Gun Free Zones = Sitting Duck Zones

I find it hard to believe this debate is still going on, that being that banning guns from some areas – school grounds, shopping malls, public areas – will prevent gun violence. Yet we see again and again these “Gun Free Zones” become targets for those wishing to kill as many people as they can without worrying about being stopped by an armed citizen. The most recently updated stats dealing with Gun Free Zones and school shootings show an interesting correlation.

It’s tragic; people are tired of seeing the senseless loss of innocent lives in educational settings. Despite mounting gun control laws on the Federal and state level, school-related shootings continue to rise (2023 being the highest year yet, with 388 school shootings in only six months). Regardless of political affiliation or thoughts on well-regulated militias and the right to bear arms, one thing is clear; what we’ve been doing for the past forty years isn’t working.

Each school shooting incident in America reflects one thing, children are vulnerable. Schools tend to be easy targets while simultaneously producing mentally ill individuals with an unstoppable intent to harm others.

Unfortunately, we still have a lot to learn about school shootings. There are a lot of unanswered questions. But what we can do is investigate the changes between societal shifts and legislation over the years and spark meaningful conversations about stopping school shootings. Of course, the clock is ticking down to the next horrific headline, so we need to start these meaningful conversations now.

For more than a few mass shootings the people doing the shooting weren’t legally allowed to own or carry guns. Many others were ‘known risks’ – people whose family, friends, and others knew the shooter was ‘not right in the head’ well before they went on the attack. When it comes to school shootings one of those commenting on the linked post hit the nail on the head:

Three common factors in most (not all) of these rampage killings:

1. A broken home.
2. Shooter had been a victim of bullying.
3. Psychotropic meds like SSRIs and antipsychotics.

This list came from the book How To Make A Monster: A Sensible Look At Rampage Killers.

In “How To Make A Monster”, Paul Glasco performs a true root cause analysis of rampage killers - sometimes referred to as "mass shooters". The book looks at how broken homes, being bullied, and children on psychotropic drugs can affect personalities as young people mature. Previous killers from shootings such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, Las Vegas, and Parkland are broken down based on these causal factors.

Imposing nonsensical “Gun Free Zones” with no way to actually enforce them, though most law-abiding gun owners will not carry their firearms in those areas, is not the way to prevent mass shootings. If there were armed guards in those zones to protect the people in those zones, that would be one thing. However, that is rarely the case and that in turns means everyone in those zones is in a “Sitting Duck Zone” because they have no means of defending themselves, at least not legally. All these zones do is guarantee more casualties.

It’s time to rethink Gun Free Zones and do away with them.

PS - One last thought that seems true to me: