I read with some dismay the opinion republished from the Cincinnati Enquirer entitled “Gun rights? Yes. Gun Control? Yes.” Beyond the fact that the Constitution provides, under the Second Amendment, that the right to keep and bear arms “…Shall not be infringed”, it is really very simple. Many things are illegal. Passing laws does not prevent those illegal acts from being committed. Murder, robbery, assault, and rape are all illegal, yet they happen.
Laws provide our community, via our elected officials and law enforcement officers, a structured consistent method of dealing with those who are alleged to have broken the law once they have been apprehended and charged. My point here is that the law, any law, does not prevent the illegal act from taking place. You are either a law-abiding citizen, or you are not. So, it’s really very simple. Passing a law declaring a particular area a “gun-free zone” will only affect law-abiding citizens. Those who are criminals, who by definition do not obey the law, will disregard it.
All you have done by declaring a place “gun free” is clearly advertise to those who are willing to break the law that this place, this zone, will have no armed law-abiding citizens in it. Consider the implications of that. Those who are bent on murder and mayhem will seek out “gun-free zones” because those areas provide them with their best opportunity to commit the crime of their choice.
Another point to consider — there are thousands of law-abiding citizens who have CCW permits. How often do you actually see a firearm being carried in public? The whole point of CCW is that you won’t see the firearm. So consider this — if you cannot see the law-abiding citizen’s firearm, what makes you think you, or the police, will see the criminal’s firearm? So, why aren’t there more shootings in public areas of police stations for example? Think about it, even if a criminal carries a concealed weapon into a police station, shooting someone in a police station is tantamount to committing suicide. Mass shooters ala San Bernardino are looking for the shock effect or terror of a large body count, not a quick end to their depredations at the hands of police officers.
So is it really wrongheaded to allow law abiding citizens to carry virtually everywhere?