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Are George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn "protecting" us?

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(Article changed on March 2, 2014 at 10:03)

The pro-gun lobby has successfully changed the gun violence argument from asking how mass shooters pass background checks and buy guns legally to why weren't there more guns around . Almost every mass shooter from Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), James Holmes (Aurora), Jared Loughner (Tucson) and Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak (Northern Illinois University) to the more recent shooters, Aaron Alexis (Navy Yard) and Paul Ciancia (LAX airport) sailed through their background checks and bought the weapons legally.

These facts unseat the pro-gun lobby's meme that "criminals won't obey laws" because these criminals did obey laws--and the law smiled on them. (Nor did Adam Lanza's   mother break laws in amassing her many  weapons and regularly taking her son to shooting ranges.) So now the pro-gun lobby wants to pretend the issue isn't the EZ procurement of guns but lack of more guns to stop the bad guys who easily procured them so easily.


Stand Your Ground produces vigilantes by Martha Rosenberg

The "gun-free zone" meme is not just an insult to every citizen who does not want to live in an armed society, it is an insult to law enforcement personnel who give their lives to protect us. By implying that the lack of "armed citizens" is the reason for gun deaths in a shooting, it actually equates cop wannabes like George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn (the loud music shooter) with hired and trained law enforcement personnel.

Open and concealed carriers are so full of fear, they are afraid to go where normal people go--including children, the elderly and 90 lb women--every day unless they have their loaded lethal weapons. They clearly have a mental problem. Yet they parlay this cowardice into some kind of public service in which they are protecting you and me. Most, if not all, examples of "armed citizens" protecting the public are anecdotal and there are even instances where the "armed citizens" added to the bloodshed. When the ABC news show 20/20 conducted an experiment of "carriers" protecting against an armed assailant they failed miserably, sometimes even failing to get their gun out or a shot off.

According to the "gun-free zone" meme, a mass shooter chooses a gun-free zone because no one will shoot back. Does anyone believe Aaron Alexis chose the Navy Yard or Paul Ciancia (LAX airport) because they were "soft targets" with no armed guards?   Or the Fort Hood shooter? Hello? But there weren't "armed citizens" in the actual room the pro-gun lobby would whine as if the 20/20 experiment and other instances haven't buried this fallacy once and for all.

"Crazy people shoot up schools and other institutions because they are crazy and harbor some angst toward those institutions," wrote a recent poster on our website. "It's the same reason they tend to shoot family members or close acquaintances. They are not targeting 'soft targets,' they are targeting places with lots of people, lots of publicity, and some sort of revenge motive. There is no evidence that these crazy people would be in ANY way discouraged by a minimally trained civilian waiting to pull his gun for the first time. Statistically, such a person will only serve to increase the chaos and help the shooter claim more victims in the crossfire."

If the self-flattering fiction that gun-free zones are soft targets because they lack George Zimmermans and Michael Dunns were true, why are there no shootings in Congress or other government buildings? Why are there no shootings in every corporate headquarters in America which are also gun-free zones since they ban guns?

The gun-free zone fiction is an insult to the public and law enforcement personnel. It flatters the cop wannabes who have morphed their fear of going places unarmed into some kind of public service. Thanks but no thanks.

 

