Not long after the massacre began at Santa Fe High School in Texas, someone posted on social media “GUN REFORM NOW”! Immediately out of the gate, a comment was made, “IT HAPPENED IN A GUN FREE ZONE”! Their next comment was “CRIMINALS DON’T OBEY LAWS”! All three comments were in all caps. I’m assuming that helped those folks make their respective points and changed hearts and minds and opinions, perhaps? I don’t know…asking for a friend. Well, not really, but thought I’d ask anyway.
I’ll address “criminals don’t obey laws” in my next blog post. For this post, gun free zones are the target. Kind of a play on words, right? Not so funny? It wasn’t meant to be. It’s sad, really, that they’re looked at in that way.
Maybe we should be looking at eliminating gun free zones.
Think about it. There’s been a hue and a cry to do so for a long time now.
We have a state legislator here in my home state pushing legislation to eliminate those blood soaked gun free zones….three times now, all of them unsuccessful. He’s a Columbine survivor to boot. So that makes him uniquely qualified to address this issue, right?
Even then candidate Donald Trump made an impassioned promise during a campaign speech to eliminate those despicable gun free zones his very first day in office:
It gets even better. The National Rifle Association once advocated for gun free zones….in schools!
Wait….what? That’s a typo, right?
Nope. No typo. The NRA did so after the massacre at “Columbine”.
It didn’t take the NRA very long to morph their position into “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” mantra, however.
Since “Columbine”, the NRA has consistently advocated for more guns in schools. More guns in schools would, by design, require that gun free zones be eliminated. It would also put more money in the back pocket of the NRA and gun manufacturers.
But I digress.
Gun free zones could be eliminated in one fell swoop simply by repealing a certain law that established gun free zones in the first place.
Wait….what? There’s an actual law on the books regarding gun free zones?
Why, yes indeed there is…at least some gun free zones, but not all gun free zones. It’s called the Gun Free School Zones Act. It’s also the only codified gun free zones law I’ve been able to find….anywhere. If someone else has info to the contrary, please provide it. Do some states have gun free zone laws? Local jurisdictions? I’m stymied.
This act was originally enacted to try to address the increasing risks associated with kids bringing guns into a school environment….you know, sort of like the Drug Free School Zones Act that tried to address drugs in schools? That law is the model for the Gun Free School Zones Act.
The Gun Free School Zones Act is specific to schools though, and nothing else; not businesses, not churches, not anything else.
Heck, according to the law, a school isn’t even required to be in compliance with that law. This is important because the actual requirement, if one wishes to call it that, is a matter of funding according to the U.S. Department of Education. If school districts don’t want Federal funding, then they aren’t required to be gun free zones. If they want to receive Federal funding, then the Department of Education requires them to declare themselves Gun Free Zones under that law.
Based on all of the above, I gotta ask is it really necessary to pass a law to eliminate gun free zones?
Would such a law be a legal ban? Serious question because I thought bans didn’t work. At least that’s what gundamentalists claim regarding banning assault style weaponry.
Should such a law originate at the Federal level? State level? Local level?
Would such a law apply only to schools?
What about public venues, churches, places of business, homes? Would such a law include them, as well?
Hold my beer!
There are currently 18 states, according to a 2013 NBC News Investigations piece (there are many more articles from reliable sources that say virtually the same thing), that already allow guns on school campuses.
I hear it all the time from pro-gun advocates that a gun free zone sign won’t stop someone from committing mass murder; that they choose gun free zones because they view them as soft targets. Of course they won’t physically stop anyone. Sheeesh! Inanimate objects are incapable of anything without human interaction of some sort. But choosing them because they’re soft targets? The truth is that no definitive research has ever, not even once, proven this premise to have any validity whatsoever, especially in schools.
My two cents.
- My Two Cents: School Safety….’Quick Fix’ Style - September 26, 2019
- My Two Cents: School Safety – DAMMIT! It’s Not Rocket Science….. - January 28, 2019
- My Two Cents: Kovington Kids Kalamity Double Standard…. - January 26, 2019
- My Two Cents: Weighing in on the ‘Covington Kids Calamity’ - January 22, 2019
- My Two Cents: The Illogical Logic of the NRA - January 11, 2019
- My Two Cents: School Safety Is An Enigma - January 3, 2019
- My Two Cents: ‘To Protect and To Serve’ vs the ‘Public-Duty Doctrine’ - December 22, 2018
- My Two Cents: Quiet Rooms - December 15, 2018
- My Two Cents: Stay in Your Lane Road Rage NRA Style - November 26, 2018
- My Two Cents: School Safety Hoplophile Style - November 17, 2018