November 13, 2009

Ft. Hood Tragedy And Gun Control

Major Nidal Malik Hasan

Nidal Malik Hasan

The Fort Hood tragedy inflicted by Major Nidal Malik Hasan is a somber reminder of the gun-free zones forced on our military by President Clinton in 1993.1 Mr. Hasan, spouting religious slogans2 killed 14 and wounded 29 before being stopped by a police officer Kimberly Munley.

The term gun-free zone is actually inaccurate. It really should be lawful gun-free zone, as criminals are well known to ignore laws as they see fit.

In a lawful gun-free zone a law-abiding citizen with a CCW could well be stripped of his right to carry guns if he were to be caught carrying one. Yet a criminal or a would-be criminal is unlikely to face penalties any different from carrying a gun in a prohibited location, as he’s likely not allowed to have one in the first place, and penalties from a criminal act are the same be the location a lawful gun-free zone or not.

The net effect is that lawful gun-free zones create safe working environments for murderous criminals. Schools are well known for their high concentration of potential victims and typical lawful gun-free zone status. The carnage has been commensurate with this convenient combination. On April 16, 2007 a lone gunman at Virginia Tech massacred 32 and wounded many others. On April 20, 1999 two gunmen killed 13 at Columbine High School. In all, by some counts there have been almost 70 school shootings in the past 20 years.3.

The question is not simply how many of those victims might have been in a position to defend themselves and stop Hasan sooner. The bigger issue here is how many more people have to die without the ability to defend themselves in these government mandated gun-free zones?

More on this topic can be found in these excellent editorials and opinions:

  • End Clinton-era military base gun ban, Washington Times Editorial
  • Time to Put An End to Army Bases as Gun-Free Zones, John R. Lott,
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