Today, author and Crime Prevention Research Center Pres. John Lott was interviewed on WMAL’s Morning’s On The Mall with Larry O’Connor and Brian Wilson to discuss the effete policy of gun-free zones. It’s an issue that’s thrust itself back into the spotlight in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Fort Hood last night.
Once again, members of our military were left defenseless because of this nonsensical gun control policy, Lott said:
I mean, I hope people would just reevaluate these gun-free zones, in general. I mean, at some point, I just wish the media once in a while would go and say – when they go through all the other things, like where the person may have obtained a gun; whether they had mental illness. Often the easiest thing for a reporter to check is: were guns banned from the place where the attack occurred?
At some time, people have to recognize that, with just two exceptions, at least since 1950, all the multiple victim public shootings in the United States have taken place where guns are banned. And you see these individuals, they surely act as if they’re trying their best to find areas where victims can’t defend themselves.
You look at the Aurora movie theater shooting in 2012. There you had seven movie theaters within a twenty-minute drive of the killer’s apartment; only one of them banned permit to conceal handguns with posted signs. The killer [James Holmes] didn’t go to the movie theater that was closest to his home. He didn’t go to the movie theater that advertised itself as having the largest auditoriums in the state of Colorado. He went to the single place where permit to conceal handgun holders weren’t able to go and defend themselves.
And, this isn’t the first time he’s commented about gun-free zones. In January, Lott noted that this policy inflicts “cruelty” on the general public. He mentioned Aurora in the piece, but also added that we should look to “the advice from PoliceOne, whose 450,000 members make it the largest private organization of active and retired law-enforcement officers in the U.S.”
Lott said: “[PoliceOne] surveyed its members last March and asked, ‘What would help most in preventing large scale shootings in public?’ Their No. 1 answer: ‘More permissive concealed carry policies for civilians.’ (It was followed by ‘More aggressive institutionalization for mentally ill persons.’).”
Shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings, journalist John Fund expanded on the statistic Lott offered on mass shootings since the 1950s (via National Review):
Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.
Lott offers a final damning statistic: ‘With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.’
There is no evidence that private holders of concealed-carry permits (which are either easy to obtain or not even required in more than 40 states) are any more irresponsible with firearms than the police. According to a 2005 to 2007 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Bowling Green State University, police nationwide were convicted of firearms violations at least at a 0.002 percent annual rate. That’s about the same rate as holders of carry permits in the states with “shall issue” laws.
A Democrat running for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat in Congress attacked the idea of concealed-carry firearms by citing the victims of the Aurora theater shooting, who could not defend themselves in a gun-free zone.
Robin Kelly, candidate in the IL-02 congressional election, claimed Thursday evening that victims of 2012’s Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting failed to “pull out their guns to kill the gentleman that did all the damage that he did.”
Kelly, who faces Republican Paul McKinley in the April special election to replace Jackson, was speaking at her own one-person candidate forum, which she had convened rather than attend an NAACP-sponsored candidate debate with her opponent. Kelly made the controversial statement while arguing against conceal and carry rights for the residents of her district and the state of Illinois.
She told the audience, “in the movie [theater], they have conceal and carry, but nobody pulled out their guns to kill the gentleman that did all the damage that he did.”
However, the Cinemark theater where the shooting took place was the only one within 20 minutes of suspect James Holmes’ apartment that had a policy banning guns from the premise. Victims and their families are preparing a lawsuit targeting Cinemark for allegedly failing to provide security for its patrons the night of the shooting.
Kelly prefaced her comments by telling the audience that the topic is “one thing I talk about,” implying that she regularly covers this angle in her arguments against personal defense rights.
Kelly began this line of thinking by lamenting that the Supreme Court has stated Illinois cannot ban conceal and carry. All 49 other states in the U.S. already have some form of conceal and carry on the books. “I’m hoping that we have the weakest conceal and carry,” she said in response.
Indeed, her opposition to conceal and carry is one of five pillars of an anti-gun pledge which serves as the banner of her official Facebook page. Kelly has openly campaigned on the promise that she “will lead on the issue of banning guns.”
After learning Kelly would not be at the Thursday night debate, her opponent McKinley told Breitbart News he attended a pro-Second Amendment rally with 150 2nd District constituents Thursday evening rather than attend a debate without his main opponent. McKinley released an explicitly pro-gun rights ad via YouTube on Tuesday:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC, which is strongly opposed to gun ownership and defense rights, has contributed over $2 million to Kelly’s campaign – starting in the Democratic primary where she faced Debbie Halvorson, a former Congresswoman with high marks from the NRA.
President Barack Obama endorsed Kelly on Tuesday. Obama is currently conducting a public relations campaign for expanded gun control legislation under discussion in the Senate. Kelly expressed support for the President’s desired legislation during her forum Thursday.
Bob Costas unavailable for comment.
Via CNS News:
There were 192 shootings in Chicago throughout the month of November – a 49 percent increase from a year earlier – according to police records obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
In November of 2011, Chicago recorded 129 shootings compared to the 192 shootings this November. Police records also reveal that shootings increased more than 11 percent in the first 11 months of 2012 compared with a year earlier.
Total homicides in Chicago rose to 480 for the first eleven months of 2012; a 21 percent increase from last year. On November 30, 2012, there were four fatal shootings within the city. These murders brought the homicide total to 38 for the month, just above the 37 recorded in November of last year.
Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans on restricting gun ownership further by banning individuals with a violent misdemeanor conviction from getting a gun permit for five years. The mayor also hopes to ban convicted felons from ever owning a gun.