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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. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    I think there is a difference between a mass shooting at a public place and a home style family shooting. Its not really analogous to compare the two.
     
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree that a mass shooting where the shooter has a relationship with someone at the location is different than the other types like Batman or Giffords.
     
  3. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

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    Many of these shootings happen where people could legally carry a handgun if they wanted to.

    Even at the Va Tech incident, a student could legally carried a handgun under VA law with a license. The student would have been breaking school POLICY, but not law.

    There just aren't a lot of people that carry handguns in public. I would bet that even though TN has 3-5% of the adult population licensed, that most people get a license to legally keep a handgun in the car.
     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed.
     
  5. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I get your point, but don't agree and I don't agree because there is no definitional difference between the two and nobody seems to care about it when it comes up for discussion when they occur in gun-free zones. In fact, I would say that you are the first person I have seen suggest they should not be compared. They may not be analogous, but they are homologous.

    Not only that, but most workplace mass shootings, while usually not family, do also involve the same concept of familiarity. The shooter knows most or all of his/her victims and often targets specific ones, sometimes to the point of being sure that others are allowed to leave safely.

    Now if you wished to separate out mass shootings where the shooter did know his victims from shooters who did not, that might be an interesting distinction, but even in many of those cases, the shooter started out by killing people known to him/her first such as with Whitman and Cho.

    If you think about it, you can come up with all sorts of distinctions.
    Robbery mass shooting...
    Family
    Workplace (disgruntled employee)
    School (student shooter)
    Family workplace
    Crazy person (e.g. Sylvia Seegrist)
    Mall shooters
    Maybe crazy (Carson City IHOP)
    There are the shooters like Cho and Whitman who seem to be bent on killing all that they can kill before being stopped and those like Peter O. that have particular targets in mind and stop shooting after accomplishing their goal.

    ...and on and on and on. There are really a lot of ways you could break things down to separate out shootings and then say they aren't comparable because they don't share whatever distinction trait you think is important, but the bottom line of the mass shooting is that it involves 4 or more people and if you are in one, it doesn't matter if it is a family or non-family mass shooting, does it? At the root of it you are still left with the individual who is shooting multiple people and this happens in gun-free zones and non-gun-free zones.

    So with that said, why would you say that they are not comparable and what does not being comparable mean regarding mass shootings? I disagree with you so far, but maybe only because I don't see the justification behind your statement. The statement itself doesn't shed light on a justification.
     
  6. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    DNS, in general I agree with your your thought process. However, in terms of your examples, I do believe there is a difference between a single location, single time events and something that is more spread out over several locations and time periods.

    Even with really excellent situational awareness, some reaction time is necessary. If a citizen had been carrying in Aurora, but they were the first victim and had no time to get their gun out, it would not do much good. In cases where an active shooter leaves a scene and starts shooting somewhere else, there are several "first victims" and there is shock/reaction time at each new scene before anyone could respond.

    Again, I agree with you and HSO, in that I think Virginia Tech was chosen not because it was gun free but because it was the shooter's school. I also agree with members who stated that gun free zones don't work, but that isn't the point of your thread.

    I would also argue that while the percentage of society that carries a firearm is very small, the percentage of those who regularly carry a firearm who also carry while in their house is smaller still. While many of us realize that getting into danger in public is a possibility, although a remote one, most people tend to feel safe in their own homes. A husband shooting his wife, her mother, and the kids, although technically a mass shooting, seems different to me than a mass shooting on the street or a movie theater. You can argue that the wife and her mother both were allowed to carry in their home, which is fair, but I see domestic violence as separate from public, random victim mass shootings.

    I think the Giffords shooting is a good example of a mass shooting in a non gun free zone, and I'm sure there are many others.
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Where a mass shooting occurs because the shooter has a bad relationship with someone at the location is different than when they have no personal relationship as the basis for the shooting, but I wonder if the dynamics are the same in that they're not expecting to go on to carry out another mass shooting, even though they may not have decided to shoot anyone but the particular person they have that relationship with when they headed out.

    Standard criminal predator - easy target to avoid personal injury/capture so they can go on with their life of crime/violence

    Shooting where the shooter has a personal relationship - broken personal relationship (boss, spouse, family, partner), they may pick a time/place that optimizes their ability to carry out the shooting, but aren't as concerned with the risk. No expectation so no plan for what to do after.

    Shooting where the shooter has no personal relationship - no broken true personal relationship for basis of selection of where/when so the time and place may not have anything to do with what we would see as a motive other than proximity/familiarity/convenience/bad service/fantasy due to psychosis. There's no thought as to opposition or aftermath, just body count and no deterrence other than physically barring access.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  8. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    DNS, I like this information. Thanks for providing it. I think what it says to me most is that something like this can happen ANYWHERE and hence I should be, and should have the right to be, as prepared as possible should it happen. I may not be able to do anything to stop it or save my life, but I'd rather go out firing than hiding.
     
  9. One_Jackal

    One_Jackal member

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    First, let me write a disclaimer: I am not a murderer nor do I have any intention of taking anyone's life. I respect gun buster signs and secure my weapons when I enter a building with a gun buster sign.

    If I was planning a mass murder I wouldn't care about the circumstances. I know in the end I will die, any collateral damage is just part of the process. Whatever my reason or goal might be that would be my main objective. Since I would be on a death mission an armed citizen would not be a deterrent, after all I am ready to take on the police department. My logic would be the armed citizen is outgunned. If he wants to play a movie character or be a hero there is no spot in Arlington, VA for him, just a grave. Then I would execute my mission...
     
  10. TrickyDick

    TrickyDick Member

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    Waco: they did not murder them, they spared them from being burnt alive by the ATF
     
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Unless said armed citizen decked you the instant that you walked in and started shooting. A bullet through the ol' wishbone is a pretty effective deterrent.

    Even if you get lucky enough to see him make his move in time to shoot him first, he dies on his feet fighting for his life instead of on his knees begging for it. Pretty much a no-brainer...at least for me.
     
  12. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Glad you do. Here is more that you will like even more and it is one I missed.

    2012 - Sacramento, CA home invasion, Xue Lor killed 3 and wounded a 4th before being shot and killed himself by the murdered couple's son. So this is another instance in a mass shooting where somebody has shot back and changed the intended outcome.

    Whether in a gun-free zone or not, guns may or may not be the right answer to the problem, or discharging or the amount of discharge (e.g., see NYPD shooting lots of folks in addition to the only actual threat, the murderer of the Empire State Building employee). For example, tackling active shooters and shooters threatening to go active has stopped lots of shootings. No doubt it is dangerous and has shortcomings, but so too can have a gun as Mark Wilson found out. However, you decide to respond, you need to be smart about it.
    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=436861&highlight=tackling

    2012 - PORT ST. JOHN, Fl, Tonya Thomas shoots her 4 children and kills self, but doesn't manage to kill 3 of them the first time who fled to the neighbor's home, but the mother called for them to come back where she finished them off. OMG.

    2012 - Chandler, AZ, JT Ready shot and killed his girlfriend, 3 of her family, then himself.

    I thought I would try supplementing the list by using different search methods. On second thought, searching by number of murdered by shooting is likely to produce a giant listing when domestic events. I can put one together if more needs to be shown that these events happen more often than ever expected by us because we don't see them on the news when they are just treated as local events, but I think the point may have been made already. Just know that you can be over at your cousin's house when her ex-boyfriend shows up to kill her and anyone else there, despite it not being a gun-free zone. I will look for more public shootings in non-gun-free areas.
     
  13. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    For all of these stats and arguments, I've yet to find one instance of a mass shooting at a gun range (as opposed to a gun shop) or a gun show. So mass murders never have problems with someone at a range or gun show?

    These homicidal criminals rarely pick a situation where they know their victims will be armed or prepared for violence. I've never heard of a murder at a martial arts school either. They pick places where people feel safe and won't be armed or resist, they want their victims to die in fear. So I am always less comfortable places where I cannot carry a weapon.

    Of course these are just my observations and conclusions. I know bad things can happen anywhere, as I've been assaulted when I was younger while walking in my neighborhood and another time at a friend's apartment during a birthday party. Both were by people with who I had no previous negative interactions.
     
  14. akodo

    akodo Member

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    Pearl Mississippi School Shooting

    While the student didn't seek out that particular location because it was a 'gun free zone' (he picked it because it was his school) the vice principal who stopped the shooting with his own gun made the very calculated decision to #1 have a gun in his car and #2 park his car off school property so as to obey the law.

    He had to run a fair distance and return, all the while the kid was shooting. Had the law been different the VP's decision to always have a gun would probably not have changed, but he would have parked in his designated spot which was right out in front of the school (or possibly kept a gun in his desk)

    In this instance while the 'no guns' classification did not ATTRACT a shooter, it did not deter the shooter.

