With yet another mass shooting in a “gun-free zone,” I find myself thinking a great deal about that concept.
The first idea is one that is bouncing around the blogosphere — the notion that the powers that be that designate such places ought to be held legally liable for the carnage that erupts in them. I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that they are making a promise — possibly a legally binding one — that “you don’t need to defend yourself when you’re here, because we’ll protect you.” They are using their authority as property owner (or manager) to supplant your right to keep and bear arms.
Now for my second thought. If these places aren’t going to get rid of their “gun-free zone” status, despite the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that they simply get more people killed, then how can they improve their security where it actually make the people inside safer?
I have a few ideas. And for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to apply them to a college.
First up, they need to absolutely control access to campus. They need to build hefty walls, with security features to keep people from going over, under, or through them. Then they need to put serious security measures on the few entrances through those walls. Metal detectors, hefty locks, repeated identity verification, and the like. No one gets in without going through multiple layers of screenings.
And that’s just for people. A college campus is not a self-sufficient community. All entering parcels — food, clothing, books. electronics, office supplies, everything also needs to go through rigid screening to be sure no weapons are sneaked on to campus.
And at each entrance, there need to be armed guards. Enough armed guards to defeat any attempt by attackers to simply force their way through the security measures.
And yet the beer will still get in. And where beer goes, anything can follow. So I like option 1. Of course, twice-daily room searches would be awfully entertaining.
I wonder what would happen if one of these hugely-endowed universities got shot up. Like Harvard, with a $35 billion endowment. Man, if the lawyers didn’t start setting the folding tables up outside the student union like the credit card companies do every September, I’d lose all respect for their sleaziness.