Sinner Reformed is a blog about religion, as the name implies. Its writer also has an interest in firearms, which is in-line of course with the Midnight Run. Since it does not make sense to have a gun violence post on a religion blog, he asked me to post it here. I have made no edits to his work.
What’s going on at Target and what happened at Jack in the Box and Chipotle after they made their gun-free declaration are evidence that the approach some take to the reduction of violent crime is coming from a place more based in feeling like we are doing something versus doing something provably effective. This may be because their rhetoric and their actions contradict each other. For instance, all the major shootings that have made the news in recent years, dating back to Virginia Tech if you want to be kind, Columbine if not, have taken place on what are known as “gun free zones”. In other words, there is a sign somewhere telling people that firearms are not allowed on these campuses. Someone could easily bring a concealed gun onto the premises and hurt or kill many people, but we have the sign telling them that would be wrong.
Ok, reply the gun control advocates, the problem then is that our gun laws are too lenient. However, when a shooting takes place in California, or another weekend bloodbath in Chicago makes the news again the gun control advocate can only ask for more gun laws.
As you may know, California has the toughest gun laws in the country, they have a 7 round magazine limit, a ban on publicly carrying handguns, and demand that guns be disassembled in the home and locked away. Chicago’s gun ban was found to be unconstitutional. Yet, in spite of this, the gun control advocate insists the solution rests in yet more legislation. In other words, it’s not that we’re doing the wrong thing, we just haven’t done enough of it yet.
There is a great hypocrisy here. Gun control advocates insist they support the 2nd Amendment and state in the next breath that the gun laws that either outright ban handguns or render owning a gun completely meaningless, that require separate state and federal background checks as well as the registration of both firearms and ammunition do not go far enough in their eyes. How can one say you support the 2nd amendment when the laws you support ignore the Amendment entirely.
While this is going on, the gun-control advocate insists that everyone who opposes his belief has blithely resigned himself to seeing a school shooting every three weeks when he’s feeling calm and insists that such people are personally responsible for the actions of a madman when he isn’t. He declares that only he has the solution to gun violence and it requires more laws. This only shows how little he has thought of the issue, and how little he cares about results.
You see, looking for a solution to “gun violence” is not the correct path to take. Any situation that could end in tragedy should be viewed with horror. To look merely at gun violence ignores the people who are killed by hand, with sharp and blunt force objects, fire and any other means one person can use to kill another. This is the only case in which the object is blamed for the actions of its operator. The counter to this of course is the indisputable fact that guns were designed to kill. But what something is designed to do is not as important as what it’s capable of.
The issue here is the facetiousness of gun controls basic premise. “We will pass laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals”. And yet what we see are not restrictions on the guns themselves, but merely bans on cosmetic elements. We hear of magazine capacity limits, the banning of certain attachments, a different way of ejecting the magazine, nothing that has anything to do with keeping guns out of anyone’s hands.
The other staple, universal background checks, are simultaneously unconstitutional and unenforceable and only serve to add another layer of uselessness to what should be a simple process.
A simple example: Say I sell a friend a weapon, and that we run this background check and everything else. This friend kills, whether as part of a plan he did not let on to or in the heat of anger, kills someone with what is now officially his gun. What good did this additional background check do other than tell them something that was already obvious? My friend had the weapon when he killed the individual.
Background checks that already exist do not stop madmen. The Santa Barbra and Virginia Tech shooters were diagnosed with mental handicaps and still went through all the legal loops to get their hands on guns and torrents of ammunition, the SB shooter managed to do so in California.
Realizing that the solutions to violence put forth by the gun control crowd are cosmetic on one end and banal on the other, one is left to consider what could work. Violence requires a solution with more thought (and more respect) than to simply say “We’ll pass a law, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll pass another one.”
The solution to violence, and the key to logical self defense requires something most would find unthinkable. To consider murder, and take the emotion out of it. See the killing of ten or twenty or thirty people the way a killer would; not as an abhorrent, brutal, morally reprehensible act, but as merely an end in itself. These people have long forgotten any moral objections to murder. So, how does one go about achieving an objective? By controlling a situation. Choose a location where the potential for on-site resistance, number of escape routes, and the likelihood of a prompt police arrival are low, and the potential for damage is high.
In other words, a gun free zone. Resistance is prohibited, escape routes don’t matter because all the killer needs to do is pick a place that suits his needs. A university, a town square, a mall, a post office; natural population centers (that are usually gun free) all the work is done for him.
Now, the only thing both sides have in common is when they come up with something you will hear, in a rather dismissive tone, “It’s not a perfect solution but it’s progress”. Apart from its cynical undertone, it misses one crucial point: There is no perfect solution to violence. Violence will exist so long as evil exists and evil will always be a fact of life on Earth. Because of this the bystander has two options; He can prepare for the off chance he has to act, or he can choose to sit idly and pray nothing happens.
The truth is that a good person with a gun is the only thing that can immediately and effectively respond to a threat. This is because an attacker is unfazed by anything that doesn’t attack him directly. In a gun free zone, there is nothing to stop the attacker. An alarm simply rings and the police are still on their way (and as Sandy Hook showed still wait several minutes before acting). Meanwhile the civilians are defenseless with only a locked door between them and the attacker. This is why all of the shootings you’ll ever hear about take place on these so-called gun free zones.
And what of the places where people are armed? What of the campuses where guns are allowed on campus (Idaho as of this year, Utah as of 2007 and a smattering of other states in between), the police stations and gun stores, or the homes where a man breaks in only to find an armed homeowner standing before him? These places have proven not to be perfectly safe, but far safer than their weapons free counterparts. Again, none of the major shootings over the last decade and a half (if any at all) have taken place on a gun free zone.
The reason for this contrast is simple, criminals of all stripes are nothing more than tacticians. They know where they will not be challenged and where they can achieve their objectives while only facing minimal resistance, if any at all. The solution then, is to increase the resistance a potential attacker might face.
It’s not a perfect solution, because there is no perfect solution. It is however a provably better solution than anything the gun control advocate has ever presented.