By Marshall Lewin, Americas1stFreedom.org
In 2012, after the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting—another mass murder in another “gun-free zone”—award-winning criminologist and gun-rights scholar John Lott wrote, “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”
Consequently, it’s clear that many mass murderers choose their targets precisely because they’re soft and unprotected. Look at history: The first mass shootings that captured media attention were at post offices—which not surprisingly were “gun-free zones.” The next preferred targets for teenage mass murderers to “go postal” were schools—not surprisingly, soon after the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1994 was passed.
Since then, as signs showing a gun with a red slash through it have popped up like bull’s-eye targets—at movie theaters, restaurants, college campuses and shopping malls—mass killers have followed. This isn’t mere coincidence.
Want proof? Consider the case of the Aurora movie theater shooter. As Lott wrote for Fox News, “There were seven movie theaters showing ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ within 20 minutes of the killer’s apartment.” Yet he didn’t choose the theater closest to home. And he didn’t choose “Colorado’s largest auditorium,” which was only 10 minutes away and surely must have been tempting for someone who wanted to kill as many people as possible. Why not? Because, as Lott wrote, “all of those theaters allowed permitted concealed handguns.” Instead, the killer chose “the only one with a sign posted at the theater’s entrance prohibiting guns.”
It’s no surprise why every predator—whether it’s a wolf, a tuna or a would-be mass murderer—chooses the weakest, least-prepared prey. It’s not just because the weakest prey requires the least expenditure of energy to capture, and thus afford the greatest “profit” in economic terms—but also for the predator’s own safety.
After the 2013 Westgate Mall massacre in Kenya, where—thanks to the mall’s “gun-free zone”—four al-Shabaab terrorists were free to spend four days killing 63 people, even the head of the global law enforcement agency Interpol agreed. “Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Colo., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?” said Ronald Noble, Interpol secretary general. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”