    It did significantly slow the ultimately successful armed resistance, increasing the severity of the event (more time for kids to be shot)

    Yes, this is just ONE instance, but it is one I remember off the top of my head. I suspect that a careful gleaning of shooting would probably turn over a few more.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  15. akodo

    akodo Member

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    Logical fallacy.

    I can list many places where there isn't one instance of mass shootings.

    For instance, there has never been a mass shooting in any elephant enclosure in any zoo. It is not logical to derive from that fact the conclusion that all we need to do to prevent shootings is have more elephants everywhere.
     
  16. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Few people spend enough time at gun ranges or gun shows to actually get mad enough to built up and all out assault against occupants there. It isn't that they don't have problems, but that they aren't there very much, very often, and chances are don't really know too many people there either.

    But they do pick LOTS of situations where people can be armed, often expect armed resistence, and prepare for it.

    There are murders at gun ranges.

    As for never hearing of a murder at a martial arts school, maybe you should look around a bit more...
    http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=65906

    And yet as hso has noted, there isn't any indication of what you are saying for mass murders picking locations where they know folks to be unarmed. In most cases, they don't know if and what folks are unarmed or armed.

    They may pick places where people feel safe, but only because people tend not to be in places where they don't feel safe. Imagine that. There is no indication that they pick places BECAUSE people feel safe at those places. The places are simply where the people are that they want to shoot and more often than not, the people are ones with whom the shooter(s) has had conflict, often long term.
     
  17. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Multiple anecdotes do not equal fact. Without including information of mass shootings that were stopped by people with firearms the comparison is without merit in my opinion. Also there is a definite difference between a mass public shooting where the gunman walks into a public place full of strangers and one where they shooter knows the people he is going after. If he knows the people, their habits, what weapons they have, where they are, how they will react, and a HOST of other factors it changes the nature of the event completely.

    Additionally, since I would wager that none of us have studied the motivations of mass shooters to find out exactly WHY they picked a certain venue it doesn't have any merit to say they definitely did or did NOT choose a venue because it was a gun free zone. Some of you are making assumptions like they are facts. The bigger question is whether or not a gun free zone does anything to stop acts like this from occurring when it clearly doesn't. The next question is, if it does happen isn't there some chance an armed response could have changed the outcome? I think the answer is that sometimes it has and sometimes it hasn't but we can also see that having NO guns never helped.
     
  18. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Mass shootings can happen anywhere there are people, including places where firearms are not allowed. Historically, determined killers seem to be able to figure out a way to strike whenever, wherever, and whomever they choose, and we simply cannot know in advance what choices they will make. Often, we don't know why they choose one place over another.
    There is nothing in the OP's data or any other data that I can find which lends any credence to the notion that a disarmed society is a safer society or that the existence or availability of firearms makes a mass killer from someone who, in the absence of a gun, would not be. If a killer chooses to use a firearm, he or she has gone to some degree of trouble to facilitate that choice, a clear indication that the killer was determined enough to find a way, gun or not.

    So, we can reach some relevant (from a RKBA perspective) conclusions:

    1) Being armed will probably not prevent one from being a victim if he/she has been selected or happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    There is little data regarding how many of the victims of mass shootings were carrying a firearm but had no chance of deploying it or chose not to deploy it. If a random person is carrying a concealed handgun, the shooter can't tell, and a concealed pistol will not act as a bullet shield. A CCW holder who witnesses an event is under no compulsion to state whether he or was carrying at the time.

    2) Being armed might or might not put one in a position to stop or hinder a mass shooter.

    We know that in some cases of mass shootings there were law-abiding civilians with firearms present who did not act or could not act to stop the shooting. We also know that some shooters have been subdued by citizens without firearms. In either case, the killer is on offense--he knows what he is about to do, and the rest of us do not. That gives him the advantage.

    3) Creating gun-free zones has little to no effect on a would-be shooter.

    The OP's detailed data reveal nothing conclusive about whether gun-free zones make any difference at all. It's been said many times: a law breaker doesn't respect gun-free zones. The prevalence of murder-suicides in the OP's data indicates that a lot of mass shooters have no intention of surviving the event, and in those cases the potential deterrence value of a gun in the hands of a permitted civilian is absent or at least irrelevant.

    4) We have no formula for accurately predicting who the next killer will be.

    Antis like to argue that many of the mass shooters in recent history obtained firearms and ammunition legally, so it is clear that current laws don't do enough to screen out potential murderers. What they fail to acknowledge, however, is that the laws regarding who can get a driving license fail to screen out drivers who will eventually cause a fatal crash, or that turning 21 doesn't suddenly make one a responsible drinker. Simply put, if we try to create a system that restricts access to a potentially harmful thing to all but those whom we can be certain will never cause harm with that thing, we will all have nothing. Not even salt or sugar. We could not, under those conditions, claim to be a free people.