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative pubic health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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Excellent and poignant article. The same questio... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 10:47:58 AM
Illinois just approved 50,000 cop wannabes to walk... by Martha Rosenberg on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 10:55:09 AM
Beginning with the Texas Bell Tower shooter, all t... by Robert James on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 3:30:15 PM
Gun lovers like to use the word "disarm" because ... by Martha Rosenberg on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 5:49:20 PM
What makes you think that you know my personal mot... by Robert James on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:14:26 PM
When a person makes unsupported assertions about ... by sesquiculus on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 10:53:11 AM
Thanks, Sesquiculus.  It was pleasant to hav... by Robert James on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 7:02:16 PM
Since 9/11 over 5000 people have been killed by po... by George W.Reichel on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 6:04:41 PM
I think the mental health issue is yours; it's cal... by Stuart Chisholm on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 6:33:47 PM
Classic object phobias typically arise when some ... by sesquiculus on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 11:59:06 AM
And the sickest of all are the so-called 'peace o... by yunus Luebben on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 11:06:36 AM
Generally agree with the tenor of the article, acc... by Gene Engene on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 11:34:01 AM
Martha, I'm not questioning your conviction on thi... by Lee Beacham on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 11:44:00 AM
Nothing in the Constitution talks about walking a... by Martha Rosenberg on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 5:13:20 PM
The words "to bear" in the Constitution means to C... by Stuart Chisholm on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 6:43:39 PM
Gun right's advocates and the Supreme Court ignor... by Fay Paxton on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 11:11:50 AM
Only partly true.  U.S. code currently recogn... by Stuart Chisholm on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 9:24:53 PM
George Zimmerman did not reach for his pistol unti... by Robert James on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:20:19 PM
According to the Defense the death of Trayvon too... by Fay Paxton on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 11:33:00 AM
There's also the issue that we don't know what exa... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 2:22:47 PM
Well, Fay, I have been paying attention since I bi... by Robert James on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 7:20:24 PM
You can't argue with closed minds! ... by Bill Johnson on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:31:15 PM
Fay do you realize that Trayvon Martin had to run ... by Bill Johnson on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:36:39 PM
BJ is lying. Again. As usual. Don't you ever get t... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 10:40:07 PM
The Sandy Hook shooting, Boston Bombing, Navy Yard... by Graham Carrington on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 12:08:37 PM
And, of course, you have reputable proof of these ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 2:28:01 PM
 I saw that Starbucks encouraged people, who ... by Carol Jackson on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 1:08:41 PM
Yes. Normal people do not want to sit next to gun... by Martha Rosenberg on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 5:10:46 PM
Accidents are rare.  I'd bet you'd be hard-pr... by Stuart Chisholm on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 6:52:18 PM
Clearly,  you know nothing about the average ... by sesquiculus on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 11:25:46 AM
You want to live in a gun free zone? Move to China... by Lynne Berman on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 2:46:41 PM
If you want to live in a country with no gun laws... by Martha Rosenberg on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 5:08:16 PM
They must be what the NRA refers to as "the good g... by Dennis Kaiser on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 4:32:30 PM
Tinfoil hat delusional!!! ... by Stuart Chisholm on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 6:54:14 PM
You obviously didn't listen to Bill Gates admitti... by Dennis Kaiser on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 4:16:07 AM
Expect a call from Jesse Ventura -- LOL!  Cor... by Stuart Chisholm on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 9:32:37 PM
If you think members of the Bilderbergers, Commit... by Dennis Kaiser on Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 at 5:53:35 AM
Nowhere on this or any other page will you hear me... by Stuart Chisholm on Thursday, Mar 6, 2014 at 8:43:32 PM
Dennis, I wholeheartedly agree with most of what y... by Ms Nan on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 4:59:50 PM
Ms Nan.  Thanks for you comment.  I am n... by Dennis Kaiser on Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 at 6:05:04 AM
The mental cases that most endanger the world with... by George W.Reichel on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 6:02:56 PM
"Open and concealed carriers are so full of fear... by KurtB on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 8:32:14 PM
The author seems able to read the minds and mores ... by jon cranor on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 10:52:08 PM
Lacking other sources of information,  the au... by sesquiculus on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 12:06:12 PM
If Martha was right, rising rates of legal gun own... by Natalie Oberman on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 2:07:34 AM
One clown who posts here claims that it's because ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 2:30:33 PM
After MO repealed some gun laws, there were 60 mo... by Martha Rosenberg on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 3:03:17 PM
Correlation is NOT causation.  As you might r... by Stuart Chisholm on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 9:35:36 PM
Martha, up until about 4 yrs ago, I used to hold ... by Ms Nan on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 4:39:55 PM
Just received this in an email: "In order to pro... by Bill Johnson on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 9:45:35 AM