Would-be killers target gun-free zones

There has been another horrible crime committed and once again it is followed by calls for so-called universal background checks on private transfers of guns.

Hillary Clinton vows, if she becomes president, to use executive action to enact such rules. She is angry that Republicans “refuse to do anything” about mass shootings.

But gun-control advocates face a couple of problems.

First, the law that President Obama and other Democrats keep pushing wouldn’t have stopped Thursday’s shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, where expanded background checks have been in place since August. It wouldn’t have stopped any of the other mass public shootings during Obama’s presidency.

Second, virtually all mass public shootings take place in gun-free zones, and Thursday’s attack was no exception. If the media more regularly reported when a shooting occurs in a gun-free zone, more people would realize that gun-control laws don’t deter criminals who are looking for select targets where people can’t fight back. More Americans would come to feel that gun ownership makes them safer.

Oregon law does allow permitted concealed handguns on school property. The New York Times, Media Matters, and others have been quick to pounce on this fact. What has been ignored, however, is that public educators in Oregon have undermined the law by putting bans in faculty and student handbooks.

There may be no criminal sanctions for violating the ban, but faculty face termination and students risk expulsion. Those are life-altering penalties. Faculty members undoubtedly won’t get another academic job if they committed a firearms violation. Expelled students are very unlikely to be admitted into another college.

Although Umpqua can theoretically provide written exemptions for the bans, school president Rita Calvin wouldn’t even let the college’s security guards carry guns.  Continue reading

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