Letter to the Editor: Gun Free Zones Might Better Be Called Defenseless Victim Zones

Los Alamos

I hardly know where to begin to address the recent letter by Miranda Viscoli about gun violence. I have seldom seen more misinformed opinions and even dangerous demands in a single missive.

I’ll start with her dangerous demand that local businesses put up “Gun Free Zone” placards in their windows to prevent concealed carry holders from entering their stores. Is Ms.Viscoli truly unaware that all of the schoolchildren she claims to care about were shot in “Gun Free Zones”? 

Does she really believe that a piece of paper in a window will be heeded by a madman? Or worse – that preventing honest, law-abiding citizens who have trained and qualified for a concealed carry permit will somehow be a danger to her?  What madness!  Instead of a “Gun Free Zone”, why not call it what it really is – a “Defenseless Victim Zone”? (See refs 1&2 below)

Her hatred of the NRA – which promotes freedom and responsibility in firearm ownership – is visceral. Why spew such hate towards an organization that promotes freedom and responsible gun ownership?  An organization that has many safety programs, including the “Eddie Eagle” program designed to teach kids not to handle or play with firearms they might find? Programs that encourage training in firearms safety and properly storing firearms so they don’t fall into the wrong hands? Why the hatred?

The three organization she touts, on the other hand, regularly publish misleading information or even outright lies about gun owners and gun ownership in our state and our country. They know the facts are not on their side, but they peruse their wrong-headed agenda anyway. They seem to really believe that disarming honest, law-abiding people will make us safer. In fact the exact opposite is true. (See refs 3&4 below)

As to background checks-the vast majority of legal gun purchasers already undergo an FBI background check. The vast majority of criminals simply ignore such laws. What do you hope to accomplish?  (see ref 5, reports and statistics links on the page)

If you are inclined to believe her opinion that the NRA is promoting an “extremist view” of the Second Amendment, I hope you will visit the links below to see what our founding Fathers had to say about the Bill of Rights, and the second Amendment in particular. (see refs 6 & 7)

Finally, if someone like Ms. Viscoli can claim that protecting our Second Amendment rights is “extreme”, you can bet others like her will be on the bandwagon to denigrate our other rights as well. We are already seeing attacks on our First  Amendment rights: to free speech, and freedom to practice our religions. Look at the widespread spying on American citizens that has recently been made public. 

 I sincerely hope that will be declared a violation of the Fourth Amendment by the Supreme Court. Some people just don’t get it – The Bill of Rights is there to limit the power of the government. Discard those rights, and we have no protection form those who would ruthlessly rule over us. (See ref 8, especially articles 29, 46, 47)

Finally, consider the great body of evidence showing that restricting law-abiding people from having firearms causes an increase in crime, not a decrease! (see refs 9-23)

The good news is that thanks to our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, We The People can stop those like Ms. Viscoli from imposing their dangerous foolishness on the rest of us.

1. The general public is 5.3 times more likely to be arrested for violent offenses and 14 times more likely to be arrested for non-violent offenses than concealed carry weapon permit holders. (William E. Sturdevant, PE, “An Analysis of the Arrest Rate of Texas Concealed Handgun License Holders As Compared to the Arrest Rate of The Entire Texas Population,” txchia.org, Sep. 1, 2000
2. Nick Leghorn, “NY Times Proves Concealed Carry License Holders More Law-Abiding Than the Population. Unintentionally,” thetruthaboutguns.com, Dec. 28, 2011

9. Data from the most violent cities in America, which also have the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.(http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp)

10. Bruce L. Benson, Florida State University, and Brent D. Mast, American Enterprise Institute, “Privately Produced General Deterrence”, The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001
11. John R. Lott, Jr and John Whitley, University of Adelaide, “Abortion and Crime: Unwanted Children and Out-of-Wedlock Births,” Economic Inquiry, April 2007.
12. John R. Lott, Jr and John Whitley, University of Adelaide, “A Note on the Use of County-Level UCR Data,” Journal of Quantitative Criminology, October 2001.
13. John R. Lott, Jr, “The Concealed-Handgun Debate,” Journal of Legal Studies, January 1998.
14. Florenz Plassmann, State University of New York at Binghamton, and T. Nicolaus Tideman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, “Does the right to carry concealed handguns deter countable crimes? Only a count analysis can say”, The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.
15. Carlisle E. Moody, College of William and Mary, “Testing for the effects of concealed weapons laws: Specification errors and robustness,” The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.
16. Stephen G. Bronars, University of Texas, and John R. Lott, Jr., “Criminal Deterrence, Geographic Spillovers, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns,” American Economic Review, May 1998.
17. David E. Olson, Loyola University Chicago, and Michael D. Maltz, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Right-to-carry concealed weapons laws and homicide in large U.S. counties: the effect on weapon types, victim characteristics, and victim-offender relationships,” The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.
18. David B. Mustard, University of Georgia, “The Impact of Gun Laws on Police Deaths,” The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.
19. T. B. Marvell, Justec Research, “The Impact of Banning Juvenile Gun Possession,” The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.
20. William Alan Bartley and Mark A. Cohen, Vanderbilt University, “The Effect of Concealed Weapons Laws: An Extreme Bound Analysis”, Economic Inquiry, 1998.
21. Florenz Plassmann, State University of New York at Binghamton, and John Whitley, University of Adelaide, ‘Confirming “More Guns, Less Crime”‘, Stanford Law Review, 2003.
22. Eric Helland, Claremont-McKenna College and Alexander Tabarrok, George Mason University, ‘Using Placebo Laws to Test “More Guns, Less Crime”,’ The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2008.
23. Carlisle E. Moody, College of William and Mary, and Thomas B. Marvell, Justec Research, “The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws”, Econ Journal Watch, 2008.






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