WASHINGTON, July 31, 2015 – Another “gun free zone” has attracted another murderer. People seeking summer diversion at the Grand Theater on Johnston Street in Lafayette, La., had that entertainment disrupted in a violent way.
The evening ended with three dead and nine injured.
It is speculated that John Russell Houser, 58, had every intention to take flight after these murders, since he had disguises in his vehicle that would be used to cover his trail. Such planning is the type that comes with one who has confidence he will have little resistance, which is what makes “gun free zones” like this theater so attractive to mass murderers.
Virtually all mass shootings take place in gun free zones in the United States. Fortunately, thanks to the quick response of law enforcement, there were many fewer deaths than expected and the perpetrator ended up taking his own life.
Progressives have been masters of permitting businesses and institutions to “do” things, while at the same time taxing and regulating them to the point that those activities are no longer profitable. Most familiar with the energy industry are aware of how Obama boasts about the large number of drilling permits that are “out there,” but that companies choose not to use.
Costly regulations that mitigate any chance of profits will have that affect on people.
Now the nation is dealing with terrible crimes like what happened in Lafayette, leading to deaths and injuries, and is trying to determine a sensible policy going forward. Somehow, many conclude that such tragedies happen because of a lack of gun laws, yet these crimes typically take place in the most restrictive environments of all — so-called gun free zones.
The reality is, “gun free zones” are warm invitations to evil individuals with perverse intentions. If a person wants to kill the largest number of individuals with the least amount of interference, the best place to go is a “gun free zone.” The only way this is going to change is if we change the perception of such zones. Instead of being institutions that are under-protected (and in most cases, unprotected) that depend on the best intentions of law-abiding citizens to be safe, they need to become places where those who would do harm know they will face violent resistance.
Back in 2013, then Congressman Steve Stockman, R-Texas, introduced a bill to prohibit any institution from calling itself a “gun free zone.” This, he argued, isn’t only because the current law is an infringement of the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but also because it is dangerous. Again, places where criminals know that there will not be guns are places they want to go to in order to commit crimes. It is common sense.
However, in this culture, where common sense is held in such low regard, policy-makers should consider an alternative: require entities that want to be “gun free” to protect themselves. The following are a few of some of the things that could and should be required:
A minimum number of police trained (and armed) security. There should be a minimum of at least two or three at each entity and they should have heavier “artillery” available under lock and key. These guards should have sufficient experience.
Several protective doors with video coverage for people to “process” through a place. These are not cheap, but they are sensible if you are going to claim to be “gun free.”
Some institutions, like schools, allow teachers with concealed hand gun permits to bring them into school under lock and key. These teachers might be required to undergo additional psychiatric testing as part of the approval process.
Certainly a case can be made for class action lawsuits against any place that claims to be “gun free” but does not have the means to ensure the safety of its patrons.
These steps are not cheap, and many locations (e.g., movie theaters) will find themselves unable to comply and will be safer upon removing the “gun free zone” sign of wishful thinking. Others will have to be very practical on how to proceed. The bottom line is, no corporate entity, school or other institution has any business claiming to be a place free of guns unless it has the personnel and technology to assure that is the case.