From today's Shooting Wire newsletter:
We ALL need to get in on this effort.Gresham Declares War on "Gun Free" Zones
On Monday we reprinted excerpts from a letter sent to the Denver Post by author, television host and general man about arms Michael Bane. In his letter, Bane responded to the Post's reprint of a Los Angeles Times editorial that was "erroneous" in some of its suppositions about firearms.
Actually, it was dead wrong in some key areas, but I was trying to be polite.
Bane corrected some of the incorrect talking points that seem to be generally accepted wisdom in the mainstream media. These points seem to keep being parroted by members of the media who genuinely do appear clueless (at best) about firearms. "Guns bad" isn't exactly a large knowledge base - especially if you're supposed to be a "trusted name in news," but it seems to be about all that's required in some media circles.
Last week, we also asked some hard questions about the lessons we're still learning from the premeditated murders of 32 students at Virginia Tech.
But our friend Tom Gresham has decided to stop talking about the problem and take action.
Gresham has declared war on what he characterizes as "Gun Free Killing Fields" across America. Those "gun free zones" that seem to be open invitations for deluded individuals to seek when looking for defenseless victims.
Gresham declared the war Sunday on his national radio talk show, Tom Gresham's Gun Talk.
"I'm sick and tired of the hoax of the so-called 'gun-free' zones," said Gresham. "We know they don't stop criminals, but they do prevent honest people from protecting themselves. In Pearl, Mississippi, and at the Appalachian Law School shootings, the killing was stopped before the police arrived by citizens with guns. Tragically, students at Virginia Tech, even though they might have jumped through the hoops to get the permits, were prohibited from having a gun in a dorm."
Gresham's radio show runs on radio stations across the country as well as on the Sirius and XM satellite radio systems. He also hosts several television series about firearms and is the author of several books about firearms.
"I'm disappointed in the gun rights movement," Gresham added, "that we have been willing to not only accept, but to agree with, the concept of these 'target-rich environments' where, we know, only criminals have guns, and where honest people are prohibited from having the means to protect themselves. Imagine someone saying you can't have a fire extinguisher!"
"We have to start, right here, and right now," Gresham added, "in our march to stamp out this thinking that denying people of the ability to protect themselves somehow makes them safe. The record is clear. When good people have guns, they can stop these monsters. When they don't, they have to depend on mercy from the merciless."
Gresham announced his intention work with national and state organizations to eliminate "gun free" school zones as well as the concept of preventing anyone licensed to carry a concealed gun from going into any establishment open to the public.
Gresham may seem a bit radical in his approach, but his position is more defensible than one that says "gun free zones" keep anyone safe - other than the criminals who use them as hunting grounds. Patterned after "drug free zones" around schools, these "free zones" don't have any teeth to them. Violation of a "drug free zone" can tack years onto a drug conviction.
While parents may believe a "gun free zone" would protect their children, these same dunderheads wouldn't consider not equipping a school with fire alarms and extinguishers. Yet many more children have been killed by violence in "gun free zones" than by fire. The same holds true for post offices and other areas where law-abiding citizens are forbidden to carry protection. As is indicated by the aphorism "going postal" - it certainly isn't much of a deterrent to the deranged.
Gresham's line in the sand is getting traction with firearms owners.
Responses to his declaration on Sunday continue to come in from across the nation. Listeners are pledging to call state and local legislators and work to have "gun free zones" eliminated or prohibited in their hometowns.
Gresham may be on to something: a grassroots backlash from parents, grandparents, workers and teachers who are tired of being defenseless. It's time to stop being tolerant of wrong-headed thinking.
Tolerant and defenseless should not be synonymous.
Instead of "gun free zones" let's push for "victim free zones."