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Gun-free zones put “good people … at the mercy of evil people”

Gun-free zones put “good people … at the mercy of evil people”

My column at USA Today.

I have a column at USA Today, Time to talk about gun free zones.

Here is an excerpt:

Gun-free zones presume the good intentions of those entering the zone. And the overwhelming majority have such good intentions. But for those who have bad intentions, gun-free zones turn schools and other locations into shooting galleries. The good people are unarmed, the evil person is armed….

Gun-free zones achieve the opposite of what is intended. Rather than making good people safer, it puts them at the mercy of the evil people.

You know the drill. You go over to USA Today, read the whole thing, and share it on Facebook and Twitter.

There has been an attempt by Think Progress and some others to dispute whether the campus and/or buildings were gun free zones, but it’s pretty clear they were:

Also see an explanation at, The Federalist, and Vocativ:

Under state law, people in Oregon could carry concealed firearms on college campuses like the one where a gunman killed nine people and wounded several others on Thursday. However, Umpqua Community College has been established as a gun-free zone thanks to a loophole in state law that has made every third-level institution in the state almost entirely gun-free.

Bonus Question: Would you rather send your children to a school with a large “Gun-Free Zone” sign, or one that has a sign like the Featured Image, which is at Ft. Davis (TX) High School?

UPDATE 10-6-2015 – h/t Patterico, here is the UCC President confirming “we have a no guns on campus policy” (earlier in the video she confirmed the security on campus was unarmed):


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Which would lead a killer intent on garnering a high body count for notoriety to visit…

“Warning: this is a GUN FREE ZONE. Violators will be prosecuted!” or

“Warning: there are armed, trained killers on duty here, and within the student body. Mind your manners.”

Too bad failure is not a factor in leftoid decision making.

Sammy Finkelman | October 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Courtrooms are not gun free zones, because specially hired people have guns there. And they have metal detectors.

    Ragspierre in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | October 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Poor Sammy! Courts are also “blade-free zones”, which can include a cigar cutter in some of the courts I practice in.

    In my neck of the woods, no one, including law enforcement, is allowed a firearm in the courthouse. If the presiding judge allows it, permission can be granted in writing. Our presiding judge does not. No weapons of any kind are allowed.

Sammy Finkelman | October 2, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Airplanes are gun free zones (with minor exceptions, and even the exceptions are specially selected peopl)

but they have metal detectors!

Maybe no legally gun free zones without metal detectors?

    Sammy, there are such things as plastic guns and 3D printers that allow anyone to print them. I suggest that anyone posting a gun-free zone also be required to take responsibility for the safety of individuals entering the establishment up to and including wrongful death penalties for anyone killed on their premises by a gun toting nut case who ignored the signs as well as 100% coverage of all medical bills resulting from said nut case’s actions. After all, the establishment is taking responsibility by denying their patrons the ability to protect themselves.

Sammy Finkelman | October 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm

The only reason metal detectors work is because of federal gun control laws that prohibit plastic or other undetectable guns. It happens to be a gun control law that the NRA does not oppose, I think.

Gun control laws dating to the 1930’s also prohibit the manufacture of guns that don’t “look like” guns.

No James Bond devices. They are illegal. And there’s no great demand for them.

The manufactiure of other kinds of guns could also be prohibited.

Come on LI Commenters

Drop by USA Today and offer a couple comments to counter the libs whining about commentary from a “right wing blogger”.

The Walking Dead which has flesh eating zombies relies on a more reliable and believable plot for evil: bad people.

The jist of the season 5 finale is that the core group would not abdicate their duty to protect themselves to a governing body that has the wits of children and a track record of ineptitude and failure.

There’s a reason guys at those recruiting centers were packing in civil disobedience. The gun free zone sign won’t protect you from a round discharged from anything larger than a Daisy BB gun.

We now know that the murderer was either an atheist or under Muslim influence or both. We know he hated Christians and wanted to go to hell (literally).

We know he singled out Christians for execution.

We know the school at which the attack took place was a “Gun Free Zone” (a better name for which would be a “Zone Where Only Criminals Have Guns”).

We also know that the murderer purchased all his guns legally and PASSED THE BACKGROUND CHECKS.

