Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gun Free Zones and Magical Thinking

I have mentioned before the magical thinking that seems to come over gun controllers that makes them think if they just draw a magical, invisible line around this or that facility, the people in those facilities will somehow be safe.  Here in North Carolina, the guys and gals who still believe in magic were in great abundance when creating our Concealed Handgun License law, and there are all sorts of magical invisible lines in this State.  You can not carry in such far flung places as Post Offices, Financial Institutions, Theatres, State Buildings, Hospitals, Restaurants that serve alcohol, Schools of any sort, along with any school related event, Parades, and protests.  If the Governor declares a state of emergency, something Gov. Perdue was prone to do at the drop of a snowflake anywhere in the State, we are all to go about disarmed.  Even the Raleigh Gun and Knife shows must get special dispensation from the State to allow any guns at all in the show!  Notice too that prosecution of this law does not require criminal intent, only the fact that it is violated.

Of course the gun grabbers throw out all sorts of excuses for making up these gun free, victimization zones.  For instance, it is asserted, without any evidence that the assertion is true, that guns and schools do not mix, that if students know there are guns in their building, they will be so distracted you won't be able to teach them anything.  But I have been around children with my gun, and they never notice it is there.  Indeed, unless the teachers themselves make a big deal of the fact, the children would probably be clueless.  Or, they will quote half truths such as alcohol and guns do not mix.  It would be true if concealed carriers were drinking the alcohol, but that is equally illegal.  Furthermore, if you look at States like Ohio or Virginia, where restaurant carry has been allowed, you don't find any more crime than you did before these States loosened their restrictions.  Meanwhile, the restrictions on Financial Institutions and Theatres are no doubt because of lobbying by special interests.  Wachovia Bank, a North Carolina native bank was very anti gun.  Even in Virginia where it is otherwise legal to carry into a Financial Institution, Wachovia branches were marked as no guns allowed.  Guess which banks usually got hit by robbers?

The idea of a "gun free zone" like a lot of other gun control laws, belong to a class of laws that make new crime in order to prevent supposedly worse crimes.  There is nothing inherently immoral about carrying a gun into a school, or a restaurant, or a Post Office, or...The gun has no moral agency in and of itself.  It depends entirely on the intent of the user.  Gun free zones, then are what the legal community calls malum prohibitum, or wrong because we say so. Possession of lock picking tools is usually illegal, even though possession of such tools is not in and of itself immoral. But possession of such tools is illegal to prevent someone from going out and breaking into another's property. Similarly, gun free zones prevent a person from having a gun in such a zone and committing a mass shooting.  And if everyone obeyed the law, all well and good.  But, and here's the conundrum, if everybody obeyed the law, there would be no need for gun free zones.

The problem that is not solved by gun free zones, or any other gun control law is that of the criminal, or what was once more descriptively called the outlaw.  The Devil was the first outlaw.  By defying God, the Devil set himself up as a law unto himself, rejecting the protection of God's law.  Human outlaws do the same thing.  So, human outlaws will ignore a gun free zone and carry a gun into such a zone if that is the most effective tool for the job.  Only the peaceably armed citizen will be harassed by ensuring he doesn't take a gun onto school property, or into a restaurant serving alcohol.  The peaceably armed citizen thus disarmed can not offer effective resistance to the outlaw, who has no concern for the law.  So, the State reveals itself as supporting the criminal class at the expense of the citizens who pay their salary.

The character from the daily comics, Pogo, famously said "We have seen the enemy and he is us."  More to the point, David Codrea's formulation that anybody who can not be trusted with a gun can not be allowed to roam the streets without a keeper is operative in reducing crime.  The person who believes that he is safe in a gun free zone because of some magical incantations and special signage is living an illusion, for there is no magic in the real world.  You can ban guns, but what about knives, swords, screw drivers, hammers, or fists?  The (formerly) Great Britain has already started down the path of banning these items, but they have a bigger crime problem than before.  (I wonder whether they will get to fists or not,) but in any case, it is a fools errand, since anything can be turned into a weapon.  Meanwhile, our cynical legislature will ban anything to appear to be doing something.  But until they demand that people act responsibly they will not really make progress on crime.  People who insist on being a law unto themselves must be removed from society.  It is not racist, it is not a lack of compassion, it is simply a fact.   

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