Ideology or Reality
If you had the opportunity to make a vast majority of public mass shootings go away tomorrow, would you do it? I am sure you would agree that is a pretty bold statement to make. Fact of the matter is, it is totally possible.
First, what is the definition of a public mass shooting? According to the FBI, it is a crime committed by a person with a firearm where 3 or more people are killed in the same time frame and location. That number was reduced from 4 to 3 in 2013. Another definition to establish is, what is a gun free zone? Gun free zones are places, public or private, where ordinary citizens cannot carry a firearm.
The final piece of this puzzle is to establish how many public mass shootings were done in gun free zones. It is important to note these statistics do not include gang or drug violence shootings. Statistics shown are from the CPRC (Crime Prevention Research Center).
Since 2015, there have been 5 events in non-gun free zones and 7 events in gun free zones.
Given the actual numbers and facts I think the answer is clear. Eliminating gun free zones would have saved 494 lives from 1998 to the present. In addition, the murderers who did survive, and taken into custody, indicated they purposely picked gun free venues because they figured people would obey the law and not be armed. They also knew they would have the most impact for publicity purposes. Unfortunately for the victims they were correct. I would like to point out there have been no lives lost to gun mass shootings at gun shops or gun competition events. This is the reality.
Now for the ideology aspect of gun control. Recently, Governor Northam of Virginia called a special session of the Virginia legislature to address gun control following the public mass shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He put forth 10 gun control action items that would have done nothing to prevent this horrible event. In his own words, the Governor lamented, if these items pass and save one life they are worth it. Well Governor, statistics show you could have saved 12 lives by doing one simple act and that is lift the restriction on government employees not being able to carry a firearm while at work in government buildings. I am sure you do not need the state legislature to do that. In Virginia as it stands now, any person that can carry a firearm legally can do so in any government building that is not connected to or has access to a courthouse. The problem is if you are a government employee at work you cannot. This drives home my point that this has always been about ideology and control and not about saving lives. This is also where the press has been historically complicit in the ideology of gun control. I find it interesting the state flag of Virginia has the following on it, Sic Semper Tyrannis…..this is a Latin phrase that means "Thus always to tyrants," derived from "Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis," ("Thus always I bring death to tyrants"). If the state and federal legislators were truly about saving lives they would do away with gun free zones.
Our Founders did not intend the Second Amendment to be about hunting or sport shooting. It is intended to be about preserving the other nine Bill of Rights and to act as a deterrent against any future tyrannical government. Additionally, it is about the right of the citizenry to have the means of protecting themselves from harm. That was why Thomas Jefferson once wrote "The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."