Probably no subject ignites greater debate than the right to bear arms versus gun control. On the one side we have those who honestly believe they have a God-given right to unrestricted gun ownership, and any attempt to subvert that right is tantamount to tyranny. On the other side are those who suggest gun ownership has no place in a civil society apart from highly controlled hunting or sports shooting. The only exceptions are law enforcement authorities, government officials, and the military. Which is right? In this and follow-on posts we will peel away the myths and falsehoods and take a good look at the truth.

From a purely emotional viewpoint, those who favor strict gun control probably have the advantage. For, if no guns were in public hands, it could be said there would be no public shootings. And that is pretty much their position. Hard position to oppose, isn’t it? It’s like saying, “If you don’t go near the water it is unlikely you will die of drowning.”

Putting their position to work, gun opponents across this nation in positions of authority have legislated gun-free zones, to include schools, theaters, etc., places where large numbers of people gather on a regular basis. What is significant about gun-free zones is that they are areas where law-abiding citizens are barred from carrying guns. The theory is that barring guns from an area will make the area safe from guns. But is that theory supported by reality?

Before actually delving into that question we need to consider that most if not all mass shootings of the recent past including Columbine, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech., San Bernardino and others, were gun-free zones. That is, law-abiding citizens were not allowed to bring guns into the areas. Yet, guns were brought in. The rest is history — helpless law-abiding citizens died at the hands of individuals who had no regard for the law. Or maybe to be more precise, the law provided the murderers immunity from any opposition so they could carry out their horrendous acts.

In the next post we will attempt to understand just what motivates legislators to create gun-free zones. Why do they believe it makes areas safer? Are they correct, or is their reasoning merely a façade for a sinister motivation?

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