The Problem with "Gun Free Zones"

The Problem with "Gun Free Zones"
Pittsburgh police say John Shick shot seven people (killing one) at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Psychiatric Institute. Shick was killed by responding officers.

As I write this, the news is full of details about the latest tragic shooting, this one of seven people at a campus clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. John Shick entered the Western Psychiatric Institute, a wing of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, with two 9mm semi-auto handguns and opened fire. Shick wounded seven people, killing one of them. He was met by responding officers as he was attempting to flee and was shot and killed.

Stories include quotes from several people there about how they hid for fifteen or twenty minutes, hoping the gunman wouldn't see them because they had no way to defend themselves. I don't know the specific details about the University of Pittsburgh's policies, but to me this is just another reminder of how Gun Free School Zones and other such idiocy doesn't work in the real world.

Murder and Attempted Murder are much more serious crimes than the illegal carrying of a concealed weapon, so any unbalanced person with murder in their heart doesn't give a damn what the law says about carrying a gun. Many of these shooting sprees are committed by people who are legally qualified to own guns, so unless you want to advocate the outright banning and confiscation of all privately-owned firearms in this country (good luck with that),  we're always going to have to deal with those people who, for one reason or another, suddenly snap.


I attended Michigan State University for four years.  40,000 students annually attended MSU at the time—that's more than the population of some towns. School rules mandated that all incoming freshmen had to live on campus their first year in the dorms, and weren't allowed to have cars on campus. School policy also prohibited students from keeping any firearms on campus in their dorm rooms. Not just no concealed carry--no guns, period. I'm sure they thought they had good reasons for doing this, everything from preventing accidental shootings to keeping their insurance rates low, but what these policies actually do is effectively create a target-rich environment for any whacko who happens to wander along. Think that's only paranoia? How about you Google "school shooting" and see how many results you get. I'll wait. Virginia Tech and Columbine High are only the two most recognizable names on that very long list.


(RELATED: Active Shooter On The Loose€¦What Will You Do?)

That's not to say students didn't have a lot of guns on MSU's campus anyway, especially during hunting season (lot of farmland close by), but the message universities are sending with these policies is, I think, the opposite one than they intend.  Their policies, instead of creating a "safe" environment for their children, create giant shooting galleries.  "Active shooters", as the police call them, seem drawn to areas filled with defenseless people. Cops call them "active shooters" because all they seem to want to do is shoot people—they're not interested in stealing money, or taking hostages, and they will keep shooting until they're stopped.  If none of the law-abiding citizens on the scene is allowed to have a gun, the bad guy will keep shooting until the authorities show up, and like the saying goes, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Gun Free Zones kill people.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

Speer's Jared Hinton shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun load.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

Dealing with Subcompacts

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all others will be judged. Compact

SIG P365 Review

James Tarr - October 31, 2018

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all...

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer SKU # 180023) is an easy-racking, soft-shooting pistol. Compact

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 Review

James Tarr - November 06, 2018

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer...

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo with these 10 low-priced pistols. Compact

10 Cheap Guns Under $250

Evan Brune - September 24, 2015

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo...

In 1858 Beals invented and patented a spur-trigger, single-action, percussion revolver. The unique Revolvers

Remington Timeline: 1858 - Beals Revolver

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

In 1858 Beals invented and patented a spur-trigger, single-action, percussion revolver. The...

See More Trending Articles

More Concealed Carry

Concealed carry belts come in all styles and designs. Find the rig that's right for you with these great belts for concealed carry. Concealed Carry

9 Great Concealed Carry Belts

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 25, 2014

Concealed carry belts come in all styles and designs. Find the rig that's right for you with...

As more Americans take advantage of their right to carry concealed firearms, a new crop of aftermarket iron sights has emerged that make carry guns more effective than ever before. Concealed Carry

The Best Iron Sights for Concealed Carry Pistols

Brad Fitzpatrick - December 04, 2013

As more Americans take advantage of their right to carry concealed firearms, a new crop of...

Ruger has announced that its popular LC380 pistol will once again be available to California Concealed Carry

Ruger LC380 Reintroduced to California Market

Handguns Online Staff - May 29, 2015

Ruger has announced that its popular LC380 pistol will once again be available to California

The market for concealed-carry guns is growing; here are 10 great small pistol offerings to consider for personal defense. Compact

10 Great Concealed Carry Guns

Brad Fitzpatrick - February 18, 2016

The market for concealed-carry guns is growing; here are 10 great small pistol offerings to...

See More Concealed Carry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now