It has only been two years since Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper,” was killed on a shooting range in Erath County, Texas. His murder was followed by the shooting death in Georgia of Keith Ratliff of the YouTube gun show FPSRussia, who was surrounded by his own guns, and Frank Petro, owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop in Tunnelton, PA who was killed in his shop with his own gun.
Also shot and killed in 2013 were Kaufman County, Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, despite the DA being “well-armed and so well-versed in guns,” according to his son, and other key law enforcement figures.
Still it is the absence of guns–“gun-free” zones–that explains most shootings, say gun advocates, because bad guys know that good guys “have been disarmed!”
Under this self-flattering reasoning, armed guards are no replacement for armed citizens and Ford Hood, the Navy Yard and LAX airport are actually soft targets. “Let’s attack a military installation,” the bad guys say, according to gun advocates. “They won’t fight back.”
The gun-free zone fiction was rolled out by the gun advocacy movement as businesses have increasingly shunned belligerent and self-righteous “carriers” on their premises.
Just as Pepsi recently renounced the artificial sweetener aspartame and Chipotle renounced genetically modified food ingredients, top restaurant chains like Panera Bread, Starbucks, Sonic Drive-In, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Target have renounced guns on their property. Why? They hear their customers!
But of course, there is another reason property and building owners do not want guns on their property. If they fail to post No Guns Allowed signs and gun violence, injury or death occurs on their property they “face the argument that it was entirely foreseeable” advises top real estate, finance and litigation law firm Mayer Brown LLP.
Mishaps that could expose such property owners to lawsuits include faulty holsters, someone bumping a carrier, a carrier bumping someone else, a carrier falling or a carrier “mistaking a situation for one in which he is legally entitled to use a gun for self-defense or to save others,” says Mayer Brown. Their legal memo, found here, may well be the first property owner guidance on liability from guns on their property. Certainly, the toddler who killed his mother with her own gun in a Washington Walmart in December would pose liability to property owners under this guidance.
Of course militant “carriers” who are afraid to go where normal people go without their lethal weapons usually transmute their cowardice into a public service. We are protecting the public they yell–if a “bad guy” shows up you’ll be glad we are around.
But the legal memo from Mayer Brown begs to differ. Not only are sheriff-wannabes unlikely to “defend” anyone in a gun violence situation they are likely to cause more bloodshed. Nor would a property owner be faulted for disallowing such armed enforcers. “A court could hardly claim that a duty of care was violated because a property owner put up signs to help prevent this additional danger posed by would-be heroes,” says the memo.
The truth is the presence of guns makes an environment less safe not more safe. Exhibit A is all major corporations/companies which ban guns from their headquarter buildings. Corporations don’t want a shoot out between bad guys and good guys in their offices–they want no guns to begin with. Needless to say, there aren’t too many shootings in their “gun-free zones.”
Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct