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Samizdata quote of the day

It seems to me that we’ve reached the point at which a facility that bans firearms, making its patrons unable to defend themselves, should be subject to lawsuit for its failure to protect them. The pattern of mass shootings in “gun free” zones is well-established at this point, and I don’t see why places that take the affirmative step of forcing their law-abiding patrons to go unarmed should get off scot-free.

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21 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Ken

    The police-as I’m sure has been pointed out here many times before-have- in USA at least-NO legaly binding mandate to be “there” at ALL times, and I, for one, have NO desire to have them “there” ( shoot, the ex is bad enough!)

  • Ken

    Ok, didn’t compleat thought- So that situation leads us to-Take responsability for you own self first,others if you can/care to.

  • the other rob

    Alisa – He is indeed. Absolutely right.

  • Well, now I am having a second thought. He is only right if it is a governmental facility which I cannot avoid visiting without breaching the law, like a courtroom, for example. In which case I would have to sue the government – good luck with that.

  • spidly

    Seems to be best to ignore “gun free zone” signs. The State of Oregon has a habit of telling you you cannot carry lots of places you can under the law. The few places where carry is not lawful are specifically listed in the ORS.

    Private institutions may enforce policy against carry if they wish, but I have never seen it posted anywhere….. concealed would be the operative word even if someplace did have such a policy.

  • Sunfish

    Private institutions may enforce policy against carry if they wish, but I have never seen it posted anywhere….. concealed would be the operative word even if someplace did have such a policy.

    Metro Denver is rotten with such signs. It’s still an open question as to how much weight they carry: as near as I can tell, the consensus is that violation MAY be criminal trespass, but that’s all. In five years of nondiscretionary licensing here, the issue doesn’t seem to have actually come up in court.

    Note to Samizdatistas: I have a funny feeling that American readers are far more likely to be armed than the general public. That’s probably a good thing, one of the lessons of a decade as a cop was that guns aren’t the problem and neither are good guys with guns. Asshats are the problem.

    But don’t get yourself hurt. If you’re in the middle of a bad situation, make goddamn sure that when 20 cops worth of rolling thunder show up they don’t think YOU’RE the bad guy. (And if you saw the post-VA Tech Gabe Suarez letter, then yes, I am saying that Suarez is full of shit.)

  • He is only right if it is a governmental facility which I cannot avoid visiting without breaching the law, like a courtroom, for example.

    I am inclined to agree. Surely we should have the right to forbid our guests bringing guns into our homes, why can’t businesses forbid patrons brining guns onto their property?

    I think this falls under the purvey of the ban on torture. A ban on torture is helpful in curtailing abuse. But of course, anyone with a conscience will resort to torture in the “ticking timebomb” scenario regardless of what the law says. This is what pardons are for: instances when the law was applied correctly but had extraordinarily bad results. I doubt any president (well, maybe Jimmy Carter, but he will never be president again, thank God) would refuse a pardon to a soldier who actually saved a city through the use of torture.

    Likewise, I hope ways can be found to let someone off the hook who pulls out a gun he isn’t supposed to have in a mall and protects the public from a mad shooter.

    That said, the 2nd Amendment doesn’t say anything about exceptions for being on private property. That’s just my libertarian system of morals – where respect for property ranks highest – talking. The actual text just says that “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” So legally maybe the Blogfather is on solid ground.

    One more thought: I completely respect the NRA’s right to organize boycotts against any shopping malls that ban guns on their premises. I encourage and will support any such boycotts, and I volunteer to be one of the people who breaks the law on occasion and carries a concealed handgun onto other people’s property – just in case.

  • Midwesterner

    My understanding from reading some CCW blogs of Nebraska and Kansas perspective is that part of one of those two states’ (both?) CCW law is a 6 to 12 month sentence for violating those mall bans. The even specify how big the letters in the sign must be and where they must be posted. According to one commenter, at the shooting mall the ban is number three or four on the list and he said he would go back to the mall when it opens to take and post a picture.

    I knew before it ever unfolded that it would be in a gun free zone. Several of the CCW blog commenters have discovered they have no need to visit malls. It didn’t sound like they miss the experience any.

