FFF CONFERENCE NOTE: Jim Bovard, who has long served as a policy advisor to FFF and a monthly contributor to our journal Future of Freedom, will be our online speaker this evening, Tuesday, September 28, at 7 pm as part of our ongoing weekly conference “Restoring Our Civil Liberties.” Jim is the author of the award-winning Lost Rights and many other great books. The Wall Street Journal described him as “the roving inspector general of the modern state.” Washington Post columnist George Will called him a “one-man truth squad.” I call him one of my personal heroes for his courage and commitment to truth. He is one of the most entertaining speakers in the libertarian movement. To participate in the presentation, register here and a Zoom link will be sent to you. Jim’s talk will be around 45-minutes to 1 hour, followed by Q&A. We hope to see you there!
The inanity of gun control is on full display in the county in which I live — Loudoun County — here in Virginia.
At the entrance of the county’s senior centers, there is a sign posted declaring in big red ink, “No Firearms or Ammunition Allowed in This Building.”
Presumably, the purpose of this gun-control policy is to protect visitors to the senior centers from being massacred by some crazed killer coming into the building and shooting everyone.
What is amazing to me is how educated people cannot see the fallacy behind that line of reasoning. The mindset is a real testament to what the state’s public schooling system does to people’s reasoning ability.
Let’s break the policy down and analyze it from a critical perspective.
It is safe to assume that visitors to the senior centers are going to comply with the law. If they don’t and they get caught, they are subject to being prosecuted for a Class 1 misdemeanor. That means that the violator is subject to being jailed for one year and fined $2,500.
How many seniors are going to take the chance of having to spend one year of their lives in the county jail or even just pay a $2,500 fine? Sure, one could say that no judge would ever do that, but who can be certain of that? If some gun-control judge wants to make an example out of a gun-control violator, he is empowered to do so by imposing the maximum possible sentence on the violator.
A gun-control proponent would say, “Jacob, not being able to carry a weapon into the senior centers is a small price to pay to be kept safe.”
There’s the rub. That’s the part gun-control advocates simply cannot see as fallacious. Since visitors to the senior centers are mostly likely not going to want to take a chance with a Class 1 misdemeanor, the assumption is that everyone will then be safe from being shot up.
But now let’s consider the perspective of the crazed killer — that is, the person who decides to walk into a senior center and bring an early death to all those older people by shooting them. What goes through his mind?
Well, he arrives at the senior center with a fully loaded AR-15 and a couple of Glock 19 pistols. He approaches the front door and suddenly sees that sign that declares in big red ink, “No Firearms or Ammunition Allowed in This Building.”
So what does he do? Well, of course, he turns around and returns home. He’s not about to risk a Class 1 misdemeanor by walking into that building and shooting as many people as he can.
And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. To think that that sign is going to stop a crazed killer from walking into the building and killing people is ludicrous. After all, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, if a person doesn’t care about obeying a law against murder, which is a felony, he is not going to care about obeying a misdemeanor law against carrying a gun into a building.
But that’s the assumption behind the law! If anything, seeing that sign is going to encourage the killer to keep going. That’s because he now knows that everyone in that gun-free building is going to be a sitting duck since no one will be able to defend himself from the killer.
If the sign at the front door instead declared in great big red ink, “People have the right to carry concealed weapons into this building,” there is a good chance the killer might then turn around and go home since he would know that there will likely be people who will be shooting back at him. At the very least, people in the senior center have the ability to defend themselves rather than simply wait to be shot.
Ironically, Loudoun County posts the same sign at its public parks, but with an exception: People with concealed-carry permits are allowed to carry concealed weapons while in the parks.
Too bad the county doesn’t apply the same policy to its senior centers. Why protect the right of people to defend themselves from crazed killers in parks but prevent them from defending themselves from crazed killers in senior centers? That’s inane!