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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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A Gun-Free Zone at Ft. Hood


With the massacre at Ft. Hood, we once again see the consequences of gun control.

Remember what the gun controllers say: that once gun control is imposed, would-be murderers will obey the gun-control law by resorting to some other form of murder. At least the killers won’t use a gun, the gun-controllers exclaim, because gun possession is now against the law.

Yet, once again that reasoning hasn’t panned out at Ft. Hood, any more than it panned out at Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, or, for that matter, on the streets of Washington, D.C., the gun-control, murder capital of America.

As libertarians have pointed out, time and time again, would-be murderers don’t give a hoot for gun-control laws. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, if would-be murderers are willing to violate laws against murder, it is certain that they will have no reservations about violating gun-control laws.

Therefore, what gun control accomplishes is a disarming of people who would otherwise have the ability to defend themselves from would-be murderers. The peaceful, law-abiding citizenry is forced into simply dodging bullets from the murderer’s illegally possessed guns until the cops arrive.

Consider, for example, the massacre that took place at that Killeen cafeteria in 1991. The patrons of the restaurant were killed because they lacked the means to defend themselves from the murderer, who was violating a gun-control law by carrying his gun into the restaurant. The murderer just kept firing to his heart’s content, knowing that this was a governmentally imposed gun-free zone, until the cops arrived and cornered him, causing him to commit suicide. By that time, he had killed 23 people and wounded another 20.

Need better proof than that? Well, consider this: Suzanna Gratia Hupp, who entered that Killeen cafeteria with her parents, decided to leave her handgun in her truck because she didn’t want to risk a felony conviction by illegally carrying it into the restaurant. Thus, when the shooting commenced, she lacked the means to defend herself, her parents, and everyone else. Her parents were shot and killed. Hupp managed to escape but her parents did not. Watch Hupp’s moving testimony before Congress here, including her statement at the end about the real purpose behind the Second Amendment.

Now, you would think that of all places where people would be armed, it would be a military base. Not so, however. There are strict gun-control laws on military bases, including a prohibition against concealed-carry, even if the state in which the base is located permits concealed-carry.

Thus, at Ft. Hood, the shooter knew that the likelihood of anyone being able to defend himself from the coming onslaught was virtually nil. He knew that since this was a federal gun-free zone, he would be able to shoot his gun and kill his victims until he ran out of ammunition or until the local police arrived and gunned him down.

Why do shooters select gun-free zones to commit their massacres rather than, say, gun shows? No doubt that question continues to befuddle the gun-control crowd.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.