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Gun-Free Zone Pseudo Myths

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Double Naught Spy, Aug 29, 2012.

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  1. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    While it has come up here several times recently that there are major shootings in locations that are not gun-free zones (though some folks continue to relate that mass shootings seem to only occur there), I compiled a short list of mass or intended mass shootings (poor marksmanship resulted in the shooter not hitting intended targets sometimes) that happened in locations where the intended victims or other folks with/around the intended victims could have been armed or could have had access to guns, may have been expected to be armed, or were expected to be armed. In some cases, mass shooting attacks were specifically directed at law enforcement.

    This is compiled from internet information. Additions or corrections would be great. None of the places included are places that I could find any statments of being necessarily gun-free. Any such shooting I found where it was posted, company policy, etc., I left out except in the case of the attacks on the police where obviously they were armed.

    What is apparent is that while the media really hypes a lot of the cop, school, church, and mall shootings, there is considerable downplay of localized events that often result in more deaths and/or injuries than some of the more notable examples. However, the local event, such as domestic homicide involving immediate and sometimes even extended family situations in multiple locations, often fail to become major national news or sustained national news. I would be willing to bet that a lot of these events are not familiar to TFL members despite the claims that the media is out to get us as gun owners. If so, they have really missed a lot of oppotunities. In short, if they don't think they will get big ratings, they don't seem to care.

    New Year's Eve 1972 to 7 January 1973 - Mark James Robert Essex killed 9 (including 5 police officers) and wounded 13 more (including 5 more officers), starting his spree by attacking a New Orleans Police Department jail facility.

    So we have several mass (4 or more at once) and/or spree (2 or more in 2 or more locations) shootings that turned out to be a lot more than I expected. Mass shootings in the homes were often in homes where gun ownership was known.

    Plenty of mass and/or spree shootings occur in non-gun-free zones. Don't be fooled into believing that gun-free zones are the primary targets of the shooters. This does not seem to be the case. More often than not, the location of the shooting, gun-free or not, is where the shooter has had problems or is a location of a person or people where the shooter has had problems. Most notable exceptions would be robbery-type events where the robber(s) and victim(s) don't necessarily even known one another. Plus, there are some additional truly random events in the sense that the shooter has no association with the victims at all. Obviously, these types of situations can happen to virtually anyone and seemingly in very random places.

    1975 - Easter Sunday Massacre - James Urban Ruppert murdered 11 family members in his mother's house at 635 Minor Avenue in Hamilton, Ohio.

    1982 - George Emil Banks, a former Camp Hill prison guard, shot 13 people to death in Wilkes-Barre City and Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania, including five of his own children.

    1985 - Springfield Mall, PA, Sylvia Seegrist killed 3, injured 7, was stopped by unarmed mall store employee who thought her gun wasn't real.

    1987 - Ronald Gene Simmons, Sr., (July 15, 1940 – June 25, 1990) was a retired United States Air Force master sergeant who killed 16 people over a weeklong period in 1987. Fourteen of the victims were members of his family, including a daughter he had sexually abused and the child he had fathered with her. He also wounded four others, Arkansas.

    1993 - Branch Davidians mass murder of numerous members in compound by firearm to prevent flight when building caught on fire. Autopsy records indicate that at least 20 Davidians were shot, including five children under the age of 14.

    2000 - Whicita Horror/Massacre, spree perpetrated by brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr, killing 5 and wounding a 5th over a period several days including committing assault, rape, and robbery.

    2004 Chai Soua Vang, a 35-year-old Hmong immigrant and naturalized U.S. citizen, shot eight people while deer hunting east of Birchwood in northern Wisconsin.

    2004 - McKinney, Texas, three robbers (Eddie Williams, Javier Cortez, and Raul Cortez) killed a check cashing store employee, her nephew, and his two friends in the home of the employee, Rosa Barbosa.

    2005 - Seven people were killed and four wounded when Terry Michael Ratzmann opened fire at a Living Church of God service at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield. Ratzmann, a 44-year-old computer technician, then committed suicide (Wisconsin) (hotel not posted).

    2005 - Tacoma Mall, Dominick Maldonado injured 6, then kidnapped 4. CCW responded by yelling at Maldonado, but with no gun deployed. The CCW was subsequently shot multiple times.

