The media always carries water for the Democrats, but they’ve been worse than usual following the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Perhaps inspired by President Obama’s ignorant rant hours after the tragedy, the mainstream news organizations have decided this mass shooting is about one thing and one thing only: gun control.
It’s therefore a little surprising that USA Today gave William Jacobson, a professor at Cornell University, space in their op-ed section to promote the opposite point of view. Apparently you have to throw the gun-rights crowd a small bone now and then so you can have plausible deniability when people accuse your newspaper of advocacy journalism, aka, left-wing bias.
“In other mass shootings, the shooters’ motivations have varied, from racism to religion to anti-religion,” wrote Jacobson. “There has not been a single common theme, except for one.”
According to the professor, the one thing that ties these mass shootings together is the fact that almost all of them have taken place in so-called “gun-free zones.” In other words, Umpqua Community College – like the theater in Aurora, Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine, and the black church in Charleston (to name just a few) – banned firearms on the premises. Strangely enough, that did not deter Christopher Mercer.
Gun-free zones presume the good intentions of those entering the zone. And the overwhelming majority have such good intentions. But for those who have bad intentions, gun-free zones turn schools and other locations into shooting galleries. The good people are unarmed, the evil person is armed.
Why is this so hard for gun control advocates to understand? A child could see the simple logic here. Yes, the college banned firearms. They also, presumably, had firm rules against murder. If someone is willing to put their life and freedom in jeopardy to kill others, they aren’t going to be stopped by a policy banning guns. This is kindergarten stuff, seriously. But we keep hearing the same tired refrain from the left, as though any argument can trump this obvious counter.
Some have claimed that these killers actually seek out gun-free zones, knowing they will be less likely to run up against armed resistance. That may be true, but there’s not much evidence to support this assertion. In most cases, the killer is either shooting up a place he has some connection to or is simply looking for a place where a lot of people will be gathered together. It just so happens that most of these places are also gun-free zones, making their murderous job a lot easier.
Liberals wave away the idea of a gun-toting hero as a conservative fantasy. They claim that it’s just going to lead to more violence. But no one’s talking about making it mandatory for everyone to carry. We’re merely saying that Americans should have the right and the ability to defend themselves. We should not be forced – by either the law or private policy – to become helpless victims, just relying on hope to keep us safe from people like the Oregon shooter. No government has the right to put its citizens in mortal danger, least of all this one.