The Real Data on Gun-Free Zones

posted on January 19, 2024

Recent research from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) paints a different picture from what those in the mainstream media and gun-control groups would have you believe when it comes to gun-free zones. A recent report, titled “Updated information on Mass Public Shootings from 1998 through October 2023,” is a treasure trove of information for those who want to use the truth to counter gun-control narratives.

First, some definitions are in order. The high figures regarding the frequency of “mass public shootings,” which are routinely tossed around by President Joe Biden (D) and others, usually come from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA). The GVA defines “mass shootings” to be any case with four or more people shot or injured. The numbers include robberies, cases where police officers and suspects shot each other, and even shootouts between rival street gangs. They can also include injuries not related to gunshots, such as a suspect hurt while fleeing in a car.

On the other hand, the FBI active-shooting reports focus on shootings that occur in public and do not involve some other crime like robbery. Also, the FBI defines the “mass” in mass shootings as four or more people being killed. The CPRC uses the FBI definition in its research, not the inflated GVA numbers spouted by gun-ban advocates.

According to the CPRC’s newest report, the vast majority of mass public shootings do, indeed, occur in “gun-free” zones.

“Eighty-two percent of the attacks since 1998 and 94% since 1950 have occurred in places where guns are banned,” found the study. “For those who read these murderer’s diaries or manifestos, these numbers aren’t too surprising.”

In fact, it is well documented that those attempting mass public murder chose gun-free zones on purpose. They want places where people can’t legally fight back; for example, in 2012, the crazed man who murdered 12 people and injured dozens of others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., chose the Century 16 theater for a purpose.

According to Fox News reports at the time, there were seven movie theaters showing The Dark Knight Rises within 20 minutes of the killer’s apartment. Yet he didn’t choose the theater closest to home. And he didn’t choose “Colorado’s largest auditorium,” which was only 10 minutes away and was likely quite tempting for someone who wanted to kill as many people as he could.

So why choose the Century 16? Simple: It was the only one with a sign posted at the theater’s entrance prohibiting guns.

In 2015, when a deranged young man shot and killed nine parishioners at a church in Charleston, S.C., he, too, was looking for unarmed victims; in fact, a friend told authorities he had been drinking with the murderer the week before when he had mentioned his plan to kill a lot of people at the College of Charleston.

“I don’t think the church was his primary target because he told us he was going for the school,” the friend later told authorities. “But I think he couldn’t get into the school because of the security … so I think he just settled for the church.”

Fast forward to March of last year, when a 28-year-old woman who identified as a man shot her way into a Christian School in Nashville, Tenn., and murdered three children and three adults before police killed her. At the time, Nashville Police Chief John Drake told reporters when discussing materials left by the murderer, “there was another location that was mentioned, but because of threat assessment by the suspect, too much security, they decided not to.”

While many gun-control proponents argue that mass public shootings seldom occur in “gun-free zones,” they are simply using GVA-generated figures to twist the truth. Compared to the statistics from the FBI and CRPC, their data is skewed.

The CRPC’s new research aside, so-called “gun-free” zones are also a slap in the face to common sense, according to Randy Kozuch, head of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA).

“Whether meant as a deliberate affront to those exercising their right-to-carry, the vast majority of gun-free zones are certainly an affront to logic,” wrote Kozuch. “Simple common sense would dictate that those intent on committing criminal violence have zero interest in empty warnings. Despite copious private and state funding, anti-gun activists and researchers have been unable to marshal a plausible case against this basic reasoning.”

The new report from CPRC also includes info on types of guns used in mass public shootings, demographics of victims, demographics of perpetrators, whether the murderers had seen a mental-health care professional before the attack, and many more factors.


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