firearms at such locations, and you can probably guess who it is.We know that so-called gun-free zones are only gun free for law-abiding Americans. That’s why we fight to limit the number of places that don’t allow the lawful carry of firearms.
Criminals, by definition, don’t follow laws—that’s why they are called criminals. They don’t follow laws that make armed robbery illegal. They don’t follow laws that make rape illegal. They don’t follow laws that make murder illegal.
And they darn sure don’t follow laws saying that guns aren’t allowed in a particular area or building. In fact, as Lott will tell you, those with the intention of harming as many people as possible actually seek out such places!
Just think about it a little bit. Picture in your mind a career violent criminal. He’s a convicted felon, but carries a handgun in his pocket anyway. He’s headed down to the neighborhood convenience store to get some fast cash the easy way. Yet when he arrives, there’s a “No Guns Allowed” sign prominently displayed on the front door.
He knows that, in all likelihood, there won’t be any law-abiding citizens carrying a gun for self-defense in the store—after all, concealed-carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding subsets of the U.S. population, and are therefore overwhelmingly likely to either respect the establishment’s request and leave their firearm behind, or take their business elsewhere. His only barrier is the clerk, who might or might not have a gun.
Does he go in and hold up the place?
Apparently, gun-ban advocates think he would not. Despite his blatant disregard for a number of other laws, anti-gun advocates seem to think that since the store is a so-called “gun-free” zone, he’ll kindly pass on by and find another way to get the money he wants.
You and I know better. We know that so-called gun-free zones are only gun free for law-abiding Americans. That’s why we fight to limit the number of places that don’t allow the lawful carry of firearms.
If violent criminals are already carrying guns in such places, don’t we deserve to at least have a fighting chance to protect ourselves and our families?
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for nearly 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.