Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ban Gun-Free Zones

Last week, an Army officer/psychiatrist went on a shooting a rampage that killed 13 people and left more than 30 wounded in the worst mass shooting ever at a military base in the United States. This mass-murder was near Killeen, Texas where dozens were shot in a "gun-free" restaurant in 1991. The courts, including the US Supreme Court, have repeatedly ruled that the police have no obligation to protect individuals or even groups. In fact, it is not reasonable to expect them to do so. Violent crimes are typically over long before police have a chance to respond. All the can do is collect evidence. Additionally, we don't want a nation where police are so prevalent that the can stop all crime before it happens.

One of our most basic human rights is our right to protect ourselves and our families from harm. Gun-free zones (ie military installations, most schools, most churches, federal buildings, many businesses) by definition deprive law-abiding citizens of the most effective means of self-protection -- a gun. These disarmed potential victims are left completely vulnerable to attack by those who, by definition, disobey laws such as gun bans.Ironically, there are few gun-free zones as gun-free as a military base. Everyone is disarmed and defenseless except a few MPs (but only when on duty) and those bent on harming others (any time they want). As last week's Fort Hood shooting spree indicates, the hope that gun-free zones work is foolish.

How was Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, able to gun down so many trained soldiers? Because the government thinks its better to keep it’s armed service members unarmed! That’s right. Our military men and woman are banned from carrying the weapons they are trained and trusted to use in the heat of combat. President Clinton authored this asinine policy back in 1993 when he declared all military bases “gun-free zones.” But because of Clinton’s ingenious policy of an unarmed armed forces, this psychopath methodically executed soldier after soldier before a local traffic cop could arrive on the scene.

Experience and reason clearly indicate that gun-free zones do nothing but assure criminals, and now terrorists, that they will find unarmed victims defenseless against a homicidal rampage. The only people who have guns in gun-free zones are criminals and maybe a cop or two.

I hold the authorities who establish gun-free zones just as accountable for the deaths and injuries as the shooter himself. It is foolish to assume that disarming good people makes bad people behave as they should. It is my firm opinion that any person, government, agency, business, school, or any other entity that creates a gun-free zone must provide absolute security and safety for all who enter therein. I can't quite decide whether gun-free zones are an illusion or an hallucination. But I do know they are evil.

Utah's legislature is one of countless government entities that have established gun-free zones and/or have provided for businesses, churches, and government agencies to establish gun-free zones. I believe the Utah legislature must promptly pass legislation requiring all entities that establish gun-free zones also provide security on a par with airport secure-area security to include armed guards and full screening for weapons.

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