FDR Said It: “The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is…Fear, Itself”
There are plenty of things to demonize when it comes to the
gun control discussion. The perennial favorite, of course, is the so-called
“assault weapon.” These terrifying death machines, despite being used in only a
small fraction of crimes involving guns, are the scariest things ever dreamed
up, more horrifying than any monster in a Stephen King story while being less
real than the monsters in Stephen King stories. But the parade of vilified
monsters doesn’t stop with these military-grade weapons of war that are not
used by the military in war.
After Las Vegas, the bump stock was the scariest thing ever
dreamed up, capable of turning a normal old rifle into a machine gun. The
scaremongers, of course, hoped no one noticed that they were trying to scare
people over bump stocks for creating machine guns out of guns they’d already
been spending three decades trying to scare people about for already being machine guns. Simultaneously, they hoped no one noticed that only one
criminal ever appears to have actually used a bump stock during a crime.
Then there’s the so-called “high capacity magazine.” These
ultra-devastating devices allow a would-be killer to—get this—carry bullets.
Magazine are boxes with bullets in them, but more than 5 bullets or 7 bullets or
10 bullets or whatever the local politicians can manage to get away with
banning somehow turns a regular old rifle into an unstoppable death machine.
They hope no one is aware of the fact that many gun crimes are committed by
shooters without so-called “high-capacity” magazines and that the exceptions
would not have had significantly different outcomes had the evil super-sized
bullet boxes been absent.
Most recently, the so-called “silencer” is in the crosshairs
(if you’ll forgive my scary turn of phrase) and even President Trump has
tweeted that he’s wondering about them. Generations of people raised on
Hollywood movies think that so-called “silencers” actually, you know, silence the gun. We watch as the assassin in the latest thriller takes out the target
with a whisper. People ten feet away are blissfully unaware that unspeakable
gun violence has just been committed because the mega-frightening suppressor—the
scariest thing ever dreamed up—has reduced the report of gunfire to a
micro-sized click. Journalists and pundits claim that a shooter in Virginia
Beach got away with his rampage because no one realized he was rampaging due to
the so-called “silencer.”
The list of villainous and demonic items goes on and on.
Pistol grips. Adjustable stocks. Bayonet lugs. Barrel shrouds. Shoulder things
that go up. You name it, it is to blame for mass shootings. There are so many
scariest things ever dreamed up that you can’t even keep track of them all.
One scary thing that someone dreamed up, though, rarely gets
mentioned when mass shootings get non-stop around-the-clock coverage from
breathless reporters and pundits just trying to do their job and scare the
living daylights out of you: the so-called “gun-free zone.” These are never
listed as one of the things that need to be banned in order to stop
mass-murderers. So-called “assault weapons”? Used sometimes in mass shootings,
but handguns are used far more often. So-called “high-capacity” magazines? Used
sometimes in mass shootings, but often not and rarely does the magazine
capacity appear to have made any significant difference. So-called “silencers”?
Used in one recent high-profile mass shooting, but otherwise used in as many
gun crimes as bump stocks.
So-called “gun-free zones,” however, are used in virtually
every mass shooting in America on record. And in most of those overseas, as
well. Almost every single one. There is a higher correlation of so-called “gun
free zones” to mass shootings than there is for any of the other scariest
things ever dreamed up. Yet no one talks about banning so-called “gun free
zones.” In fact, many people try to expand them.
That’s a proposed solution to mass shootings: Take the
places where mass shootings always occur and MAKE MORE OF THEM.
If that’s not the scariest thing ever dreamed up, I don’t
know what is.
One of the victims in the Virginia Beach shooting which left
twelve people murdered reportedly was so scared of the killer that she
seriously considered taking a gun to work for protection. Despite her
workplace’s strict no-gun policy.
Kate Nixon spoke of her concerns to her husband and about
her plan to carry a gun just in case things went bad. In the end, she decided
to comply with the no-guns policy. The next day, the exact co-worker she was
worried about decided not to comply with the no-guns policy and killed her and
The immediate reaction in the press and on social media was
that so-called “silencers” need to be banned.
Virtually all so-called “gun-free zones” work on the honor
system. A few, like airplanes and sports stadiums, sometimes have security
screening measures to try to ensure that people in that zone are, in fact, free
of guns. But even those measures often fall far short when it comes to
certainty. Most so-called “gun-free zones” are not secured at all and depend on
people in the zone all being good citizens and complying.
As we saw in Virginia Beach, criminals bent on murder are
not the sort to honor the honor system. If so-called “gun free zones” aren’t
actively controlled, no one can ever be sure that they are actually gun-free.
And would-be mass shooters can count on the honorable among us to play nice
while he or she walks in unhindered but not unarmed.
Mass murderers don’t require military-grade weapons of war,
magazines that hold 30 rounds, suppressors, bump stocks, or any of the other
things gun controllers try to make sound so terrifying. They just need a
target-rich environment likely to be free of OTHER guns. Thankfully for mass
shooters around the world, there are plenty of these places available.
Hell Day for the anti-gun crowd may just be around the corner The United
Bob Rogers is the Editor and Publisher of GunPro Plus, America’s premier daily digital gun news portal. After a successful 20-year career as the Editor for a major magazine in the gun industry, Bob launched GunPro Plus to bring his industry expertise on gun news into the digital realm.