Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mistaken for a gun free zone

A gunman was recently killed by armed security during an attack on a Colorado Springs church.

Even in states with liberal concealed handgun laws, churches are often banned places. In Ohio, a church is off-limits unless specific permission is given by the church leadership. In other states, it is an outright ban I would not be surprised if the gunman believed he would meet little resistance, and used that in determining his target. While this is a tragedy, I am glad that he chose a church that believed in and could afford armed security. (Update: It wasn't a paid security guard, it was a heroic member of the church, Jeanne Assam) What about a little 200 member congregation struggling to just pay their basic bills?

Multiple victim shootings happen disproportionately in places where guns are not allowed--According to John Lott, ALL attacks with more than a small number of victims take place in "gun free zones". To be fair, I don't know how relevant some of these cases are--It is possible that the last two malls with shootings only technically banned guns, but not in a way that most legally armed would be required to obey. I've heard rumors that many malls in my area ban guns, but rather than posting the restrictions 'conspicuously at eahc entrance' as the law allows, they are in the middle of long lists of rules. As long as I don't see the buried prohibition, I am still legally allowed to carry.

I don't think the biggest benefit to concealed carry is to me personally. I live a low-risk life, and I am unlikely to need my gun. I believe that the benefit is to society--Criminals and madmen are less certain who and when they can attack without resistance.

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