After Chris Harper Mercer opened fire on the Umpqua Community College (UCC) campus, killing 10 people on October 1, Breitbart News reported that the UCC was a gun free zone—a zone that is so gun free even the security guards were not allowed to carry guns.
And this immediately begs the question: Would Mercer have opened fire on that campus if law-abiding students had been allowed to carry guns for self-defense?
The same question can be applied to attackers like Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook Elementary), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood), or Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), among many others. The common thread among these and many of the most infamous public attackers is not the type of gun they used or the type of clothing they wore or even their religious affiliation. Rather, it is that they all attacked in gun free zones where the threat of return fire was nil.
Breitbart News previously reported that 105 innocent lives were taken in cold blood in eight armed attacks in gun free zones between 2007 and August 2. Add the UCC attack to the mix, and the number is 115 lives—all lost in circumstances where the victims were required to be unarmed via gun free policies.
Isn’t it time we think about the way gun free policies force law-abiding to be sitting ducks? Seriously. With 115 lives gone in eight years, haven’t gun free zones proven deadly enough to be abolished or at least diminished?
Consider how the scenario at UCC could have been different if numerous concealed carry permit holders had been armed for self-defense on campus. Think of how quickly it might have ended if concealed carry permit holders had been complimented by armed security guards instead of unarmed security.
These questions and lines of argument are not without precedent. For example, when a gunman opened fire on Florida State University campus, wounding three on November 20, a student with a concealed carry permit was close enough to shoot the attacker but did not have his gun with him because of the gun free policies on campus. Moreover, the student was not only trained in the proper use of firearms via concealed carry courses, but was also an Army combat vet.
How many students with similar firearm training and familiarity are sitting in college classrooms unarmed across our country?
By allowing such students to keep their guns with them we would easily—and cheaply—take away gun free target after gun free target.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.