The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Sunday, February 17, 2008

UPDATED Danger: You're in a Gun Free Zone

UPDATE: I have made a number of revisions to my original post for clarity's sake--DT

When I finally received my concealed carry license, after months of classes, range practice, background checks, etc, it was a proud moment for me. My State determined that I was responsible enough to be permitted to use deadly force in self-defense, and to not be a danger to others. It doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but to me it was. In a way it was certification that "this guy can be trusted." And of course that carries a lot of responsibility with it.

I did not go through all of this so that I could advertise my being a "dangerous dude", or to play supercop or be some kind of cowboy; I did the work because there are people worth protecting--like my wife and my family and close friends I might be with in any given situation. And I did it because there are legions of home invaders, street thugs, terrorists, and psychos out there swimming in the "ocean" that is our society. Every now and then a person can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if I am ever unlucky enough to be one of those people, I want to be in a position to change the situation. I hope I never have to pull that trigger, excluding the range. But if I do, it won't be because I want to be some hero; it will be because I value my life and the lives of those close to me.

Bob Wier, writing in The American Thinker, alludes to the obvious: gun free zones may be among the most dangerous places for deranged killers in the country--especially in case of the psycho wannabes, whose only aim before they die is to get their names in the papers:
That's right: another maniac, with guns bristling all over him, walked into a "gun-free zone" and began picking off human beings as if they were ducks in a shooting gallery. There were only a few minutes left in the ocean sciences class being held in the large lecture hall of the school when a tall, thin man, dressed in black, stepped out from behind a curtain on the stage. Witnesses said he looked around, almost as though he was relishing the thought of what he was about to do, pulled out a shotgun and began the slaughter.

While scores of students were screaming and ducking for cover, the creature with the guns was certain he would get no resistance from his helpless targets. Since the killer knew it was a building in which guns were prohibited by law, and, since he intended to take his own worthless life anyway, all he needed to do was disregard the law and calmly walk up to the cowering figures and press the trigger. Before he was finished, 5 students were dead and at least 15 were wounded, many of them critically. When his blood lust ended, the murderer, Stephen P. Kazmierczak, 27, shot himself to death with one of the 2 pistols he also brought with him. One sane person in that room with a firearm could have saved those lives. On the other hand, if it had not been designated a gun-free zone, it's unlikely that the coward would have chosen the place to act out his homicidal rage. I've heard all the reasons given by gun control advocates about the need to keep guns off the streets. Yet, the slogan that keeps resounding in my mind is: "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."

The Second Amendment to the Constitution declares a well-regulated militia as "being necessary to the security of a free State" and prohibits infringement of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Even though some politicians have twisted that venerable document until it looks like Turkish taffy, it seems to me that our Founding Fathers believed that people had a right to protect themselves.

How many more massacres are we going to endure before we realize that we are giving malcontents a license to hunt humans when we broadcast the message that, "Everyone in this building, campus, church or city council meeting is unarmed?" Why not go even further and just say: "Those of you suffering from a deep seated, burning passion to kill, will be able to satisfy your hate-filled existence by entering these premises with the weapons of your choice. We can guarantee you plenty of free shots and no return fire."

Imagine the following scenario: You and your family are among about 50 other patrons eating dinner at a local restaurant. During the course of the evening, you happen to look up and see a man with a long topcoat enter the place; his hand concealed in one of the pockets. No one else seems to notice, but you have a gut feeling that he's dangerous. Although you've had training with firearms, you, like almost everyone else walking around unprotected, don't have a license to carry. If that man suddenly were to pull a gun, he'd have total control over that crowd. You and your family would continue living, only if the gunman decided not to aim his weapon in your direction.

Is that any way for a free people to live?
You tell me...

Here is the big problem I have: for gun owners who have been authorized by their State as being responsible enough citizens to carry a concealed weapon; being citizens who just want to follow the law and exist in a decent society, it is especially important to follow the laws and to use particularly good judgment.

But then I think of the so-called "Gun Free Zones"... the problem with the Gun Free Zones is that--barring a metal detector at every entrance/exit--there is no way to insure that any building or place is gun free. In both the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois incidents, the shooter that went on the rampage was in a "Gun Free Zone". Meaning that your typical licensed gunholder could not bring their guns into the area either, lest they lose that license and pay an enormous fine. The State views these individuals as being stable enough to carry a gun around everywhere else in society. But somehow, I suddenly am not judged to be sane enough to use that same even-handed judgment when I am in a classroom? All because some utopian academics have made themselves "feel" safer by declaring their facility to be "gun free"?

Unfortunately, all of the recent American gun "massacres" in recent memory occurred in a gun free zone. Hello?? Is there anyone out there paying attention?

Now I would never advocate breaking State laws. But to pretend that it does not give me pause for the State to prohibit me from carrying my licensed weapon in precisely in the situation when I am most likely to need it--considering the entire reason I went through the arduous licensing process in the first place--would simply be dishonest on my part. If some psycho happens into a venue I happen to inhabit and proceeds to start mowing down innocents, that is precisely the time when I want to be (and morally speaking, should be...) packing.

These Gun Free Zone laws pose a huge moral dilemma for me, because I ardently believe that the Constitution does guarantee me the right to defend myself against a deadly attack, in any situation. The Second Amendment states that I can keep and bear arms. This is one dilemma, in my opinion, in which the State ought not to be siding with clueless PC utopians, but rather the "real world" sheepdogs out here that want to protect our homes and families from potential killers. What good are laws if they do not permit responsible citizens to keep ourselves from being offed by some psycho or terrorist?

Is it so much to ask of a free people to permit citizens whom the State has deemed responsible enough to carry a loaded weapon to be able to carry that weapon anywhere? (the only exception that I believe to be valid is the overriding need to protect Presidential candidates or Presidents, criminal trials, etc...)

How many more will be slaughtered in "Gun Free Zones" before the people finally wake up that they are part of the problem itself, rather than a solution?
DiscerningTexan, 2/17/2008 10:34:00 PM |