    It is simple and demonstrated in published research that where there is concealed carry, the body counts go WAY down and what would have been mass killings become much smaller tragedies with a couple or so victims.

  • Joshua: I see a similarity with the smoking issue here. If Mid is correct, and being unarmed out in public could be harmful to one’s wellbeing (I almost said “health”), then one should stay clear from businesses that ban firearms. Which is what a boycott is about, really.

  • I think it’s a good analogy. It’s clever in turning the second-hand smoke bit on its head. The absence of something rather than its presence being harmful.

    Of course I get your point and you are right – it is incumbent on me to travel places where I feel safe, not the mallowners to provide me with a safe environment.

  • Midwesterner

    6 minutes from beginning to end. Who can reasonably expect even the best police department to respond that quickly?

    Either we must have armed security personnel every place a crime might occur, or we must allow self defense.

    I agree with Alisa and Joshua. If Wisconsin had concealed carry (we are one of only two states that don’t) I would avoid places like that. Whether I was packing or not. History shows clearly that all of the high count multi victim shootings occur in gun free zones. Since in Wisconsin we are almost alone in our total prohibition of concealed carry, I fear we may have a disproportionate share of these incidents in the future. I hope, dearly hope, I am wrong. We are trying to pass CCW laws before something like this happens. The Democrat government vetoed the last time the legislature passed it.

  • Midwesterner

    The Democrat Governor (Jim Doyle) vetoed it.

  • Alisa and Joshua, I think you miss the point that Glenn Reynolds was making, and Alisa, your first reaction was the right one.

    A private property owner, such as the mall owner, does of course have every right to make whatever rules they want about who may come on their property and whether they can be armed or not. Glenn’s point was that if they make a rule that says you can’t carry your lawful concealed weapon then they must take responsibility if you are killed or injured on their property as a result of having been deprived of your means of self defense in a case like this one.

    As we have seen with these “gun-free zones” the property owner’s prohibition against guns is of no concern whatsoever to the loony bent on mayhem. The law abiding were either choosing to obey the rules and leave their weapons at home, as the law-abiding are wont to do, or perhaps exercisng their prerogative to avoid the place altogether. Either way, no armed people were there other than the gunman.

    Laws or private property owner’s rules against carrying weapons don’t prevent these incidents from happening because they are directed against the wrong people, responsible, law-abiding gun owners. All they do is ensure that these people will be unable to defend themselves should an incident occur.

    There was a similar incident ina shopping mall in Utah last year in which a disaffected Bosnian muslim youth went on a shooting rampage. That mall also banned weapons. It was stopped by an off-duty policeman who had ignored the ban and shot and killed the gunman. Subsequent news reports say it was the off-duty officer and the police, but the latter arrived after the shooter had been taken down. Had the off-duty officer not ignored the ban or ot been there, the death toll of innocent shoppers would have been worse.

  • Jonathan: I am sorry, but I don’t understand your logic.

  • Alisa, sorry, perhaps it is I that is misconstruing your second thoughts. Maybe if you could please elaborate on why you think he’s only right if it’s a government facility? Is it because you may be compelled to be in the, in your example, courtroom while you have a choice in whtether to be at the mall?

  • Kim du Toit

    “When seconds count, the police will arrive in minutes.”

    Thank goodness we live in Texas, where, if a shop or mall owner wishes to deny people the right to carry their legally-carried firearm on his premises, he may only do so with a sign which has several state-mandated stipulations, eg. letters at least so large, sign ditto, specific language, placed in a certain spot relative to the doorway/entrance, and so on.

    The sign is ironically called the “thirty-ought six” sign (after the section of the state law, 30.06, which defines it).

    If the owner does not comply with the law to the letter, such a breach constitutes a “defense to prosecution” and the gun owner is held blameless.

    All those little “No Gun” stickers have as much weight under Texas law as Sarah Brady’s opinions, that is to say, none.

  • Sunfish

    Don’t have a link handy, but yesterday some guy decided to shoot up a church. Actually two churches, two hours’ drive apart. At the second, in Colorado Springs, he was taken under fire and killed by an armed member of the congregation.

    Right now, it appears that she saved dozens of lives by putting a piece of steel in her hand at go time. Even the mainstream Denver press agreed with that.

  • “She”? Excellent.