How To End School Mass Shootings Right Now

Abolish pretend “gun-free” zones:

The policy has been in effect for years in Utah, and there have never been any problems caused by armed teachers. Not a single one.

At Utah public colleges and universities, the same law has applied for years, so that school employees, and students who are least 21 years old, can carry lawfully. That has been the rule at Colorado State University since 2003, at almost all other Colorado public institutions of higher education since 2010, at the final hold-out (the University of Colorado) since early 2012, when CU lost 7-0 in the Colorado Supreme Court. Opponents have raised all sorts of hysterical scenarios (e.g., 18-year-olds bringing Kalashnikov rifles to a kegger; students pulling a gun during a heated debate in a literature class), but of course none of these scenarios have come to pass.

But hysterical and ignorant speculation is all they have.

7 thoughts on “How To End School Mass Shootings Right Now

  1. George Turner

    Looking back over the list of massacres in “gun-free zones” you go from Newton to Littleton (and all but one of the post-1950 mass public shootings), and evenutally on to everywhere Genghis Khan rode, Rome (multiple times), Jerusalem during the Crusades, Carthage, Troy…

    There’s also a strong link between disarming a population and subsequent genocide.

  2. Will McLean

    It might help a bit but promising to “end all mass school shootings right now” is grossly overoptimistic. The vast majority of mass shootings happen in places that aren’t legally mandated to be “gun free”. Also, Kopel omits to mention that the Appalachian Law shooter was out of bullets when subdued.

    1. George Turner

      The majority of mass murders are committed in the home or during the commission of a crime, but those usually only make local news. The national media presents a statistically unusual sample. However, all but one mass murder in a public place since 1950 has been committed in a gun-free zone, and the exception was the Gifford’s shooting. It may be that plenty of mass shooting are attempted in other places, but when an armed citizen or off-duty police officer intervenes, the average number of deaths is 2.5, which is below the threshold of four that the FBI uses to define a mass murder.

    2. Rand Simberg Post author

      It might no end them all, but it would significantly reduce them. And in fact you have it backwards. The vast majority are in “gun-free zones.” The only exceptions of which I’m aware are the Giffords shooting in Tucson, and the Texas Tower.

      1. Will McLean

        Many mass shootings happen on private property open to the public. The owner *may* prohibit firearms on his property, or not. For example, the owner may require visitors and employees to be unarmed. MY own experience is that i rarely see signs telling me that guns are not permitted on the premises, although I understand that some of the shooting sites did this. For example, unless the owners of the Seattle cafe victimized May 20, 2012 took positive efforts to prevent it, customers licensed to carry could have been armed, employees licensed to carry could have been armed, and the owner could have been armed even without license to carry. The last victim murdered in that case was on a public street.

        Other mass shootings took place at private parties, the most recent in Crandon, Wisconsin in 2007.

        Workplace is an even bigger category, and whether the workplace was “gun free” was a question of employer policy.

  3. Al

    10% pay increase for any school employee willing to earn a pistol safety-and-rangetime certification (Think: Lifeguard-class-and-certification-like) and keep a firearm stored in a classroom gunsafe.

    1. Michael Kent

      It would be better not to offer the monetary reward. If some of the education majors I’ve known over the years are typical, they’d do anything for a few extra bucks, even if they weren’t qualified.

      Some personalities just shouldn’t be armed — and not just the whacked-out nutjobs, either.

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