The same background checks that many if not most of these mass murderers pass to get their guns. The same background checks that Democrats say if they are somehow imposed on even more people then somehow that will stop these events.

What will stop or deter these kinds of killings then??

The answer is simple. END THESE GUN FREE ZONES by suing the schools and business that insist upon having them.

Gun Free Zones create an unreasonable risk of harm to those who by circumstance must be present in one. They are akin to a deadly attractive nuisance for which the law allows those hurt by such attractive nuisance to sue the property owner for actual and punitive damages.

By declaring a certain area a Gun Free Zone the owner (or person in control of the property) informs the public and thereby the criminal element and mentally ill members of the public that the Gun Free Zone is a location where mass murder could be committed without fear of facing armed resistance by one or more persons with a legal concealed carry permit. This unreasonable increases the risk of harm to those venturing onto the property of a Gun Free Zone and the property owner should therefore be liable for the damages visited upon anyone entering into the Gun Free Zone.

The right to sue the property owner of a Gun Free Zone is even more important in situations where as in the Oregon killings, the school created a Gun Free Zone thereby substantially increasing the risk of criminal attack and death to the students and failed to take any action whatsoever to ameliorate the heightened risk they the property owner created. The failed to employ sufficient numbers of well trained armed security guards as would be necessary to substitute for those students and staff with concealed carry permits who otherwise would be present and armed.

As a result of the community college’s negligence by the creation of this attractive nuisance known as a Gun Free Zone, the proper party to hold accountable besides the gunman himself is the Community College. The college should be sued by every victim and each victim’s family. The Trustees and administrators that created this unreasonable risk of harm with their Gun Free Zone should be sued personally.

A couple lawsuits for many of millions of dollars against these property owners and school administrators for the creation of such heightened risks of harm to their customers and invitees will quickly go away as a result.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | October 2, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    You’re typically full of crap.

    The shooter was apparently a Satanist or some other believer in the occult. Only on the loopy fringe of the right blogs was there any discussion of his being influenced by Islam.

    We do NOT, in fact, know that he singled out Christians. What we do have good evidence to believe is that he asked about religion, and connected killing with sending people to Jesus.

    We do NOT have evidence that he disproportionately killed Christians.

    Some of the accounts I’ve read had him possessing guns he got from relatives, though that’s a minor point since he did purchase some of them himself.

    You don’t know or understand premises liability law.

    I could go on, but I’ll leave some for later.

South Sound Community College in Olympia is NOT a gun free zone.

Lets see a list of others. Let students vote with their feet.

Let’s go to the source on this gun free zone business in Oregon. Breitbart and Vocativ aren’t quite accurate.

The long and the short of it is that a person not a student governed by the student conduct code who has a concealed handgun license can carry a gun onto the UCC Campus. Whether it’s governed by the State Board of Higher Education has nothing to do with it.

The relevant statute is Oregon Revised Statute 166.370. CHL holders are exempted from the prohibition of carrying on campus by subsection (3)(d) thereof. The Oregon Court of Appeals case that pre-empts a school’s prohibition regarding a person not a student is Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation v. Board of Higher Education and Oregon University System, found at (Interestingly, the author of that opinion is now the Oregon Attorney General.)

    rabidfox in reply to Oregon Mike. | October 2, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Sounds good, but what are the requirements to qualify for a concealed carry permit? Some places make it so difficult as to be practicably impossible.

      Oregon Mike in reply to rabidfox. | October 2, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      Oregon is a “shall issue” state. The requirements, found in ORS 166.291, are simple. Oregon sheriffs by and large are CHL friendly, as are the state patrol officers I’ve been stopped by in the last couple of years. Same with most Oregon city police, with the possible exception of Portland.

      The ladies at the Lane County Sheriff’s Office in the People’s Republic of Eugene are quite friendly and helpful. Getting a CHL is a snap if you meet the requirements.

    The long and the short of it is that a person not a student governed by the student conduct code who has a concealed handgun license can carry a gun onto the UCC Campus.

    School shootings usually happen inside school classrooms, school buildings. Which are gun-free zones.

    You, as someone unaffiliated with the school, might be able to walk around campus with a concealed weapon, but you would still not be in a position to be armed, inside a classroom, ready and able to take out a wannabe gunman who decided not to follow the rules.

