One minute lasts forever. A six-year-old boy, 13-year-old girl and young man were murdered, while 12 more were maimed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival before police killed the shooter. The clear takeaway is that a gun-free zone is always a potential kill zone.
Enough already! Sunday’s mass shooting in Gilroy, California, is being used to promote more gun control, of course. But while Democratic presidential campaigns capitalize on the tragedy, honesty must be elevated above the typical mainstream TV “debate.”
The Gilroy Garlic Festival was a gun-free zone, where “no weapons of any kind” were allowed. The rule applies year-round at Christmas Hill Park, where the annual event took place.
Since 1950, approximately 94 percent of all mass public shootings occur in gun-free zones, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. The definition for such a shooting is that it be non-gang and non-drug related, not carried out in pursuit of another crime such as robbery, and that there be four or more victims killed. In the Gilroy case, there were three victims killed, although a wounded victim is reportedly in critical condition.
There may be other common denominators with mass shootings, such as the killers being mentally ill. But practically speaking, the obvious solution is to end gun-free zones.
At least six potential mass public shootings have been prevented by private gun owners since May 2018, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, which collects media reports. In each case, whether a dental office, restaurant, grocery store, or school, the shooter was only stopped because of a lawful gun owner.
Any police officer rushing in to stop a mass shooter is a hero, but the minute leading up to that moment must be cut shorter next time.
Mass shootings in the US are rare, despite the mainstream media narrative. The Center has shown the US to rank 66th in the world and 12th when comparing only to Canada and Europe.
However, the politicization isn’t slowing down. The extremist gun grabbers are emboldened, so those who have the facts on their side need to force the gun-free zone question relentlessly.
It should also be noted that even if gun-free zones were abolished, California must still go further in actually permitting its residents to purchase and carry firearms. The Center notes that in 2018, Santa Clara County, which includes Gilroy, issued no more than 113 concealed handgun permits. The county’s adult population is 1.5 million, so that’s 1 permit per 14,300 people.
In California, after the required psychological screenings and 16 hours of training are completed and fees are paid, it will cost hundreds of dollars just to exercise one’s Second Amendment-guaranteed right.
There may not be a simple antidote to mass shootings, but disarming good people is nothing but snake oil poison that must not be allowed to be marketed any longer.