    2005 - Courthouse Square, Tyler, Texas, David Hernandez Arroyo Sr. killing 2 and wounding 4. Mark Wilson responded from his residence above the square and was killed after wounding Arroyo and being credited with saving lives. As this happened outside of the courthouse, Arroyo expected law enforcement and wore a fragmentation vest and ballistic vest.

    2006 - The Hamilton Avenue Murders is the colloquial name for the mass murder of seven people in a house at 560 North Hamilton Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana by James Stewart and Desmond Turner during a murder-robbery.

    2007 - Six were killed in Delavan when Ambrosio Analco entered an upper flat and shot his twin infant boys, his estranged wife, her sister and a friend. Analco, 23, then shot and killed himself (Wisconsin).

    2007 - a woman and her boyfriend shot dead six members of her family on Christmas Eve in Carnation, Washington.

    2007 - Youth with a Mission Center and New Life Church shootings by Matthew J. Murray (Colorado), killing 2 and injuring 2 at YWAM and later that day killing 3 (including self) and injuring 3 at New Life. Before the suicide, was shot by former police officer and volunteer security for the church).

    2008 - Dallas' LBJ Freeway Shooting Spree happened 3 days before Christmas. Jorge Lopez and William Scott Miller were killed by former Utah highway patrolman Brian Smith. Smith attempted to shoot people in several vehicles, injuring at least two others. He later shot himself and died the next day.

    2008 - Skagit County Shooting Spree, Isaac Zamora killed 6 including a deputy and injured two more during a shooting spree near his home and during a high speed chase on I-5.

    2008 - Santa Claus (Jeffrey Pardo) opened fire at a party of his exwife and ex-inlaws in Covina, CA, set the house on fire, committed suicide (8+1).

    2009 - Lakewood, WA, four cops killed in coffee shop by Maurice Clemmons.

    2009 - Pittsburgh, PA 3 cops killed and 2 wounded by Richard Poplawski who ambushed officers arriving on scene for a domestic dispute. Cops fired more than 600 rounds at Poplawski who was wearing a ballistic vest.

    2009 - Michael Kenneth McLendon went on a shooting spree spanning 2 counties in southern Alabama, killing 10 other than himself. Along the way, he shot at various people and vehicles and even stories such as Wal-mart and Piggly Wiggly.

    2009 - Cathouse Murders where 4 people were shot and killed including 2 pregnant women (making 6 murders), purportedly by Denny Edward Phillips and 3 accomplices, Oklahoma City, OK.

    2009 - Six killed in apartment building in Santa Clara, CA.

    2009 - Carthage, NC, Robert Stewart killed 8 in nursing home shooting (where his wife worked) and 3 officers were injured as well.

    2009 - Six people, including one student, were shot in a drive-by shooting at a community rally on the campus of Texas Southern University, Houston. (outside areas, streets, etc. not gun-free zones).

    2010 - Christopher Speight killed 8 in Virginia home.

    2011 - Giffords shooting, Tucson, AZ. Jared Loughner opened fire, killing 6, wounding 13, plus there was 1 additional non-gunfire injury that resulted. CCW person responded to late to be of any use with a gun.

    2011 - Mass shooting of family in Wheatland, WY by Everett Conant, killing his 3 sons, brother, and wounding his wife.

    2011 - Eduardo Sencion killed 5 (including self), wounded 7 at a Carson City, NV IHOP.

    2011 - Copley Community, Ohio, Michael E. Hance, killed 7 in two houses. All were shot in the head.

    2011 - Detroit Police Station, Lamar Moore opened fire from in front of the counter, then hopped the counter, shooting 4 officers (none died).

    2012 - Binh Thai Luc killed 5 in a home robbery in San Francisco.

    2012 - Café Racer, Ian Stawicki killed 4 and wounded the chef before leaving and later attempting to carjack a woman, killing her.

    Sure, there are mass/spree shootings in gun-free zones and some have definitely been horrific and of very large scale such as UT and VT school shootings and the media loves these events, but lesser known mass/spree shootings also happen quite a bit too.
  2. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    I do want to pose the quick question that, while some of these are 'Gun Free Zones,' how many weren't but did have posted 'no guns allowed' signs?
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    The gun community meme that mass shootings intentionally take place in "Gun Free Zones" is a myth cooked up by our side. It is embarrassingly easy to debunk.

