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At Townhall.com: Virginia Lawmakers Have Voted to Ban Guns from the State Capitol Building

11 Jan , 2020  

Dr. John Lott has a new piece at Townhall.com that starts this way:

One wonders how Democrats in the Virginia legislature ever go to restaurants or movie theaters or grocery stores. Nine percent of Virginians have concealed handgun permits, and it is very likely that when they are out in public someone next to them is carrying a concealed handgun.

But as Democrats voted along straight party lines on Friday to ban people from carrying concealed handguns at the state Capitol, they worry, despite all evidence to the contrary, that there is a real danger to letting people continue carrying guns. This vote foreshadows Democrats’ opposition to allowing people to defend themselves and their loved ones.

While Democrat House Speaker House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn can’t point any problems in their state Capitol, she claims that this ban is necessary “to keep everybody safe.” But it isn’t just that there hasn’t been a problem in Virginia where people have been able to carry for decades. There hasn’t been a problem in the other 22 states that allow legislators and/or civilians to carry guns on Capitol grounds.

Unfortunately, Virginians haven’t learned anything from attacks in their own state. The tragedy at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center last year 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.

That 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.

Or take the 2017 case in Virginia when Republican lawmakers came under fire during a baseball practice, and they were trapped by a tall fence with one exit. The Republican legislators only survived the shooting at their baseball practice because of Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) security detail, to which he was entitled as a member of the House leadership. There would have been a horrible massacre if not for the Capitol Police.

At least five of the congressmen had concealed handgun permits from their home states. At least one aide also revealed that he had a permit. But as Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who was present at the attack, explained to me: “My residence is in the District of Columbia, which means that it would have been illegal for me to take my weapon with me to the ballpark—about a 9-mile bike ride—and it would have also been illegal for me to come from Virginia back into D.C. with my weapon.”

Of course, don’t forget the other Virginia mass public shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 that left 32 murdered.

The problem with gun-free zones, which ban law-abiding civilians from carrying, is that they don’t exactly scare off criminals. In fact, they have just the opposite effect. Disarming everyone, including legislators or staffers, on their way to and from the buildings leaves them easy targets to criminals and terrorists. The murderers have an incentive to disobey the law precisely because the law-abiding obey it.

The rest of the piece is available here.

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