Another shooting in a gun-free zone.
The Federalist explains what happened:
Although reports are highly fluid, it appears that at least 15 people are dead as a result of the massacre, with at least 20 individuals injured. The identities and motivations of those responsible for the mass shooting in Oregon are not yet known.
White House demands for increased gun control ring hollow, however, given that Umpqua Community College, the site of the mass shooting, is a gun-free zone. School policy bans the possession of firearms on campus property. A cached web page of the school’s safety and security policy, pictured below, states that “[p]ossession, use, or threatened use of firearms…on college property…is prohibited.”
Directly below the school’s notice of its gun ban is a section entitled, “Don’t Be a Victim,” which includes advice such as “[w]alk in groups when possible” and “don’t look like a victim[.]”
The shooter asked victims what religion they were.
Only law-abiding people obey gun-free zone signs, criminals obviously don’t. If they are about to commit murder, they are not going to be deterred by a little poster telling them not to carry a gun into a gun-free zone. And the hypocrites in the White House use an ARMED Secret Service. Even they don’t believe their own lies.
Shootings in gun-free zones
The most recent one prior to this was at Fort Hood, and I wrote about that in this post.
This article from National Review shows that multiple-victim public shootings are common in gun-free zones.
Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.
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.
I spoke with Lott after the Newtown shooting, and he confirmed that nothing has changed to alter his findings. He noted that the Aurora shooter, who killed twelve people earlier this year, had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. All were within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals. All of the other theaters allowed the approximately 4 percent of Colorado adults who have a concealed-handgun permit to enter with their weapons.
“Disarming law-abiding citizens leaves them as sitting ducks,” Lott told me. “A couple hundred people were in the Cinemark Theater when the killer arrived. There is an extremely high probability that one or more of them would have had a legal concealed handgun with him if they had not been banned.”
Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”
Here’s Dr. John R. Lott to explain why gun-free zones should really be called “helpless victim zones”.
Contrary to public perception, Western Europe, most of whose countries have much tougher gun laws than the United States, has experienced many of the worst multiple-victim public shootings. Particularly telling, all the multiple-victim public shootings in Western Europe have occurred in places where civilians are not permitted to carry guns. The same is true in the United States: All the public shootings in which more than three people have been killed have occurred in places where civilians may not legally bring guns.
Look at recent history. Where have the worst K–12 school shootings occurred? Nearly all of them in Europe. The very worst one occurred in a high school in Erfurt, Germany, in 2002, where 18 were killed. The second-worst took place in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, where 16 kindergartners and their teacher were killed. The third-worst, with 15 dead, happened in Winnenden, Germany. The fourth-worst was in the U.S. — Columbine High School in 1999, leaving 13 dead. The fifth-worst, with eleven murdered, occurred in Emsdetten, Germany.
It may be a surprise to those who believe in gun control that Germany was home to three of the five worst attacks. Though not quite as tight as the U.K.’s regulations, Germany’s gun-control laws are some of the most restrictive in Europe. German gun licenses are valid for only three years, and to obtain one, the person must demonstrate such hard-to-define characteristics as trustworthiness, and must also convince authorities that he needs a gun. This is on top of prohibitions on gun ownership for those with mental disorders, drug or alcohol addictions, violent or aggressive tendencies, or felony convictions.
Dr. Lott then lists about two dozen incidents – all occurring in gun free zones.
A quick refresher on why people own guns
People own guns so that they deter criminals and reduce the violent crime rate in their communities. The more guns there are in the hands of law-abiding citizens, the lower the violent crime rate goes, because criminals don’t like being shot at by their crime victims.
Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.
- The Lott book was published by the University of Chicago Press (now in its 3rd edition)
- The Malcolm book was published by Harvard University Press
The first book clearly shows that across all states who have adopted concealed-carry laws, the violent crime rate went down. When you let law-abiding citizens arm themselves, violent crime rates go down, because criminals don’t know whether their victim will defend themselves, and they don’t want to take the risk.
The second shows the flip side. In the UK, they banned hand guns in 1997. In the four years following the 1997 ban, violent crime rates DOUBLED. When you prevent law-abiding citizens from arming themselves, then criminals are emboldened to commit more crimes – they know there is no risk of getting shot by their victim.
Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.
The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.
[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.
I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people.
A more recent study – from 2014
A recent study showing a reverse correlation between concealed weapons and murder rates has renewed the contentious national debate about the effect of gun controls on violent crime.
[…]In research first published in Harvard’s Journal of Public Law and Policy, criminologists Don Kates and Gary Mauser looked at the correlation between gun laws and death rates.
“International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths,” the pair wrote in their introduction. “Unfortunately, such discussions [have] all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative.”
The pair found “correlations that nations with stringent gun controls tend to have much higher murder rates than nations that allow guns.”
It’s not a reasonable position to think that disarming law-abiding citizens will reduce crime rates. The evidence is against it. It’s all fine for clowns in the White House to get up and wring their hands for gullible voters who are more moved by feelings than by facts, but the data is clear. Disarming law-abiding citizens and promoting gun-free zones encourages and emboldens violent criminals. Period.