    VA Tech took place because the shooter was a student there not because no one would have a weapon.

    The Giffords shooting took place in an unrestricted public setting in a state where anyone could have been armed and where people with CCW were nearby.

    The Aurora shooter picked a place where he'd have concentration of victims that had poor opportunity for escape. Anyone could have been carrying in spite of the "gun buster" sign on the door of the theater.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  4. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    The important thing to me in mass shootings in designated "gun free" zones is that the "no gun" signs deterred the lawabiding from carrying in practically every incident reported, but did not deter the mass murderer.

    In the Appalachian Law School shooting, the two off-duty police officers who were students abided by the law and left their personal guns in their vehicles in the parking lot; the killer did not. In Tennessee, business and schools can elect to bar you from even having gun in your car in their parking lot. They were able to intervene after retrieving their guns, but if the school had barred guns in the parking lot, they probably would have complied with that. Appalachian Law is usually cited as an instance of a potential mass shooting stopped by armed citizens.

    I would limit any list to mass shootings not involving police. (1) They are a diff category than the others and (2) they are too controversial politically to allow you to follow a theme.
    According to the Texas medical examiner, the Davidians with gunshot wounds were in locations where they were surrounded by fire; flight was not an option, and he has told anyone who cares to listen that he considered those shootings to be mercy killings of and by people burning to death. You get sidetracked by bringing up such incidents.
  5. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Well-Known Member

    In the Branch Davidian example you left out the involvement of the government who initiated the entire slaughter.
  6. gbeecher

    gbeecher Well-Known Member

    Nothing really changes...

    Jeremiah 17:9 says, 'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?' Criminals and evil persons will continue to do what they have always done and laws will not stop them. Rules and laws are made to establish order in society and are only worthwhile if they can be reasonably and effectively enforced, do the most good for the largest number of people, and protect the liberty of the individual. :(
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    How do we know they "abided by the law" and didn't just leave their weapons in their vehicle as a matter of course? Without a statement from either of them we're just assuming they elected not to carry because of the law instead of convenience.
  8. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    All of these places had one thing in commom. They were all MURDER FREE ZONES as murder is illegal everywhere. Anyone willing to comit mass murder will have no problem breaking minor laws in order to facilitate murder.
  9. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    While this is true, it does show that 1) gun-free zones don't work, and one should easily be able to see that 2) in these scenarios, having a firearm would be one of the few ways to be able to fight back. I know of the Tueller drill, but it the point where he is already firing, all he has to do is notice someone charging in his direction and turn.

    So, maybe they don't target "gun free zones" on purpose (some probably do, or they choose which venue based on whether it will be gun free or not), but gun free zones don't prevent criminals from bringing guns in to commit crimes - they DO prevent law abiding citizens from protecting themselves against said criminal.

    How was it worded in a sarcastic post a while back? The gun free zone is saying its okay to be afraid of a lunatic with a gun, but carrying a gun to protect against said lunatic is paranoid.
  10. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    We know gun free zones don't work, but we also have lots of folks who apparently 'know' that mass shootings don't occur in non-gun-zones or think that the bad guys just pick gun-free zones because people don't have guns there. There aren't many instances where people who have committed mass shootings in gun-free zones didn't already have problems with people in those zones. Many of the gun-free zone shootings are disgruntled employees. Note that they don't go to some other business and shoot it up because it is closer, an easier target, or otherwise more convenient. They go to where the problem was and do it.

    Turns out as hso and Owen have echoed, these events happen plenty in non-gun-free zones. Bad guys attack whomever they please and when they please. For example, Arroyo picked a non-gun-free zone in a CHL state, but when to where his ex-wife was. He just prepared better than most.

    Also, many of the gun-free zone shootings start of with murders in non-gun-free zones, such as with Charlie Whitman.

    All this goes hand-in-hand with the incorrectly conceived notions that gun stores are safe from robbery, shootings don't happen at police stations and gun ranges. Of course these things happen. It may not be logical that they happen, but the perps doing these things often don't share our logic and love of life.

