on gun-free zones

Written on Facebook, in response to some stat about 92% of mass shootings supposedly happening in places designated as gun free zones. The stat comes from John Lott, and the methodology used to arrive at it isn’t specified, but here, have the link anyway.

Places like schools, churches and government buildings have been targets for mass violence since before there was such a thing as “gun-free zones.” They’re targets due to their significance, both actual and symbolic, in our society. Especially in the case of schools and churches, the reasons they are significant are the same reasons the people there often don’t want guns brought in. They represent innocence, and peace.

I’d guess that most if not all of the people in the basement of Emanuel AME last Wednesday would not have been carrying even if allowed to do so. Some people can’t reconcile walking around prepared to kill another human being at all times with following a savior who preached peace and love for all. I’m not a believer and their reasons aren’t mine, but I understand them. It’s sickening that the only response we as a society seem to have is “Too bad. There are millions of guns out there, lots of them are in the hands of the deranged and hateful and incompetent and careless, and we’re fine with that, so you’d better get your own.”

ETA: David Frum (yeah, Axis of Evil, I know) wrote an eminently sensible article in the Atlantic yesterday about ways that we could, if we actually wanted to, reduce both homicides and accidental gun deaths in this country. Most of us do want to — including most gun owners. And yet somehow, our entire country is in the grip of people who don’t give a crap about thousands of lives needlessly lost.


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