Citing their “false sense of security,” the Second Amendment Foundation has launched an ambitious effort to end so-called ‘gun-free zones’ with an advertising campaign for print and online publications.
“For more than two decades,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “the U.S. has perpetuated a false sense of security with gun-free zones. It’s time to end this dangerous folly. Nobody wants to be a sitting duck in a maniac’s shooting gallery.”
He cited research done by the Crime Prevention Research Center that asserts 98 percent of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in such areas; places where the public is prohibited from having firearms. The list of such places includes movie theaters, shopping malls, public parks and public schools.
The campaign has a single, simple message: “You’re a sitting duck in a gun-free zone.”
Of all the places where this campaign might have the greatest impact, and possibly meet the greatest resistance, is on school campuses. Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary, Thurston High School, Pearl High School, Virginia Tech, Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, and the list goes on.
“Whether you’re talking about a high school in Florida, a theater in Colorado or a mall in Nebraska,” Gottlieb observed, “the common denominator has been that they all prohibited firearms on the premises. Of course, in every case, that ban had zero effect on the shooters who took innocent lives. There are numerous other examples where the gun-free mindset has been worse than a failure, and history has provided us the grim casualty counts to prove it.”
According to Gottlieb, perpetuating “gun-free zones” is not the answer. History has proven time and again, he explained, that denying people the means with which to defend themselves in an emergency has been a total failure. So-called “gun-free zone” designations did not prevent tragedies, but may actually have enabled crazed killers by making it impossible for the victims to fight back, he contended.
“Without a self-defense option,” Gottlieb stated, “we are all at greater risk.”
What’s the alternative? Many schools have quietly allowed some specially-trained teachers and administrators to be armed. A program in Ohio supported by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation aims to support such volunteers.
The FASTER (for Faculty / Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response) Saves Lives project provides training over a three-day course that actually exceeds requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. It is not intended to replace police or emergency responders, but it does allow the volunteer school staffers to be first responders in emergencies.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation President Jim Irvine is the leading proponent of this program and he provides annual reports on its progress during the Gun Rights Policy Conference.
That’s one approach, but SAF’s effort is to put an end to ‘gun-free zones’ altogether.
Gun-free zones, Gottlieb noted, “provide an added danger because they prevent legally armed citizens from defending themselves and others, while creating the mere illusion of safety.”
Will politicians ever admit the failure and dangers of ‘gun free zones’? Share your answer in the comment section.
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