    In the end, I agree with jon in wv: there doesn't seem to be a single case in which the absence of all other guns made a mass shooting less devastating. Antis like to argue that civilians pulling pistols would lead to a blood bath far worse than a single shooter can cause, but ZERO evidence of this has ever crossed my desk.
     
  19. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Thinking along this line, when dealing with someone who will only discuss things at a gut emotional level (some of my cousins) there is probably merit in making a Reductio ad absurdum argument that since driving laws are clearly incapable of screening safe drivers only professionally licensed vehicles and drivers (analogous to the police as professional gun carriers) should be allowed on highways.

    "We should all turn in our cars to make the highways safer because they would be POV free zones."

    I know that there are some folks who already think private vehicles should be outlawed, but I think the vast majority would back off from from that if you push the analogous argument to them. Americans want their car.
     
  20. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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  21. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    oops, wrong information.
     
  22. 4season

    4season Member

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    While reading thru the list I noticed a few things.
    1. Some of these examples happened in states before carry permits were easy to obtain. Would this not basically make the state a gun free zone?
    2. Some of these examples are direct attacks on police. While we can't know someones intent in these situation, there is a thing called suicide by cop. I don't think you can include these in mass shooting because the cops are targets.
    3. Many of these examples are of a domestic dispute nature. I don't think you can classify these as mass shootings because it would appear that the killer simply wanted to do away with their family. While it is horrible and normally is mental issue related I don't think these are true mass shootings where normal members of the public at large are targeted.
    4. Some of these examples have happened beyond a "gun buster" sign. While some states these signs don't have any legal status, here in Tennessee violating them is a class b misdemeanor. Even when there is no force of law behind these signs, many people respect them either thru ignorance or just basic common courtesy. I don't think you can fairly group these in with "non-gun free zones."
    5. Some of these examples are workplace violence. Like the family shootings these are horrible and committed by someone with extreme mental problems. But to group these in with mass shootings I think is a characterization. I know this is the weakest of my points so let me explain. I think of a "Mass Shooting" as a terrorist style attack. The general public is targeted. The idea is to scare the general public and get glory for the killer or the killer's cause. I group the workplace killings in with family killings because many people are closer to their coworkers than they are to their own family. In these instances many times the killer blames their boss or coworkers for ruining their life so the are exacting revenge, just like the family killings.

    Now I am by no means saying that "Mass Shootings" only happen in "Gun Free Zones." However if you look at the percentages it is much more likely. Also on the point of the letters that murder/suicide killers leave not mentioning the reason they chose a gun free zone, these killers are out for celebrity. Why would they mention their own cowardliness in their final words? While I can appreciate your research I still feel that I am more likely to be a victim in a "Gun Free Zone" than I am when I am legally allowed to carry my gun.
    Now I am not saying that "Mass Shootings" only happen in "Gun Free Zones"
     
  23. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    DNS, correct me if I am wrong, but I think what you are trying to say in a nutshell is this: the vast majority of mass shootings, and indeed maybe all of them, do not seem to correlate with gun-free or non-gun-free zones. If we insist on making the argument that shootings ONLY happen in gun-free zones, it is too easy to be proven wrong, and hence that argument damages, and does not help, a pro-gun rights stance. We should stop making the argument and argue instead that the evidence suggests that mass shootings happen just as often in gun-free zones as in non-gun-free zones, and hence gun-free zones do not work. I think that is the more powerful argument anyway. Criminals don't care about laws, if they did they wouldn't be out looking to murder dozens of people in the first place.
     
  24. we are not amused

    we are not amused Member

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    So "Gun Free Zones" are just peachy, and we need more of them since they are so effective?:barf:
     
  25. we are not amused

    we are not amused Member

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    If what you are saying is DNS's intent, should we be making the anti's point for them?

    If they aren't smart enough to figure it out on their own, (and they haven't yet, despite this argument having been out there a lonnng time!) should we be helping them?

    By the way, I don't at all accept his premise that his list all happened where guns were permitted, or that the Waco massacure was by the Branch Davidians, I seem to remember a FLIR video that showed the FBI firing into the burning building, and the fact that the BATF lied under oath to get their original Search Warrant, and that they fired first. I look at Waco as a Government Massacre.

    A good point about the fact that many of the shootings occurred in Public places, prior to Concealed Carry laws being enacted, which made them De Facto gun free zones.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
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