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Gun free zone endangers those it's intended to save
Matthew Iberg
Antelope Staff
Photo from Internet
Shootings at public buildings and schools have been on the rise since 1966. At the Von Maur Westroads Mall location in Omaha, Nebraska, eight people were killed during a shooting in 2007.
Info graphic by Staff

In 1991, George Hennard drove his pickup truck through Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas,  and then started firing his pistol into the restaurant. Hennard killed 23 people and injured 20 more before turning the gun on himself.  

At the time, Texas law forbade the possession of concealed weapons.

Suzanna Hupp and her parents were eating lunch at the time Hennard drove into the restaurant. Hupp, who was an expert marksman, had left her firearm in her vehicle to obey state law.
Hennard gunned down both of Hupp’s parents.

What if Hupp had been legally able to carry her weapon?

In 1992, Arthur McElroy walked into a University of Nebraska at Lincoln actuarial science class and pointed his semiautomatic rifle at his classmates.

As McElroy pulled the trigger, fear and panic swept through the classroom.

Luckily, his gun jammed.

The list goes on and on: Columbine, Virginia Tech, Omaha’s Westroads Mall, a suburban Chicago shopping center and Northern Illinois University.

Each of these shootings occurred in “gun free zones.” Obviously, the shooter didn’t get the memo.

“Gun free zones,” in theory, sound great; but then again, so does communism.

In Nebraska, state law allows people to carry registered concealed weapons; however, the law also allows the property owners to post signs that prohibit those weapons from legally being carried on their property.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a citizen’s right to carry around AK-47s and assault rifles openly and freely. I do believe that it is a citizen’s right to protect themselves in a defensive manner.

“Gun free zones” are not just dangerous for those who adhere to the law, but they also endanger those very same people.

Between 1966 and 1994 approximately 23 school shootings occurred, killing 67 people.

On Oct. 20, 1994, the Gun Free School Zones Act was enacted. In the 15 years since, there have been approximately 57 school shootings, killing more than 130 people.

A 1996 statistical study conducted by John Lott, a senior research scholar from the Yale University School of Law, and William Landes, a professor of law and economics at the University of Chicago School of Law, concluded three main points.

One:
Concealed weapon laws reduced the number of people killed and injured because either the potential shooter was deterred from opening fire, or the shooter was stopped by people with licensed weapons.

Two: “Gun free zones” increase murders, injuries and shootings.

Three:
Concealed weapon laws are the only gun law that appears to deter crime.

On three specific and documented instances, concealed weapons greatly reduced the number of potential casualties.

Lott and Landes’s study found that concealed weapon laws were successful in excess of 70 percent of the time.

In 1997, a student on his way from his high school in Pearl, Miss., had just shot multiple people at the junior high school across the street when his assistant principal, Joel Myrick approached him. Myrick had retrieved a gun from his car and stopped the onslaught.

In 2001, a student started shooting his Santee, Calif., high school classmates; luckily a San Diego policeman bringing his daughter to school that day was able to subdue the killer with his own gun until other police arrived.

In 2002, a student at the Appalachian School of Law began to open fire on his fellow students. Two people ran to their vehicles and grabbed their guns and forced the shooter to drop his weapon.

“Gun free zones” are nothing more than a shooter’s paradise where unarmed, helpless, innocent and law-abiding citizens become the prey.

The Dalai Lama said, "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."

Our founding fathers understood the right of citizens to protect themselves providing the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of this amendment, and most importantly, of concealed weapons."Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes,” Jefferson wrote. “Such laws only make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assassins; they serve to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

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