Dr. John Lott and Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) have a new piece up at Fox News on the dangers of gun-free zones. Unfortunately, the Virginia Beach City Council is moving in the exact opposite way and wanting to ban guns in city buildings. Does anyone there realize that the killer in that attack was already violating the law in carrying his gun into the Municipal Operations Building? Lott’s and Massies’s piece starts this way:
The tragedy at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center fits an all too familiar pattern—yet another mass shooting in a place the victims were banned from carrying guns. The most lives are claimed in places where people can’t defend themselves on equal footing. It’s not a coincidence the attack occurred in a public building filled with public employees prohibited from carrying handguns, concealed or otherwise.
This attack could have ended with much less bloodshed. Kate Nixon, a compliance manager at the municipal center, was concerned about a fellow employee and spoke with her husband the night before the attack about taking her permitted, concealed carry handgun to work. However, the city bans individuals, including public employees, from possessing “any weapon” on city property unless authorized by a supervisor so she decided against it. Unlike his law-abiding colleagues, the killer didn’t abide by the ban. Kate Nixon was one of the 12 people killed in the attack.
This pattern of attacks at gun-free zones isn’t limited to workplace shootings: 98 percent of all mass public shootings in the U.S. since 1950 have occurred in places where the average citizen was banned from possessing guns.
Banks, churches, sports stadiums, and many members of Congress are protected with firearms. Yet children inside the classroom are too frequently left vulnerable. To combat this, Rep. Thomas Massie, co-author of this op-ed, introduced H.R. 3200 last week, a bill that repeals the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990.
Twenty states, to varying degrees, allow teachers to carry—some of these states have had their laws in place for decades. The Safe Students Act would make it easier for state and local governments to unambiguously set their own firearm policies by eliminating the one-size-fits-all federal ban on guns in school zones.
Safe Students Act cosponsors currently include Representatives Justin Amash, R-Mich., Jody Hice, R-Ga., Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, James Comer, R-Ky., and Brian Babin, R-Texas.
The Crime Prevention Research Center has released a new report examining every school shooting in the United States from 2000 through 2018.
There were 306 documented cases of gunshots on school property, 48 of which were suicides. Not counting suicides, 193 people died and 267 were injured in these incidents. Four cases were instances of accidental gunshots by police officers.
The rate of school shootings and the number of people killed by them has increased significantly since 2000. The annual death rate from 2009-2018 was twice that of 2001-2008 (even when one excludes suicides). This increase has occurred exclusively among schools that don’t allow concealed carry for teachers and staff. Indeed, with the exception of suicides or gang violence outside of school hours, no school that allows teachers to carry has experienced a death or injury from a shooting.
Utah, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and parts of Oregon allowed all permitted teachers and staff to carry without any additional training requirements. Other states left it to the discretion of local superintendents or school boards. As of December 2018, teachers carried handguns in more than 30 percent of Texas school districts. And in September 2018, Ohio teachers were carrying in over 200 school districts. . . .
The rest of the article is available here.