Guns Don't Kill People, But 'Gun-Free Zones' Do

Bob Dutko
By Bob Dutko | December 18, 2012 | 4:44 PM EST

We all grieve for the horrific child massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, but if we really want to protect future lives, we must replace the emotional anti-gun rhetoric with an honest examination of the facts.

I honestly do understand how easy it is for people to respond to tragedies like this with an emotional appeal to get rid of all the guns - to, as President Obama said, "take action." Or, as many are saying, "do SOMETHING."

The question becomes: will the action we take save lives or cost more? This requires reasoned thought instead of blind emotion. It requires an examination of the facts.

Adam Lanza reportedly obtained the guns for his massacre illegally, stealing them from his mother after murdering her. There is no law currently proposed by Democrats in Congress that would have prevented Lanza from doing what he did. None.

That bears repeating. There is no law currently proposed by Democrats in Congress that would have prevented Lanza from doing what he did and liberals need to quit ignoring this basic fact.

Connecticut has some of the most restrictive gun ownership laws in the country, yet this massacre happened there. So, simply put, what additional law in Connecticut would have stopped this? Banning automatic weapons? Lanza didn't use an automatic weapon. He used two pistols and a semi-automatic rifle, which fires only one bullet for each time the trigger is pressed.

So what additional law, then? Ban ALL guns so his mother could not have owned them in the first place for him to steal?

Let's be honest; banning all guns is the Holy Grail utopian end game for many liberals in America. Emotionally, it seems like a nice idea, no more guns. Logically, however, it's impossible, and liberals seem either unwilling or unable to admit this. If guns were made illegal, every law abiding citizen would turn in his guns. Besides police, who then would be left packing heat? We all know the answer to that. It would be all those countless people who feel no need to obey the law. These lawbreakers would now also know that any crime they wanted to commit against other people could be done without fear of anyone shooting back.

Since Virginia loosened its gun ownership laws, they have seen, from 2006 to 2011, an increase of gun ownership by a staggering 73%. So what has happened since Virginia became the "Wild West," as liberals like to say? Not only has gun-related violent crimes not increased during the last six years, it's gone DOWN by 24%.

The truth is that when I am in a public place, I sincerely hope and pray some law-abiding citizen nearby is packing heat. I get a little nervous anytime I find myself in a "Gun-free Zone," because I know the only person that can feel totally safe there is a crazed gunman among a bunch of law abiding, and therefore unarmed citizens.

We all remember the horrific massacre that took place July 20, 2012 in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado where a gunman killed 12 and injured 58. That theater was a "Gun-free Zone" - except, of course, for the gunman. While we all remember this horrible tragedy, hardly anyone knows about what happened just three months prior in the same little town of Aurora, Colorado when, on April 22, a crazed gunman entered a church and began shooting, killing one member of the congregation before another congregant who happened to be legally carrying a gun shot and killed the gunman.

If this were the other way around and a movie theater patron had been a licensed gun carrier while the church had no such carrier, the church could have been the scene of a massacre that we would all remember today, while the movie theater could have been a single-death, one-day story we all soon forgot.

In December of 2007 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a gunman entered the Megachurch New Life carrying an assault rifle, two handguns (exactly what the Connecticut shooter had) and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Police say he had planned a massacre and there were several thousand people in the church at the time. After killing two, he was shot and killed by a church member serving as a security guard.

Thankfully, that church was not a "Gun-free Zone."

Instead of two dead, imagine how large of a massacre this would have been had the killer been able to shoot people at will until the police finally arrived. It would have been one for the history books. As it stands, you probably barely even remember this story.

In July of 2012, 2 gunmen entered the Palms Internet Cafe in Ocala, Florida, filled with 30 people, including 71 year old Samuel Williams who was legally carrying a gun and shot the two gunmen. They fled, were arrested, jailed......and no one died that day. Just one more forgotten news story.

Thankfully, that cafe was not a "Gun-free Zone."

Just a few days ago, in Portland, Oregon at the Clackamas Town Center Mall, a crazed gunman began an attempted massacre, killing two people before Nick Meli, a concealed carry permit holder, pulled his gun and pointed it at the gunman who then, most likely realizing it was over, gave up and killed himself. How many more would have died? How big of a massacre would this have been had the gunman not seen Meli's gun pointed at him. Was he really planning on giving up after killing just two? He had a lot more ammunition than that. Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said the gunman's intent was to kill as many people as possible. As it turns out, he only got two.

Thankfully, the Clackamas Town Center Mall was not a "Gun-free Zone."

I grieve for the families of those beautiful children of Sandy Hook Elementary as well as the teachers, some of whom heroically gave their lives protecting their students. While most say they can "only imagine" the pain of losing a child, I, unfortunately, don't need to imagine as I lost my 17 year-old daughter when she suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed in my arms and died instantly. I know the pain and shock these parents are facing and their long road ahead.

Liberals say they are angry that Lanza had access to guns, but I am equally angry that no staff member at Sandy Hook had access to a gun so this guy could have been stopped in his tracks.

And don't try to tell me making guns illegal means Lanza wouldn't have had access to guns. It's obviously quite easy to buy guns illegally - unless anyone wants to claim that, since drugs and prostitution are illegal, we therefore have cleaned up drugs and prostitution from the streets. Not to mention the fact that drugs and prostitution are not Constitutionally protected, nor do they save lives as guns do.

My fight against the anti-gun lobby is driven by much more than just a calculated and strategic effort to win a debate over our Second Amendment rights. It's also a genuine desire to protect the lives of innocent Americans, young and old from senseless massacres like Newtown. The principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Dawn Hochsprung, heroically confronted the gunman who, in turn, shot and killed her.

How I wish she had been authorized to possess a gun. How I wish any responsible adult in that school, from a teacher to a custodian, had been authorized to possess a gun, but they weren't. Sandy Hook is a "Gun-free Zone."

If it weren't, I can't help but wonder if this might have been a much smaller story which would have soon been forgotten.

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