    However, I will offer this challenge/request for help. Of the surviving gun-free zone shooters or from the letters left behind by those who were killed that shot up locations where they had not had trouble previously, how many have mentioned that they picked a particular location because they expected little or no firearms resistence? I am sure there has to be some documentation of this. Folks that shoot up locations where they have not had trouble probably do have some criteria for selecting those locations and it would be interesting to see how many include the notion of the locations being gun-free.

    I don't offer this challenge as being antagonistic, but because I can't find the examples, but I keep thinking I have come across one or two previously. I just don't know where.
  11. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    My point was that gun-free zones disarm me, and do not disarm him. Therefore, it only stops the law-abiding citizen from exercizing his rights, and does not actually do anything to prevent crime.
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    There probably isn't. This may be because leaving any documentation or making a statement is unlikely addressing this OR it may be because it is only a consideration in our minds and not the deranged minds of mass murderers.
  13. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Yeah, we know how they work. Got it. That wasn't ever in doubt. This isn't a thread on if gun-free zones are bad or how they work. If you want to debate that, then feel free to start another thread. You have no disagreement from me. However, this thread is about the fact that gun-free zones are far from being the only places targeted by mass shooters despite the recurring claims that gun-free zones are picked because they are gun free....despite the fact as hso pointed out...

  14. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    I understand your position. I was saying that in reality, it doesn't matter much whether they target it because it is a gun free zone or it isn't. The reason why the myth was created is because of how the zones work, and the myth isn't necessarily false - someone could choose a location based on the chance of armed resistance.
  15. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    You started the thread on the topic, don't get rude if people want to debate it or add their input. That is kind of the point of a forum.

    In fact I agree that these shooting don't happen JUST in gun free zones but the fact is gun free zones offer no protection from these types of shootings and do in fact make them more successful and dangerous. Did Brevig target the boys camp in Norway because it was a gun free zone? I don't know but the fact that it was, and and armed police response was a long ways away certainly helped him to make it the most deadly mass shooting in history.

    You could also have a list of public shootings that were stopped by concealed carry holders or armed officers that were on the scene. Its all anecdotal and does little to prove the case either way. The idea we just "cooked up" the idea of the dangers of a gun free zone does nothing to improve the situation either. While you can't prove the Aurora theater was targeted because it was a gun free zone you also can't prove his shooting would have been as successful if it wasn't nor can you prove he would have targeted that theater if there was armed security there or that armed citizens couldn't have stopped him. Its all conjecture so lets no act like your personal opinion carries the weight of fact while someone else's doesn't deserve to be heard.
  16. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Well-Known Member

    Signs saying Gun Free Zone or No Firearms Allowed are truly pointless. If they really work, why don't banks just post signs saying "Robbery Free Zone"?
  17. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Well-Known Member

    A lot of these were "gun free zones" at the time they happened. Laws change, and many of these shootings occurred before citizens were permitted to carry concealed. Florida issued the first carry permits in 1987, but most states didn't follow suit until years later.
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    We don't have any indication that this assumption is borne out of fact. So called "gun free zones" haven't been shown to have any impact on potential for a mass shooting or on the severity. We assume that this is the case, but the mass shootings in areas without the posting against carry don't demonstrate any significant difference.
  19. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the research. It would be interesting to see your list further refined by a few factors - was either CCW or open carry allowed by state/local law in these areas, what was the statistical percentage, at that time, in that area, of CCW permit holders, and I would probably remove any LE only style shootings, as LE can, of course, carry anywhere they need to and far more places a civilian can, for instance, the Detroit police station shootout - I am willing to bet a small amount that other than the shooter, there wasn't another armed civilian inside the station, a classic "no guns" zone. Also, attacking a police station can be more correctly termed, "suicide by cop".
    Also, the circumstances surrounding the shooting, such as the fact that Gabby Giffords, an NRA D rated Democrat was meeting her constituents in public, (just down the street from where I was that day, too), not a group normally armed. Second ,if unarmed Arizonans HADN'T disarmed the murderer, the CCW holder might have had to engage him, changing that scenario entirely.
    Perhaps we should re-frame the debate to, do "mass shootings" tend to take place in areas that have a less likelihood of holding lawfully armed citizens?
  20. JERRY

    JERRY Well-Known Member

    one common denominator, in each of those mass shootings none of the victims shot back at their murderer.
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