Gun-free zones are invitations to mass murder, gun-rights advocates argued after a lone gunman's shooting rampage at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, Friday left 20 children and six adults dead. John Lott, author of the controversial 1999 bestseller More Guns, Less Crime, said in an interview with Newsmax.com Saturday it is no coincidence that mass shootings with multiple victims occur repeatedly in designated gun-free zones such as schools, shopping malls, and movie theaters.
"The problem is, whether it is the Portland [Oregon] shooting earlier this week, or the Connecticut shooting Friday, or the Sikh temple attack in Wisconsin, time after time these attacks take place in the few areas within a state where permit-concealed handguns are banned," Lott said. "It's not just this year, it's all these years in the past. And at some point people have to recognize that despite the obvious desire to make places safe by banning guns, it unintentionally has the opposite effect."
The effect, said Lott, is to encourage a killer to believe it will be easier to commit the mayhem he has in mind in an environment where no one will be able to shoot back.
"If you had a violent criminal stalking you or your family, and was really seriously threatening you, would you feel safer putting a sign up in front of your home stating, 'This home is a gun-free zone?'" Lott asked. "My guess is you wouldn't do that. And I've never run into any gun-control proponents who would do that either. And the reason is pretty clear: Putting a sign there saying this is a gun-free home isn't going to cause the criminals to say, 'Oh, I don't want to break the law, so I'm not going to go in and attack these people.' It encourages them to do it. It serves as a magnet for him, if he's going to engage in this attack, that that's the place where he is going to engage in, because he finds that it is going to be easier to do it there. Yet every time we have one of these mass shooting incidents, it renews the call from the media and the left for banning guns."
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