Chattanooga puts gun-free zones in political crosshairs

Chattanooga puts gun-free zones in political crosshairs

July 23, 2015

If there is one positive result of the terrorist wannabe attack that took the lives of four Marines and a Navy petty officer one week ago today in Chattanooga, it is Tuesday’s introduction of legislation by Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran that would repeal bans on military personnel being armed at military installations.

But Moran’s proposal could go farther, as Second Amendment activists could easily argue. Gun-free zones, as the Federalist observed two days ago, are a “ridiculous policy.” While Moran’s legislation is aimed at allowing servicemen and women the tools to defend themselves in the event of a similar attack, what about private citizens who are equally at risk when some loon inspired by radical Islam or any other extremist dogma decides he wants 15 minutes of fame?

There are more than 12 million law-abiding citizens legally licensed to carry, according to a recent estimate. Why should they be subjected to the tyranny of “No Guns Allowed” signs in the glass doors of shopping malls, theaters, restaurants, government office buildings, sports stadiums and any other place where an attack might occur?

Yesterday, the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) of Massachusetts announced a new legislative push in the Bay State to create a commission that will review “current and future policies regarding ‘gun free’ zones in the Commonwealth.” Introduced by Democrat State Rep. John D. Velis, the bill is a modest proposal to simply analyze current “gun free zone” laws in Massachusetts.

“Over the last decade it has become evident that these so-called gun free zones have actually become ‘no defense zones’. Tragically they have also become targets for terrorists and murderers,” said GOAL Executive Director Jim Wallace. “Citizens of all walks of life whether in uniform or not should have the right to defend themselves and others any place they have the right to be. It is our hope that this legislation be passed immediately so work can begin to make the Commonwealth a safer place.”

One need only look at the body counts from “gun free zones” to understand Wallace’s perspective. More than 30 at Virginia Tech, 20-plus at Sandy Hook, a dozen in Aurora, more at Columbine, more still at Marysville-Pilchuck, a dozen at the Washington, D.C. Navy yard, 13 at Fort Hood in 2009, five at Northern Illinois University in 2008, and on down the list. Gun prohibitionists argue that guns should not be allowed in such places, but guns were brought to those places by people who faced no resistance.

Something of a flap erupted in Tacoma yesterday because an assistant state attorney general left a comment to a story in the News Tribune about armed citizens showing up to protect a recruiting office in Spanaway. As detailed by this column Wednesday, the man who insulted these volunteers as “wingnut jackasses” and “armed nitwits” subsequently offered a series of apologies that explained “I never mean to criticize our military…”

As Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms put it in an e-mail, “What about apologizing to gun owners?”

According to Stars and Stripes, military commanders don’t care for the impromptu volunteer security, and have advised recruiters to regard armed civilians as a security threat. The newspaper said a letter from the Army Command Operations Center-Security Division had been “authenticated by the service.” The letter noted that while the citizens mean well, “we cannot assume this in every case and we do not want to advocate this behavior.”

Doing away with gun-free zones and allowing on-duty military personnel to carry personal or issued sidearms for self-defense – they are, after all, not civilian law enforcement – might be the fastest way to solve this dilemma. Moran’s legislation appears to be a step in the right direction.

Via The Examiner

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