Chuck Muth: It’s long past time to ban gun-free zones
On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman entered a public school in Newtown, Conn., opened fire, and killed six adults and 20 little children. In the interest of the children’s “safety,” the school was a well-known gun-free zone. None of the adults, survivors or slain, were armed with the ability to shoot back to defend themselves, their colleagues or those innocent children. As such, all were proverbial lambs to slaughter.Makes my blood boil.Coincidentally, it was exactly six years to the day — Dec. 14, 2006 — that the Las Vegas Review-Journal published the following in a story: “Students do not go on shooting rampages at schools where teachers are armed, state Sen. Bob Beers believes. As a result, the Las Vegas Republican said Wednesday that he’s preparing a bill that would permit teachers and other school personnel who complete a course on firearm safety to carry a gun while they teach classes.”Amen!Then-Sen. Beers, now on the Las Vegas City Council, noted that “We have banned guns in schools in Nevada and most of the rest of the nation for the last 20 years” and yet guns are regularly confiscated from students on campus. Then-Clark County School Superintendent Walt Rulffes told the newspaper that an armed school staff might make a school less safe. “The more people who have guns, the more likely it is that there will be a shootout.”Oh, if only there had been a shoot-out in Newtown, where the defenseless victims would have had a fighting chance instead of being executed! Then-school board member Sheila Moulton said of Beers’ proposal at the time, “I’m not for putting guns in the classroom even when teachers are trained on how to use them.”Really? I wonder if Ms. Moulton would be willing to look in the eyes of the parents of those dead children and say that to their grieving faces today? In fact, I dare her to.The simple fact is mentally deranged nutcases who are willing to slaughter innocent children aren’t going to be deterred by some ridiculous, paper-tiger gun control law. The only people who have guns taken out of their hands by gun control laws are law-abiding, unarmed victims. And look, not everyone needs to be carrying a weapon to have a deterrent effect. A shooter who doesn’t know if someone might be carrying a concealed weapon has to think twice. The gunman in Newtown had no such worry. He knew going in that not a single adult in the building, the true first responders, would be capable of shooting back.Bob Beers was ridiculed by many for his proposal six years ago. But he was dead-on right. It’s not time to ban guns; it’s time to ban gun-free zones. • Chuck Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.com and blogs at MuthsTruths.com.