Don’t get me started! Of all the social policies enacted in the last 50 years, this has got to be the stupidest. What, you say? You don’t want to protect children? Read on.
When I was in the Army, I learned the meaning of CYA (Cover Your Ass). It refers to policies that have no real value, whose only purpose is to make it look like you were doing the right thing. I once had to teach a six week summer course for 6-graders, but I had to have a TB test. Fine. The parents appreciated knowing that their kids weren’t being exposed to diseases. However, the school district had us tested after the course was completed, when it was too late. Seriously? I pointed out this logical flaw to the school disctict nurse, and was reported to administration for being obstreperous. They didn’t care about actually protecting the kids, just in being able to say they had this policy.
So it is with “gun free zones” (or “criminal safe zones”). Anyone even slightly familiar with this situation knows that people licensed to carry a concealed handgun are very rigid about adherence to rules about where they can or can’t carry. They will tend to not patronize companies like Minyards Grocery, Chuck E. Cheese, Jared Jewelers, or Sprouts Grocery, since those corporate policies are putting their lives at risk, but they will not ignore the posted signs; they will not risk losing that license.
Crazy people, criminals, and those who have some kind of revenge in mind, have no such standards. Indeed, they welcome those signs. That tells them there will be no one there who can get in their way. The Aurora, CO, theater shooter lived two blocks from a movie theater that was not posted. Instead, he drove over a mile to get to one that was. After all, he was crazy, not stupid.
These corporate nitwits seem to think that someone will get in a tiff about a spilled soft drink, then remember they happen to have a gun, pull it, and start shooting. The licensed person is extremely unlikely to do so, as he wants to protect that license, and has already demonstrated a much higher level of responsibility than the average citizen (in Texas, CHL holders are 7 times less likely to commit a gun crime than a police officer). No, the person who would do this is the unlicensed carrier, who is already breaking the law, and has no regard for it.
The danger these companies should fear is not the presence of a gun, but the presence of a person unwilling to follow the rules of society, and there is no way to screen them out. Instead of making their offices and stores safer, they have made them more dangerous, by keeping out the very class of people who could mitigate a crisis. They have created a false sense of security, which will get some people killed.
While it is true that a crazy pulling out an M-16 in a movie theater is quite rare, here is a typical scenario that is not rare; it happens often, but because the body count is low, it only appears on the news for about 25 seconds, then is gone. A man, estranged from his wife/girlfriend, goes to her work to settle a dispute. He thinks he has no intention of hurting anyone, but because he is determined to have it out with her, and doesn’t want to be ejected by office manager/security, he takes his gun. They argue, he tries to make her leave with him. She slaps him, a manager intervenes, shots are fired. The woman is dead, the manager wounded, and the man takes his own life as police arrive. Someone please explain to me how a sign would have stopped that?
Or do you just want people to think they are safe?
Minyards? Jared? I’ll wait by the phone.