    The shooter, however, appears to have been a student. The Sheriff said that he was enrolled in the class where the shootings took place. He knew that he had a room full of handily-disarmed victims just waiting to be shot. It was a gun-free zone.

      Ragspierre in reply to Amy in FL. | October 4, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Sorry, Amy, it isn’t all that cut-and-dried.

      There was an Air Force vet and conceal carry guy, armed, and in class in another part of the campus. He intimated he knew others, as well.

nordic_prince | October 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm

My own CC is a”gun-free,” target-rich zone. From time to time I think about what I would do were I in a similar situation. I would hope there’d be enough brave souls to gang together and overpower him with someone first having created a distraction to keep him off guard. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of faith in the average college student, leastaways the ones I regularly encounter in my classes.

Another dumb thing is the classroom doors open outward, so it’s impossible to barricade them. I suppose it’s part of the fire code, but frankly a crazed gunman scenario seems more likely than a fire. Without the ability to arm ourselves with weapons, we truly are sitting ducks ~

Of course any private establishment can ban guns on their property. But lets make them responsible for any damage resulting from that policy. Medical expenses resulting from a shooting. Wrongful death penalties. And so on. If they force their patrons to be disarmed they need to provide adequate security to assure their safety.

    nordic_prince in reply to rabidfox. | October 2, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    If they were to be held liable, I would imagine the insurance premiums would be so costly it would essentially force them to rescind their “no guns” policy ~

    If they force their patrons to be disarmed …

    But does anyone force anyone else to enter most “gun-free zones”?

    If a movie theater has a “no guns” sign on the door, for instance, so you as a concealed carrier voluntarily go back to your car, voluntarily leave your weapon in the glovebox, and then voluntarily enter the theater, it’s you who have made a conscious decision to put your unarmed self smack dab into the middle of a gun-free zone.

    I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that if you voluntarily disarm yourself and consciously place yourself in a designated and posted gun-free zone, it could be argued that you knew what you were getting into.

      Ragspierre in reply to Amy in FL. | October 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Your instincts (or intuitive reasonings) are correct.

      As gary (the liar) britt demonstrates (above), people on the putative “right” can be as hysterical and prone to use BIG GOVERNMENT (here subverting the tort law) as anyone.

      His view of tort law and its uses is almost indistinguishable from the Collectivists who want to sue gun manufacturers for the criminal use of their products. Note that he’s not at all interested in persuasion, but wants to resort immediately to the coercive power of the state, suing the figurative pants off of anyone who disagrees with his position.

      Which, of course, is both silly and ignorant, along with statist. It’s silly because the law of many jurisdictions MANDATE gun-free zones many times. It’s ignorant because the law of premises liability simply cuts against ALL his bullshit arguments. And it’s statist for the obvious reasons he proposes to use the economic arm-twisting of civil claims to force people to adopt what we all consider a sensible approach, but which others do not.

      In all this, he reveals himself a “suer” in that same light as the worst of Collectivists who want to subvert the civil legal system to their coercive “just ends”.

        Ragzini you are such an infantile arse of absolutely no consequence that I can only assume your bloviations are caused by brain damage resulting from the fact you are required to wear tight neckties 24×7 to keep the foreskin from rising up and covering your eyes.

          Ragspierre in reply to garybritt. | October 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm

          I understand that my rational exposition of your lies and bullshit drive you bat-spit crazy, Bernie Boi.

          You should still strive to limit your foul attacks on me to conform nominally with the culture of this blog. Like lying SOS I does, lying SOS II.

      Amy you are correct that an assumption of the risk defense might apply to a movie theater gun free zone property owner. That argument us less applicable to the only community college in a partic7lar area and that is not a private entity but effectively a state agency. In that case an assumption of the risk defense may be more problematic for the school to assert.

      The point is that victims should seek to push the boundaries of law which will bring political pressure and notoriety to this issue as well as legal pressure if one jury should award multi million dollar damages.

        Ragspierre in reply to garybritt. | October 3, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        “The point is that victims should seek to push the boundaries of law which will bring political pressure and notoriety to this issue as well as legal pressure if one jury should award multi million dollar damages.”

