Guns were outlawed at all these locations, and yet the killers ignored the bans.
The NRA Myth of Gun-Free Zones
Plus, the shooters passed background checks — as did the Oregon shooter, who passed several background checks in purchasing his firearms. Consider just a partial list of the locations where armed citizens have stopped bad guys in their tracks over the past year: in a bar in Youngstown, Ohio; on a street corner in Chicago; at a barber shop in Philadelphia; in a church in Florida; at a food processing plant in Oklahoma; and at a hospital in Darby, Pa.
And then, there was the attempted mass shooting in at the Clackamas mall in Oregon. When a gunman began killing people in the mall, Nick Meli drew his concealed firearm and pointed it at the gunman, thus spooking him into taking his own life. Erich Pratt. And even within states, the rules get murky.
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In most cases, a business can decide if it wants to allow guns on its property. Ho wever, many companies are reluctant to officially ban guns, for fear of potentially alienating customers, and out of concern that doing so might make employees responsible for confronting armed customers.
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Walt Disney World bans weapons of all kinds , including toy guns. Others, like Kroger , have refused to take a side. Many states have rolled back restrictions on where guns can be carried, forcing businesses large and small to set their own policies — meaning if they want to disallow guns, they must put up a notice.
At least 23 states have laws making it illegal for employers to ban guns at workplace parking lots, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Fear of other people is now the number one reason why people buy guns, according to a survey from researchers at Harvard and Northeastern universities. A Gallup poll found that 56 percent of Americans believe the country would be safer if more people were allowed to carry concealed weapons.
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The same poll found that 60 percent cite safety and protection. The evidence is thin. Lott has published a large body of work claiming that crime goes down as states loosen gun laws and allow more people to carry concealed handguns. Several experts and academics have tested his hypotheses and reached vastly different conclusions.
Another team of researchers studied two decades of mass shootings, defined as an episode that left four or more people dead.
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- Do most mass shootings happen in gun-free zones? | PolitiFact Florida.
Louis Klarevas, whose book Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings , examined shooting attacks between and that left six or more victims dead in each instance. He divided the shootings into three categories based on where they took place: gun-free zones no guns on the premises ; gun-restricting zones no guns allowed, but armed security is routinely present ; and gun-allowing zones civilians permitted to carry guns. Klarevas found that only 18 rampage attacks occurred in spaces where civilians were not allowed to have guns. He also found that the overwhelming majority, or nearly 90 percent of gun massacres, happened in places where guns were allowed.
What the research does show is that mass shooters target places and people they know. In fact, 20 of the attacks were workplace shootings, most of which involved a disgruntled employee. Using his dataset of rampage attacks, Klarevas estimates that, in 86 percent of the cases, the attacker had a relationship to his victims. Not very often. A Federal Bureau of Investigation report analyzed active shootings from to , in an attempt to understand those attacks in which the killer was intent on committing mass murder.
It found just one example of an armed civilian — a U. Increased gun carrying has also been linked to increased rates of violent crime. A team from Stanford and Johns Hopkins universities found that laws allowing more citizens to carry concealed weapons were associated with an 8 percent uptick in aggravated assault. A series of Harvard studies found that more guns mean more gun homicides. Another potential danger is gun theft: as many as , guns are stolen every year, and many of these are used in violent crimes.
Lawmaker Proposes Creators Of 'Gun-Free Zones' Be Liable For Attacks In Zones
Kerry Shaw is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She contributes regularly to The Trace.
Las Vegas's death investigators witnessed the atrocities of the Route 91 shooting, then had to grapple with the difficult task of healing themselves. The background check system once stopped some shooters from getting a gun. Grappling with the strengths and the fissures exposed by a mass shooting in my hometown of El Paso.
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