Cropped photo of Gun-free zone sign by Eric Fischer via( Flickr

In 1990 then-Senator Joe Biden introduced the Gun-Free School Zones Act, this legislation sought to end school shootings by barring law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms on campus. The idea of making gun-free zones expanded across the country after this and now many workplaces, storefronts, and public spaces are considered to be gun-free zones. 

With so many gun-free zones you would think that the country would see a sharp decline in the number of mass shootings. This however has not been the case, with mass shootings having become actually far more common.

The shocking truth is that, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 94% of all mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. 

Gun-free zones punish law-abiding citizens, people who already follow the law, not criminals, who routinely break the law. 

Gun-free zones have never stopped any criminals from bringing guns into them, but they do frequently serve as a deterrent to law-abiding gun owners from carrying their own firearms in the same areas. The latter of which is frequently the only line of defense against a crazed mass shooter.

Gun-free zones serve to make locations an easy target for any potential criminal. A criminal looking to commit a mass shooting is far more likely to go to a school or workplace where security is minimal and guns are not allowed than somewhere where law-abiding citizens are likely to be armed. 

The sad reality is that the objective of most mass shooters is simply to kill as many people as possible, thus they are more likely to be able to accomplish this in a location where someone might be able to fight back.

The ‘good guy with a gun’ argument has long been employed by pro-second amendment activists opposed to gun-free zones, but the easier and more sensible argument to make is simply one of ‘soft targets.’ If there is potential that someone at a movie theater or workplace has a gun and could stop a potential rampage, a shooter might not be so willing to commit an act of senseless violence there. 

Gun-free zones like most gun control legislation target law-abiding citizens who do not engage in crime, while leaving criminals and the mentally unstable completely untouched. These gun-free zones have never made anyone safer, and in fact, have likely contributed to higher than necessary death tolls during some of America’s most notorious mass shootings.

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