Clinton and Obama don’t work or live in a gun-free zone. They
should stop the lectures.
In a new Gallup poll released, a nearly two-to-one margin of
Americans (64 to 34 percent) think that increasing the number of
people carrying concealed handguns will help prevent terrorism.
Even 45 percent of Democrats agree.
Civilians aren’t alone in these views. PoliceOne, a private
organization with 450,000 members (380,000 full-time active law
enforcement and 70,000 retired), polled its members in 2013
shortly after the Newtown, Conn., massacre. Eighty-six percent
of respondents said that allowing legally armed citizens to
carry guns in places such as Newtown and Aurora would have
But not everyone has gotten the message.
While Donald Trump has called to end gun-free zones, Hillary
Clinton, speaking in the aftermath of the Orlando atrocity,
dismissed the idea as “reckless” and as evidence that her
opponent is “temperamentally unfit” to be president.
Other Democrats have chimed in. President Obama, in his prepared
remarks after the shootings at Pulse, announced: “The notion
that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more
people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies
common sense.” Bill Clinton asserted that if someone had a
permitted concealed handgun at the Pulse nightclub, “it is
likely that more people would have been killed.”
There are dozens of cases, most in the last five years, in which
concealed-handgun permit holders stopped mass public shootings.
But there are dozens of cases, most in the last five years, in
which concealed-handgun permit holders stopped mass public
shootings. Last year, these cases occurred in such places as a
busy sidewalk in Chicago, a volunteer fire department having a
children’s day in South Carolina, a barbershop in Philadelphia,
a store in Conyers, Ga., and a street in Winton, Ohio. In not
one of all these cases did a permit holder accidentally shoot an
innocent bystander. Nor did the police accidentally shoot these
heroes upon arriving at the scene.
Time after time, we see killers consciously pick target zones in
which their victims are defenseless. Look at the shootings over
the last couple of years that occurred at a church in
Charleston, a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., a sorority house
in Santa Barbara, and in Canada. Only 1 percent of the mass
public shootings since 1950 have occurred where general citizens
have been able to defend themselves.
The Sunday-morning national talk shows have made much of the
fact that Pulse nightclub served alcohol. Jonathan Karl on ABC
News’s This Week asked, “Is that really what you want is, people
late at night, drinking at a nightclub, two–three o’clock in the
morning, armed to the teeth?” John Dickerson on Face the Nation
was equally incredulous.
In fact, 40 states allow people to have guns with them in bars.
There is not a single example in a bar of someone getting drunk
in a bar and shooting at others. Nor is there a case in which a
sober person in a bar unjustifiably shot others.
In something like designated-driver laws, some states prohibit
permit holders from drinking while they are carrying in bars.
States also make it crime for a permit holder to carry a gun
while drunk. By any measure, permit holders are incredibly law-
Unfortunately for the nightclub patrons at Pulse, Florida is not
one of the states that allow concealed carry in bars.
Police are probably the single most important factor in stopping
crime, but stopping mass public shootings is an extremely
dangerous proposition for officers and security guards alike.
Attackers will generally shoot first at any uniformed guards or
officers who are present. During the Charlie Hebdo attack in
Paris last year, the first person killed was the guard who was
protecting the magazine’s offices.
Being able to choose the time and place of an attack gives
terrorists a major strategic advantage. The Orlando killer had
obviously been to the Pulse nightclub many times. As a result,
he clearly knew there was an armed security guard at the club’s
entrance. Had some of the customers been carrying permitted
concealed handguns, the terrorist wouldn’t have been able to
know who might resist. This would have denied him a major
It is unlikely that either the Clintons or Obama would ever put
gun-free zone signs in front of their homes. They should stop
telling the rest of us where to put such signs.