Every second matters in an active-shooter situation. This means that the first line of defense is a law-abiding armed civilian who is prepared for the worst-case scenario. The best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. And waiting around for the good guys to arrive is when tragedy strikes. We all support our brave men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect others. But we’ve also heard the saying, “Sometimes the police are minutes away when seconds count.”
That’s why we need to discuss the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of gun-free zones. Criminals who set out to do harm are more likely to choose a gun-free zone because they know that no one will be able to stop them. Gun-free zones create soft targets rather than safe spaces.
Meanwhile in Alabama…
Consider places of worship. Our religious institutions have been targeted far too often in recent years because it is well-known that people inside will not be armed. This week, Briarwood Presbyterian Church and Alabama Gov. Ivey decided to change that.
Gov. Ivey signed into law a bill that allows Alabama’s Briarwood Presbyterian Church to establish its own private security to protect its 4,000 members. While the law is facing some resistance, it’s a positive step in the right direction.
Bad Guys Don’t Follow the Rules
John Lott, an expert on guns who works with the Crime Prevention Research Center, said that the recent shooting in Virginia Beach “could have ended with much less bloodshed” had the building not been a gun-free zone. Kate Nixon, one of the victims, debated with her husband the night before whether to take her legally licensed gun to work on the day of the shooting, but decided not to since weapons are banned on city property.
The shooter did not follow those same rules.
It’s time to have a national discussion about gun-free zones. The USCCA will continue to participate in that conversation.
Around the Country
- WFTX-TV (FOX – Fort Myers, Florida): Fort Myers Council Member Discusses Arming City Leaders With Guns
Fort Myers City Councilman Johnny Streets has proposed arming city leaders. His proposal comes after 12 people died during a mass shooting in a Virginia Beach workplace earlier this month. Streets, a former police officer, proposes city leaders have a concealed weapon during important functions, such as council meetings.
- WTAP-TV (NBC Mid-Ohio Valley): Warren Local Schools Votes to Allow Concealed Firearms for Teachers
When President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers, the idea again grabbed national attention. Warren Local Schools Board of Education voted June 17 to approve the concealed arming of staff members.
- KSFY-TV (ABC – Sioux Falls, South Dakota): South Dakota Law Enforcement Ready for Conceal Carry Permit Change
Only 13 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Main, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming) have constitutional carry laws. In less than a month, South Dakota will join those states.
- Daily Herald: Teachers Taught by Utah County Sheriff’s Office How to De-Escalate, Shoot if Necessary
De-escalation and safe firearm use — skills that may save lives in the event of a school shooter — were taught to the participants of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Teachers Academy. Familiarity with firearms ranged from those who already carry guns at school to some participants who don’t feel comfortable carrying while teaching.
- The Roanoke Times: Abingdon Crowd Rejects Governor’s Call for Action on Gun Control Following Virginia Beach Mass Shooting
Virginia’s secretary of public safety was peppered with concerns during a roundtable about gun policy. The concerns emerged as an upcoming special session of the General Assembly will take up gun-control proposals.
Quote of the Week
During a concealed carry class for teachers in Utah, Detective Justin Mortensen told the teachers, “Your concealed firearms permit is not just for you. You can use it to protect others.” (Daily Herald)
Data Point You Should Know
Despite some of the strictest gun-control laws in the country, shootings in Baltimore are up nearly 80 percent since 2014. (Breitbart)