        Exactly the arguments made by Collectivists seeking to expose gun and ammo manufacturers to liability.

        Except they actually have a stronger legal position. Broke-dick, but stronger.

        No such law suit would ever get past summary judgment.

          Certainly the lawsuit would fail if a man child lime you were representing them.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | October 3, 2015 at 4:37 pm

          No, lying SOS II. They’d fail as a matter of law. No matter who the Collectivist lawyer was who brought them.

          But YOU should put your money where you lying mouth is; find a lawyer in Oregon who’ll take your money and file such a suit.

          Be brave! Show us how it’s DONE, boi!

      Also Amy I think rabidfox was talking about passing legislation to make gun free zone private property locations liable and eliminating the assumption of the risk defense.

        Ragspierre in reply to garybritt. | October 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        “…eliminating the assumption of the risk defense.”

        But that will never (in the foreseeable future) happen.

        That defense cannot be limited to only one situation. It would have to be done away with, and it simply has too much support going for it for that to happen.

        People SHOULD be held accountable for their own choices. It is, after all, a CONSERVATIVE principle.

Gun-free zones are nothing new. They have been around for decades. The problem with gun-free zones is that even though people want them, such as in the case of airline security, no one wants to submit to the procedures necessary to force compliance with keeping an area gun-free. Umpqua Community College was NOT a gun-free zone. It was an open campus with no effective active security. And, in Oregon, state statute allows concealed carry by CCL holders, in colleges and universities, and a case from 2011 makes it highly likely that a college or university could legally ban the carry of weapons by a CCL holder. So, regardless of what the administrators of Umpqua Community College might say, the campus was not really a gun-free zone. This was just a pro-gun talking point. On the other hand, there is no way that additional restrictions on firearms would have affected this case in any way. This shooter could have targeted a church or a shopping mall and the chances of encountering a CCL holder, who was actually carrying a firearm, would have been about the same.

Gun-free private establishments are another matter, entirely. A person has a right to control both who enters his establishment, as long he does not discriminated based upon the characteristics of a protected class, and what activities are conducted there. The proprietor could just as easily require that people adhere to a specified dress code for entry as to not import firearms into the establishment and it would be legal. This is property rights versus the right to self defense and the right to be armed for self defense does not trump private property rights. If you must carry a firearm, against the stated wishes of the controlling agent of an establishment, then do not enter the establishment. No one is forcing you to do so.

Now, do gun-free zones encourage evil people to enter with firearms and shoot innocents? Possibly. However, in those shooters who survive such attacks, few claim this as a rational for the attack. Usually, the location of the attack is predicated on animosity toward the location or the people there or because the particular location will generate maximum outrage and, thus, insure wide spread media coverage and public outcry. The fact that such target areas are also most likely to be gun-free zones, is problematic. Also, there is no way to guarantee that a person carrying a firearm in a particular location would not commit the very crime that we are trying to avoid. In the Fort Hood shootings, the shooter was assigned to the base. In the Virginia Tech shootings, the shooter was a student who lived on campus. Could an armed person have stopped these rampages? Maybe. However, one has to look at the potential number of people who are likely to be carrying a firearm in such locations. First of all, the number of people who actually carry a firearm, on a daily basis, is very low. In the case of schools, including colleges and universities, age restrictions on carry of a firearm will reduce the potential number of carriers even more. So, leaving security to the chance that a person who can legally carry a firearm is carrying one and in a position to effectively deal with an active shooter is like waiting for Bigfoot to show up at the local Mikey D’s. What is needed is a trained, dedicated, properly motivated reaction force, continually present in a facility during the hours of operation. It is not guaranteed to stop an attack, but it can limit the damage inflicted by the active shooter.

    When seconds mean the difference between life and death the reactionary force or police are only mi utes away.

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | October 3, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    You’re correct that the campus is not technically a gun-free zone, but it is effectively one, because almost anyone with legitimate business there is prohibited from carrying a gun. The only people permitted to carry there are those who have no contractual relationship with the college, and have no need to enter any campus building. Students who carry can be expelled, staff can be fired, and when you enter a building there’s nowhere to check your gun until you leave; so the usual campus population is disarmed, and nobody was able to shoot the gunman.