Consider for a moment what “Gun Free Zone” actually means. Not just the obvious — that a Gun Free Zone is an area or building in which the normal laws governing firearms possession and carry are superseded by a blanket prohibition. But the actual implementation of the restrictions, and how they can be enforced in a rational manner.
I, and I have to assume most of the readers of this blog, are reasonably law-abiding people, and will not knowingly break the law (speed limits and mattress tags excepted), especially when the penalties are significant. As much as I want to carry a concealed weapon, I will not, because in the state of New Jersey, to do so legally is impossible, and to do so illegally risks an insanely disproportionate response from the jack-booted thugs of government.
And were I to live in a state that respects my natural right to self defense, I would still respect the insanity of the “Gun Free Zone,” heretofore known as GFZ, and not carry my weapon into those areas (or just avoid those areas whenever feasible). That is because I am a law-abiding citizen. That’s just how we roll.
But criminals don’t obey the law. That is pretty much the definition of “criminal.” And Mohammedans intent on practicing their religion and killing infidels will also ignore the law and enter GFZs at will, as we saw last week in San Bernardino California.
One way to prevent the entrance of a gun-wielding sociopath, or a sane but evil Muslim on the way to commit atrocities in the name of his deity is to stop and frisk them before they enter the GFZ.
Stop-And-Frisk, the technique that was used to great effect in NYC to minimize crime is based on a 1968 Supreme Court ruling in Terry v. Ohio that there is no violation of our 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure when a police officer stops someone on the street and frisks him without probable cause, if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous, essentially changing “probable cause” to “reasonable suspicion.” There are significant limitations, including one that does not allow searches merely for evidence gathering.
And surprise, surprise, the progressives hate Stop-And-Frisk, and the second their NYC poster boy for Socialism took office as mayor, he ended the practice (That crime and quality of life issues in New York are skyrocketing is George Bush’s fault). They claim that it is profiling (why that is bad, I have no idea. It sounds smart to me), they claim it is racist because cops were disproportionately searching minorities. Hell, I think they claim it causes childhood obesity and Dutch Elm Disease.
But the concept of Stop-And-Frisk is sound; take guns away from criminals before they use them. So the most logical way of enforcing GFZs would be to surround them with police officers who would be charged with frisking all people who satisfy the criteria of a Terry search. Obviously the number of officers available at each GFZ would have to be sufficient to handle an attack such as the one at the Inland Regional Center.
Assuming that there are 10,000 GFZs in America (I have no idea, but let’s start there), and assuming that each facility has only one entrance (silly yes, but humor me), and the tactical requirements to handle even one shooter would be several officers, we arrive at: 10,000 GFZs x 5 officers x 4 shifts (weekends, vacation, etc) = 200,000 additional police officers.
That’s about $10 billion/year. Play with the numbers and you will discover that I am probably low-balling by quite a lot.
Of course the success of this plan is dependent on many things. The tactical awareness of the cops at each of these GFZs has to be perfect, or they will get shot up first, instead of stopping the terrorist attack (or crazy person attack). And the bad guys can’t just change their targets to some other location that is not defended, but is gun free nonetheless. That would be pretty much anywhere in the many states that do not allow, or severely restrict, concealed carry.
Yes….it’s ridiculous. Defending GFZs is impossible. There is one way to mitigate the damage however. That would be the simple and cheap plan of allowing concealed carry in all 50 states, possibly with a federal concealed carry permit. Hell, charge $200 for it and it will be a net gain for the treasury.
Will millions of newly armed Americans be able stop every terrorist or crazy attack? Of course not. But just returning fire will disrupt and slow the plans of all but the best trained of these people, and some will simply give up and either cower or kill themselves. That behavior is seen over and over in these mass shootings. As soon as the cops show up, the lunatic eats his gun.
So the intent of the GFZ, while possibly noble, ignores human nature, the nature of evil, and is risable as a public policy to stop or minimize gun crime and terrorism. But it looks pretty on signs, and as a campaign point it sounds wonderful. The only rational solution — concealed carry in all 50 states — is one that will be rejected out of hand, because the mandarins inside the beltway simply do not trust or believe in the American people.